Head's Message

Dear students, parents, carers and members of the community,

I am writing to introduce myself as the new Head of School, here at Nottingham Free School. My name is Mark Watts and I am delighted to be taking up this position, despite the difficult circumstances facing everyone at this time. I started my teaching career almost 25 years ago at Toot Hill School, which eventually became the founding school for the Nova Education Trust. I have since been the Head of School at two other Nova schools—first at Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA) and more recently at Kirk Hallam Community Academy in Derbyshire.

NUSA was the first Nova school to work under our banner of ‘Work Hard, Be Kind’, and it is therefore a message that is very dear to my heart. I am a firm believer in the power of these core values and the difference they make to pupils and the people around them. A school that focuses on hard work and kindness helps its students grow into happy, successful people—regardless of how ‘good’ they are at any given subject.

Nottingham Free School opened in 2014 with those same values at its core, and thanks to the hard work and commitment of its staff and students it has already developed into a highly successful school that everyone is rightly proud of. I have been appointed to lead the school into the next chapter of its journey of growth—a journey I look forward to sharing with you all.

Unfortunately, the immediate future is fraught with uncertainty as we all adjust to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus. Everyone at NFS will continue to do their very best to support all of our students, their well-being and their learning. Our staff are becoming more adept at setting work for remote learning and our students are settling into new working habits. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone helping their children at home to get organised and get working! I appreciate just how challenging that can be, especially given the wider concerns and pressures facing families at this time.

I hope to get the opportunity to speak to you in person in the near future, but in the meantime I hope that you are as well as possible under the circumstances and that our students are helping around the home as well as completing their school work!


Mark Watts
Head Teacher

May 2022


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