Welcome to QHS Art & Design Department!

Click here to visit our Art and Design Gallery


Miss P Rogers
Ms E McPherson

Mrs L Cifelli


In addition to our three main classrooms, we have a specialist ceramics room and dark room. We also have a store cupboard equipped with many resources (art materials and visual aids) for pupils to utilise in their course work.

Our Aims:

Art & Design covers a diverse range of topics, skills and concepts. It is our aim to create a positive, creative working environment for pupils of all ages and stages, in which they can experience as wide a range of these skills as possible.

Art & Design is made up of 3 key elements:

  • Expressive (Fine Arts, such as Drawing, Painting and Sculpture)
  • Design (Architecture, Product Design, Fashion and Costume textiles, Graphics and Jewellery)
  • Art & Design Studies (also known as ‘Critical’. This is the study of the work of artists and designers)

We uphold traditional and fundamental skills such as observation drawing, shading, colour theory and problem solving as we believe that these skills are the basis for developing and nurturing artistic ability. We also aim to ensure our curriculum is reflective of modern practices and trends. We offer an extensive range of design projects, within which there is great scope for personalisation and choice for pupils to explore their individual themes and ideas. We encourage pupils to work in a wide variety of media from acrylics and oil bar to paper models to working with fabric.

Our S1-3 courses are designed in line with the Broad Education values of Curriculum for Excellence. In addition to creating courses and schemes of work which reflect the diversity of Art & Design, we aim to incorporate links to Literacy and Numeracy in our lessons. It often surprises our pupils how much Maths there is in Art!

Literacy, of course, plays a key role in Art & Design Studies; pupils are introduced to basic concepts and Art / Design specific vocabulary in S1 and we continue to build on these throughout their time in the department.

Health & Well Being is at the heart of our course and is evident in everyday practise, such as care of materials and Health & Safety education. Art & Design also has a place in meeting their emotional and psychological needs, allowing pupils to express thoughts and feelings in their artworks.

Why Art & Design?

You may be wondering what the career opportunities are for Art & Design, especially if your child is about to make subject choices!

Art & Design equips young people with a variety of practical and academic skills that can lead to a wide range of career paths; this may involve attending one of the Scottish Art Schools, college or going straight into the world of work. We have recently established a ‘Positive Destinations’ information wall in the Art & Design corridor, which we hope will inspire and inform pupils about the potential of our subject.

We advise anyone considering Art School as a potential further education route, to sit Higher in S5 and Advanced Higher in S6. Entry into Art School is very competitive and the Advanced Higher course is better suited to building a practical portfolio.


We’re always keen to establish links with other departments and have worked with Computing, Modern Languages and History in recent years, to raise pupil awareness that they can apply their learning to a variety of situations.


S1 & S2

Pupils have 1 period of Art & Design per week. Topics taught in S1 range from colour theory and observation drawing to illustration and 3D paper model making. In S2 we may explore drawing, graphics, still life painting and figure drawing, in addition to core skills such as sketching techniques and tonal gradient.

Where possible, learning is linked to the work of artists and designers, this might be implemented through evaluation in written work, group or paired discussion or information gathering.


Homework policy: Pupils in S1 & S2 are issued with a sketchbook at the start of the school year in which to complete homework.  Homework is usually linked to class work and falls into 3 categories: Find, Design and Draw. We aim to instil key skills in homework activities, such as information/ image gathering, observation drawing, shading and problem solving.


Pupils have 2 periods of Art & Design, having elected to take the subject at the end of S2.  We still follow a Broad General Education, ensuring pupils are exposed to as wide a range of skills and media as possible!  There are fewer units than in S1 & 2 as topics are explored in greater depth. Our S3 course is designed to create greater scope for challenge and personalisation. Pupils will begin to explore concepts, such as composition, in greater depth. We would expect pupils to become more independent, in terms of problem solving and developing ideas. We would hope that they have a genuine interest and passion for the subject, reflected in the work they produce in their own time, as well as in class.


The processes and working methods we establish in S3 will equip pupils with the skills they will need for sitting National 4 and 5 qualifications.

Homework policy: S3 pupils will be equipped with a practical sketchbook and have been given a 31 page Drawing Challenge to work on throughout the year.  

National  3,4 & 5

National 3,4 & 5 classes are timetabled for 4 periods of Art per week. The course is made up of 2 elements : Design Practical with Design Studies and Expressive Practical with Expressive studies.  .

Art & Design Studies (Outcome 1): This is the theory element of the course.  Pupils develop the Timeline work they have started in S3 by focussing on the work of 2 artists and 2 designers from different eras.  .  National 4 pupils retain their written work folders as evidence for Outcome 1 (Critical Studies).  National 5 pupils will require their folders for revision as they will sit a written examination at the end of the academic year.

Expressive Activity (Outcome 2):
This is a practical unit, the Fine Art (drawing, paiting or sculpture) element of the course.  Pupils work through 3 stages (Research, Development & Final Outcome), exploring drawing techniques, a varierty of media, composition and a study of the Visual Elements.  Pupils are also expected to reference the work of artists in their practical units.

Research: Analytical studies of the pupil's chosen theme.  This will comprise several drawings, carried out in a variety of media.

Development: This involves the exploration of compostion, style and media, in a series of small scale studies.

Final Outcome: A worked up, final piece that has evolved from the Research & Development work

National 3 & 4: Pupils entered for Nat 3 & 4 produce a folio that is internally marked (pass or fail).

