Laurence Pallant studied at Trinity School between 2005 and 2012. He was one of thousands who were able to study at our schools thanks to a bursary from The Whitgift Foundation. After being made Head Boy, Laurence was accepted to study medicine at Imperial College, London.
Why did you apply to Trinity and what appealed to you about the school?
When I was at primary school we often drove past Trinity on our way to Croydon, it was “the big school by the roundabout”. One day we saw a sign for the open day and my parents and I decided to have a look. The school felt very warm, the teachers were welcoming and the fact that the boys themselves did the tours on the open day helped me get a feel for what the school was really like.
One of the teachers mentioned that bursaries were available for those who weren’t able to afford the full fees, so I sat the test and got in with a very generous bursary.
What are your key achievements at Trinity?
I sang in the choir and this meant I had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Opera House, which was amazing. Twenty of us did Tosca for first and second years and in my second year the Opera was televised in Hyde Park and we packed out the Royal Opera House.
I got nine A*s and one A in my GCSEs and achieved four A*s in my A-Levels for Chemistry, Biology, English Literature and Maths. The only person who was more delighted than me was my dad – he was over the moon!
My most significant achievement, though, was being elected as Head boy. It showed that a school can develop you, not just academically but personally. This was a huge achievement for me and I am very grateful for the experience.
Yours was one of the first years to experience the new Co-ed sixth form, how was it?
The Co-ed sixth form has had a really positive effect. I think it, as well as the new sixth form centre, has brought the sixth form at Trinity closer together. Having your own sixth form place is really nice. The girls are a great addition to the school and they negate some of the immature behaviour because no one wants to be seen as the immature one around the girls. It’s had a really positive impact overall.
How has Trinity affected your future?
Before Trinity I wasn’t the best behaved in primary school and I got very bored very quickly. Trinity was really good in terms of discipline because the staff were willing to explain things to you. The form tutor system meant I always had someone who would spend time specifically with me and work through discipline issues. There is a huge amount of pastoral support available and the work really kept me on my toes!
What advice would you give to a new starter at Trinity?
Try everything, literally everything. There’s scuba diving club, sailing clubs, junior geography society (make volcanoes!), there’s even an origami club that a member of the maths department runs. There are so many different things to do.
How do you think your education at Trinity has shaped your future?
I had a lot of help at Trinity to allow me to get to Imperial to study medicine. Going to a good university gives me a boost in terms of where I can go further on in my career, life and the world in general. I owe a lot to Trinity and The Whitgift Foundation. I fully appreciate all of the opportunities that I have been given and I hope many more kids will be given the same opportunity.
How do you think the Foundation has helped you to achieve your goals?
Simply, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Trinity without its support. No matter how hard my parents worked, there was no way that was going happen. Certainly if I didn’t go to Trinity I doubt I would have achieved as much academically and I certainly wouldn’t have developed in the same way socially. I doubt I would be as confident a person as I am today and I doubt I would have enjoyed school as much.
I look back on the last couple of years of my school life and I think they have been the best so far. I have absolutely loved it – every single day. I have so many really good memories. Trinity School has allowed me to achieve many things but also to enjoy my time there as well. So thank you very much to The Whitgift Foundation and to Trinity.