Art Department

Welcome to the Visual Arts Department, the area of the school where individual creativity is embraced and nurtured.

A five-year course starting as a ‘half year’ option in Year 9 and full year programmes from Year 10 through to Year 13 and Scholarship levels.

We have a tried-and-true multi levelled programme that will help foster a student’s passion for creative industries, enhance problem solving skills and allow students to focus on becoming individual and creative people.

Year 9

The Year 9 programme is a skills-based course where students learn to draw and paint from basics through formal drawing and painting lessons. Students at this level will learn to create simple still-life drawings and paintings, learn monochromatic and full colour blending skills, create a series of local landscapes and a final project investigating ‘Pop Art’. This course runs for either terms one and two or terms three and four.

Year 10

The Year 10 programme has been developed and refined over many years to allow students to investigate current trends in visual arts and to look at practising, contemporary artists as a means of inspiration and to inform their own work. It is beneficial to have completed the Year 9 course prior to this, as students will start to choose their individual subject matter and use their artistic skills, they learnt in Year 9. Students will look at a range of international contemporary artists and model techniques employed by the different artists to discover new strengths and personalised creativity. The last part of this programme is to complete the research element of the first Internal Achievement Standard for Level One.

Course Entry Requirements 2022

Year 11
Has completed Art Option in Year 10 or at HOD’s discretion

Year 12
Has 12 credits in N.E.C.A Level 1 Art or at HOD’s discretion

Year 13
Has 18 credits in N.E.C.A Level 2 Art or at HOD’s discretion

Art Gallery

Returning students at this level will have already completed the research element of a 6 credit Internal Achievement Standard based on ‘Te Matau a Maui’ (The Hook of Maui). A Maori korero where Maui fishes up the North Island from his waka (the South Island). Hawke’s Bay is the fishhook in this korero and what the students will carve from bone. This unique and very special project was designed by St. John’s Art Department staff so students can learn about local area legends, some simple Te Reo Maori and turn their personal designs into a sculptured carving. When the carving is complete the students will then design their Taonga into a local landscape and complete a painting of this. The remainder of the year is spent working on ‘Individual Portfolio’s. This is the External Achievement Standard of the course and is worth 12 credits. Being an Achievement Standards based course, this allows students to be endorsed at Merit or Excellence levels.

AS Number  |  Achievement Standard  |  Credits  | Assessment Method

90915 1.3  |  Use drawing conventions to develop work in more than one field of practice  |  6  |  Internal

90916 1.4  |  Produce a body of work informed by established practice, which develops ideas, using a range of media  |  12  |  External

At this Level students are becoming more experienced with using a range of different artistic mediums and have discovered where their individual strengths lie. Most have clear ideas about the type art they like to create and they will start refining skills in particualr areas. The students will start the year off with a 4 credit Internal Achievement Standard that focusses on their personal art and personal artist models. Students have a lot of choice at this level and are encouraged to become creative individual artists. The External Achievement Standard is a two panel portfolio that the students will spend the remainder of the year creating and this is worth 12 credits. This can be used towards being endorsed with merit or excellence.

AS Number | Achievement Standard | Credits | Assessment Method

90476 2.3 | Develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice | 4 | Internal

91321 2.4 | Produce a systematic body of work that shows understanding of art making conventions and ideas within painting | 12 | External

This is the most challenging year for Art creation. When students reach this Level they are working at an incredibly high standard and creating some amazing pieces of Art. This level is started with a 4 credit Internal Achievement Standard that was designed by St. John’s Art Department staff to challenge students and forces them to take artist risks. Up until this stage students are able to play it safe and concentrate on learning to control different media and developing their individual skills and strengths. This Internal Achievement Standard was designed to take students out of their comfort zones and challenge new ways of thinking. This is used as a stepping stone into a very large External Achievement Standard project. For this, students will be required to create a three panel portfolio that looks to develop and refine work from a vast range of ideas. The students will spend the majority of the year on this project and all students will have the opportunity to attempt a New Zealand Scholarship in Painting. This is recognised by Tertiary Institutions as a Level 4 qualification and has financial benefits.


Scholarship Level

This is a very unique opportunity that is offered by the Visual Arts department and is aimed at the very top performers of visual arts. Their has been 10 Painting Scholarships in the past ten years and two of these have gone on to tour the country in the NCEA ‘Top Art’ travelling exhibition. This is an outstanding achievement from a small Art Department that is punching well above its weight. Work at this level is in the top 3% in the country.

AS Number  |  Achievement Standard  |  Credits  | Assessment Method

91451 3.3  |  Systematically clarify ideas using drawing informed by established painting practice  |  4  |  Internal

91456 3.4  |  Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within painting practice  |  14  |  External