Introduction to the Australian Curriculum: The Arts

In the Australian Curriculum, the Arts is a learning area that draws together related but distinct art forms. While these art forms have close relationships and are often used in interrelated ways, each involves different approaches to arts practices and critical and creative thinking that reflect distinct bodies of knowledge, understanding and skills. The curriculum examines past, current and emerging arts practices in each art form across a range of cultures and places.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation to Year 10 comprises five subjects:

Each subject focuses on its own practices, terminology and unique ways of looking at the world.

In Dance, students use the body to communicate and express meaning through purposeful movement. Dance practice integrates choreography, performance, and appreciation of and responses to dance and dance making.

In Drama, students explore and depict real and fictional worlds through use of body language, gesture and space to make meaning as performers and audience. They create, rehearse, perform and respond to drama.

In Media Arts, students use communications technologies to creatively explore, make and interpret stories about people, ideas and the world around them. They engage their senses, imagination and intellect through media artworks that respond to diverse cultural, social and organisational influences on communications practices today.

In Music, students listen to, compose and perform music from a diverse range of styles, traditions and contexts. They create, shape and share sounds in time and space and critically analyse music. Music practice is aurally based and focuses on acquiring and using knowledge, understanding and skills about music and musicians.

In Visual Arts, students experience and explore the concepts of artists, artworks, world and audience. Students learn in, through and about visual arts practices, including the fields of art, craft and design. Students develop practical skills and critical thinking which inform their work as artists and audience.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation to Year 10 enables exploration of the dynamic relationships between Arts subjects. This can involve students making and responding to artworks in traditional, contemporary and emerging forms, using materials, techniques and technologies from one Arts subject to support learning in another. In this twenty-first century Arts curriculum, students explore innovative and hybrid art forms which extend and challenge art making and combine practices of two or more art forms.

Within all Arts subjects, design facilitates the creative and practical realisation of ideas. Design thinking is a fundamental strategy in the experimentation, refinement and resolution of an artwork and takes into account logical, critical and aesthetic considerations. Many different words describe design within the Arts such as choreographing, narrating, devising, constructing, composing and sculpting. Design connects the different art forms so that they inform each other, providing possibilities for students to create innovative and hybrid forms of art.


Back to top