Mr Noble:

Hello There

My name is Dugal McCrow

Highland secondary pupils can study Photography at Higher via distance learning with Mr Noble as your main teacher, and myself as principal teacher, solely through Highland Schools' Virtual Academy. Mr Noble is an experienced teacher with a significant amount of experience as a practising artist and photographer, here and in China. He recently received the RSA Latimer Award at the Royal Scottish Academy's 195th Annual Exhibition for his artwork, "Meditation on the Mountain Pass"

If you arrived here looking for information about Highland Council's Highland Virtual Academy their internal site for schools is here where you will find application forms and a timetable for the subjects on offer. Your first point of contact should be guidance in your school or Laura Gordon, headteacher of the Highland Virtual Academy.

Higher Photography is generally taught via live video lessons twice per week with theory and practical activities for the remainder, plus plenty of homework (you don't always want to photograph the school buildings!). Once the final portfolio is underway a rotation of small group live video tutorials provides ongoing support and feedback during the remaining timetabled periods.

Any decent digital camera will do, from a DSLR, to a bridge camera, to a compact, to a very good camera phone. It all depends on what a student wants to shoot, for example an iPhone might not produce great landscape shots, but might be OK for more close up work or portraits.

  • It is easier to try out the techniques we teach on a device that easily allows manual control of settings. Devices that don't let you alter settings would put you at a disadvantage.
  • Pupils study theory through an introductory NPA N5 level research unit "Understanding Photography". They undertake summer projects to get 'warmed up' in June and over the summer break.
  • In August we start unit 1, Image Making, where pupils explore the theme of Light and Time, through research into photographers and via a practical folio of 6 main shoots.
  • In October we start unit 2, Contextual Imagery, where pupils produce a small folio in different genres and styles of photography, focussing on the theme "My World".
  • Pupils start work on their final folio, on a theme of their choice, from December, due in April, where the skills from earlier units are used to create 12 shoots, inspired by research into photographers.
  • In each folio, pupils develop their self-evaluative skills by annotating their contact sheets and reflecting on the success of each shoot. Throughout the course, there are theory/critical video lessons, preparing pupils for the short written paper that is worth 10% of their grade.

I have taught N5, Higher, and Advanced Higher Latin and Classical Studies. My pupils have also achieved Classical Greek units. Candidates with good skills and experience in Photography can be supported with Advanced Higher Art & Design with photography as the medium. Pupils undertaking Duke of Edinburgh Awards can develop their knowledge of photography as their Skill and also gain SQA units along the way.

I am Principal Teacher of Art & Design, Computing Science and Classics at Grantown Grammar School, Highland and a Distance Learning Tutor for pupils across the region. I am GTCS registered to teach Art & Design/Photography, Philosophy, Latin, Greek, Classical Studies and Computing Science.

I achieved the Standard for Headship in 2015 and have presented on inter-disciplinary learning, profiling, e-portfolios and sustainable development education at national and regional CPD events, including writing case studies for the NAR. I have been a finalist at the Scottish Education Awards twice, as an individual and as a team leader.

Qualifications & Experience : MA (Hons) History of Art (incorporating Fine Art and Classical Studies), PGCE (Secondary) Art & Design, PGDip Leadership in Professional Contexts, UG studies in Classical & Koine Greek, UG/PG studies in Latin, PG studies in Sustainable Development Education. BSc Computing Science in progress.

And for those who have been asking - that's me Photoshopped into a bust of Pericles!

Popular Courses


Learning Objectives

There are many skills you can develop through distance learning courses from Highland

Independent Learning

Develop the ability to work independently, work in online collaborative settings and be ready for further study, life and work.


Develop skills in researching theory, techniques and historical information.


Explore and develop your creativity, building on a solid base of theoretical knowledge of photographic techniques.


Learn new languages and improve your knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar as a result. Classical language learning can have a big impact on your literacy skills.


Enjoy the study of two of the ancient cultures that underpin so much of our own. Investigate the beginning of democracy and philosophy, but also critique their use of slavery and treatment of women.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Classics subjects are a rare qualification - they will really make your UCAS application and CV more interesting. Learning how to take successful photographs and digitally edit enhance them are an increasingly useful skills, for fun, in courses and in the workplace.

What People Say

Real quotes to appear soon.....!


Peter Distance

Higher Greek Units and GCSE Greek

“Online learning allowed me to pick a subject that wasn’t available in my school.”


Mary Learning

NPA Photography

“Working online meant I had to be organised and motivated, but it was worth it.”


John Google

Higher Photography

“I enjoyed the freedom to manage my own time in terms of the practical work.”


Elsie Online

Higher Latin

“I wanted to do a course that would make me stand out in my university applications – I was able to do this through distance learning.”


Anthony Ancient

Higher Classical Studies

“I had always been fascinated by the myths and legends of the Greeks and Romans. Classical Studies was a great opportunity to get a qualification studying something I love.”


Susan Anonymous

Higher Photography

“The ability to work independently and have weekly contact sessions with my tutor helped me keep on top of my studies.”

Join our community of students from across the region

Explore our courses