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Carlton le Willows Academy

Nothing but the best


With a rich tradition of academic success, Carlton le Willows Academy has seen a host of students go on to pursue successful careers in a broad range of professions.

Here are just a few of our alumni:

Eleanor King 2004 -2011 - Sustainability Consultant 

 I studied Geography, Biology and English Lit at A level, then went to Durham University to study Geography (four years masters course). I then worked at a small environmental consultancy in Loughborough for 2 years, before moving to Bristol to work for AECOM (an engineering consultancy). Working in the Climate Change and Sustainability Team, I help businesses work in a more sustainable way.

Top accolade to date was being named as one of the UK’s 30 sustainability professionals under the age of 30 in the Edie Sustainability Awards.

Emily Thurston 2004-2011 - Freelance Dance Artist 

I only did two A levels at 6th form - English Language and Psychology, but also did A level Dance and Drama at “Flying High Expressive Arts Company”. From then I went to train at Middlesex University (London) and graduated with a degree in dance studies.

From university I became a freelance dance artist working across the Midlands. I’ve worked for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Inspire County Youth Arts, Dance4 and I am an associate lecturer at the University of Lincoln on the dance degree.

I’m also one quarter of the Nottingham based, all female dance company, Next Door Dance. We are currently working on commissions and projects with the National Lottery, Leicester Tigers, Attenborough Arts centre and The National Trust.

Gemma Taylor 2004-2011 - Bi-lingual Admin Officer 

I studied French, English Lit and Biology at 6th form. I went to Leeds Met University to study French and Chinese. I then spent a year abroad in Clermont-Ferrand and got the highest grade ever seen on my course.

After that I went on the British Council study scholarship to Xiamen in China for 6 months. I returned to the UK and was working at the University of Nottingham International College for a while. Now I live in Grenoble, France, and I work at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble as a bilingual admin officer.

Chloe Parker 2004-2011 - Forensic Psychology 

I took Psychology, Maths and English Language for A Levels. I went on to study Psychology BSc at Birmingham City University and then Forensic Psychology MSc at the same uni.

Since uni I have applied my academic knowledge to supporting vulnerable adults with both learning disabilities and mental health diagnoses, I’ve been a Team Manager and am now hoping to achieve my charter-ship in Forensic Psychology.

My best memories of 6th form were finally being able to drive out at lunch time and bring McDonald’s and pizza etc back to the common room.

Ben Melrose 2002-2004 - Materials Scientist 

During my time in Sixth Form I studied Physical Education, Biology, Psychology, Physic. I secured a place at the University of Birmingham, to study for a Sports Science and Materials (BSc), followed by Science and Engineering of Materials (MRes)

 I have so many fond memories of 6th form at CLW. It is difficult to pick just one, but our frivolous socials, woefully bad rugby team, and controversial fundraising auctions will never be forgotten.

Sixth Form was the perfect balance of fun and hard work; Where we felt like adults but without the responsibilities. Where longstanding friendships and relationships were made, and where we realised our teachers weren’t really all that bad! While it’s fair to say I probably underachieved, I will always be grateful for my time at 6th form, as it set me on a path on which I have not once regretted being.

Read more about ceramic engineering here.

Tom Denman 2012-2014 - Local Government Adviser 

At Carlton le Willows Sixth Form I studied A Levels in History, Politics and English Literature. I secured a place at the University of Manchester to study Politics and Modern History where I graduated with a 2:1. 

I subsequently, gained a place on the local government graduate scheme, the NGDP, at Milton Keynes Council. Where I worked on establishing a new university, building a local 5G network, and working in policy areas such as planning, education and homelessness.

I currently work in Westminster for the Local Government Association as an adviser helping councils across the country innovate services. 

Carlton le Willows Sixth Form was a great two years of my life and I made some great friends there. I remember the history department fondly who provided a great deal of support. We travelled to Krakow in our second year where we had the opportunity to further our understanding of Holocaust studies. Studying at CLW provided me with a passion for politics and a foundation of skills I needed to pursue the career I have.

Hannah Rotton 2012-2014 - Conservationist 

I came to Carlton le Willows to study Biology, Psychology, and Chemistry A Levels after attending the Gedling School for my GCSEs. My love for biology led me to study Zoology at the University of Nottingham and go on to do an MSc in Global Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Sussex, where I graduated with a distinction.

Since then I have worked as a Research Assistant for the RSPB surveying woodland birds and I am currently a Data and Research Assistant for the Zoological Society of London, working on the Living Planet Database. I’m still very early in my career in conservation but I’m already loving it.

