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Head of Faculty

Mr J Parker  




(0115) 9635667 extension (3050)


Faculty overview

All students will visit the following focuses in the ADT (art, design and technology) over their first year at the academy on a rotation system:

  • Design Technology
  • Engineering
  • ICT
  • Photography

Key stage 3 (which is year 7, 8 and 9) have one lesson of art per week.


There are a range of extra-curricular activities for students to get involved with including:

  • STEM activities in and out of lessons
  • Whole academy and faculty competitions
  • Inter-academy design competitions
  • Open access studio time in art for extended study and personal tuition everyday
  • Annual art tip to London to visit ‘The British Museums’ and other art galleries


  • Systems room
  • Two food rooms
  • Two workshops
  • Two ICT computer rooms
  • ADT computer room
  • Graphics room
  • Two large art rooms equipped with a kiln used for firing ceramics and access to a multimedia suite.

There are many forms of inspiration such as displays of natural forms and examples of students’ work to enthuse others and foster a creative environment.

Subject specific equipment

  • Workshops that include two laser cutters, two 3D printers, two CNC machines and other
    workshop machinery, as well as a wide range of hand tools
  • Two air conditioned computer rooms with colour laser printer and Microsoft, Adobe and Serif suites of software
  • Fully equipped textiles room with sewing machines
  • Engineering workshop with forge facilities
  • Dedicated CAD suite
  • Fully equipped graphic design studio
  • Art computers are equipped with ‘Paint Shop Pro’, ‘Corel Draw’ and other photo manipulation software


We aim for excellence in the visual arts and hope to create well-informed, independent and confident artists. All pupils have one Art lesson a week at Key Stage 3 and 3 lessons per week for GCSE. Art is a popular option at GCSE with two groups each with approximately 18 pupils.

Extension activities and workshops are provided for the Gifted and Talented and the faculty organises trips to galleries and museums to enrich pupils learning experiences and to see original art work.

Key Stage 3
During year 7 we explore the following topics:
• Drawing • Painting • Pattern • Aboriginal art • Still life

In year 8 we cover:
• Portraits • Clay • Figures • Artists and cultural traditions • Psychedelic art

Year 9 topics include:
• Graphics and lettering • Surrealists • Perspective

Key Stage 4
In year 10, students are working towards their GCSE in Fine Art. The course enables students to develop coursework units reflecting a personal response and style, and covers areas such as:

• 2D and 3D materials • Drawing • Painting • Print • Photography • Natural forms • Distorted portraits and figures

Students are expected to keep a sketchbook, collect images, take their own photographs and encouraged to visit local landmarks and galleries.

This coursework is progressed further in year 11, as students reflect, evaluate and adapt their coursework to develop their own styles, techniques and experiences. They will sit exams at the end of the course, with a period of time allocated to prepare ideas in the weeks leading up to the final exam.

Key Stage 5
Students have recently used their Art A-level to obtain places on Art and Design Foundation courses at Nottinghamshire colleges, photography degree course and to study architecture at a variety of Universities.

For further details of the A-level course, visit

Design Technology 

Design Technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. Through design technology, all students can become informed users of products and develop skills to become the next generation of innovators.

The subject is popular with students at the academy. All students take the subject throughout key stage 3 with most opting to study resistant materials, graphics, food, ICT or engineering at key stage 4.

Our facilities include a systems room, two food rooms, resistant materials workshop, engineering workshop with forge facilities, dedicated CAD suite, and a fully equipped graphic studio.

Key stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all students have two design technology lessons a week. These will be a mixture of practical and written sessions.

In year 7, students experience all five types of technology in one year, studying each for a set number of weeks. These subject areas are:
• food technology • graphic products • resistant materials • electronic products • ICT

In year 8 and 9 students revisit each area, and are introduced to engineering. This additional focus on individual areas means that individuals can gain a further understanding and will inform them as they make their decision on subject options at the end of year 9.

Key stage 4
Students decide at Key Stage 4 to choose a range of vocational courses and academic GCSEs specialising in one area of technology. The options available to National students are:

• engineering (manufacturing) • food technology • graphics • resistant materials • ICT

Key stage 5
At AS Level students will cover the following:

• Portfolio of creative skills (coursework)
In this unit you are given the opportunity to develop your creative, technical and practical skills through a series of product investigation, design and manufacturing activities. You will produce a detailed portfolio which will demonstrate your creativity and flair when investigating, designing and making products.

• Design and technology in practice
You will develop a knowledge and understanding of a wide range of materials and processes used in the field of design and technology throughout this unit. It is important as designers to learn about materials and processes in order to develop a greater understanding of how products can be designed and manufactured. This unit also covers industrial and commercial practices, together with the importance of quality checks and health and safety issues that must be considered at all times.

For students who are continuing to A2 level, units include:

• Designing for the future
In this unit, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of modern design and manufacturing practices and contemporary design issues.

• Commercial design (coursework)
In this unit you are given the opportunity to apply the skills you have acquired and developed throughout this course of study, to design and make a product in collaboration with a real client/ user group.

For further details of the A-level course, visit


Engineering will appeal to students that enjoy learning about a wide range of sectors, and are considering a career or further study in an engineering discipline. The course covers how electrical, electronic and mechanical systems work, how to apply engineering theory to real-life examples and tackling problem-solving challenges.

Engineering at Key Stage 5 is offered as a Level 3 Foundation Technical. Technical levels are designed as specialist qualifications for students who have a clear view of their future career or are seeking progression to higher education. They are equivalent to A-Levels and are highly valued by universities, further education colleges and employers alike.

For further details of the A-level course, visit


Within the ICT department at National, there is a wide variety of stimulating and challenging units for students at Key Stages 3 to 5, each designed to broaden comprehension of the digital world we live in, and how ICT can enhance our lives and lifestyles.

Key Stage 3
During year 7, students undertake a marketing scenario to develop their digital literacy skills and work with both graphics and movie making software. In year 8, students learn how to develop a animation for a set client and audience, and in year 9 will develop a computer game to promote recycling.

Key Stage 4
Students learn about current and emerging digital technology and its impact on our lives, working with a range of tools and techniques and exploring interactive digital products such as websites, computer games and databases.

They will study the Edexcel Level 2 certificate in Digital Applications, which has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing, for example digital graphics and animations, interactive multimedia products and computer games.

Key Stage 5
Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Cambridge Technicals in ICT focuses on skills, knowledge and understanding demanded by universities and employers. Students will practically apply their skills, learning and knowledge in preparation for further study or the workplace.

Units covered will include:
• principles of IT and Global Information Systems • the pace of technological change • IT infrastructure • global information flow • legal and security considerations

Students will also develop professional, personal and social skills through interaction with peers, stakeholders and clients, as well as theoretical knowledge and understanding to underpin these skills.


Photography is a popular course with students who want to extend their knowledge of different art forms. They have the opportunity to develop a wide range of photographic skills ranging from experimental image making, studio, location and digital. Producing a portfolio of practical work is an essential element to the course, showing off a wide range of high quality images that students have created.

Key Stage 4
Students will explore, acquire and develop skills, knowledge and understanding through the application of traditional and or digital techniques and processes of photography. Students will study in one or more area(s) of photography:

  • Documentary photography
  • Photo-journalism
  • Studio photography
  • Location photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Installation
  • Moving image

Key Stage 5
This course will enable you to form a personal enquiry and expression using the selection and manipulation of images. You will have the opportunity to explore relative approaches beyond primary observation and recording. Typically, you will investigate:

• alternative processes • black and white photography • colour photography • digital photography • location photography • studio photography

For further details of the A-level course, visit