"Warminster is a special community that you will never experience again. Don't take it for granted"

“Make the most of the resources and the staff – you will achieve so much more than you thought possible!"

Supporting our pupils as they navigate their possible career options is a key part of our Sixth Form team’s role here at Warminster.  Dr Horler-Underwood, Head of Sixth Form, recalls our former Head Girl, Emma Tizard’s (OV15) decision process and how essential it is with every pupil to focus on what is intrinsically right for them.  “Emma worked hard throughout her school life with us from the very start of Year 7 and her focus was rewarded with a great set of both GCSE and A level results,” he explains.  “A degree in medicine might, on paper, have initially appeared the more obvious choice for Emma but it became clear during her time in Sixth Form that the nursing career path was the more natural option for her.  We were thrilled, but not surprised, that Emma achieved a BSc in Adult Nursing with a First Class Honours last summer.  We are so proud of all of her achievements.”  Just back from a welcome break travelling in New Zealand, we caught up with Emma shortly after she started her first job as a graduate nurse in Leeds.

On an academic front, what did you study and where?

I decided to study Geography, History and Biology for A Level. These were subjects that I really enjoyed at GCSE and this meant that when it came to studying at a higher level I was willing to put in the work.  Knowing the teaching staff as well as I did, I felt supported throughout the Sixth Form which helped me enormously.

I chose to study Adult Nursing at the University of York. Living in a boarding house throughout my school career meant that I experienced many opportunities to care for my friends and I remember it was one of my peer group who highlighted for me that I should consider nursing as a career. Work experience was vital for me to confirm that nursing was the right career for me and I would encourage anyone to find as much work experience in their chosen field as they can.

I graduated with a First Class Honours and am currently working on an oncology and haematology admissions ward in St James University Hospital in Leeds. I absolutely love it! Nursing is still relatively new to me and I appreciate that I am experiencing similar challenges that everyone does when starting a new job. However, I am lucky enough to be working as part of a great team and with their support and encouragement I am finding my feet. I admire all the different roles that I work with collectively on the ward but as a nurse I can use my skills and strengths to help the individuals I meet to the very best of my ability. Nursing is a unique vocation that changes every single day.   I feel so fortunate that I have the opportunity to be part of patients’ lives at a time that can be very challenging for them.

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

I feel I was instilled with a solid work ethic, inspired not only by all the amazing staff at Warminster, but by watching and learning from other pupils too.  Being part of different friendship groups, learning how to balance my time and knowing what it’s like to be a team player has assisted me enormously in my working life. All the fundamental aspects of the spirit of Warminster School have helped to shape me as a young adult and propelled me into the world of work with all the life skills I need.

What inspirational tips can you pass on to our current pupils?

I look back on my memories of my school life at Warminster and smile; from the sports matches on a Saturday, to the lifelong friends I have made, to singing in the choir, boarding in Stratton, and all the incredible teachers that supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Warminster is a special community that you will never experience again. Don’t take it for granted. Live life every day to the full and make the most of both the resources and staff - you will achieve so much more than you thought possible. It’s easy sometimes to wish away your school years; they may be hard at times but they are packed full of life lessons that will prepare you for the next chapter. Before you know it you will be an Old Verlucian reflecting on your own school career for a Heads-Up article and realising how grateful you are for all that Warminster School gave to you – just like me.