Visual Arts

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Visual Art is a core subject in Year 7 and 8. Year 9 and 10 students have access to the elective subjects Visual Art, Visual Design and Film Making. Visual Arts [2 unit] is available to study for the Higher School Certificate.

Visual Art

The Visual Arts Year 9-10 course offers students an exciting opportunity to continue experiencing and mastering a wide variety of art forms from painting to digital, sculpture to film. Visual Arts develops a student’s creativity, intellectual and practical autonomy, reflective action, empathy, critical judgement and understanding. Visual Arts plays an important role in the social, cultural and spiritual lives of students. It offers a wide range of opportunities for students to develop their own interests, to be self-motivated and active learners who can take responsibility for and continue their own learning in school and post-school settings. It is vital for students to develop a sensory awareness, powers of visual expression and communication, an understanding of visual traditions and the potential to think and act creatively. Visual Arts provides a valuable background for all students contemplating any career where acute observation, critical analysis, brain-hand-eye co-ordination/dexterity and creative problem-solving are necessary.

The skills and knowledge taught and the values formed in Visual Arts will benefit those seeking a future in art and design-related industries and will also prepare students for vocational fields such as journalism, sociology, law, medicine and dentistry, by providing opportunities to develop their social and cultural awareness, observation skills and empathy and mental/manual dexterity. Students with a background in Visual Arts may have an advantage in other curriculum areas such as History and English.

There are three components to the Visual Arts course: practical, historical and critical. Art Study incorporates Historical Traditions, Theory of Practice and Critical Study.
Practical activities are integrated with historical (encouraging an understanding of the social cultural significance) and critical study (which develops the student’s ability to respond to and appreciate works of art.)

Students will have the opportunity in Art Practice to explore

digital imaging   painting printmaking drawing
sculpture applied design    ceramics  
cartooning animation installation  
 film site-specific art studio photography    


Elective Visual Arts students participate in a number of master classes with practising artists and attend a three day Year 10-11 Art Camp at Arthur Boyd’s studio in Bundanon. The opportunity to work with artists in these practical master classes has been very popular and successful with students. The Visual Arts Staff believe it is essential to provide many opportunities for students to visit galleries and art events such as Sculpture by the Sea, generationext, Musueum of Contemporary Art and practical art excursions to gather visual imagery for development in the classroom. We encourage students to take opportunities offered to them by other institutions such as the National Art School.

Selected Course Offering

In Years 9 and 10 a diverse course offering is available including Visual Arts, Visual Design and Film Making.
 Year 9 and Year 10 Courses Overview

Visual Design

Visual Design plays a significant role in many applied creative fields. This course provides students with opportunities to explore and understand the nature of good design practice, conceptual knowledge, technology, the role of the artist as designer and the value and meaning of visual design artworks in society and the role of the audience as consumer in these contexts.

Students respond to design briefs. Design briefs include the Canteen Courtyard environmental design, designing the cover for the year 7, 8 and 9 student planners, architecture design brief - treehouses, graphic design brief - skateboards, product design brief – lighting

Examples of design briefs:

  • Architecture – The Tree House
  • Product design/Interior Design – lighting
  • Graphic Design – Student Planner Cover design using Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Landscape/Environment Design – Mosaic Wall
  • Laser cutting design and production
  •  Youth design eg Skate Board – street art inspiration
  • Stop Motion Animation Master class

While Visual Design does not continue in Year 11 and 12, students interested in pursuing a design oriented career such as architecture, landscape design, graphics, town planning and some fields of engineering are able to continue in Visual Arts 11 and 12. The syllabus shares identical terminology, structure and concepts. Visual Arts is a recommended or preferred subject for architecture in several tertiary institutions [University of Technology, Sydney and University of Sydney].

Assessment is based on 60% practical component eg design brief models/products and process work and 40% on research [designers and movements].

Facilities include four artrooms, class set of computers for advanced computer graphics and video production, a multi media suite, two kilns and pottery wheels and an etching press.

Film Making and Digital Media

The Creative Arts faculty introduced this course in 2008 to allow students to focus on digital video production and imagery. The course will allow a smooth transition of Film Making and Digital Media students into Visual Arts in Years 11 and 12. There is also an obvious advantage for students considering English Extension 2.

Film making and Digital Media plays a significant role in the curriculum by providing specialised learning opportunities to enable students to understand and explore the nature of film making and digital media as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge and technological procedures.

This Year 9 and 10 course builds on the Year 7 and 8 Visual Arts mandatory course. It allows opportunities for students to investigate film and digital media in greater depth and breadth than through the Visual Arts elective course.

The film making aspect of the course aims to give students an understanding of and practical experience in film-making, and in the vocation surrounding it. It also aims to give students an in-depth knowledge of a specific area of short film-making through workshopping, coursework and research projects.

Students will be assessed on their ability to take part in each of the roles required in the process of producing the classes own short films. Working as part of a crew, each student will develop skills essential within film making. These skills will involve:

  • Principles of Script writing
  • Visualising the Script
  • Directing Actors
  • Production Management
  • Production Design
  • Sound Design
  • Cinematography: Camera and Lighting Techniques
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Editing Principles
  • Producing, Film Business, Marketing & Distribution
  • Film Criticism
  • Digital/Visual Effects

Other aspects of this course may involve developing skills in digital photography and computer generated images using computer design programs including Adobe Photoshop, Flash etc, animation, time based installation works and web design.

Potential student film projects include a movie trailer, documentary, arthouse film, timebased installation, animation, music video, interviews, clay animation etc.

Assessment will be based on practical project work, film reviews, research tasks and participation.

Students’ knowledge will become increasingly deep and comprehensive, multifaceted, more confident and insightful. The syllabus encourages students to become enthusiastic, informed and active participants and consumers in contemporary culture. It empowers students to engage in contemporary forms of communication and encourages the creative and confident use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Students would be encouraged to enter work into film competitions such as V Fest and Making Movies.

While Film and Digital Media does not continue in Year 11 and 12, students interested in pursuing a career in the film/television industry, graphics, web design, photography etc are able to continue in Visual Arts 11 and 12. The syllabus shares identical terminology, structure and concepts.