Art and Design

We offer courses from S1-6 in Art and Design and also Higher Photography in S5 and S6


Art and Design enables learners to experience the inspiration and power of the arts, as well as recognise and nurture learners' creative and aesthetic talents. It encourages the development of skills and techniques that are relevant to specific art forms and across the four capacities. Learners are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of culture in Scotland and the wider world. They can form links with professional arts companies, creative adults and cultural organisations.


Broad General Education (S1 - S3)

Through Art & Design, learners have opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment, using a wide variety of materials and techniques in the BGE phase, including:


  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Clay
  • Photography
  • Packaging Design
  • Hat Design
  • Puppet making
  • Mask making
  • Animation


Learners will work across a variety of genres including: Still life, portraiture, natural form and design work is varied between 2D and 3D design.


In S1 learners are provided with an A3 quality sketchbook.  Learning starts with an introduction to the visual elements.


Throughout S1 –S3 learners explore a wide range of two and three dimensional media and technologies through practical activities expressing and communicating ideas. Study of the works of artists and designers enhances their enjoyment and deepens their knowledge and understanding.


Art movements studied include:


  • Pop Art
  • Photo-Realism
  • Scottish Colourists


In S2 students will learn about the Design process and work to a design brief. Design areas covered include packaging, jewellery and fashion/textiles.


All pupils have access to an iPad for research and they are also used for photography and animation projects.

Senior Phase - National 5 Art and Design

There are three components to the course:


Expressive activity

Design activity

Written exam


The course allows pupils to develop the following skills:


  • a greater knowledge, understanding and ability to critically analyse artists and designers as creative practitioners.
  • a deeper understanding of external factors influencing artists and designers
  • experimenting with a variety of art and design materials to refine ideas
  • practical skills in using materials, techniques and/or technology
  • producing analytical drawings and investigative studies
  • creativity and imaginative expression
  • critical appreciation of aesthetic and cultural values, identities and ideas
  • planning, producing and presenting creative art and design work
  • investigating and analysing how artists/designers use materials/techniques
  • applying this knowledge to his/her own creative practice
  • problem-solving and critical analysis to find solutions to design briefs
  • confidence in creative practice and in creative self-expression
  • enjoyment in the arts


They will experience the following through the year:


  • Active and independent learning including learning intentions and success criteria; planned critiques and ongoing dialogue to discuss choices and monitor progress, then plan next steps
  • A blend of classroom approaches including experiential, practical learning with staff facilitating, guiding and supporting learners
  • Collaborative learning: discussing, debating and sharing ideas and techniques; peer assessment to develop critical analysis skills as well as whole class learning
  • Collaboration projects might include: holding an art exhibition, working on a graphic design brief, producing material for a blog or website, organising a fashion show
  • Space for personalisation and choice: in both the expressive and the design units and in the Portfolio, with extensive research options
  • Applying learning to practical work with a solution-focused approach
  • Embedding literacy skills: researching and presenting information; evaluating; discussing; listening; talking.






The Course Assessment consists of the Portfolio (showing development and evaluation leading to one final piece of expressive art work and one final design solution) and the Question Paper (exam). These will be marked by the SQA.

Senior Phase - Higher Art and Design


The Higher Art and Design Course enables learners to communicate personal thoughts, feelings and ideas through the creative use of art and design materials, techniques and/or technology.


Learners analyse a range of art and design practice and critically reflect on the impact of external factors on artists, designers and their work. They plan, develop, produce and present creative art and design work, develop personal creativity, and use problem solving, critical thinking and reflective practice skills.



Course Overview

This course includes two parts: Expressive and Design. The course comprises two units (Expressive and Design), each of which has a critical component build in.  This requires pupils to learn about artists and designers and to make use of this learning in their own coursework.  Unit work must be completed to Higher level and is marked internally before students start the portfolio, which is marked by the SQA.  The final part of the course is the written exam which tests students knowledge of areas on the artists and designers they have studied and the application of their critical thinking to analyse ‘unseen’ art/design works.


The assessment will assess the candidate’s skills, knowledge and understanding and their ability to:


  • identify the creative development potential in their work
  • confidently use selected art and design materials, techniques and/or technology expressively and creatively when responding to an expressive theme/stimuli and design brief
  • produce and critically reflect on their expressive art and design portfolios and their creative decision making
  • present their work for assessment



2 Internally marked Units


Art and Design: Expressive Activity (Higher)

Art and Design: Design Activity (Higher)


Course Assessment


This portfolio is worth 160 marks:


  • Expressive Activity – 80 marks
  • Design Activity - 80 marks.



The other Component is a question paper worth 60 marks.

Higher Photography

The Higher Photography Course enables learners to communicate personal thoughts, feelings and ideas using photography, and to develop technical and creative skills in using photographic media, techniques and processes.


Learners develop knowledge and understanding of a range of photography practice, and analyse the impact of social and cultural influences on photographers and their work.


Course Overview

This course includes the technical and creative sides of photography. The course comprises two units covering basic camera controls, research skills and Digital imaging. These skills are then combined in the thematic course project.  To gain Higher Photography learners must pass the two units and the Course Assessment.


2 Units


Unit 1: Image Making

Unit 2: Contextual Imagery


Externally marked and graded portfolio (A – D)


The SQA portfolio is a Project that assesses the learner’s ability to integrate and develop creative and technical skills within a personal photography project. The student selects a theme and produces a portfolio of 12 images expressing their interpretation of the chosen theme.


There are three sections:


  • Research & Investigation (25 marks)
  • Development & Production (60 marks)
  • Evaluation (15 marks)