Aims and Philosophy

  • To enable learners to experience the inspiration and power of the arts
  • Recognise and nurture learners creative and aesthetic talents
  • Development of skills and techniques that are relevant to specific art forms and across the four capacities
  • Provision of opportunities for learners to deepen their understanding of culture in Scotland and the wider world
  • Partnership development with professional arts companies, creative adults and cultural organisation

S1 / 2

Through Art & Design, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to express inspiration thoughts and feelings. Pupils explore a wide range of two and three dimensional media and technologies through practical activities, and create, express and communicate ideas during discussion and group work. Their studies of the works of artists and designers enhance their enjoyment and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the importance of Art and Design in the wider world.

 S3 / 4

All S3 will receive a rounded education known as a Broad General Education during which pupils undertake a number of projects which expose them to various challenges and experiences designed to meet Curriculum for excellence outcomes. up to level 4. A guide for parents can be found on the following link.

Broad General Education in the Secondary School – A Guide for Parents and Carers – PDF (1.6 MB)

A range of critical, design and expressive projects are covered that pupils build upon to form foundations for learning towards National qualifications in S4


Our National courses continue to offer pupils exciting opportunities to experiment and create ideas and concepts through thematic and personal art and design work. Pupils experience broad sketchbook and skill based learning in 3rd year to prepare them for the challenges of fourth year. We aim to offer varied experiences during third year allowing pupils a chance to learn across the curriculum via whole school project work, visits to galleries and opportunities to present their ideas out with the school environment through competitions and alternating projects involving outside agencies. We hope that pupils have a rich learning experience in third year allowing them to develop confidence as they approach the new assessments at the end of their fourth year.

In fourth year pupils are asked to create a design folio and an expressive folio with high quality final outcomes such as a painting and a piece of graphic design. They are also required to complete a critical booklet and analyse expressive and design work documenting their ability to discuss art and design work competently, leading to a national four award. National 5 candidates will submit their folio to the SQA and take part in a timed written exam testing their ability to write confidently about artists and designers work.

Further information about National Qualifications in all of the above courses can be found by following this link.


The Higher qualification in Art & Design gives learners a thorough understanding of their creative skills and the visual environment. They will examine cultural social and historical influences on visual communication. The course encourages candidates to use materials and technology to understand, appreciate and respond to their world. Learners will gain skills in the creation of two and/or three-dimensional arts using a variety of materials and technologies. The course develops a candidate’s ability to transfer ideas and understanding in sophisticated and specialised tasks and investigating themes of their choosing.

Advanced Higher

Key features:

  • encourages personal, creative and imaginative approaches to art or design
  • projects are pupil led, allowing choice and specialization in areas of interest.
  • students are encouraged to build their existing skills and experiment in a wide range of both traditional and new media
  • students are supported to create a large volume of high-quality work
  • prepares students for higher levels of study in other art and design qualifications

A Level

Key features:

  • encourages personal, creative and imaginative approaches to art and design
  • has a four-unit structure, maximizing choice and flexibility
  • allows students to follow a broad, open course, or to specialize in one or more endorsed titles
  • students can choose to work with both traditional and new media
  • students are allowed to work solely with new media within any endorsement
  • choice and flexibility within endorsements
  • prepares students for higher levels of study in other art and design qualifications