Curriculum and Learning

Creative Arts

What is creativity?

A noun;

  1. The capacity to generate ideas; things that have value to the individual
  2. Looking at things with a fresh eye; examining problems with an open mind; making connections; learning from mistakes and using the imaginations to explore new possibilities.
Visual Arts

In the SGHS Visual Arts Department we believe creativity is key to success in an ever-changing world.

The skills that you can learn in the Visual Arts help develop open minds, critical thinkers, resilience, problem solvers and imaginations.

With this in mind we strive to give our students as much opportunity we can to succeed in a creative way.

There is a range of art options students can select from Year 9 through to Year 13.

Each year the aim is to build on practical and critical thinking skills to create a natural progression across a range of art genres.


Year 7 and 8

Students come to the art rooms for a semester’s worth of art learning in Year 7 and then again in Year 8. We call this 7/8 Creative Space Exploring Art.

Students will gain practical art making and art thinking skills needed for taking art again in Year 9/10 learning packages. 

We aim to give students at this level a chance to explore art, enjoy the practical learning environment, make mistakes, test things out and be creative.

Year 9 and 10 – a range of creative Learning Packages

Art Worxs (AWX)

This course runs for a semester and focuses on traditional art making skills and thinking. Students generally create work in a range of media/mediums like drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Bring Out the Artist in Me (BAM)

This is a full year course that is recommended for year 10 students wanting to take NCEA Level 1 Visual Arts or students who are passionate about art. The students once again use a range of media/mediums like drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture but have the chance to do more in-depth learning and at times bigger projects. It is a course that has been designed to prepare students for NCEA Level 1.

Architecture and Visual Communication Design (AVC)

This is a design-based course that focuses on design principles and using at brief to design from. Students learn a range of skills that are both practical drawing/model-making and thinking skills. The class usually has one main project to focus on after learning the skills needed to execute this. An example project is designing a ‘She Shed’ or tiny house.

Digi Image (DME)

This course is a visual arts course that uses digital technology to create work. The students learn how to use computer-based programmes to manipulate imagery, create photographs and animations or designs. This class is taught in a computer lab and we provide students with a class set of cameras and the technology needed.

NCEA Visual Art/Design Courses

Level 1 NCEA:


Visual Arts

This is a course made up of NCEA level 1 Visual Arts standards where students create work in a range of mediums building on the art making and thinking skills used at yr9&10.

Digi Image

This course is made up of a combination of NCEA level 1 standards from technology, visual arts and Design and Visual Communication strands of the curriculum.

Design and Visual Communication (DVC)

This is a NCEA level 1 course that is design based. These students learn about design principals, development and refinement of ideas and drawing for design.

Level 2 NCEA:

At level 2 we offer a range of Visual Arts and Design and Visual Communication subjects. These can consist of Painting, Printmaking, Design, Photography and Design and Visual Communication. All our level 1 courses led into these.

Level 3 NCEA:

At level 3 we also offer a range of Visual Arts and Design and Visual Communication subjects. We also offer NCEA Level 3 Art History at this level. The subjects offered can consist of Painting, Printmaking, Design, Photography, and Design and Visual Communication.

All Level 2 and 3 Visual Arts, Design and Art History courses are University Entry approved.

We try to offer a range to allow for students to choose their strengths, but this can be based on numbers and teaching staff available.

Contact details

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