Present Pupil

My time at NTS has allowed me to develop my confidence and passions, academically and musically. Through my involvement with the school orchestra, I have been able to perform many challenging pieces of music from the different musicals that school puts on. Furthermore, being in the orchestra allowed me to make a wide group of friends with similar interests.

On arriving at the school in Year 7 with only a small group of friends, I made use of the many extra-curricular clubs such as Art and Hockey to meet new people and explore new interests. The teachers also pushed me academically to exceed my targets in many subjects and to pursue my love for history and languages. The highlights of my school experience were gaining work experience with Allerdale Borough Council and receiving the Attitude and Service Award in Year 12.

Mr Dodd

Former pupil and current trainee Computer Science teacher

From the off when I arrived as a fresh-faced Year 7 in 2007, NTS’ness was at the heart of my learning experience in both lessons and extra-curricular activities. During my time in the Sixth Form, I was allowed the opportunity to run my own youth choir as well as attending (probably too many!) clubs myself.

In 2014 I left the Sixth Form with A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Computing and General Studies to attend the University of Bristol to read Computer Science. Four years and a small U-turn later I graduated with a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies. My NTS’ness gave me the confidence and skills to form lasting relationships with students and staff at the university.

After a brief three-year interlude of fixing oil-fired boilers, I successfully applied to be a Teaching Assistant at The Nelson Thomlinson School in the Learning Support Department. I found working in education and helping those who need an extra hand is the most fulfilling job I’ve had. Finally, coming full circle, I accepted a place at the University of Buckingham to complete my PGCE in Computer Science whilst teaching at NTS.

I look forward to completing my teacher training in the coming year and for the foreseeable future, remaining as a Computer Science teacher here at NTS. I hope to help our pupils continue to develop their academic and personal skills so they can find their own path, however winding it may be, into an enjoyable career.

Toby Cass

Past Pupil

Having attended a small rural primary school, I was a little apprehensive about starting as a Year 7 pupil at The Nelson Thomlinson School. I needn’t have worried; from Day 1 I found all the staff to be very helpful and supportive and always willing to give their time to further my academic and personal development.

I made new friends and got involved with Form and House activities. I entered a competition to design a sensory garden for a community group in Wigton and was lucky enough to win and witness my design being built. I enjoyed being part of a team in the drama and musical productions, whether it was on stage performing or playing in the school orchestra. My musical passion began with a drum kit which evolved into percussion, and this led to me being a member of several music ensembles, including the English Schools’ Orchestra. Time spent on residential music courses and expeditions through the gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme helped to develop my self-confidence, leadership and communication skills, all of which were extremely useful to support my application for Higher Education.

I am now studying for a BA in Production Technology and Management at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. I am thoroughly enjoying the course which utilises knowledge gained from my chosen A-level subjects: Music, Product Design, Computer Science and Core Maths. In the Sixth Form you were expected to take a lot more responsibility for your own learning and this has helped to develop a strong work ethic, independence, time management and focus, which are proving to be solid foundations upon which to build the next phase of my education.

Without doubt, this school has provided me with a raft of opportunities and helped me to get to where I am today – I am proud to say I was a member of the NTS community.

Kate Southwell

Past Pupil

I joined NTS in Year 7 as the only pupil from my primary school and I haven’t looked back since. During the seven years I spent at NTS every opportunity was made available, whether academic or extra-curricular. I am keen sportswoman and enjoyed every minute I spent on sports field, largely due to the efforts of the P.E department. The staff never failed to inspire me or my peers to produce a winning performance, allowing each and every one of us to reach our potential.

Whilst in the Sixth Form I studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths, achieving three A*’s. I am now lucky enough to be studying Medicine at Newcastle University, a success I would not have had without the support from NTS. The Sixth Form staff, in particular my Form Tutor Mrs Johnson, went the extra mile to make sure I achieved my dream. I feel privileged to have had such an experience.

Regardless of your ambition, you will find a place at NTS. I have made memories and friendships there that will last a lifetime.

Lydia Foster

Past Pupil

I am currently HR Advisor at Futamura (Wigton Factory) and have been with the Company since leaving Lancaster University in 2016. Prior to University, I studied at The Nelson Thomlinson School, which had a big part in guiding my future career.

The decisions I made at NTS played an integral part to deciding what I wanted to do. This started in Year 9 when I chose to study Business Studies at GCSE level. I decided to stay on at NTS 6th Form after realising I had an interest in Business Studies and thoroughly enjoyed learning the subject. I was then introduced to Young Enterprise, the opportunity to build a business and then compete with other schools. As part of this we had to understand how a business works, speak to potential clients, create a trade stand and deliver presentations to a wide range of audiences (which was very daunting at the time). This opportunity helped me to understand what my strengths were and confirmed my decision to study Business Management at University. Throughout my time at Nelson, thanks to a wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer, I volunteered as a Peer Mentor, participated in a number of sports teams and thoroughly enjoyed competing in Rock Challenge, an annual dance competition. All these experiences allowed me to build my skillset and gave me plenty of content to discuss on my personal statement for University.

