BMS - BHS Curriculum Overview

New Jersey Student Learning - Standards Visual and Performing Arts

BMS Visual Arts

BMS offers art classes at all grades 5-8. Fifth grade students take art every other day for one marking period. Grade 5 students are introduced to the elements and principles of art through various projects and mediums. Sixth through eighth grade students may take art every other day for a semester. In Art 6, the elements and principles of design that were learned in fifth grade are reinforced and reviewed. Students work on furthering their drawing skills, and students are introduced to color theory. Art 7 students are introduced to painting techniques in both watercolor and acrylic paint and they research artists to reinforce their work. Art 8 is a studio-like class where students are presented with an artist and/or project and have the freedom to develop their own artistic path.

BHS Visual Arts

The arts are important to each person's overall education. They provide a distinct and vitally important way in which students learn  about themselves and about how that aesthetic, emotional, and kinesthetic self-knowledge fits into the worlds of school-based and  lifelong learning. Participation in the arts can make anyone more curious and more able to take the creative risks essential for success in their careers and their lives. Bernards High School offers programs in art and photography. The programs are designed  to encourage skill and to provide cultural enrichment and appreciation

These courses meet the Visual and Performing Arts Requirements which must total 5 Credits

Art I (semester) 

Art II 

Art III Honors

Photoshop (semester) 

Digital Photography (semester) 

Digital Imaging (semester) 

Photo Workshop 

AP Studio Art 

AP Studio Art 2-D

Global Artisans (Semester)

3D Sculpture & Ceramics (semester) 


This one-semester introductory art class is open to all students 9-12 and is a prerequisite for taking Art II. The students will explore the  basic fundamentals of various art mediums such as drawing, color theory, painting, graphic design and printmaking. The students are  required to maintain a sketchbook, and by the end of the semester, will have a 5 to 8 piece final portfolio. 


This full year course is open to all students 9-12, and is a prerequisite for taking Advanced Art. Art II explores further the basic  fundamentals of Art I, and includes more in-depth art studies and techniques. The students will explore further figure/gesture drawings,  two-point perspective, color theory, several approaches to printmaking, bookmaking, and graphic design. At the end of the course the  students will have an 8 to 10 piece final portfolio. The students are required to maintain a weekly sketchbook. The class will include  Art History lessons, films, visits by guest artists and representatives from art schools.


Art III Honors is open to all students in grades 10-12 who have completed the Art II course. This enables students to complete 3 years of study in art. Students work independently along with several weekly technique exercises. This honors level course will allow the student to  explore and expand their artistic abilities and creativity while exploring Art history and the events in the current Art world. At the end of the course, each student will have portfolio pieces. 


The Advanced Placement offering in Studio Art is intended for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of  art. It is highly recommended that students who select this course will have had previous art courses including Art II and Advanced  Art. This course involves significantly more commitment and accomplishment than a typical high school art course and is not for those  with a casual interest. Students will need to work during and beyond classroom time. The AP Studio Art assessment is not based on a  written examination but on the evaluation of two distinct portfolios that should reflect the quality and breadth of the work of first-year  college level students. Students will be expected to take the AP Assessment. 


This is a semester course open to all interested students. Students will become familiar with the skills necessary to pursue a career or  hobby in digital imaging and or graphic design. Students will learn the basic skills to use the Photoshop program. Basic digital camera  functions and importing digital images using Photoshop will be explored. The toolbar, layers, filters and masks will all be covered in  this initial course. Students will develop the skills necessary to put together digital layouts, learn the basics of digital retouching, create  black and white images, explore digital hand coloring techniques, and multimedia processing. Students will learn how to interface  images with the Internet, as well as advanced file management. Each student will develop a finished digital portfolio, as well as print  and display their work.


This is a semester course open to all interested students. Students will become familiar with the skills necessary to pursue a career or  hobby in digital photography, graphic design and the digital design field. Students will learn to utilize a digital camera, and learn the  principles of photography. Students will learn to use the digital SLR and studio lighting. Students will create and manipulate digital  images, and learn the fundamentals of composition and design. Students will develop skills to input and export media in a variety of  creative ways, create a digital portfolio and learn to communicate through the use of digital photography and multimedia processes.  Students will print and display their work. This course may not be repeated. 


Students will explore the areas of photojournalism, the business of photography, digital restoration, careers in photography and  portfolio development. The students will participate in "real life" projects during and beyond classroom time. Students will shoot  school functions and events for local non-profit organizations. The students will complete a final portfolio, participate and advertise  their own student show. This class will also include history lessons, films, presentations, guest artists and college speakers offering  guidance for possible career paths. 


Students can pick an area of concentration in photography and explore other artists that are in the same area, keep an ongoing journal log,and  shoot for a 30 photo portfolio reflecting their style. The students will participate in a photo show for their exam. 


This Advanced Placement offering in 2D Digital Photography is intended for advanced, highly motivated students who are seriously  interested in the study of photography. The course involves the development of an area of concentration in photography. The student  will be required to research and explore a specific area of digital imaging, producing a journal of work that develops into a visual  portfolio. The AP assessment will be based on the digital submission of this portfolio of work. The student will have to demonstrate quality and in depth concentration in an area of photography equivalent to the work of a first year college student. 


 In this elective course, students will learn the elements and principles of three-dimensional art and design. Students will discover the  connections between sculpture and other art disciplines as they relate specifically to three-dimensional art. Students will gain know-  ledge in additive, subtractive and assemblage techniques as sources of construction. The sculpture portion of this course will offer students  the opportunity to make art in-the-round and think through a multitude of materials in 3-dimensions. The ceramic portion of this course will investigate hand-built objects as well as their decoration and firing. This course is taught in both clay (ceramics) and mixed media.


 The designing and making of functional objects has always been an important aspect in our cultural history. In this course, students learn  to use the materials and techniques that have in the past been referred to as crafts as they learn the elements and principles of three  dimensional art and design. The goal of this course is to enable students to learn the concepts and skills needed to produce decorative  and utilitarian objects with aesthetic and technical proficiency. As potential artisans, students will also investigate entrepreneurship  opportunities. Students may research successful artisans from around the world as they learn about the possibilities for selling their  artwork as a hobby or potential career. 

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