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Teaching Staff at Upperthong J&I School, Holmfirth

Carolyn Littlewood 2 (3)

Head Teacher - Mrs Carolyn Littlewood

I am Carolyn Littlewood and have been Headteacher at Upperthong since April 2008.   Prior to coming here I was deputy head at Moorlands, a large primary school in Huddersfield, for 5 years. Having taught in Kirklees for over 25 years at 7 very different schools I have a wealth of experience upon which to draw and many tales to tell!

Outside of school I am mum to 2 children and spend much of my time as a taxi service ferrying my daughter to and from her dancing classes and competitions. When I do get some spare time I enjoy reading, shopping and the occasional theatre visit.

I was born and raised in Huddersfield only venturing further afield for the 4 years I was at university. Although I have spent the vast majority of my life in the hills and vales of West Yorkshire I do enjoy holidays abroad, particularly those which enable me to explore and relax in the sunshine!

Reception Teacher - Miss Sarah Wilson

Hi, my name is Sarah Wilson and I work as part of a job-share in Reception Class. I trained to be a teacher in Scotland following a graphic design job and I taught year 4 there before moving back to Holmfirth to be near family... and have my own!!

This is my 9th year at Upperthong and I have worked in year 2 and now in Reception. I run Eco schools within the school and really enjoy getting the children involved in such brilliant issues!!! I am now looking to help set up Forest Schools throughout the school to continue with the fabulous work that goes in our school grounds and get more learning outside!!

I love working in Reception and feel privileged to be part of a child’s first experience at school. I care about giving children the best Early Years education and enjoy making their learning journey a happy, exciting, challenging and settled one.

Outside of school life, I live in Holmfirth with my partner and my little boy Alfie aged 7 and my little girl Effie who is 4. I love spending time with family and friends and getting out and about. I am a creative person and like to spend time doing different crafts especially with my children. I like to keep fit running and I also love yoga!


Year 1 Teacher and Leader for Inclusion

Hello, my name is Julie Bligh-Smith and I am Leader for Inclusion. I have been teaching in schools for 6 years. Before joining Upperthong, I worked at Helme J&I School in Meltham.

I started life working in Personnel and Customer Services, but discovered a passion for teaching when I set up my own business teaching French in nurseries and after school clubs.

I love holidays, running and spending time with friends, my husband and our two children.

Sammy White 

Year 2 Teacher -Miss Samantha White

Hi, my name is Miss White and I am the new Year 2 teacher. I have recently just finished my PGCE at the University of Huddersfield and prior to that I studied a sports degree at Leeds Beckett University.

Whilst studying for my PGCE, I was lucky enough to spend 2 months on placement at Upperthong Junior and Infants. I was instantly drawn to the school’s strong sense of community and the genuine care it provides for both staff and children. I am now delighted to be a part of the team as a Newly Qualified Teacher starting my teaching career. I have lots of favorite subjects, but I especially enjoy Math and PE.

When I get the occasional minute to myself outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, visiting new places, going out for meals, swimming and shopping.

Year 5 Teacher - Mr Tom Branston

My name is Tom Branston and I am currently teaching in Year 5. This is my 7th year of teaching, after previously working as an ETA in Year 4 and completing my GTP training at the school, and I am definitely sure I have picked the right career! 

I have lived in Holmfirth all my life (even attending Upperthong J & I School) and ended up studying Exercise and Sport Science and Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

I love this job and all the exciting challenges and little things that come with it. 

Outside of school I love all sports and follow Manchester United with a passion.  My other passion is music and you can often hear the sound of The Beatles in my classroom.  I enjoy that each day is different and I am looking forward to a long career in teaching!


Year 6 Teacher & Leader for Learning - Mr Riley

I’m Mr. Riley and I’m in my seventh year working at Upperthong J and I. I have enjoyed working in year 5 and 4 but I’m now the year 6 teacher.

Before I started my teaching career, I worked as a swimming teacher and fitness instructor at a sports centre close to where I live. In my spare time I still like to keep fit and be active. I play football for my local team and like to go for long walks, both locally and further afield in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.

Year 3 Teacher - Miss Baldwin

Hi, what can I say….. good things come in small packages! I finished my teaching degree at Leeds Trinity University 3 years ago and am extremely excited to be part of  the wonderful staff and pupils at Upperthong, putting all my skills and enthusiasm into practice.
 I am a home bird at heart but do enjoy the outdoor life and visiting new places both home and abroad. I love most sports and participate in a few.. netball, volleyball, running clubs and gym classes and I hope to encourage my pupils to embrace and enjoy some too.
 All my life I have wanted to be a teacher and I look forward to realising my dream at Upperthong.

davekate-202 - Copy (2)

Year 4 Teacher & Deputy Head - Mrs Kate Nussey

Hello – I am Kate Nussey, Year 4 teacher. As I am sure you may have heard, I am the noisy one in school, grabbing every opportunity to perform.

In school, I love teaching writing, art, drama and history.

Outside, I have lots of passionate interests; 1940s and WW2, including Spitfire and Lancaster planes along with all things vintage, family days out,  gardening and amateur dramatics - often with my son Evan - a former Upperthong pupil,  who is studying A-levels at Huddersfield New College.

KS1 and KS2 PPA Teacher - Mrs Suzanne Mighall

Hi, my name is Suzanne Mighall. I have been at Upperthong for ten years and, whilst teaching PPA in Yrs R, 1, 3 & 4, I have enjoyed teaching in different classes and working with a variety of children. I work within the PPSHE Team and also run a lunchtime 'cheerleading' club.

I am married to Nick and have three children, Thomas, who is at university, Lucy and Ben who attend Holmfirth High School.

Out of school, I enjoy keeping fit, travelling and spending time with my family.


KS2 PPA Teacher - Mrs Lizzie Mansell

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