The school’s view of teaching as an important, honourable, but also difficult profession requires it to ensure that professional effectiveness and development is a central concern. This makes it a good place for NQTs to learn their trade and for the upwardly mobile to gain important experience. (We have an impressive record of developing HoDs and Senior Managers.) It’s also a good place to stay, though. The school’s record of continued success and progress precludes any possibility of stagnation, and its place within its community gives an extra significance to what it does.
Wigton is a tight-knit community. Innovia Films/Futamura is “the factory”, we are “the school.” The former Head of Sixth Form has twice been Mayor of Wigton, the vicar of Wigton was a leading member of our governing body, “the factory” has been well represented on our Board of Governors. NTS, then, exists within that community but it also makes a big difference to that community. If we were to fail, Wigton would suffer; because we succeed, Wigton benefits. So the responsibility is big – but so are the satisfactions of success.
Housing in North Cumbria is very affordable and there’s plenty to do outside school besides fell walking.
There’s plenty to do inside school besides teaching, too; and one of the reasons why so many of us are addicted to the place is because of the texture of life here. Lots of staff are involved with the school musical and theatrical productions and sports teams; many actually participate in the choir, or the staff rock group. There’s also a staff Friday night five-a-side football session, staff craft club, mindfulness sessions, canoeing, ….. even bird watching (with the Headmaster!).
There are the “set pieces” of the school year, too. Prize Day, Founders’ Day, our Remembrance Service and our Carol Services are not just things that happen here: they are dignified moments in the school year where we pause to celebrate what we do and the historical and cultural context within which we do it.
So perhaps a major reason why staff at NTS don’t miss work very often is the fact that work here is (on the whole, of course!) something that they actually enjoy.