Visual Arts & Design

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts course is concerned with the development of the pupil’s aesthetic sense and an awareness of the value of Art as an integral part of daily life. The pupil is guided to develop conceptual and practical skills, as well as a critical ability to understand and express opinion on Visual Culture Studies and artworks.

During the FET phase (Grades 10 – 12), pupils will experiment with various media and techniques with the aim to compile a portfolio of practical work in which their evolution as an artist is displayed. Emphasis is placed on the development of creative processes and conceptualisation skills. Exposure to, and exploration of, contemporary art making practices including printmaking, painting, drawing, photography and design are encouraged, avoiding prescriptive methods of expression, thus facilitating flexibility in choice of subject matter and means of expression.


Choosing Design as a subject can teach you very valuable skills that will prepare you for the world and a wide variety of careers in the future. In other words, Design can help to develop skills that will enable you to navigate a very complex world.

Many popular professions of today were completely unheard of 10 years ago. Just imagine what the career landscape would look like in 10 years’ time. We believe that there are going to be many more professions that we cannot even imagine today. Within the context of such an uncertain future it is vital that the new generation is equipped with skills that can empower them to manage complex and unfamiliar situations / conditions with more ease and confidence. We believe that Design and creative activities can be the vehicle to develop such skills that can help the future generation to manage an uncertain future.

Reasons to study design:

  • Design education provides a unique insight into the way the world works.
  • Design as a subject will help you to develop an understanding of the massive impact of Design on our lives and the world around us.
  • It does have the power to improve the life standards of people.
  • Design complements and enhances many other subjects.
  • Design education can strengthen and widen perceptions, observations, critical thinking, problem-solving and people skills.
  • Design includes investigations, explorations, evaluations, inventions and the ability to understand, develop and visually communicate systems, processes and environments.
  • Design education helps to meet the world’s demand for innovation.
  • Design education can help to develop a new generation of thinkers and doers with skills that can contribute to designing a better world.
  • Design education teaches you a mindset and attitude towards life itself that will empower you to reach new heights, make valuable contributions and bring about the necessary change

Major components of the subject:

Design Theory
As design requires a lot of concept development, the curriculum looks at issues such as the Design Process, Design elements and principles, and Design terminology. Design is also taught in terms of its context, both historically and on a contemporary level, local and international. Issues such as the environment, social and cultural awareness, recycling and marketing are studied.

Design History
The History of Design is studied from Ancient to Contemporary times. In Matric the focus is on the 20th and 21st centuries. In all grades, there is an emphasis on traditional and contemporary African/South African Design.

Design Practical
The Design Process is then applied on a practical level to designated projects. In this case the evolution of a Design is explored, from concept stage through to finished product. Learners in Ante Matric and Matric may choose to specialise in any of the four disciplines.

  • Communication Design (e.g. corporate ID, logos, advertising).
  • Product Design (e.g. furniture, dresses).
  • Textile Design (e.g. printing of fabrics).
  • 3D Design (e.g. architectural design, interior design).
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SA's Pioneers of Cognitive Education

Since 2009, Thinking Skill have been an integral part of the curriculum, preparing pupils for the challenges of higher education and life itself. We strive to prepare our girls to lead ‘life of significance’ in a world of exponential change. Roedean is the only school in SA to be accredited as a Thinking School from Grades 0-12.