I still get very nostalgic about my time at Carlton le Willows and it’s hard to pinpoint specific memories. The group of friends I formed there (mostly of people I didn’t know before I arrived!) were wonderful, and many are still my closest friends now. I was also lucky enough to be elected as Head Girl which meant I got to be really involved in organising all the social events and fundraising that the sixth form does – my favourite of which was Effort Week where we do a whole range of activities to raise money for our chosen charities (including a Quidditch tournament which was the most bizarre fun ever). I even remain in touch with former teachers many years later, and it sounds  a bit clichéd but I genuinely believe those two years were a defining point in my life, both academically and personally.

Ben Harrison 2005 - 2012 - Barrister 

 I studied English Literature, Geography and Religious Studies for my A-Levels. I was fortunate enough to be offered a place to read Law at Pembroke College, at the University of Cambridge and graduated with a First Class degree in 2015.

I obtained a scholarship, and then went on to BPP University in London to study for the Bar Professional Training Course (the academic stage of a barrister’s training). I was Called to the Bar in 2016 and set about trying to find a pupillage—the final vocational stage in a barrister’s training. In the meantime, I secured a job as a Paralegal at a Chambers in London (7 Bedford Row).

I undertook my pupillage at No.5 Chambers and was offered a tenancy in October 2019. This marked the end of my formal training, and allowed me to practise as a self-employed Barrister in my own right.

I have remained at No.5 Chambers, and operate out of their London office, specialising in public law. My work is very broad at the moment and includes human rights law, mental capacity and community care law, education law, data protection law, prison law, inquests, actions against the police and ecclesiastical law (i.e. the law of the Church of England). I travel and attend courts all over the country.

As for my memories of Carlton le Willows, they are unremittingly positive. The field trip to Iceland was a particular highlight with Dr Beckwith and Mrs Fountain in Geography. English Literature with Ms Mitchell and Ms Doshi was always incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking. And I was lucky enough to be a student in the Sixth Form during Mr Kendrick’s inimitable reign (ably assisted by Mrs Berry of course). I remain forever grateful for all my teachers at Carlton le Willows who went, without question, above and beyond to help me to succeed in my GCSEs and A-Levels, and get the results I needed to go to Cambridge and then forge the career in law I always wanted. I really can’t thank them enough.

Melanie Brownley 2002-2009 - Teacher 

I chose to come to CLW to study A-Levels after going to the Gedling School for five years. As Gedling was unable to offer further education qualifications and I didn’t like the feel of the colleges I had visited, CLW seemed like a great, local option. The staff were very welcoming and whilst it had its own Sixth Form identity, it still had the safe and familiar feeling of a school. This was important to me as I had had a fantastic secondary school experience and was anxious to leave an environment where I had been happy for a long time. I feel that my time at CLW has definitely shaped who I am today. Now aged 24, all of my close friends are people who went to CLW Sixth Form and in fact had their whole secondary education at Carlton-Le-Willows. My A-Level choices (English Lit, English Language and Psychology) and grades led to me successfully completing an under-graduate degree in Education Studies at Bishop Grosseteste in Lincoln and following that a PGCE at Nottingham Trent University. I am now in my third year of teaching in a local Primary School and in April I will have completed an MA in Education, again at Nottingham Trent

Helena Dyer 2007-2014 – Chartered Accountant 

I studied A level Maths, Further Maths, French and General Studies, along with AS German in Sixth Form. I was really lucky during my time at sixth form to benefit from such small classes, my further maths class was just two! This meant that I received great support which enabled me to achieve my goal of a place to study Maths at Warwick University.

University didn’t turn out to be all I had hoped for as I soon realised that the course was not for me. Following this I decided to leave after the first term and look for other options to get into a career in accountancy.

I now work for Deloitte, one of the ‘big 4’ accountancy firms and am currently studying towards my ACA qualification to become a Chartered Accountant. I travel all over the country working on audits for a range of diverse clients of varying sizes and sectors.

 Carlton le Willows allowed me to gain so many skills that enabled me to start my career. My favourite memories of sixth form were the balls at Kelham Hall. I was fortunate enough to attend in both year 12 and 13 and thoroughly enjoyed both nights. They were a great way to celebrate the end of exams and create great memories with friends before we all spread out all over the country for university.  

Danielle Hall 2005-2012 – Broadcast journalist 

Upon completing my A levels at Carlton le Willows in 2012 I went on to study Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University where I obtained a first class degree, since then I have been working for the local television station Notts TV. I first got involved with Notts TV during my final year at NTU and was offered a full time contract with as a video journalist them upon graduation. My day to day job requires me to travel around the county covering a vast variety of stories (recently I came back to CLW and covered a story with you!) which I source, film, edit and present for our Notts Tonight programme. In addition to this I regularly present our live news and sport during the week, bulletins at the weekend and occasionally produce the live broadcast as well! 

