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The Waid Academy

Higher Art and Design




Purpose:  To promote knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and design, their historical development and contemporary applications; to develop and apply skills of practical investigation, media handling, problem solving and evaluation through expressive and design practical activities, linked to related contextual, evaluative and historical studies.

Recommended Entry Requirements:  Students are ideally expected to have achieved an A or B at National 5. Pupils who achieved a C would probably find the work overly challenging for presentation but should not be discouraged from discussing their suitability with their teacher. 

Course Details

Component 1: Question Paper – 60 marks/ 23%

Critical evaluation and historical studies in the visual arts and design will be of importance at this level. These will be dealt with, to a large extent, within the context chosen for practical activities; thus, contextual studies will also be present.  Assurance will characterise evidence produced in a variety of forms. Opportunities will be promoted for pupils to select and investigate areas of the visual arts and design which are of personal interest and relevance and to consider and interpret a wide range of examples and applications. From the informed standpoint thus promoted, pupils will be able to develop, formulate and communicate well supported personal judgements using appropriate vocabulary, in accordance with relevant criteria.

Component 2: Expressive Folio – 100 marks/38.5%

Deriving from appropriate contexts, pupils will identify, select and interpret sources and stimuli of personal interest.  Investigating and recording at first hand will show understanding, structure and coherence; it will involve different approaches, a range of appropriate media used with control, assurance and fluency and production of a variety of evidence. Completed artwork will clearly convey the student’s ideas, feelings and responses with imagination and demonstrate considered and assured use of media.


Component 3: Design Folio – 100 marks/38.5%

In relation to particular design issues, problems, or need, the student will be expected to negotiate and finalise a specific design brief.  They will investigate this in light of requirements, constraints and implications. A range of possible approaches will be explored and a number of possible solutions considered, showing inventiveness and flexibility of thought. From possibilities considered, a solution will be selected and made in finished or prototype form. Informed evaluation of both the developmental process and the solution - including consideration of modifications and/or alternatives - will be included.

Progression:  Successful completion of the Higher Grade course in S5 can lead to Advanced Higher in S6 or, at another educational institution in

·         Art & Design: Enquiry: (Expressive)

·         Art & Design: Enquiry: (Design)

·         Art & Design: Enquiry: (Research and Appreciation)

·         or to a Scottish Group Award at Higher in Art & Design.  In addition to the above, a Higher Grade pass in Art & Design can lead to a place at F.E. /H.E. Institutions to follow a course in Art & Design or Communications & Media or Manufacturing Industries.


Recommended Entry Requirements:  Students will be expected to have achieved an A or B in National 5 Art & Design. Pupils who achieved a C at National 5 level in S4 might well find the work overly challenging for presentation in S5 but should not be discouraged from discussing their suitability with their teacher. Higher over 2 year is one possible progression route.