Art & Design


Ms. Lindsay (Principal Teacher)

Mrs. Grant

Ms G Buchanan

The Art & Design department at Dumbarton Academy is committed to providing an excellent learning experience for all pupils at all stages.

In our BGE courses we provide a broad and explorative curriculum, allowing pupils to access a wide range of expressive art, design and critical illiteracies in art and design.

In S1, pupils participate in an induction course on the Visual Elements through a series of progressive lessons, allowing pupils to steadily develop their skills and abilities in drawing, painting and design.

Learning in S2 reinforces and deepens learning experienced in S1. Pupils develop their expressive abilities in portraiture using expressive medias such as oil pastel or paint. Pupils also complete a design unit – exploring their understanding of a design brief and the design process, resulting in a 2D or 3D outcome. During S2, pupils develop their understanding of art and design vocabulary, through a series of critical workshops.

S3, Pupils develop their understanding of design through a 3D body-adornment design unit They develop their expressive skill set in a drawing unit. Their appreciation of critical illiteracies are developed through a critical analysis unit, looking at the work of designers and artist; developing their abilities to discuss and analyse the work of famous practitioners.

Pupil Work

At senior phase we offer a range of subjects, providing learners with choice and multiple opportunities for success.
Currently we offer:

National 4/5 Art and Design

The National 5 Art and Design Course enables learners to plan, develop, produce and present creative art and design work, and to develop their critical understanding of a range of art and design practice. The Course also enables learners to understand the impact of external factors on artists and designers and their works.

The National 5 course is worth 210 marks and is comprised of two components:
Practical – Expressive/Design course
Critical - Art and Design studies.

The two components are made up of unit work and course work.
Both Unit and Course work is externally assessed by the SQA (worth 73% of total mark). The expressive and design folios are worth 160 marks. The Art and Design studies is a written examination worth 50 marks

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.

The course is worth 220 marks and is divided into two components:

Expressive/Design portfolio and Art and Design Studies. Expressive and Design are folio based and worth1160 marks. The Art and Design studies is comprised of a written examination worth 60 marks.

Unit work is internally assessed and verified, passed or failed. The Portfolio work and is externally assessed by the SQA

Advanced Higher Art and Design

At Advanced Higher level pupils choose to complete either and Expressive or Design portfolio.

The Expressive course provides opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, visual awareness and understanding of aesthetic, while exploring how to communicate their personal thoughts, ideas and opinions through their expressive artwork. This involves visually exploring and responding in an individual way to stimuli, researching challenging expressive art contexts and evaluating how artists respond creatively to stimuli.


The Design Course provides opportunities for learners to develop their creativity and apply their understanding of design practice, function and aesthetics. This involves exploring and researching challenging design contexts, issues and opportunities, and evaluating and incorporating visual stimuli and other information from a variety of sources.

National 5 Creative Industries

National 5 Skills for Work: Creative Industries is an introductory qualification which develops the knowledge and skills required for employment or further study in the creative industries.

As they work through the Course, learners will gain an awareness of the opportunities and jobs in the different sectors — and they will develop transferable employability skills.

The Course covers: an Introduction to the Creative Industries, Creative Industries Skills Development, the Creative Process, and a Creative Project.

Pupils develop a series of creative skills via paced skillset workshops:

Advertising, Marketing & Graphics
Photography and Print
Digital Medias and Curation

Working in Partnership with The Gallery of Modern Art, pupils will action their Creative Project – the organisation, curation and delivery of a whole-school creative showcase, that presents the creative work being made across the Academy curriculum, to parents/carers, pupils and staff.

NPA Photography

The new National Progression Awards in Photography at SCQF l5 will develop knowledge and understanding in practical photography. The Awards are aimed at those who want to explore their interest in photography and perhaps take it to a more advanced level.

This course is currently being delivered at senior phase and provides pupils with a solid practical understanding in photography. Additionally, the course provides progression for pupils wishing to pursue their interest to higher level. Alternatively some pupils may have a greater opportunity for success at NPA level than at Higher, therefore some pupils make be recommend for NPA level based on their progression through the Higher photography course work.

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.

The course is currently offered at senior phase, it is recommended the pupils have a keen interest in the subject, attendance at our extra-curricular photography club is recommended prior to entry.

Whilst Higher Photography is a practical subject, there is a fast-paced and challenging coursework.

Pupils will complete comprehensive research into famous photographers of their choice. They will explore and develop their practical and technical understanding of photography, and create photographic work in a range of styles and genres.

Pupils are required to complete a summer project that demonstrates their practical skills and abilities to critically evaluate their work, this will support their progression through the course work.