Expressive Arts - Our Faculty
The Department has two classrooms and five practice studios, used by students and visiting teachers. First and Second year students follow a largely practical course, learning skills on guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, voice and drum kit. Second year students select two instruments which they studied in first year which they wish to pursue in Second year. The latest Music software is also available on four PCs located on an island in each room. All classes are encouraged to use this for familiarity and composition. This approach in S2 reflects the demands for Standard Grade in S3 and S4.
From S3 students may choose Standard Grade, leading to Higher and Advanced Higher in S5 and S6.
The department also has five visiting instrumental teachers who work in the department, liaising closely with the three Music Staff.
Music instruction on most instruments begins in Primary school, where a range of instruments is offered depending on staff availability.
Lessons sometimes become available however at the start of S1. These are usually on Woodwind and Guitar.
The availability of lessons is communicated through the daily bulletin and by Music staff speaking to S1 classes. All pupils who express an interest in tuition will be interviewed but demand is generally much greater than the number of spaces on the timetable.
Tuition is provided by withdrawing students on a rota basis from normal classes. The first year of tuition is free of charge. After a student is selected, all administration and enquries are through the instrumental teacher to Scottish Borders Council.
Art and Design
The Art & Design Department consists of two classrooms, a dedicated craft room with kiln and a sixth year studio.
Throughout S1/2 pupils are introduced to an exciting range of materials, skills and techniques. They have the opportunity to work with clay, felt and other 3D materials as well as building basic skills with more traditional drawing and painting activities. Homework at this stage supports class work and is generally given on a monthly basis.
As pupils progress into S3/4 they work through the Standard Grade course. This course builds on the skills and techniques experienced in S1/2 and encourages pupils to take more responsibility for their own learning. Pupils have the opportunity to develop skills in textiles, ceramics, jewellery making, graphic design and drawing and painting. Homework in S3/4 supports the written aspect of the course and is given at appropriate times as necessary.
Pupils in S5/6 are offered Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. These courses further extend pupils' skills and technical abilities and require a siginificant level of commitment and self-motivation. At this stage, pupils have the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials and are encouraged to develop their skills to a very high standard. Homework at this level involves written work relating to the Art and Design Studies written exam and is given throughout the year.