In creative arts, students discover a variety of art forms through a study of dance, drama, music and visual arts.
Studying the creative arts, students learn to appreciate, compose, listen, make and perform. Each art form has its own unique knowledge and skills, elements or concepts as well as a capacity to inspire and enrich lives.
Students must study 100 hours of both music and visual arts during Years 7 to 10. They also have an opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills in other art forms through elective subjects including drama, dance, photography and visual design. Students can then select from a range of courses in Years 11 to 12.
Creative arts at Cessnock High School covers the mandatory course Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8), the elective courses Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) and Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12). As well as this, a Year 8 elective Ceramics class, Year 9 Photography and two Year 9 Visual Design classes operate. The programs are wide and varied catering to student interest and syllabus requirements.
A Gifted and Talented class is run by Ms Jones. This class hosts exhibitions at such venues as the Cessnock Library and works in an after school session, creating websites, drawing, etching and working in digital media, expanding graphic design and animation techniques.
Cessnock High has the sophisticated Adobe Photoshop CS4 program. Students learn to create art works using photoshop, animation and completing tasks using digital media. This places the school in the fore front of technology, giving art students every opportunity to be competitive in future job descriptions such as graphic design, advertising, marketing and all aspects of creative visual work.
The school library has a comprehensible collection of art books covering artist's practice, critical and historical referencing material which is continually updated with new publications and quality material. It is regarded as one of the finest school libraries in the region. Students are encouraged to make full use of this facility and art theory lessons are often held there. Indeed, the renowned Australian art critic, John McDonald, found his love of art in this library.
The major exhibition for Visual arts occurs in Term 3 when a large display represents the talent and scope of students work in MADD Night. The Mayor and Mayoress of Cessnock present their annual art prizes to the students on this night.
Excursions take students to the NSW Art Gallery and Contemporary Art Gallery in Sydney twice a year. There, art educators lecture on current exhibitions. These excursions are invaluable in that they provide a wide historical and contemporary view of Australian and International art and are in line with the NSW education syllabus.
In a world where our visual senses are constantly bombarded, Cessnock High offers students every avenue of understanding, appreciation, development and skills to meet the challenges of tertiary education in art and design courses, creative work placement and endeavours to foster the love of the Creative Visual Arts for a lifetime of appreciation and enjoyment.