Since leaving NTS, I have collaborated with different departments during my time at University, such as coordinating the Tercentenary Dinner celebrations in 2014, creating a school trip to learn about UAV’s and mapping in my role for a Surveying Company as well as teaching a Year 8 class while working for the University. In my current role at Futamura, I frequently present assemblies and attend parents evenings to increase awareness of future opportunities for students. Recently I have joined the NTS Governing body and I hope to be able to support the school and its pupils as much as it has supported me.


Present Pupil

I joined NTS with only two other pupils from my primary school. I was apprehensive about meeting so many new people, but teachers and peers alike warmly welcomed me. Forms are central to NTS. Developing social and cultural capital is genuinely enjoyable through Form quizzes and videos in Form time. I was sure to get the most out of my time here, and so I have actively participated in school council since Year 7, and I am also a House Captain. In Year 9, I was encouraged by staff to launch a current affairs ballot in school. I received over 800 responses, and it helped me get more involved in local politics with me eventually shadowing an MP.

My true passion is Physics, and at NTS the Science Department is phenomenal. I study Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and History at Sixth Form and whilst it is a heavy workload, the independence we are given, as adults, is astounding. The teaching I have received throughout NTS cannot be faulted and it has led to my academic prospering. I have enjoyed receiving many school prizes throughout my time at NTS. Furthermore, through school endorsed enrichment I secured a place at a prestigious mathematical summer school in 2020.

The teachers’ attitudes at NTS can be summed up by my personal experience applying to university. To begin, I hadn’t even considered applying to American universities at the start of sixth form, but my history teacher told me about a social mobility programme. As time moved on, and I got into this ‘Sutton Trust US Programme’, going to an American university became more and more of a reality. A US application, however, is much more hands on for teachers than a UK one. I asked three teachers to be my referees/counsellors and the support they gave me was incredible. For months, the wrote and submitted several forms for my application. The support was unbelievable.

Thus, as I go onto Princeton University in August, there is one place I will thank more than anywhere else – NTS.

Mr Knott

Geography Teacher

I’ve been teaching at The Nelson Thomlinson School now for four years and the experience has been an extremely rewarding one. After moving from my native Lancashire the welcome I received at school, and in Cumbria for that matter, was warm and supportive. I relocated up here for the natural environment and abundance of outdoor activities on offer. I am a keen mountain biker, climber and hill walker and find the Northern Fells, and Lake District as a whole, more than caters for my wants and needs. In 2013 I climbed the Eiger with a group of friends.

Sharing my knowledge and experience of the outdoor environment is of great importance to me and this is why I have played such a role in supporting the School’s flourishing gold and silver Duke of Edinburgh groups. Seeing pupils learn new skills and push themselves outside the classroom environment brings great satisfaction and, even though they don’t admit it at the time, I am sure they enjoy it too!

Mrs Johnson

Head of Modern Languages Department/Sixth Form Tutor/ Professional Tutor

I first came to NTS on a short-term contract in the nineties, very early on in my career when my husband and I moved to Cumbria to bring up our children in the Lakes. I loved the school, came back when my youngest child started school and progressed from French teacher, to second in department to Head of Languages within a few years.

During my time at the school, I’ve been very proud to lead a superb team of teachers in the Modern Languages department, as well as co-developing internationalism across the school alongside a member of the Computing department, which led to visits to Hualien and Taipei to establish links with a wonderful team of teachers in Taiwan, as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme. I am very proud that the school has recently achieved the full International School Award from the British Council for the third time running!

I have also had the opportunity to work on the Teaching School programme, notably co-ordinating the teaching of primary languages and collaborating with outstanding primary specialist teachers on a project that was very rewarding. More recently, I have joined the Professional Development department and enjoyed teaching and coaching on both sides of the glass in our “observation classroom”, exploring the art of teaching and participating in our Complete Learner Programme, which seeks to enable our pupils in developing strategies to manage their learning and realise potential.

My role as a sixth-form tutor is the icing on the cake, and there are few privileges greater than helping a student find out what they want to do in the future, and then supporting them in that endeavour. I have been a co-opted governor for a number of years and find the role both challenging and gratifying in terms of seeing the school from a different angle and having the opportunity to support its leadership and future direction.

I would highly recommend NTS as both a teacher and a parent. Our trademark NTS-ness is dear to my heart and acts as a tool to encourage all members of our community to look out for one another and recognise our shared values, and is highly powerful in terms of creating an atmosphere in which every member of the school feels valued and encouraged to aspire to the highest standards. My own five children benefited immensely from the school, its ethos and its location, and are all extremely successful in their fields, going on to careers in Medicine, Law and the Civil Service both here and overseas, whilst enjoying the myriad of benefits of growing up in such a beautiful part of the country. For anyone looking for a school either for their own children to attend or as a place to begin their career, you need look no further than NTS!