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 National 4 Art & Design Course

The National 4 Art and Design Course enables learners to plan, develop, produce and present creative art and design work, and to develop an understanding of the social and cultural influences on the works of artists and designers.
Course structure
 
The Course has an integrated approach to learning, and includes a mix of practical
learning and knowledge and understanding of art and design practice.
 
In the Course learners will draw upon their understanding of the main factors
influencing artists and designers work and practice. They will experiment with and
explore how to use art and design materials, techniques and/or technology to develop their art and design work. Learners will use problem solving skills and reflect on their creative choices and decisions when developing their creative ideas.
 
Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.
 
The Course consists of three mandatory Units, including the Added Value Unit.
Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Units at National 5.
 
Art and Design: Expressive Activity (National 4)
 
This Unit helps learners to develop an understanding of the factors that influence and inspire artists’ work. They will also consider how artists use art materials, techniques and/or technology in their work. Learners will research and develop their personal thoughts and ideas in 2D and/or 3D formats in response to given stimuli. They will produce observational drawings and studies and develop their expressive ideas and compositions by experimenting with and using art materials, techniques and/or technology in creative and expressive ways.
 
Art and Design: Design Activity (National 4)
 
This Unit helps learners to plan, research and develop creative design ideas in
response to a given brief. Learners will develop their creativity and problem-solving
skills as they consider the design opportunities, issues and constraints of the brief.
They will develop their understanding of designers’ working practices and the factors that inspire and influence their work. They will also experiment with and develop media handling skills when producing their design ideas in 2D and/or 3D formats.
 
Art and Design Practical Activity (National 4)
This Unit adds value by introducing challenge and application.
 
In the Art and Design Practical Activity, learners will draw on and extend their
knowledge, and apply practical skills when producing art and design work. The
practical activity will be sufficiently open and flexible to allow for personalisation and
choice and will focus on both the process and products of learning. They will develop problem-solving and reflective practice skills in the context of their expressive and design work.

Skills, knowledge and understanding
 
A broad overview of the mandatory subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be assessed in the Course is given in this section. These are:

  • producing observational drawings and related investigative studies for given stimuli
  • using visual elements expressively, showing understanding of the subject matter
  • producing focused investigative studies and market research for a design activity
  • skills in using a range of art and design materials, techniques and/or technology creatively and expressively
  • developing a variety of creative ideas for art and design work in 2D and/or 3D
  • describing how artists’ and designers’ use materials, techniques and/or technology in their work
  • describing the factors that have influenced artists’ and designers’ work and practice
  • using routine problem solving, planning and reflective skills within the creative process

Assessment
Unit assessment
All Units will be assessed on a pass/fail basis within centres. SQA will provide rigorous external quality assurance, including external verification, to ensure assessment judgements are consistent and meet national standards.
 
The assessment of the Units in this Course will be as follows.
 
Art and Design: Expressive Activity (National 4)
 For this Unit, evidence will be required to show that the learner can produce
observational drawings, studies and expressive development work in 2D and/or 3D
formats in response to given stimuli. Knowledge and understanding of expressive
artists and art practice will also be assessed.
 
Art and Design: Design Activity (National 4)
In this Unit, evidence will be required to show that the learner can produce creative
ideas in response to a given design brief. Learners will produce investigative studies and market research and will use this to develop their design ideas. Knowledge and understanding of designers and design practice will also be assessed.
 
Added Value Unit: Art and Design Practical Activity (National 4)
Courses from National 4 to Advanced Higher include assessment of added value. At National 4, added value will be assessed in an Added Value Unit. The Added Value Unit will address the key purposes and aims of the Course as defined in the Course Rationale. It will do this by addressing one or more of breadth, challenge and application.
 
In the National 4 Art and Design Course, the Added Value Unit will focus on challenge and application.
 
Learners will draw on, extend and apply the skills they have learned during the Course.This will be assessed through a practical activity, which involves producing one piece of expressive art and one piece of design work. The practical activity will be sufficiently open and flexible to allow for personalisation and choice and will focus on both the process and products of learning