Posted by The Leader
on 8 November 2019
More students are taking on hands-on electives in the HSC this year, and at one Sutherland Shire school, the proof is in the pudding and the paintbrush.
HSC figures show that in 2019, visual arts has trumped physics out of the top 10 most popular subjects.
Students are also eyeing jobs in food service, with hospitality being twice as popular as any other vocational education and training course.
At De La Salle Senior Cronulla Cronulla, some year 12 classrooms look more like kitchens or art studios.
The statewide statistics ring true at the school, with many students choosing to balance academic subjects with a more creative churn.
Head of visual arts Byron Hurst says the school keeps up interest in creative subjects through excursions overseas. Teachers also invite established artists including Archibald finalist Alexander McKenzie to be mentors.
"Art has been pretty steady at our school," Mr Hurst said. "I've had cohorts in the 30s across the past decade. The numbers have always been solid. Other humanities have waxed and waned and haven't grown as consistently.
"We took students to Italy and Greece this year, and we've always had help from local artists. Kids also like to see things like ARTEXPRESS at Hazelhurst and Art Rules, where people put their work out there."
He says the rise of social media is also a big influence.
"Lots of kids get into art because there's more of a creative cyberspace these days - more than any other time in history. It's all about visual literacy with Instagram and Facebook," he said.
(Source: Creating careers: De La Salle Senior College Cronulla visual art students Adrian Lalic and Jasmine Cruise with hospitality students Tayla Kiss and Michael Hughes. Both subjects have jumped in popularity this year. Picture: Chris Lane)