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Stage 6

Visual Arts Preliminary and HSC (Elective)

An outline of this course is as follows:

  • You will learn to build your skills and abilities in the production of your own artworks culminating in a ‘body of work’ for the HSC.
  • You will learn to work in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics and digital media.
  • You will learn to develop meaning and focus in your work.
  • You will learn how to critically investigate works, critics, historians and artists from Australia and other cultures.
  • You will learn about the relationship between artist, artwork, art world and audience within the art world.
  • You will learn how to develop an informed point of view about art.

While the course builds on Visual Arts courses in Years 7 to 10 it also caters for students who have not studied Visual Arts in Years 9 or 10.

This course does count toward your ATAR.

Year 11 and 12 students will attend various Art Excursions  and Incursions with visiting artists, both in Sydney and on the Central Coast. This will greatly assist them in the study component of the course.


Assessment will be obtained by: making of artworks, use of your process diary, study of art criticism and art history.

Your HSC mark is made up of equal contributions from:

  • 50% Art Making – Body of Work and
  • 50% Art Criticism & Historical Studies – External Exam


Photography Preliminary and HSC (Elective)

An outline of this course is as follows:

  • You will learn how to use the pinhole camera, 35mm SLR cameras, digital and underwater cameras.
  • You will learn how to develop negatives and produce artistic and technically precise prints of a high quality.
  • You will learn safe and professional darkroom procedures.
  • You will learn how to use studio lighting and flash.
  • You will learn how to photograph images with a particular focus, eg portrait, sport, still life, landscapes, environments.
  • You will learn to develop and manipulate images using Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and After Efects creative suite programs as well as Apps on our devices that can assist in editing.
  • You will learn alternative photographic effects such as Sabittier, Lith, Cyanotype, Liquid light and Van dyke brown.
  • You will learn how to interpret and develop an informed point of view about photographs and photographers.
  • You will learn how to present photographs for exhibition.

This course does not count toward your ATAR.

There is no HSC exam in this course; it is a Board Endorsed Course. Your final HSC mark is determined wholly by your performance on school Assessment tasks.

Students may be asked to fund the cost of presentation of a special personal body of work; otherwise costs are covered by school fees.

Students in Years 11 and 12 will attend photographic location shoots in Sydney and the Central Coast. Visits to exhibitions and photographer’s studios will be offered throughout the course.


Presentation of photographic images, and the study of photographs and photographers will be used to obtain an assessment mark.