The Arts

The Arts within the Australian Curriculum

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:
• Dance
• Drama
• Media Arts
• Music
• Visual Arts

How does Learning within and Through the Arts Benefit Students?

At the heart of all of the Arts areas, resides creative potential to express ones self. The Arts also offer opportunities for individuals and groups to explore a range of strategies that support learning within all areas of life. The creative process and creative thinking enables students to experience problem solving and build problem solving skills. By exploring the unknown, by experiencing unique ways of seeing, students are able to develop strategies to tackle challenges, integrate new knowledge with current understandings and build possibilities. These possibilities can shine a light on the road ahead and give hope and promise in ways that build resilience and confidence within all students. Learning within and through all of the Arts areas, provides students with a sense of responsibility and ownership over their learning journey. Students practice communication and develop skills in order to create Art in a broad range of mediums and forms of expression. Students collaborate and participate in risk taking in a safe and supported environment. Students learn ways to understand and overcome challenges, The Arts act as a framework in which confidence can be built and diversity celebrated.


Within the new Australian Curriculum, the Arts have been designed to be taught in an integrated way. With creative thinking at the centre of all of the Arts areas, students are supported to develop skills, understandings and knowledge within the Arts areas of Music, Dance, Drama, Media and Visual Arts. The Arts also have been intentionally designed to support learning through the Cross Curriculum Priorities.

Below: Excerpts from Chapter 3: The Arts and cross-curriculum priorities (Amy Hamilton)

‘The Australian Curriculum for the arts identifies three cross curriculum priorities. They are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and Sustainability. They are not intended to be taught as separate learning areas instead they explore relationships of subjects to one another.’


‘By learning to make and critically respond to art works children develop skills for the future in order to sustain arts practises and tradition as well as to prepare for future technologies. They develop skills to enhance broader understanding of sustainability and climate change through the arts as they learn about sustainable process in the arts and recognise social justice, healthy ecosystems and effective action for sustainability.’


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