The Arts

Our Focus

The arts program at St. Joseph’s really encompasses the concept that the arts are powerful forms of expression that recognise, value, and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand. We understand the need for students to be able to express themselves in a variety of different ways which can include movement, sound, and image. 


NZ curriculum

The Arts programs at St. Joseph’s directly aligns with the NZ Math curriculum and learning area structure, with some variations in implementation. 

“The arts learning area comprises four disciplines: dance, drama, music – sound arts, and visual arts. Within each, students develop literacies as they build on skills, knowledge, attitudes, and understandings at each of the eight levels of the curriculum. Through arts practices and the use of traditional and new technologies, students’ artistic ideas are generated and refined through cycles of action and reflection.

Each discipline is structured around four interrelated strands: Understanding the Arts in Context, Developing Practical Knowledge in the arts, Developing Ideas in the arts, and Communicating and Interpreting in the arts. The achievement objectives for each discipline reflect its distinct body of knowledge and practices. By building on and revisiting learning from previous levels, arts programmes in each discipline provide progressions of learning opportunities in all four strands. This spiral process ensures that students’ learning is relevant, in-depth, and meaningful.” 

  -New Zealand Curriculum Online


Visual Arts

“In visual arts education, students develop visual literacy and aesthetic awareness as they manipulate and transform visual, tactile, and spatial ideas to solve problems. They explore experiences, stories, abstract concepts, social issues, and needs, both individually and collaboratively. They experiment with materials, using processes and conventions to develop their visual enquiries and create both static and time-based artworks. They view artworks, bringing their own experiences, sharing their responses, and generating multiple interpretations. 

The visual arts develop students’ conceptual thinking within a range of practices across drawing, sculpture, design, painting, printmaking, photography, and moving images. Art history may include a study of theories of the arts, architecture, and design. Theoretical investigations also inform practical enquiry. Opportunities to explore and communicate in the visual arts continue to expand as technologies and multi-disciplinary practices evolve.” – NZ Curriculum

What should your child be able to know /do when it comes to visual arts? Access to the Visual Arts website, which includes level achievement outcomes and online resources to help further your child’s skill and engagement can be found here: Visual Arts Online.

Music- Sound Arts

“In music education, students work individually and collaboratively to explore the potential of sounds and technologies for creating, interpreting, and representing music ideas. As they think about and explore innovative sound and media, students have rich opportunities to further their own creative potential.”  – NZ Curriculum

What should your child know/do when it comes to music instruction? Access to the Music-Sound Arts website, which includes level achievement outcomes and online resources to help further your child’s skill and engagement can be found here: Music- Sound Arts Online

There are a number of ways students can get involved with Music at St. Joseph’s:

  • Regular classroom instruction. As per NZ Curriculum, students will develop literacies in music as they listen and respond, sing, play instruments, create and improvise, read symbols and notations, record sound and music works, and analyse and appreciate music. This enables them to develop aural and theoretical skills and to value and understand the expressive qualities of music. Students take Music class regularly throughout their weekly schedule. 
  • Extracurricular projects- Students can also participate in the Sound Arts outside of classroom instruction while still representing St. Joseph’s. This year we have a band heading to Bandslam 2021. Bandslam 2021  is a music competition for intermediate students from all over the Waikato region. We have 5 students entering the competition as part of the band “The Rhythmic Goats”!
  • Ciaran Whaley- Drums/vocals
  • Alex Johnston- Keyboards/vocals
  • Toby Monsma- Guitar/vocals
  • Ava Moore- Lead Vocals
  • Eva Conlon- Lead Vocals


They performed Friday, August 6th at Activate Church and did an amazing job!


  • Special performances- students will often be presented with opportunities to perform either for their fellow students, other schools or out in the community. For example, here are the Junior and Middle Syndicates performing with the school band last year (2020) in the Church for the New Entrant Liturgy:  Click Here.

Other Notable Performances:

Performing Arts

“Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God.”

This year’s feature production will be…The Show!! It showcases all Year 7 & 8 students as well as the Junior Choir. Break a leg St. Joseph’s thespians! 


“Drama expresses human experience through a focus on role, action, and tension, played out in time and space. As students work with drama techniques, they learn to use spoken and written language with increasing control and confidence and to communicate effectively using body language, movement, and space. As they perform, analyse, and respond to different forms of drama and theatre, they gain a deeper appreciation of their rich cultural heritage and language and new power to examine attitudes, behaviours, and values.” – NZ Curriculum

What should your child know/do when it comes to Drama practice? Access to the Drama Online website, which includes level achievement outcomes and online resources to help further your child’s skill and engagement can be found here: Drama Online

While students don’t explicitly take Drama classes during their regular classroom instruction, dramatic elements are incorporated through cross-curricular instruction and are often used during religious education, social sciences and during special school events. During dramatic performances, meaning and emotion can be conveyed visually and further help with understanding of certain subject matter. 



“Dance is expressive movement that has intent, purpose, and form. In dance education, students integrate thinking, moving, and feeling. They explore and use dance elements, vocabularies, processes, and technologies to express personal, group, and cultural identities, to convey and interpret artistic ideas, and to strengthen social interaction.” – NZ Curriculum