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Head of Faculty

Miss M Hall  




(0115) 9635667 extension (3046)


Faculty overview

Students can access the following subjects through our PE and creative education (PACE) faculty:

  • Drama
  • Music
  • Physical education

In physical education students follow a broad and balanced programme and are taught in mixed physical ability groups for all activities. They will have the opportunity to experience many team and individual games, gymnastics, dance and problem solving activities, making full use of our facilities.

In all of these areas of study a large emphasis is placed upon the understanding of how and why the body responds to diff erent exercise and what students might do in order to improve their own fitness. Alongside these experiences students are encouraged to evaluate both their own and others’ performances and understanding. This is seen as a vital element of the PE curriculum.

Drama and music are well established within the academy and enjoyed by all different students. There are lots of practical and exciting opportunities for the students to engage with both in and outside of the lessons.

There are also opportunities for students to have peripatetic music lessons during the academy day.


There are many, many opportunities within PACE to get involved in a range of enrichment activities before the academy day, at lunchtime and once lessons have finished for the day. These include sport, music and drama, and give students the chance to experience something new or to enhance existing talents, individually or as part of a team.

More information on Enrichment can be found here


  • Sports hall
  • Canon Williams Hall
  • Astroturf
  • Hard court area
  • Six tennis courts / Four netball courts
  • Grass area for two football pitches and one rugby pitch
  • Two large drama room spaces with 12 theatre lights, rostra blocks, music system, masks, props and costumes. Blackout curtains also provide an authentic performance space
  • Fully refurbished music room
  • Three practice rooms

Subject specific equipment

  • Physical education
  • Sky blue/navy and white polo shirt with academy badge
  • Sky blue/ navy and white shorts with academy badge
  • Navy jogging bottoms with academy badge
  • Sky blue/ navy and white rugby shirt with academy badge (boys)
  • Sky blue/ navy and white hoodie with academy badge (girls)
  • Sky blue and navy socks, shin pads, gum shield, football boots, trainers (not plimsolls)


Drama is a well established subject in the academy and enjoyed by a wide range of students. There are many practical and exciting opportunities for the students to engage with both in and outside of the lessons. In key stage 3 students have one lesson of Art, one lesson of Drama and one lesson of Music per week.

Key Stage 3
Our year 7, 8 and 9 students are taught in mixed ability groups and in drama there is a focus on developing key drama skills such as role play, still image, cross cutting, hot seating forum theatre and many more, as well as soft skills such as leadership, team work, communication and confidence. This is done through historic events and social issues, as well as writing and learning scripts.

During year 7 we explore the following topics:
• emotions • waxwork museums • bullying • urban legends • comedy scripts • study of older generations and life experiences

During year 8 we explore the following topics:
• ‘Timothy Winters Poem’: empathising with a disadvantaged boy • ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’: a play about a boy with hallucinations • imagination and exploration of a magical box

During year 9 we explore the following topics:
• truancy • creating imaginative drama from own experiences • racism • teenage pregnancy • soap operas • The Holocaust

Key Stage 4
The GCSE drama course has been developed to recognise students skills, knowledge and understanding, application and experience of drama. This is assessed in terms of acting, directing, leading, managing and creating drama pieces of various styles and genres, whether devised or scripted.

Students will cover the following throughout the duration of the course:
• images • poetry • video clips • live theatre productions • scripts • sound-bites • diary entries • social issues • current affairs • world-wide events • homelessness • practical exploration of a play • live performance • characterisation • group performance

Key Stage 5
For students who wish to continue with drama, we offer a BTEC Level 3 in Performing Arts – Acting at the Hucknall Sixth Form Centre.

The course builds on skills such as working as part of a team, research, presentation skills, as well as acting and performing. Students will learn how to speak with confidence, enthusiasm and flair under many varied guises, and develop your knowledge, understanding and application of the subject.

Key topics covered on the course are:
• Investigating practitioners’ work • Developing skills and techniques for live performance • Group performance • Interpreting classical text for performance

For more information about the Performing Arts – Acting course, visit 


Music enables you to develop your creativity and skill on a chosen instrument or voice. It allows you to explore compositional ideas while underpinning theoretical knowledge and staff notation.

At National, together with the opportunities offered in the classroom, there are a number of enrichment activities for talented musicians and singers to engage with. These include:
• Cadence:vocal harmony group • orchestra • composition club • worship group (religious band) • music theory group • whole academy productions • GLEE club

Key Stage 3
During year 7 we explore the following topics:
• emotions • gamelan • understanding music • music notation • Indian music • early music • cover versions (ensemble work)

Students’ knowledge and experience is extended in year 8 by studying:
• using textures in music • film music • dance music • blues • rock and roll • music and media • theme and variation

Year 9 students cover the following topics:
• pop music – hooks and riffs • song writing • reggae • music of the Seasons • rap • music for special occasions

Key Stage 4

For students who wish to take Music for BTEC, students will gain an insight to life in the music industry. Students will either play an instrument or fulfil the role of a live sound technician getting to grips with the technology and logistics behind the scenes.

Students will perform modern songs and as part of a band and as a solo performance. They will put on a concert as a group being in charge of every detail from selecting the theme, repertoire and rehearsing to organising promotion and refreshments. Students will also look in to composition techniques used in the modern music industry and finally they will take an exam all about the music industry.

Physical Education 

National has a rich sporting tradition, and encouraging students to participate can support development of leadership skills, health, socialising and communication. Students have the opportunity to try sports such as football, basketball, netball, hockey, athletics, trampolining, gymnastics and rugby. There is a culture of inclusion across all sports and the academy enjoys great success in team sports and individual disciplines.

Key Stage 3
Students will have a number of taster sessions in a variety of sports upon joining the academy in year 7. They cover areas that display skills in striking and fielding, net/wall games, problem solving, gymnastics and invasion type activities. Assessments are carried out during the activities that will guide staff in placing students into appropriate groups.

Students will develop knowledge, skills and techniques, including:
• outwitting opponents • accurate replication • communication of ideas • concepts and emotions • performance levels • problem solving • exercising safely and effectively.

Key Stage 4
Students can study for a GCSE in PE or a BTEC first diploma in Sport as they move into Key Stage 4.

At GCSE students work on both practical and theoretical aspects of physical education. The knowledge gained should enable students to develop a greater understanding of effective and safe physical performance and topics include:
• healthy, active lifestyles – benefits and influences • exercise and fitness • physical activity, personal health and wellbeing • your active healthy body • cardiovascular system • respiratory system • muscular and skeletal system • healthy mind and body

The BTEC first diploma in Sport is a practical, work related course. Students complete projects and assignments based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. The diploma is equivalent to 4 GCSEs grades A*-E. Core units studied are ‘the body in sport’ and ‘health, safety and injury’, with four specialist units from:
• the sports industry • preparation for sport • planning and leading activities • practical sports • outdoor and adventurous activities • work-based project • instructing exercise and fitness • sports and leisure facility operations

This course is invaluable for students who want to study BTEC Sport in the sixth form or who looking for a future career in sport, leisure or outdoor activities.