Pupils are encouraged to express their creative gifts using a wide variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and design. Regular art gallery and museum visits develop the appreciation of art in all its forms. The annual residential visit to a centre in the Highlands fosters the development of creative skills.
In S1 and S2 the pupils develop an understanding and appreciation of art and design vocabulary. At National 4/5 level Expressive and Design are explored further and if successful the next step is Higher. At this level pupils start to engage in deeper levels of problem solving and working with design briefs. At Advanced Higher personal vision and greater self-reliance are demanded throughout the course.
A significant number of pupils go to Art Schools to study at undergraduate level and there is an increasing number of former pupils who are successful professional artists and designers.
We develop the pupils' understanding and appreciation of the language of art, i.e the visual elements. We concentrate on line, shape, tone and colour within design and expressive activities, studying typography and introducing design briefs. Drawing is the basic activity for all projects: pupils are taught the elementary aspects of layout/composition and linear perspective. We explore 3D craftwork with card. Projects begin with powerpoints of relevant art and design work.
Draughtsmanship is developed further, looking at methods of measuring and recording proportion. These skills are applied to first hand observational studies of stuffed wildlife which become preparatory drawings for low-relief card prints. This develops a pupil's awareness of texture and pattern. We also study basic portraiture examining the layout and structure of the head, culminating in a clay sculpture character. Pupls are taught to appreciate the work of artists and designers through slide shows, talks and essay writing.
National 4/5 Art
Art and Design is the study of the various forms of visual communication. It covers the expressive arts, design, and the ability to understand the work of others. It will give pupils an insight into how art and design influence our lives and it will teach the skills to develop creativity and understanding in these areas. Underpinning art and design courses in Hamilton College is the belief that the purpose and wonder of creation gives a language of order, beauty and expression – a language that can be explored with hand, eye and feeling.
Skills and Knowledge
A broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course includes:
- responding to a range of visual stimuli and developing visual understanding of the subject matter
- producing investigative visual research for expressive and design challenges
- creatively using a range of art and design media, materials and techniques for expression
- developing and refining a range of original ideas for art and design solutions
- understanding the influence of social and cultural factors on art and design practice
- analysing how a range of media, materials and techniques are used by artists and designers for visual impact, creative effect and working out ideas
- using a range of problem solving, planning and evaluation skills within the creative process.
Learning and Teaching Methods
The course involves the study of art and design in three areas: expressive, design and critical activity. The expressive activity involves you communicating ideas and feelings in a range of media; the design activity gives the opportunity to devise a solution to a set design problem; critical activity develops an appreciation and understanding of artists and designers and is related to the two practical activities. Skills and techniques will be taught by example via the teacher and by using a range of visual resources. Teaching directly to the whole class and on a one-to-one basis will be used as appropriate to the activity and balanced within the projects.
A qualification in art and design can lead to careers in product design, graphic design, textile, fashion, costume set design, ceramic design, jewellery making and silversmithing, photography, film print making, art teaching, architecture and fine art among others.
In Design, we expect pupils to engage in problem solving issues of an aesthetic nature. A selection of design briefs offers the pupils different challenges such as persuasion graphics, package design, jewellery, product design and architecture.
In Expressive, summer projects are set in order to act as a springboard for the unit of work set throughout the year. Within the unit, pupils can explore an area of fine art in a personal way. However, set tasks, specifically in drawing, are given to open up their abilities to explore the visual potentials of their motifs and themes.
In Art and Design Studies, pupils are offered a range of artists and designers to select from. Slides shows are given to contextualise these artists/designers so that they can be seen in historical content.
Homework builds on previous years experience with continued emphasis on analytical drawing from primary sources in particular. The Design unit requires pupils to be personally responsible for investigating their chosen area set out by the brief: this will include market research. Transcriptions from artists' works are given to enable pupils to understand techniques as well as past styles. They are often expected to annotate these for their Art and Design study unit and deepen their knowledge in doing so
Assessment Details (internal and external)
The Expressive Unit and Design Unit make up a pupil's practical folio. Both consist of 3 sections: - Investigation and Research/Development/Outcome. The Design also includes a written evaluation sheet. Art and Design Studies is a written question paper created by the SQA in a one and half hour exam.
- The Expressive activity is allocated 80 marks in total.
- The Design activity is allocated 80 marks in total.
- Art and Design studies is allocated 60 marks
The next level of study is Advanced Higher. A pupil can concentrate on practical work or theoretical work. Often, pupils who want to go to art school choose to do both.
Advanced Higher Art
Both Advanced Higher courses are offered to pupils. The Enquiry is a practical course whereby a pupil can investigate at a deeper level both expressive and design. This will involve a pupil building up a folio which will be thematic, technically strong, imaginative and supported by sketchbooks. They will be expected to demonstrate a greater critical awareness and personal interest throughout their projects. This will involve them contextualizing their own work within contemporary art/design practice and a working knowledge of history of art/design. Personal vision and greater self-reliance is demanded throughout the course. Worldview issues are studied and reflected upon as they interface with past and contemporary art practice.
The Research and Appreciation course is separate from the Enquiry. This is a written course whereby a pupil will investigate at a deep level an area from art and design which will be presented in a short dissertation of 2000 words. They are expected to choose a field from art and design which they personally believe to be fruitful for in-depth study. The assessment of the dissertation will involve the coherence and depth of the pupil's arguments and analysis, along with its visual presentation.
The Enquiry course involves a lot of drawing, exploring a variety of techniques and approaches to image making. Photography will become a part of the homework investigation. Pupils are expected to keep Ideas books which act as a filter for lateral thinking: these consist mostly of doodles, annotated notes and scrapbook material. School holidays involve specific homework projects and reading is one important aspect for the pupils intellectual engagement.
The Research and Appreciation course expects a lot of reading for homework as well as personal investigation from libraries and the internet. It may include annotated drawing which explores the work of artists and designers.
Assessment Details (internal and external)
The Enquiry course is split into expressive activity and design activity. The pupil has the choice of placing their emphasis on one of these. One activity will consist of 60% of the course mark, the other 30%. 10% will be given to a written statement which explains their choice of theme and evaluates how they explored it.
The Research and Appreciation course has a 70% mark for the written content and 30% for the presentation of the dissertation.