Technical Education

Department Aims

The Design & Technology Department within James Hamilton Academy was established to provide a flexible and streamlined curriculum, which responds to the needs of the pupils it serves and the society it supports. To achieve this objective, a well trained, highly motivated staff is the key factor in creating an atmosphere in which pupils can grow in confidence and enjoy learning.

Current curricular developments in our four subject areas strongly suggest that our emphasis is focused on a curriculum that is process-based, rather than content specific. Our subject matter and pupil activities allow our students to acquire and develop a range of skills through active involvement in the learning process.

To stimulate intellectual development and enrich the lives of our pupils by arousing interest in their immediate environment and encouraging responses to it. First hand experiences through the senses, and the intellect, is the starting point for the progressive acquisition of experience, knowledge, skills and values.

To develop technological capability in our pupils. This encompasses understanding of appropriate concepts and processes: the ability to apply knowledge and skills by thinking and acting confidently, imaginatively and with sensitivity. The ability to evaluate technology activities, artefacts and systems critically and constructively. To acknowledge individuality of interests and aspirations and needs by providing a breadth of experience and choice to which our pupils can relate.

To develop the four capacities within the guidelines of A Curriculum for Excellence (Successful Learner, Confident Individual, Effective Contributor, Responsible Citizen)


  • Mr Steven Nelson (Principal Teacher)
  • Mr Ian Smith (Teacher)
  • Mr Grant McGibbon (Teacher)
  • Miss R Miller
  • Mr Jim Brown (Technician)


Accommodation Information

The Design & Technology Department consists of;

  • 1 Metalworking workshop
  • 2 Muti-purpose workshops (Wood & metal workbenches)
  • 1 Automotive workshop (5 Motorcycle stations)
  • 3 Computer suits (21 High spec computers)
  • 1 Classroom


The Design & Technology Department currently has four main areas of study and are based around Curriculum for Excellent:

  • Engineering Skills at National 5 level (Mechanical, Electrical, Welding & Fabrication and Design & Technology) *To be reintroduced in 2016-17
  • Automotive Skills at National 4 level (Motorcycles)
  • Graphic Communication at National 4-Advanced Higher level
  • Design & Manufacture at National 4-5 level.

Web Links

Subject Information

Graphic Communication is offered by the D&T Department.  It is an exciting and challenging course.  It is also enriching, fulfilling, very rewarding and has a strong identity within Colleges, Universities and Industry.  Pupils build upon previous knowledge and experience from S3/4 and go on to learn more about the power of communicating through pictures, images and formal drawing. Pupils utilise industry standard computer software to reproduce artefacts. A formal SQA examination is taken at the end of the course at National 5 to Advanced Higher level 

Design & Manufacture is another  course offered by the D&T Department.  This course aims to stimulate individual creativity: it is challenging, fulfilling and   rewarding. Pupils are encouraged to develop their design skills further by being introduced to specialised design methods and approaches. Pupils are exposed to varied software/hardware, such as laser cutting, 3D printing and prototyping. A formal SQA examination is taken at the end of this course at National 5 to Higher level.

Automotive: this unit of work is undertaken in S3 or S4 as an elective. It exposes pupils to motorcycle maintenance and they learn about how an engine works, how electronics are incorporated into mechanics. Pupils also participate in tyre changing, wheel balancing and re-spoking wheels. Although there is no formal exam, pupils have to keep a maintenance record and evaluate their learning as the unit progresses. 


 Higher G. Comm Homework 2015-16.pdf

Design and Manufacture HIGHER_ Homework 2015-16.pdf

Design and Manufacture S4 (nat 4_5) Homework 2015-16.pdf

British Standards (BS8888).pdf

Pupil Work


  • Technology


  • Graphic Communication
  • Design & Manufacture


  • Graphic Communication
  • Design & Manufacture



  • Graphic Communication
  • Design & Manufacture


  • Advanced Higher