Creative Arts

Visual Art

The Visual Art Department offers courses from Year 7 to 13. Students learn such skills as observational drawing, colour mixing, paint techniques, printmaking, mixed media and the role of chance in art making.

Maori, Pasifika, New Zealand European and international artists’ work is modelled throughout all levels to influence student work and provide a broader context to the student’s own art making. Group and individual evaluation of artists and student work, helps to build the level of critical thinking required for Art at Senior level.

Currently, Painting is the only pathway offered at NCEA level. Photography may be reintroduced in the future. There is an active Scholarship programme in Visual Art and Senior students receive advice and guidance about tertiary Art options and art related areas of employment. Secondary school art training helps students develop creative problem-solving skills which can be applied to other disciplines.

Marcellin’s Visual Art department has a close relationship with the Wallace Arts Trust and the nearby Pah Homestead gallery. We take part in the Homestead’s Community Day, Culture Vulture event, and students are encouraged to enter the Secondary School Wallace Art Award. We are currently working with the Wallace Trust to organise loans of art works to be installed around the school. Field trips and gallery visits to the wider Auckland arts community are organised in Terms One and Two. In Term Four, a Year 7-10 student art exhibition is mounted in conjunction with a dance, music and drama showcase.


Marcellin College offers dance at Year 7, 8, 9 and 10, and at NCEA Levels 1, 2 & 3, including scholarship.

In Dance education, students integrate thinking, moving and feeling. They explore and use dance elements, vocabularies and technologies to express personal, group and cultural identities to convey artistic ideas, and to strengthen social interaction.

Students develop literacy in Dance as they learn about, and develop skills in performing, choreographing and responding to a variety of genres from a range of contexts.

It is not necessary for students to have had previous training or experience in dance to take Dance as a school subject.

Dance at all levels involves:

  •        Learning different dance styles
  •        Choreographing dance
  •        Viewing and responding to dance works
  •        Developing performance skills

Course overview:

Dance at Year 7, 8 and 9 is a one term course that provides a general foundation in a range of dance contexts. All students learn skills in a variety of dance forms and have opportunities to choreograph their own pieces to given briefs.

Dance at Year 10 becomes a half year option course that allows students to further develop a general foundation in a range of Dance contexts. Students continue to develop both performance and choreographic skills to prepare them for Dance at NCEA Level 1.

Dance is a full year course at each NCEA level. It consists of 20-24 credits per level. Students gain credits by performing different dance styles and creating their own dance works in a variety of group situations. Most of the assessments are internal. In the external examination, students are required to respond to a dance performance which they will have studied throughout the year.

Students also have opportunities to learn from professionals in the Dance industry and attend performances throughout the duration of the course.

Performance opportunities:

There are opportunities for students at Marcellin College to contribute to the wider school life through various dance activities such as:

  •        SDNZ Mega Schools Hip Hop competition
  •        Polyfest                
  •        GenX Unleashed
  •        Stand Up Stand Out
  •        Productions/Musicals                                                                          

There are a number of performance opportunities throughout the year for Dance students to display their work. These include:

  •        Dance department showcase
  •        Open days
  •        Year 7 – 10 Performing Arts evening
  •        YouDance

Where does dance lead?

Dance is an approved University Entrance (UE) subject.

Some establishments that offer Dance as a tertiary subject are:

  •        University of Auckland
  •        Unitec
  •        Manukau Institute of Technology
  •        New Zealand School of Dance
  •        NASDA
  •        University of Waikato

Possible career paths in Dance could be:

  •        Professional dancer
  •        Choreographer
  •        Dance therapist
  •        Dance educator


SDNZ Mega Schools


“Drama expresses human experience through a focus on role, action and tension, played out in time and space. In drama education, students learn to structure these elements and to use dramatic conventions, techniques and technologies to create imagined worlds.” (The New Zealand Curriculum 2007, pg 20)

In Drama students learn to co-operate with others, to respect the ideas and backgrounds of others and to support others. Students who study Drama learn about responsibility and meeting deadlines as well as effective ways of communicating using the written and spoken word in combination with effective body language and non-verbal communication.

The Drama Department offers courses at Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Courses focus on the four strands of the Drama Curriculum: Understanding Drama in Context, Developing Practical Knowledge, Developing Ideas and Communicating and Interpreting.

Drama students gain invaluable performance experience in both curricular and co-curricular areas. Year 10 students are given an opportunity to perform a short production to an audience of invited peers and teachers. Year 11-13 students have production evenings, during which each class performs a complete play to an audience of friends and family.  The Drama Department is also responsible for Marcellin College’s entries into the country wide Stage Challenge Competition and works together with the Music Department on School Musicals.

The Drama Department provides Education Outside the Classroom opportunities for students which involve visits to Theatres to view live professional theatre and workshops for students with theatre practitioners.

The College also holds an annual “Performance of the Arts” afternoon for students in Drama, Dance, Music and Art to display work and pieces from the classroom to the rest of the school.

Music / Pūoro

Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka awe awe te ao katoa.

Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.

The Music Department offers courses at Years 7, 8 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Courses focus on the five main learning areas in Music: performance, theory, historical knowledge, aural and composition. Itinerant lessons are offered in voice, guitar, piano and drums, with experienced tutors during school time.

Students of Music gain invaluable performance experience in both curricular and extra-curricular areas. The philosophy of the department is one of inclusion and growth through experience. We encourage student participation in Rockquest, Pacifica Beats, Play It Strange, Stand Up Stand Out, Caritas SINGout4Justice, and Gen X Unleashed competitions.

The Music Department is also involved in providing music for each of the four major masses per year, as well as for Senior and Junior Prize Giving.   

Senior Music students have two evening assessment evenings per year, whilst Junior Music students have the opportunity to perform in the Year 7-10 Performing Arts Show which is held across two evenings in Term Four.