Creative Arts as a holistic experience
The Creative and Performing Arts Department offers a broad range of creative experiences in the fields of Music, Visual Arts, Drama, Photographic & Digital Media and Dance. Our aim is to increasingly broaden the students’ exposure to expressive forms across each stage of the curriculum.
In the performance-based subjects, Music, Drama and Dance, the aim is for our students to become independent, confident performers with the capacity to engage in collaborative and composition experiences. These experiences are supplemented by a large variety of CAPTIVATE programs that are offered throughout the year. Penola has recently been the Dance HUB and has hosted a number of Drama and Music workshops in order to give our students the opportunity to work with students from other schools in collaborating on performances and improving technique.
In the creative-based subjects of Photographic and Digital Media, and Visual Arts, students are exposed to a range of material experiences as they respond to their world, their beliefs, raise issues and make observations. Our collaboration with internationally exhibited street-artist Johnny Romeo has allowed students to improve the quality of their work through a mentoring program designed to assist students who aspire to succeed in the HSC and beyond.
Dance, Drama and Music
Students in Year 7 and Year 8 Music learn to play the guitar, keyboard and the drums whilst studying Musical Identity and Popular Music. We have a great focus on Performance in Stage 4, encouraging students to perform in small groups and as individuals and explore a range of instruments by reading traditional and non-traditional notation methods.
Years 9 and 10 Music students engage in composition, aural, musicology and performance under a variety of genres including Australian Music, Rock, Popular, Classical, Jazz, Music and Technology, Music of a Culture, Music for Large and Small Ensembles and Music for Radio, Film, Television and Multimedia. Year 9 and 10 Drama students learn the elements of appreciation, theatre, composition and performance in a variety of contexts, styles and genres.
Year 11 and 12 Music caters for individual student needs by exploring the major components of aural, performance, composition and musicology within genres that appeal to each student’s interests. Years 11 and 12 Dance and Drama continue the exploration of theatre, appreciation, performance and composition both individually and within an ensemble. Senior students are given a number of opportunities to showcase their works at performance evenings throughout the year.
All music subjects are complimented by a peripatetic music program, which allows students to have group or private lessons on their chosen instrument within the school.
Visual Arts and Photography
Students in Years 7 and 8 Visual Arts are exposed to a range of materials in drawing, painting and ceramic media. In Year 7, students focus on their ‘identity’ through self-portraiture, they then move onto forging a connection with their local area through landscape drawing and painting.
In Years 9 and 10, students work in drawing and painting again, but with a focus on extending and refining their techniques and material usage. Students gain an exposure to photography, ceramics, jewellery, printmaking and sculpture. Students lean on a range of subject matter to master their materials. Landscape, Architecture and the Human Body become the inspiration for their Art-making and their Critical and Historical Studies.
Our senior students continue the Visual Arts Course with increasing levels of expertise in their material usage and independence in their Art-making concepts. By the HSC year each student is able to manage the decision making and skill entailed in producing a Body of Artworks. Senior students are also mentored by Johnny Romeo in order to get the most out of their major work.
Photographic and Digital Media students work across various forms of photography in Stage 5. The programs allow for students to work with film, the darkroom, digital photography and potentially videography. Subject matter is broad and crosses into areas of design and the visual arts in order for students to gain an exposure to the range of uses of photography in visual industries.