Lizzie Paton

Journalist - New York Times

I feel enormously proud to have gone to NLCS and to be part of its remarkable alumnae network, a diverse and vibrant group of women who have achieved success in so many walks of life. The older I become, the more I am able to appreciate the start in life that the school gave me. Pupils at NLCS are taught to be confident in the classroom, to have courage in their convictions outside it and to continually invest in and relish being part of the community around them. Those core values have held me in very good stead in the years thereafter, as have the close friendships I made during my time at Canons that I hope will last a lifetime.

NLCS was a school that from the age of 7 taught me how to think, how to research and how to write and construct arguments. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up although Mrs McCabe always had a hunch that I would end up in the world of fashion!

Many academic schools are highly prescriptive but at NLCS I always felt that while we were encouraged and expected to perform to very high standards, this never meant compromising on enjoying oneself and maintaining outside interests. I loved having lessons in the Old House, and fondly remember distinctive NLCS hallmarks like Big Cedar, the Dungeons and Lime Avenue. I also recall how varied girls’ backgrounds were in my year and how well we all got on. That is an important part of the school’s identity, and I plan to support the NLCS endowment and bursary programmes in the year to come.

I was fairly naughty at school and most of my teachers had the patience of a saint.  I adored and was terrified by my French teacher in equal measures. I loved drama and acting in school plays and played endless rounds of Scrabble during break times.  I felt supported and nurtured and surrounded by the smartest possible teachers and contemporaries. And generally speaking, I had an enormous amount of fun.