Nothing that happens at NTS does so by accident. The impeccable behaviour of our pupils (Ofsted’s phrasing, not mine), their politeness and good manners, their achievement (academic and extra-curricular) are all down to sheer hard work — theirs and ours. The standards we have fought hard to maintain have been established over many years through the commitment of a dedicated team of professionals.

Our eager children have a real thirst for learning and our excellent staff team are committed and dedicated in ensuring that each and every child achieves. We have high standards and expect the best.

The local context (a small industrial town in rural northern Cumbria) is, perhaps, not one you might associate with academic excellence and yet we were the first secondary school in the county to have been judged “outstanding” by Ofsted under their revised framework.

You will probably want to see for yourself what we have to offer and, to this end, I would be delighted to show you around.


It is a pleasure to welcome you to Nelson Thomlinson School…

Emotional Intelligence – Plus (EQ+)

I have always been a firm believer in the promotion of so-called ‘soft skills’, in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and in improving the ability of pupils to interact effectively with others in different contexts. Many pupils suffer when they find themselves in a different social context (e.g. a discussion with an adult, a classroom presentation etc.) and find it hard to adapt. So, a few years ago, as part of the School Development Plan, we promoted this across the school through normal lessons and Form Periods to help pupils recognise its importance, and encouraged pupil progress in eight key areas, using where possible pupil role-models as teachers.

These days, we regularly revisit EQ, albeit informally, encouraging pupils to be ‘EQ-competent’ and ‘interview ready’. And more recently, we have also embarked on a related project with an external company keen to promote Oracy Skills. Initially, we focussed on the whole of Year 8; latterly, we have adapted the programme to target around 100 pupils (from Year 7 to Year 12) who we believe might benefit more than others from this kind of intervention.