The Creative Arts Key Learning Area (KLA) at St Joseph’s Catholic High School provides students from all year groups the opportunity to develop their creative and artistic skills with state of the art resources and a wealth of opportunities, and to explore their interests in extra-curricular activities.
The dynamic staff work with students to encourage a deeper exploration of their world, to produce and perform art forms of which the students can be proud. There is a tremendous focus on community display of student work, whether it be an artwork displayed in the corridor of the Creative Arts building, or music performance played in the Kiama Showground Pavilion.
In years 7 and 8, students gain a strong foundation in the arts with all students participating in Visual Arts and Music. In years 9 and 10, students may elect to pursue one or more of these subjects through the more intensive elective courses. In years 11 and 12, Photography is added to the range of opportunities made available to the students.
Mandatory Creative Arts Subjects – Years 7 and 8
In the Visual Arts course, students are introduced to the elements of design as they explore a range of drawing, paint, print and 3D media. The student experience is related to the thematic areas of Portraiture, Still Life, Wild Stream, Masks and Puppetry and the Spirit in their World.
In the Music course, students are introduced to the concepts of music, and experience performance through playing both tuned and untuned percussion, keyboard and guitar. Students have the opportunity to explore the culture and history of music while developing their musical knowledge through listening. Theory and composition are developed through the use of the computer notation programs Sibelius and Garage Band.
Elective Courses – Years 9 and 10
At St Joseph’s each of the three core arts, Visual Art, Drama, and Music are offered as a two year elective option. Huge interest in these subjects historically has produced multiple classes in each of the courses. The opportunities to display work and perform publicly is one of the tremendous strengths of all of the Creative Arts courses offered at St Joseph’s.
In the Elective Visual Arts course, students use the elements of design as they develop skills involved of drawing, paint, print, photographic ceramic and other 3D media. The student experience is related to the thematic areas of the Man Made and Natural environments, Still Life, representation of self and everyday objects such as food.
In the Elective Music course, students develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the musical concepts through performing as a means of self-expression, interpreting musical symbols and developing solo and ensemble techniques. Listening activities extend aural awareness and students develop the skills to communicate ideas about music in the social, cultural and historical context. Students explore and experiment with composition through traditional and non-tradition forms of notation as well as using the Sibelius computer notation program.
In the Elective Drama course, students use the elements of drama to create dramatic performances incorporating skills in movement, voice, improvisation and scripted drama. Students engage in group activities that are designed to enable the students to strengthen self confidence through enhancing performance skills. Students develop skills in problem solving as they explore Dramatic Forms of Improvisation, Playbuilding, Physical and Street Theatre, Ritual, Shakespeare and Theatre of the Absurd.
Senior Courses – Years 11 and 12
In the senior years, students have the opportunity to study one or more of the following courses:
- Visual Arts
Each of these courses offers students the ability to develop talents and skills that may lead them to a life of employment in the world of fine and performing arts or simply a life of enjoyment in the arts. Students in Creative Arts stage 6 courses regularly achieve outstanding results at the HSC level which is evidenced by nominations in Artxpress, Encore, and Onstage which are displays of the most outstanding works at the HSC level across the state.
The senior photography course is offered as a 1 year, 1 unit course for those students who would like to learn and develop skills in photography to support their own personal interests in this art media. The 2 year, 2 unit course is for the more serious, perhaps vocational orientated student. Many of the graduates from the 2 unit course have gone on to further studies and to become very successful in the photomedia industry. Specific topic areas include the Built Environment, Manipulated Forms and the Banal.
Extracurricular opportunities in the Creative Arts
There is a seemingly endless list of opportunities for students to participate and strengthen their skills in the performing and visual arts. St Joseph’s has a long history of involvement in Musical Productions, and previously in Rock Eisteddfods. In 2016 the school Musical team performed a week long season of the fresh & vivid musical “Hairspray”.
Opportunities for students exist through initiatives such as:
- School Choir
- School Band
- School Liturgies
- School Musicals
- Drama Workshops
- Access to Visual Art Rooms, Drama Studio and Music Rehearsal spaces at lunch times
- St Joseph’s Showcase
- Kiama Showground Pavilion Year 9 and 10 display and performance night
- Links with the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music