Year 9 Electives – Art


In Year 9 all students complete a core ‘compulsory elective’ – Art – but in addition, students have the opportunity to pursue particular interests through a range of specialised semester-long electives.  These electives allow students to spend additional time exploring a particular medium, hence developing competence and confidence in their ability to translate ideas into completed works.  In addition to Art the electives are:

  • Cool Clay Creations
  • Design Studio
  • Draw It! Paint It!
  • Photography
  • Textile Artworks
  • Visual Communication and Design

Course Objectives

  • To expand and improve aesthetic awareness and to strengthen individual creativity.
  • To reinforce awareness and knowledge of art elements and principles.
  • To observe how artists in various cultures and at various times have explored ideas and styles in their artworks.
  • To gain technical understanding and experience of art making processes involving use of a variety of media and tools.
  • Development of problem solving and decision making skills through the process of design work.
  • Development of research and art criticism skills and the use of appropriate terminology in discussing and writing about visual artworks.


In all of the Visual Arts subjects, criteria based assessment is applied for each exercise, allowing students to see the areas where they have done well or need to improve.  The areas of assessment include demonstration of skill in the use of appropriate tools and media, application of the design process in exploring and developing of ideas, and displaying creativity and imagination.  Art appreciation components of the subjects will be assessed by set written tasks.


This subject is a semester-long ‘compulsory elective’.

Students will continue to build foundation skills in two dimensional and three dimensional art including studies of the design elements through a range of compositions created in various media. Painting, drawing and mixed media sculpture will be explored.

Cool Clay Creations

Students will make functional and decorative three dimensional works in clay.  Hand building methods such as draping clay over a mould, coiling, rolling slabs and sculpting “in the round” will be used to form the artworks.  Surface decoration of these works will be explored with textural applications, oxides, glazes and underglazes.  A basic understanding of the firing process will also be part of the course.

Design Studio

Students will undertake a range of design tasks focusing particularly on publications or print media. They will work as a team, replicating the sort of roles held in a real design studio. They will participate in the tasks done by journalists, editors, photographers, and layout designers, as they report on events in the life of the school. Their work may contribute to the College yearbook, or the production of other magazine-like publications. Specific skills will be developed in the use of the Adobe design programs including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Draw It! Paint It!

This unit gives the opportunity for Year 9 students to experience art making techniques that are not covered in the core Art elective.  Students will learn new techniques in creating artworks, exploring and experimenting with a range of media:  paints, pastels and inks, etching and gouache art, acrylics and water colours.  This elective will directly benefit students in the mainstream art classes as well as those continuing Art in further years.


This unit has been designed as an introduction to photography with a manual SLR camera and the production of black and white photographs using the traditional darkroom process.  Students will learn about how cameras work, controlling the various functions of an SLR camera and how to produce a quality image through film development and darkroom printing.  Creative composition, lighting and image design will also be covered in this course.

Textile Artworks

This elective will give students the opportunity to creatively design and construct textile artworks.  Students will learn and apply skills in textile design, reading patterns, hand stitching and sewing machine use.  They will produce a cushion cover and a soft toy.

Visual Communication Design (VCD)

Students will be introduced to the basics of graphic design, encouraging and enabling them to become creative and successful designers.  Design elements and principles, technical drawing, typography, photography and design guidelines will be explored throughout a range of design tasks and projects.

Students will develop skills in freehand and technical drawing as well as the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to produce design works.  Through analysis of existing designs, students will learn about how design elements and principles can be applied to a design to achieve a particular outcome.

This subject should be taken by students who might choose to study Visual Communication and Design (VCD) in future years.

Assessment in this subject will include:

  • Knowledge and understanding of concepts relating to the design process.
  • Skill in the production of design works.
  • Skill in the production of technical drawing.
  • A comprehensive Visual Diary.