Pupils in S4 follow the new National Qualifications in Art and Design developed as part of a Curriculum for Excellence. 

 Rebecca Expressive Final

What skills will my child develop in National 4 and 5 Art and Design?


  • 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

 Rebecca Expressive Development


    • 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.



      • To gain National 4, learners must pass all Units
      • Units are as pass or fail assessed by the school/centre (following SQA external quality assurance to meet national standards)
      • Unit assessment (or ‘evidence of learning’) could take a variety of 2D or 3D forms. A portfolio may be prepared.

    National 4 progresses onto National 5


      • To gain National 5, learners must pass both Units and the Course Assessment (the Portfolio and the Question Paper)
      • Units are assessed by the school/centre (following SQA external quality assurance to meet national standards)
      • Unit assessment (or ‘evidence of learning’) will show competence in each of the two Units in 2D or 3D and may include sketch books, extended writing, notes, group discussions, reviews, critiques
      • 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.

    National 5 progresses onto Higher Art and Design