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The Arts

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

Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.


Ngā Toi - Arts education explores and celebrates unique artistic expressions of self, community, and culture. It stimulates creative action and response by engaging and connecting imagination and senses in the forms of visual and performing art.


As students express and interpret ideas within creative frameworks, their confidence to take risks is increased and their personal wellbeing is enhanced.​ Students also learn to work both independently and collaboratively to construct meanings and create outcomes, while responding to and valuing the contributions of others. The various art forms enhance students’ experiences and build on these as their knowledge and skills develop.


Through the use of creative and intuitive thought and action, students in the arts are able to view their world from new perspectives and in the process of developing artworks, students are able to participate, value, and enjoy the arts throughout their lives.

The Arts or Expressive Arts, includes Visual Arts and Performing Arts. These subject areas offer our students a valuable opportunity to discover and develop their creativity on the stage or in the studio. Classes combine both practical and theory work, and subjects within Expressive Arts are available from Year 9 through to Year 13 and offer NCEA and Scholarship. Many students go on to tertiary study in both Visual and Performing Arts.


Howick College has a well-established Performing Arts Department which provides many opportunities for students to unleash their talents. Curricular Music, Dance and Drama are catered for up to Scholarship level.

In 2018, our state of the art performing arts centre was updated and renamed the Bill Dimery Performing Arts Centre. The refurbished building contains 8 studio rehearsal spaces, a large dance studio, a purpose-built recording studio, as well as 5 large subject specific classrooms. The music area also contains a dedicated senior composition lab. Two of the classrooms can be opened up to create an intimate performance space, seating 110. The building also contains a larger theatre venue which seats up to 400. The Bill Dimery Performing Arts Centre, hosts our major musical and senior drama productions as well as the annual dance showcase and various music concerts throughout the year.

In addition to extensive performance opportunities, students can also gain experience in directing and theatre design and technology, better preparing them for industry based learning experiences and pathways into this field, particularly relevant for our student technicians.

Howick College Performing Arts graduates have achieved great success within the entertainment and associated industries. We have various programmes in place, which connect our students with professionals in the field on a regular basis, including: Auckland Theatre Company, Massive Theatre Company, Otago University & Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ amongst others. ​


Drama enables students to be creative leaders and team players whilst being innovative risk takers. As well as providing a grounding for those who are going on to tertiary performance, it provides a wonderful opportunity for all students to develop resilience, confidence and a wide range of highly transferable skills. All senior Drama classes provide public performance opportunities through the year.

There is also a range of co-curricular opportunities for students to take part in, including but not limited to: the SGCNZ Otago University Sheilah Winn Festival, the major school production, NZ Showdown, and workshops with the Massive Theatre Company. 

​​​Where can Drama lead? 

Drama enables students to participate in a variety of drama performance (both scripted & self-devised), theatre design and technology, as well as script writing and direction. It allows students to continue to appreciate and enjoy drama as an interest or as a career.

The following careers have drama as an important component: 

entertainment, broadcasting, theatre performance, education, arts therapy, arts management, set and props construction (television, film and theatre), design for stage and screen, costume design and construction.



Music education provides students with many opportunities for self-expression and assists them to develop their full potential. It helps students make sense of sound and to appreciate the aesthetic qualities in the sounds of natural and technological environments. In music, students also learn unique approaches to problem solving through the active and reflective processes of both listening to and making music.


Music education enables all students to contribute to the cultural life of their school, family and community through the making and sharing of music. It also makes available to students a wide range of future opportunities in arts-related employment.

Where can Music lead?

Music enables students to participate in a variety of performance and composing situations and it allows students to continue to appreciate and enjoy music as an interest and/or career.


The following careers have music as an important component:

entertainment, broadcasting, multimedia production, education, musical instrument teacher, music therapy.​


Specialist Music Scheme​

As well as opting to participate in the many music groups and courses that are offered, students can choose to also take music tuition in the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, french horn, euphonium, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and voice.

The tuition is provided by professional teachers who come to the college each week. The lessons take place during school time in small groups on a rotating timetable so that students do not miss the same class each week. We have some instruments available for hire. Students taking Music as a subject get priority for lessons and we welcome both beginner and experienced players. There is usually more demand for lessons than there are places available, so a student's continued participation is dependent on their commitment and progress throughout the year. Enrolment takes place in the first two weeks of term one each year.



Dance is a vital and integral part of human life. It exists in many forms and styles and is practised in all cultures. Dance promotes personal and social well-being by developing students' self-esteem, social interaction and confidence in physical expression. It is an essential component of artistic, aesthetic and cultural education.


In Dance, students learn the basic principles, concepts and practices of dance through practical experience and theoretical study.

Where can Dance lead? 

Dance is helpful in any career as it gives you the confidence to present information in front of an audience and teaches you to work as a team member.


The following careers have Dance as an important component:

studio dance teacher, professional dancer, choreographer and the performing arts industry in general. A school background in Dance is also useful for any person wishing to train as secondary, primary, or early childhood teacher.

Performing Arts


The Visual Arts enable students to participate in a variety of creative processes that explore art practical, painting, photography, design and sculpture while also allowing students to continue to appreciate and enjoy visual arts as an interest or as a career.

The following careers have Visual Arts as an important component:

advertising and marketing, illustrators, designers, researchers, photographers, web developers, education, arts therapy, ECE, professional fine artist, sculptor, gallery curator, exhibition developer.

Visual Arts
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