Art and Design

S1 - S3 Curriculum

The S1/2 Art & Design Course consists of three main elements. These are projects that focus on: Design Work; Expressive Work; and Evaluation and Appreciation of works by both Artists and Designers. The projects allow for a broad experience using a wide variety of media, such as paints, pastels, clay, and also various techniques to be explored. The course also ensures the understanding of the Visual Elements (line, tone, colour, pattern, texture, shape) and how they can be utilised in the pupils own work.

This format links in with the Experiences and Outcomes as set out in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence Framework, and is ideal for progressing through the subject in later years as it ties in with the working methods of the National Courses, Higher and Advanced Higher.

The S3 Elective course also follows the same format of studying Design, Expressive and Evaluating and Appreciating of Artist and Designers, but with more depth and breadth of knowledge being built onto what has been previously learned.

S4 - S6 Curriculum

National 3

This course forms a natural buffer between the broad general junior experience and the more structured senior courses. It gives students an opportunity to apply prior knowledge, skills and techniques to folios over which they have more choice and control. Whilst structure and delivery is very similar to National 4 & 5, National 3 courses are not graded but units are assessed on a pass/fail basis. This often takes the form of peer and teacher review. Homework tasks are set to encourage personal reflection or recording and are an invaluable research aid. Personal sketchbooks are encouraged. The broad generic skills developed in this course include: Personal learning and the thinking skills of understanding, applying and creating. National 3 forms a natural springboard for further study in Art & Design.

National 4 and 5

Progression to National 4/5 courses in the Senior school phase builds on this prior knowledge and gives participants an opportunity to work in a creative environment which encompasses the CfE principles. Broad generic skills are also built into the course drawn from

• Literacy Health & Wellbeing and Thinking Skills.

The combined elements of this course are designed to extend the student’s ability to full potential.

Depending on experience, knowledge and ability, pupils will be presented at an appropriate level. The content of our new National courses closely resembles existing courses with increased emphasis on art and design practice and analysis of social and cultural influences. The delivery is tailored by staff, dependent on the individual needs and interests of each candidate.

It takes the form of practical Expressive and Design Folios with associated Art & Design Studies relating to each unit.

• Each folio is based around research and investigation of a particular artist, designer or art movement or style. This knowledge then influences and informs the candidate’s subsequent practical folio which is monitored internally and subsequently sent for external assessment.

• Knowledge and understanding of the working practise and cultural and historical influence of artists and designers is examined in a 1 hour written paper.


The course is a natural development from the National 5 level and is available to pupils who have proved they can cope with the analytical aspects of the subject, as well as the practical. A considerable amount of individual study is required. The course encompasses the CfE principles and is designed to extend the student’s ability to full potential. Higher consists of three distinct units of approximately 40 hours duration:
• Design Folio ~ 40 hours
• Expressive Folio ~ 40 hours
• Art & Design Studies ~ 2 blocks of 20 hours.
Higher courses culminate with a written exam (Art & Design Studies) and the external assessment of both practical folios.

Advanced Higher

This is a natural extension to the Higher course for students wishing to extend their Art & Design studies. The course has two distinct units taken over 120 hours. Its content and style is dictated by the student which demands a high level of Creativity, Commitment &Curiosity.
Pupils can choose to specialise in Design or Expressive for their course.

• Design or Expressive Studies ~ 80 hours
• Design or Expressive Enquiry ~ 40 hours.

The course is assessed entirely by an externally-marked Portfolio. In the portfolio, learners will further develop selected examples of their previous work and will use these, and their in-depth understanding of artists and art practice, to influence and inform the development of their expressive ideas and art work. The portfolio will focus on both the process and products of learning.

Careers Information

Though the best reason for studying Art & Design is for your own fulfilment and enjoyment, certain professions and areas of employment prefer evidence of your proficiency in the subject, for example: Artists (freelance), Architect, Millinery, Dressmaking & Costume Designer, Make-up Artist Cinematographer, Photographer, Jeweller, Graphic Designer, Product Designer, Town Planning, Environmental Artist, Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Advertising, Web Designer, Textile Designer, Art Technician, Window Display, Florist, Renovation & Bookbinding, Project Curator, Model Maker, Primary Teacher. The historical knowledge gained from Art & Design studies can also enhance study in the fields of History, Geography, Literature and social subjects.