“Knowing I had the support of the Warminster community behind me helped make my time at school truly special.”

If ever there was an example of the importance of our pupils engaging creatively across the curriculum it would be Patrick Williams (OV13). During his 9 years at Warminster, staff fondly remember that there was just as much chance to find him immersed in his latest project in the DT Department as they would find him playing on the rugby pitch or rehearsing his latest trumpet piece in the chapel. Mrs Maclaren reflects on his DT prowess, “Patrick was a real pleasure to work with in the workshop. I remember his design for a multi-function games box which truly pushed the boundaries of innovation to its limits. It came as no surprise that for his ultimate A Level challenge he managed to incorporate a design improvement for his trumpet!”  Now 24, Patrick runs his own design consultancy, Triux, which offers both creative and technical development solutions to help support companies progress their products. Impressively, he is also working towards bringing a product of his own design to market by the end of 2020.  Warminster School’s very own Mr Dyson! 

What did you study in Sixth Form?

“As I was making my A Level choices I was aware that I might be torn between studying either Music or Design at university so it was essential that I kept my options open.  I had always enjoyed the technical side of design and engineering so adding both Maths and Physics in Lower Sixth to my first choice of Design Technology seemed obvious.  Subsequently both subjects proved invaluable whilst I was studying for my degree.  Adding Music to the list might not initially seem a natural combination but I really feel it helped my creative side. The music industry is driven by creativity so in that sense DT and Music are perfect partners.”

How do you feel Warminster prepared you for the next step? 

“I often feel that one of the reasons why I felt comfortable enough to push myself out of my comfort zone while I was at school was because I felt I had this sense of a supportive community behind me.  I was always encouraged to get involved and ‘have a go’; from the hockey pitch, to jazz band, drama productions and later as a prefect while I was in Sixth Form.  These experiences shape you and once I left school I realised that I wasn’t scared to get involved or to have a voice in what was going on.  I went on to study Product Design Technology at UWE Bristol.  It offered the ideal balance of engineering and product innovation; a natural extension of the subjects that had enthralled me at school. It turned out to be the perfect spring board for me.”

What skills did you learn at Warminster & how did that prepare you for the world of work? 

“I remember when I walked into the DT workshop for the first time, I think as an impressionable Year 5 during one of our many visits to the Senior School, I was amazed by the facilities and the idea that if I put my mind to something I really could create anything.  I distinctly recall my first completed project – a radio made from wood and acrylic.  If it wasn’t for the DT department I might never have realised that my passion could become my career.  There were numerous ‘soft skills’ that almost without realising it were so well nurtured and encouraged during my time at school. I learned the importance of preparation and team work, not least the confidence to stand up in front of a crowded room and express my opinions or crucially pitch an idea.”

Best memories you have of the Sixth Form? 

“I would have to say performing in the school musical, Phantom, was definitely a high light – it was a blast! It was fantastic having so many friends involved and to be able to share the experience with them – there was such a huge sense of pride when it finally came to the performances themselves. It was also fabulous to see and feel the enthusiasm of the staff – I sensed they enjoyed the experience every bit as much as we did! I would also have to mention the Sixth Form Socials. Myself and 3 other friends organised one particular event and we really enjoyed the experience of planning and juggling all the elements involved.”

Advice and tips for current Sixth Formers? 

“Putting in the hard work early really does pay off; I now find early preparation and organisation not only makes my life so much easier but further down the line enables me to produce work to a much higher standard than I might have initially aspired to. In some cases in a much shorter time span too! I wish I had fully understood that at school!  My top advice would be to grasp and explore every opportunity that comes your way; you never know where it might take you and what you might learn. Warminster School offers so many occasions for you to build and develop your skill set.  Understanding that while you are still lucky enough to be at school, places you at a huge advantage in the world of work.”