National 5: An edited selection of practical work is mounted formally and sent to the SQA for assessment. Foilios are marked A-D.

Work not selected for the foilio makes up the Unit.  This work must be retained in the event of SQA verification.

Design Activity: This is a practical unit. Pupils this session are studying either graphics (2D Design) or body adornment, in the field of 3D Design.  As with the Expressive element, there are 3 stages to the Design process (Research, Development & Final Outcome). We encourage pupils to construct a Design Brief, ensuring the process is similiar to that of the working world.

Research: Pupils gather imagery relating to their chosen theme (drawn and collected).  They also carry out market research, exploring their chosen product and target market.

Development: This is the problem solving and creating aspect of the process. Pupils will begin exploring design outcomes through experimenting with materials and sketching their ideas.  Initiative, willingness to experiment and problem solve are key aspects of this stage. The Development work must link to the Research and show evolution of at least 2 ideas.

Final Outcome: Pupils select their strongest idea from the Development stage for construction.  The Final Outcome should link closely to the work that has preceeded it. 

Homework policy: S4 pupils will be given regular practical and written homework.  Often, homework will be consolidating or completing work started in class. National 5 pupils should be regularly revising for their written examination from December onwards.


Higher classess have 5 periods of Art & Design per week. . 

The course struture for the New Higher is similar to the National 5 course outline detailed under 'S4 National 5'.  The main difference with the New Higher is with the Art & Design Studies written paper.  The paper is worth 60 marks of the overall award and will test the candidate's Knowledge & Understanding of Art & Design issues and vocabulary. 

Assessment & Deadlines: The folios are sent to the SQA at the end of April. It is recommended that work is completed in April, to allow staff to carry out administrative procedures.

Art & Design Studies This is the only part of the course which culminates in an exam. The exam papers are made up of two sections (Design and Expressive). 

Homework policy: S5/6 homework is mainly theory based.  Pupils are issued with A4 sketchbooks in which they should carry out research into their chosen practitioners.  They explore the life and works of chosen designers/ artists and evalaute works by their selcted practitioners. As the course progresses, it is very likely that pupils will have practical work to complete at home.  We firmly believe that senior pupils must take responsibility for managing their work load and deadlines, equpping them with the organisation skills they will need for the world of work or university.  Beware!  December to April are guaranteed to be busy months!

Advanced Higher:

Pupils studying Advanced Higher undertake personally devised schemes of work and are expected to show a high degree of motivation and initiative in managing their studies.  The Advanced Higher class are very fortunate to have their own studio style space and are encourgaed to fully explore their range and style. 

This course is the most suitable for pupils wishing to pursue Art & Design at college or university level.  Portfolios for the four Scottish art schools must show a range of the candidate's work and style. We encourage pupils to explore work outside of their Advanced Higher study and to make the most of evening classes, work experience and developing their own sketchbooks to further their chances of art school entry.  Entry into the Art School is highly competitive and we recommend pupils have a 'back up' plan, usually applying for a Foundation Portfolio course at one of the colleges.

National 5 & Higher

Practical folios: Well done on getting your pratcial folios finsihed before school closed.  Could you all email your evaluations to Ms Rogers and Ms McPherson before 27th March 2020, please?

S1 & S2 Working from home

Here is a wee challenge for you to work on whilst the Art & Design department adjust to current school closure... Work your way through the challenge- you can use good old fashioned pencil and paper or your devices...

15 Day drawing challenge

1. Create a logo with your zodiac sign

2. Metamorphosis- merge a bird with a fish

3. Create a superhero- with powers of your choice

4. Draw your most treasured possession

5. Your favourite season

6. Calligraphy- write your name in a decorative way

7. Your favourite pudding

8. Draw yourself

9. Design your ideal room/ home

10. Favourite sport

11. View from your window

12. Favourite cartoon character

13. Your favourite shoes

14. Just doodle

15. Your favourite animal


S3 working from home

As we will be unable to carry on with our 3D Design unit, we thought it might be an idea to focus on portraiture whilst school is closed.   Ms Rogers is putting together some resources to work from, in the meantime, have a go with whatever you've got at home (pencils, Ipad...)

There are some fantastic 'how to draw' activities on line- start by drawing your own facial features individually.  I would start with the eyes... 

Art & Design Department News
QHS Wall Calendar

The QHS 2015 calendar (now in its 8th year) has been a great success this session! We have two formats available; CD desk top as well as the traditional A4 wall mounted claendar. Both have been popular and we have sold close to 150 copies! 

The 2015 Calendar features work by the  S3-5 pupils listed below. 

Stephen McRae (January)

Fraser Nangle (February)

Megan Porteous (March)

Nicole Hyde (Cover & April)

Beth Mitchell (May)

Naomi Clark (June)

Nicole McGinty (July)

Louise Agius (August)

Andrew Gillon (September)

Grace Stroud (October)

Catriona McRoberts (November)

Katy Cairns (December)



2014 Christmas card entires

S1 Work Featured (left to right): Zoe Moonney, Yohanna Currie, Lucy Hart, Jessica Pryde, Jemima Hair, Eve Eisler, Emily Hutton & Ellie Stewart






Additional Information

We are currently awaiting the return of the 2013-14 session's Art & Design practical folios. Pupils/ parents/ carers will be notified when the work has been returned (usually mid November).

2015 Calendar

The 2015 Calendar will be on sale at all school events in the run up to Christmas.  £5 for both formats. Selling quickly so be sure to pick up your copy!