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Nottingham Girls' Academy

Creative Arts

Mrs R Harding – Head of Department and Teacher of Food Technology

Mrs J Pye - Teacher i/c Art KS3, KS4 & KS5

Ms K Castello - Art KS3 & KS4 and Food KS4

Mrs H Napleton - Fashion and Textiles KS3 & KS4

Mr A Traylor - Resistant Materials KS3 and Photography KS5

Mr N Lawrence - Resistant Materials KS3 and Construction and Creative Design KS4

Ms S Bates - Deputy Principal and Teacher of Art 

At the Nottingham Girls' Academy the Creative Arts department offers a broad range of subjects at all key stages.

Art & Design

We live in an increasingly visually dominated world and careers within the ‘Visual and Expressive Arts’ continue to contribute billions to this country’s economy.  The clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the magazines and web pages we read, the films we watch, the products we buy, the computer games we play, the buildings we live and work in have all been produced by a visual artist, architect or designer.  Art is offered in accordance with the National Curriculum at KS3 and as a GCSE option at KS4. At KS5 students can opt to study A Level Fine Art as well as Art/Photography.

KS3 Curriculum

Within Art and Design we will encourage our pupils to develop and explore a variety of practical and technical skills using 2D, 3D and ICT equipment.  Projects will vary from term to term and will introduce pupils to contemporary and historical work by artists, craftspeople and designers.  On a more personal level, Art will allow pupils from different backgrounds and cultures to explore and exchange experiences and opinions while at the same time providing an opportunity to build self-confidence and self-esteem.  As well practical and social skills, Art also encourages pupils to ask “What if…?” questions as well as encourage team work, self-reliance, dedication, organisation and the ability to meet deadlines; all skills that can be easily transferred to all subjects and careers.

Curriculum topics vary annually. Typically, Year 7 cover Art from other Cultures, Our Environment and The Animal Kingdom; Year 8 explore Emotions & Portraiture, Street Art and Book Illustration and Year 9 cover Abstract Art and Pattern, a Graphics or Product Design project as well as complete a Mock GCSE Project.

KS4 Curriculum


60% Coursework + 40% Externally Set Task

GCSE Art and Design builds upon the skills explored in KS3 and encourages students to develop an independent approach to learning.  Two projects will be explored and marked in line with the AQA ‘Assessment Objectives’ which cover artist research, experimentation with materials, observations (both through drawings and notes) and the final outcome and evaluation.

Qualifications in Art and Design can lead to any job in a creative field; the list of careers is almost endless.  What a qualification in Art and Design does show is that the student is capable of transferable skills such as independent research, creative thinking and practical application.

KS5 Curriculum



Students may opt for both subjects if desired.

A Level Fine Art & A Level Photography both follow the AQA syllabus and will be ran as two-year courses.

A Level = Component 1 (60%) + Component 2 (40%)

A Level Fine Art and Photography are available to those students who have already shown success in the Arts at GCSE or BTEC level. The A Level courses build upon the skills explored in KS4 and requires students to develop an independent approach to learning.

Year 12:

The first  two terms will be spent exploring new techniques as well as mastering old ones. A range of 2D, 3D traditional and digital formats can be explored. The final term will require students to start to explore their chosen topic for the Component 1 ‘Personal Investigation’.

Year 13:

Component 1 must be completed and a 1000-3000 word supporting account written.

Component 2 (Externally Set Task) will be issued in February and must be completed by May.

For those students keen to pursue a career in the creative arts we will assist them with advice on relevant foundation and degree courses. The opportunities available for creative people are extremely varied and it would be wonderful to think that Nottingham Girls’ Academy might have the next ‘big thing’ in the Art world.

Design and Technology

In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments.

They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. They combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects.

At KS3, pupils have one double lesson a week in Design and Technology. Ideally they study each material area and rotate each term.

Food Technology

The courses in years 7 and 8 are based around the ‘Licence to Cook’ programme. Year 7 focuses on basic skills and the products the pupils make include pastry, scones, muffins, crumbles and Swiss roll. Year 8 introduces pupils to family meals using ingredients like meat, bread (pizza) and staple foods such as rice, pasta and potatoes. Year 9 recipes are based around healthy eating guidelines and the girls are encouraged to show creativity by developing their own recipes and ideas.                                                                                                                          

At KS4 we offer the WJEC GCSE in Hospitality Catering. From September 2013 we offer the Catering GCSE over two years and the Hospitality GCSE will be taught as a short course in year 11, both culminating in an end of year examination. The weighting for both courses is 60% coursework and 40% examination.     

We also offer extra-curricular activities over the year including catch-up clubs for KS4, Let’s Get Cooking club, MasterChef pupil/teacher internal competition and we take part in the national FutureChef competition. 


Studying Textiles gives pupils the opportunity to create products using hand and machine sewing skills and show creativity using a variety of decorative techniques. In year 7, pupils develop research skills and use recycled products in order to design and make a pencil case. In year 8 they focus on research skills and designing to make a mood board to focus design ideas to design and make a cushion cover. In year 9 they work in teams to develop products to be sold at craft fairs. At KS4 and kS5 we offer a BTEC in Fashion.

Resistant Materials

Studying Resistant materials gives student the opportunity to design and make products using wood, metal and plastic. Pupils work through the design and make process in order to create quality and purposeful products. In year 7, pupils develop practical skills to make a wooden gift box.  In year 8, pupils use wood and acrylic to design and make a stand to hold a test tube vase. In year 9, pupils use acrylic and aluminum to design and make a wind chime. From September 2013 we are delivering the AQA GCSE in Resistant Materials and an AS/A2 level in Photography.