In the Visual Arts, our learning culture is geared around developing our technical disciplines in order to enable our creative capacities. Our programs from Years 1-12 seek to impart not only an authentic passion for art, but a rich “vocabulary” with which our students can create it.

  • In Primary, our courses are geared towards exploratory  and experiential  interactions with a broad range of materials, techniques and ideas.

  • In Years 7 and 8, the course becomes a vehicle for establishing foundational targeted skills and knowledge that introduce students to new modes of art making and thinking and build upon the creative thinking  and learning in the Primary program.

  • The elective programs in Years 9 and 10 then extend these foundations by exploring content with a more immersive  focus. Students work towards mastering  technical skills and exploring and responding to more complex concepts.

  • In Years 11 and 12, the Visual Arts course takes a very different tack. Instead of building upon prior knowledge and experience, students in the Preliminary and HSC courses address content and structure in a more autonomous way. They are challenged with driving their own creative authorship, culminating with a full body of work submitted for their HSC. 

 about 

When we think creatively about something, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer  (Elliot W. Eisner). 

Effective learning in the Visual Arts requires students to balance what can at times seem like entirely opposite approaches:

  • THOUGHTFUL PROCESS is the understanding of how materials, techniques, aesthetics and ideas have been organised into a structured form throughout history and across cultures. Students need to explore these disciplines in the art practice of others and then apply them to their own art making and critical thinking.

  • Conversely, Visual Arts asks students to be SPONTANEOUS in their INNOVATIVE conceptual practice. This promotes creative and alternative approaches to solving problems. When this is complemented by a reflective and evaluative process; innovation happens. 

  • Although the study of Art through history can present the artist as sole author and “genius”, CREATIVE COLLABORATION is a vital skill in Visual Arts learning. Students deconstruct traditional notions of authorship and explore how contemporary environments and cultures have made collaboration an intrinsic element of the Art world and the creative process.

Emanuel School Visual Arts 

contemporary visual practice underpinned by our understanding of the past