Nottingham Free School

Nottingham, United Kingdom

Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: Secondary
Funding status: State - Free School
Gender: Mixed
Age range: 11 - 16 years

About Nottingham Free School

Overview of the School


Our vision is to ensure all our students achieve a good career through university or equivalent training. Our high aspirations combine the key strands of strong achievement, employability skills and consideration towards others which is summed up in our motto 'work hard be kind. These principles, which guide our school community, enable our students to reach this goal and be well rounded citizens who are highly desired by higher education and employers.


The ethos of the Nottingham Free School is highly academic embedded in a strongly disciplined learning environment. We believe that all children can succeed regardless of background or prior learning. All students will be treated as an individual and their needs understood and catered for in each and every lesson. Students will feel safe and supported at all stages in their intellectual, physical and social development. Strong support will be provided to guide students to make the right decisions. We will develop well rounded, confident, outward looking individuals who will be fully prepared to compete with the best and become future leaders.  Nottingham Free School is developing partnerships with our community and our students will be active citizens during their time at school and beyond. Our school motto is ‘work hard, be kind’

To summarise:

  • We ensure an ‘achievement for all’ culture, with the core belief that every student can achieve
  • We offer a wide range of activities that enables students to reach their potential
  • We provide a caring and supportive learning environment for students to develop in a safe and secure setting
  • We develop student leadership skills and abilities and create enabled future leaders.
  • We encourage students to be involved in decision-making and students will help shape our enrichment offer.
  • Students are encouraged to take responsibility and act as role models to others.
  • We develop students communication skills, through explicitly teaching public speaking and LAMDA qualifications
  • We deliver high quality, engaging lessons 
  • We expect students to develop independent learning skills and to complete work outside of the classroom
  • We openly work with our community to develop working partnerships that enrich the lives of our students and the wider community.
  • We explicitly aim to increase the number of students accessing higher education from our community.
  • We promote traditional values of pride and respect
  • We do not accept or tolerate any form of bullying or anti-social behaviour.


We have very high academic aspirations for our students and expect them to make rapid rates of progress in all of their lessons from each of their starting points.

We have developed a curriculum designed to challenge and engage students, offering them the very best preparation for examination success and the skills and confidence required to make full use of those qualifications.

Exciting, engaging and inspiring lessons lie at the centre of our curriculum and as a school we constantly strive to provide students with the very best educational experiences.

Should a student require additional support Nottingham Free School provides a range of support services that will ensure every student’s success, whatever their individual educational needs.


A comprehensive continuous professional development programme for teaching staff is delivered through weekly timetabled sessions. These support the development of teachers as reflective practitioners who focus on outstanding teaching and learning. Other CPD opportunities are also available through the Teaching School Alliance. 


At the core of this provision is a year system led by a Head of Year and supported by the Assistant Head of Year, Tutors, Student Welfare and Learning Support teams.

This system provides students with the care they need whilst allowing them to nurture friendships and develop a strong sense of community.

Tutors play an active role in ensuring that students are happy, well supported and fully engaged in school life and serve as the first point of contact between school and home.  There are regular updates of students’ progress through termly reports, data on our online ‘Insight’ package, twice yearly parent consultation days with tutors and a parents’ evening with subject staff.

The attainment and well-being of students is closely monitored throughout each year, ensuring that they are recognised and rewarded when they succeed but also supported when things are more challenging.

Nottingham Free School is a very caring community and the health, happiness and well-being of students underpins our overall ethos and philosophy.


Our curriculum follows National Curriculum guidelines and aims to provide a broad and balanced learning experience for all.

At Key Stage 3 our two-year programme covers all the National Curriculum subjects. Students are taught in ability groups in the majority of subjects.

During our three year Key Stage 4 programme the majority of students will study the English Baccalaureate core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign language and a humanities subject such as Geography or History.

A wide range of option subjects including visual and performing arts, technology, sports, and ICT courses supplement the core curriculum. We expect all our students to achieve at least 8 passes at GCSE grade 5 or above including the English Baccalaureate subjects.

Students will continue to progress into years 12 and 13 to study a range of A Level facilitating subjects. These choices will enable students to have access to universities including those in the Russell group or employment and further training.


Our extended school day is a compulsory provision for all students for four days a week. This gives students the opportunity to have dedicated time to complete homework and revision in a supportive, supervised environment and also take part in a wide range of enrichment activities. These will always include a wide range of activities which cover sports, creative and performing arts, science and activities which promote positive mental health. These sessions are supported and delivered by teaching staff, external extra-curricular providers and volunteers from our local community.

Music is very important to us and we encourage students to take up or continue playing a musical instrument. All year 7 and 8 students will have a traditional music lesson and an instrumental lesson each week. All year groups also have the opportunity to receive private music tuition during the school day.

We plan residentials, trips and visits to complement the curriculum and trips abroad to widen horizons and raise aspirations of all students.

Student Voice

Student voice is an active part of Nottingham Free School with a student council consisting of student representatives from each year group. They are included in some decision making for the school and may be part of the interview process for staff appointments.

Students will also have the opportunity to take on leadership roles by being Primary school ambassadors and coordinating and leading many initiatives within our enrichment and charity activities.

Learning Support Department

The learning support team is led by our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO) and provides support for any students who require intervention or support with their education. The learning support team will liaise with parents/carers to ensure that the best coordinated support is provided.

Below are some of the things Learning Support offers:

  • One-to-one interventions for reading, spelling and numeracy.
  • Bespoke support for particular needs e.g. dyslexia and handwriting support groups 
  • Some students may come out to complete small group work during lesson time with a TA or CLA. 
  • Students who are struggling in lessons may come to Learning Support for extra support, either academically or socially. 
  • Break times and lunch time activities are available so that students have a safe place to go and can meet friends. 
  • In class support is provided by TAs /CLAs where they assist the teacher with ensuring students make progress in lessons. 
  • Access arrangements are provided for students who need additional support. 
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Address: The Courtaulds Building, 290 Haydn Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 1EB, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 115 896 4949