As you can see my job is very varied and requires a lot of different skills that I formed the basis of during my time studying at Carlton le Willows Academy - particularly in my drama classes with Mrs Redgate, which definitely helped me with my confidence and voice work!

Joanne Pettitt 1998-2005 - Lecturer 

After I left Carlton-le-Willows, I took a gap year and went travelling around Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, which was a fantastic experience that really transformed the way that I saw the world (cue all the old clichés about finding yourself…).

When I got back, I headed off to Canterbury to start a degree in Comparative Literature and French at the University of Kent. I knew straight away that I wanted to become a lecturer; the next step was just figuring out how to get there.

As part of my degree, I did a year in France, where the University of Grenoble let me do a course in skiing, which, as anyone who knows me can probably imagine, ended in one or two bruises. Despite finding the first few months extremely difficult, I persevered, and my French slowly improved. After I returned to Kent, I completed my degree and started thinking about what to do next (the question that strikes fear in the heart of almost every undergraduate student). 

I ended up in Warwick doing a Masters in English before I returned to Kent to embark on a PhD in 2011. It has been a long road but I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every step.

Four years later, I have just completed my doctorate, and am now continuing to work at the University as an assistant lecturer (which I have been doing for several years, alongside my PhD).

 Carlton-le-Willows provided me with a fantastic foundation from which to go and live my life. Despite a few bumps along the way - Miss Leyden and the languages department were given an especially rough ride! - I remain eternally grateful to those who contributed to my education at the school. 

Jatinder Rai 1996-2003 – Estate Agent 

Having lived locally all my life, CLW was the school of obvious choice with its strong reputation.

Having attained higher level grades at GCSEs I decided to stay on and do A-Levels including Business Studies. From there I went on to Nottingham Trent University to study Business and Management and graduated in 2006.

I definitely believe my years at CLW helped me develop as a person and propelled me on to a rewarding career.

I run my own Estate and Letting Agents in Carlton called JR ESTATES and it is growing from strength to strength.

The people I now cross paths with as a result of running a local business are my former peers at Carlton le Willows, with local knowledge - combined with past links at CLW - certainly helping in positively developing me as a person and local business.

Steph Rose 2004-2011 - Accountant 

I studied Maths, Chemistry, Business Studies and History at Carlton le Willows sixth form going on to Loughborough University to study Mathematics, Accounting and Financial Management (I think I can thank Mr Broadley, Mr Bond-Taylor and Miss Maltby collectively for that), leaving with a first class degree.

I now work at Ernst & Young in London where I am an auditor. This means that I work with a variety of clients ensuring that the financial statements they produce are representative of what they have been doing for the past year. I have worked on large global clients such as Total and have recently come back from Dubai where I spent two weeks auditing another client.I have so many memories from my time at Carlton le Willows that picking a few is quite difficult, but I particularly enjoyed maths lessons with Mr Broadley, who made sure that each lesson was engaging and entertaining – whether this was by challenging us to a game of decimal darts, or by tempting us with a prize of out of date advent calendars for getting the correct answer! I also enjoyed working as treasurer on the 6th form council as this gave me a lot of responsibility and allowed me to look at 6th form as a business rather than just a school. It also allowed me to work with Mr Kendrick, head of sixth form at the time, who was certainly the life and soul of the sixth form block!!

Overall, I just really enjoyed all of the lessons that I did all through school and can honestly say that without the help of the teachers and support staff throughout my time at CLW, I would not be where I am today.

Alex Tuckwood 1997-2005 - Royal Navy helicopter pilot 

Alumni Alex Tuckwood left Sixth Form in 2005 – but returned nine years later piloting his own Royal Navy helicopter.

After leaving sixth form, Alex did a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at Warwick University and joined the Royal Navy in 2007. He has always planned to become a marine aviator after seeing a careers presentation at Carlton le Willows when he was 14.

Alex was awarded his ‘wings’ in 2013 and is now part of a two-man crew that pilots the Lynx HMA 8 (Helicopter Maritime Attack) from 815 Naval Air Squadron.

Lieutenant Tuckwood made a high profile return to see his former school when he landed the impressive Lynx 8 helicopter on the Academy car park in 2014. He had an informal chat with teachers and students before heading off to begin a six-month deployment in the Gulf on HMS Dauntless.

 If you studied at Carlton le Willows we would love to hear from you so you can feature on this website or in our school magazine. Just send an email with a short biography and photo to