Story/Interview August 25, 2022
Alumnus Henry Patterson: “It’s all about trial, error, and experimenting…”
Henry Patterson graduated from our school back in 2020. Today, he’s a performer at the UK’s leading resort. Fitting for an unusual and exciting career, Henry developed and experimented with unique ways of studying during his time at King’s InterHigh. Read his blog below to hear about his journey through online school, TikTok stardom, and beyond.
I spent three years at King’s InterHigh from 2017 to 2020 – a time which saw me through some key moments in my education, the most prominent being my GCSEs. My exam experience may be somewhat unique, as I was one of those whose exams fell over the dawning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although I’m a graduate of ‘The Class of Covid’, never actually sitting an exam, I still went through the motions of preparing for my GCSEs and had developed my own revision techniques (even if they were a little unorthodox).
I’ve never been an overly academic person, so from the start of Year 11, I knew that I’d have to take a different approach towards revision, rather than flash cards and notebooks. I’ve always loved music and presented many a school project in musical form. This passion for music ignited a rather unique revision technique: writing and recording parodies with all of my revision information.
I took my favourite songs and reimagined the lyrics to create a version of Bohemian Rhapsody about mangroves (appropriately titled Mangrovian Rhapsody), a biographical song about English physician, John Snow, to the music of Hamilton, and a rather dramatic retelling of President Nixon’s Watergate scandal. All of the information from these songs stayed fixed in my brain indefinitely, and I still consider myself somewhat of a mangrove expert because of it.
Of course, I’m not saying that technique would work for everyone. Many of my friends swear by flash cards. It’s all about trial and error, experimenting with revision techniques that best suit you.
When it came to leaving King’s InterHigh in 2020, I walked away with a new, creative way of working, something that I wouldn’t have achieved in your stereotypical, bricks and mortar school.
This way of working actually marked the start of my professional career. I enjoyed writing my revision parodies so much that during the US Presidential Election of 2020, I started a TikTok account and wrote songs about all of the twists and turns in the election. This grew my TikTok to an audience of over 16 million people, and I ended up writing songs for the BBC Americast podcast, during their coverage of the election and events that followed.
My love for performing has now led to me working full-time in entertainment. I get to perform every night in the UK’s leading 5-star resort, something I enjoy greatly.
The reason I bring this up is that I think too often, people over exaggerate the transition from being in school to then starting the next phase of your life. Once I found the thing I enjoyed doing, I explored ways of weaving it into my exam revision, my hobbies, and eventually a job I enjoy doing. So, whether you’re in preparation for your exams, halfway through them, or far past them, make sure you’re incorporating things that excite you into your day. I promise, you’ll find a huge difference in productivity if you do!