The Arts (Visual & Performing)

Welcome to The Arts department, the creative centre of Opunake High School. Bringing together the visual and performing arts, students at Ōpunakē High School can access everything from paint to print, photography to illustration, drama, music, instruments and much more. Both the art room and newly renovated music space are non-stop, art-making, music-creating, drama-dreaming machines – check out our progress on Facebook & Instagram @opunakehs_arts

Junior Arts

The current school-wide junior programme of 13-week modules has allowed the Art Faculty to develop a programme where students will work in one of the focus areas of Visual Art to gain understanding and appreciation for that particular skill.

Some of the modules we currently offer include Counterfeit Print – where students will learn printmaking techniques to make their own money (sadly, not legal tender), Distorted Selfies where students will explore, design and create a life-sized distorted representation of themselves, Snap Photography has a focus on exploring images through a camera lens and developing Photoshop skills, and we have a special year-long module – Media Superstars – where we mix learning from English, Digital Technology and Visual Arts as the students plan, write, create and produce content for our website, Facebook, YouTube, newsletter and yearbook.

Art should be fun, and the goal of the Art Faculty for Year 9 & 10 students is enjoy and experiment with as many different aspects of the visual arts as possible in order to get the broadest learning experience possible before opting to take Visual Art at a senior level.

Charlotte busy completing her tiki as part of the Junior Art, Mask module.

Senior Art

Our Senior Art programme has been designed with the student in mind. From Year 11 to 13, senior art is a journey for our students; firstly to explore and develop practical skills and knowledge; secondly to discover the artists and genres of art they most enjoy and identify with; and thirdly for our students to establish what their own particular style of art is; with the overall aim for all students to combine this learning and achieve academic success.

Senior Art isn’t always the easiest subject and can feel very time consuming, it takes a year long commitment to complete a body of work and submit it to external moderation as a portfolio, despite this, it is one of the most rewarding subjects as often students discover as much about themselves as they do about art.

Year 11 students will work across five focus areas of Visual Art (paint, print, sculpture, design & photography). In Year 12 & 13 the focus of visual art tends to more specialised towards painting, with some students opting to focus on print or art design. We also have photography available at Year 1& 13.

Tanaia Pape-Tohaia's Level 3 Portfolio awarded a Merit.

Senior Photography

Since 2018, Opunake High School has offered Photography at Year 12 & 13. Ideally students would choose photography having taken junior Art and Year 11 art courses, although not having taken art earlier isn’t a barrier to success. Over two senior years, students will look at different photographic conventions, learn how to use a DSLR camera, and learn how to the Adobe Creative range of products (Photoshop, Illustrator) to enhance and present their work.

Like senior art, photography students should have an eye for taking photos (they probably have a great Instagram) – they will learn practical skills and knowledge, the manage themselves and others to produce photoshoots, they learn to develop and idea or concept – often to present a message, and students will also present a portfolio for external moderation.

Photographing the photographer