Newcastle High School

Quality education in a caring environment

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Creative and Performing Arts

... logic gets you from A to B, imagination takes you anywhere ...

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. Students can then select from a range of courses in Years 11 to 12.


  • Develop critical 21st century skills: communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration
  • Engage and develop the creative side of the brain
  • Provide opportunities for students to build skills and knowledge that will benefit them long after school
  • Maximise problem solving skills with real world scenarios
  • Provide an ideal balance in a students pattern of study    


  • Art Masters Class (AMC) is a new initiative in collaboration with The University of Newcastle that targets Yr6 Students with creative arts skills and visual learning styles. Formed from the need of visual literacy in a highly visual world, these students form a Yr 7 class that follows the regular curriculum, but with creative learning opportunities along the way.
  • The Studio: Art Gallery featuring student work throughout the year.
  • Music, Art, Drama and Dance (MADD) night: Students exhibit their work to parents and members of the community
  • Stage Band, Jazz Band, Rock Band, Choir
  • Drama Class Events: Interclass Theatre sports challenge, HSC project display and performance showcase, Interclass film making challenge, Passion project performance and Peer teach challenge, Interclass preliminary rehearsal-in-progress demonstration and final performance.

Our Team

  • Neil Mahaffey  HEAD TEACHER
  • Michael Kondov ART
  • Gareth Lewis  MUSIC & Y12 YR ADV.
  • Paul Myers  MUSIC & Y9 YR ADV.
  • Kristen Hepple  DRAMA
  • Lizzy Carter  ART
  • Lorretta Swindale  ART


  • Art, Design and Photography Excursions: Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Express, Sydney Biennale,  Lake Macquarie Art Gallery, Museum of Old and New Art Tasmania, Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Taronga Zoo, Sydney CBD, IKEA and Luna Park
  • University High Achievers Program
  • Art, Design and Photography Competitions: Young Archibald, Moran Photographic Prize, Adobe Design Awards
  • Music Excursions: Bandfest, Showband Ensemble, Private Music Tutoring,  Bandwidth, Reprise, HSC Music day, HSC Prep Day at the Newcastle Conservatorium and Music Nights at the Wicko
  • Drama Excursions: Annual Onstage HSC Showcase, Annual Capitol Theatre CAPA Excursion, Sydney Theatre Experience, State Drama Camp, Real Film Festival and That’s the Ticket; live filming experience at Fox Studios


STAGE 4: Y7 & Y8

  • Y7: Visual Arts, Art Masters Class, Music and AV Club
  • Y8: Visual Arts, Visual Design, Music,  Photographic and Digital Media, Mastery Drawing, Drama, AV Club and Passion Electives

STAGE 5: Y9 & Y10

  • Y9 & Y10: Visual Arts, Visual Design, Photographic and Digital Media, Music, Drama and Lights Camera Action

STAGE 6: Y11 & Y12

  • Y11 & Y12: Visual Arts, Visual Design, Music 1, Drama, Music, Photography Video and Digital Imaging, Visual Arts and Visual Design