Content Structure

The Arts learning area comprises five subjects: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts.

The Arts curriculum is written on the basis that all students will study at least two Arts subjects from Pre-primary to the end of Year 8. It is a requirement that students study a performance subject and a visual subject.

In Years 9 and 10 the study of the Arts is optional.

In the Arts, it is desirable that schools provide students with the opportunity to engage with all five Arts subjects across Pre-primary to Year 10.

Each of the five Arts subject is organised into two interrelated strands: Making and Responding.


Making in each Arts subject engages students' cognition, imagination, senses and emotions in conceptual and practical ways and involves thinking kinaesthetically, critically and creatively. Students develop knowledge and skills to plan, produce, present, design and perform in each arts subject independently and collaboratively. Students work from an idea, an intention, particular resources, an imaginative impulse, or an external stimulus.

Part of making involves students considering their work in the Arts from a range of points of view, including that of the audience. Students reflect on the development and completion of making in the Arts.


Responding in each Arts subject involves students reflecting, analysing, interpreting and evaluating in the Arts. Students learn to appreciate and investigate the Arts through contextual study. Learning through making is interrelated with, and dependent upon, responding. Students learn by reflecting on their making and responding to the making of others. The points of view students hold, shift according to different experiences in the Arts.

Students consider the Arts' relationships with audiences. They reflect on their own experiences as audience members and begin to understand how the Arts represent ideas through expression, symbolic communication and cultural traditions and rituals. Students think about how audiences receive, debate and interpret the meanings of the Arts.

Relationships between the strands

Making and Responding are intrinsically connected. Together they provide students with knowledge and skills as practitioners, performers and audience members and develop students' skills in critical and creative thinking. As students make in the Arts, they actively respond to their developing work and the works of others; as students respond to the Arts, they draw on the knowledge and skills acquired through their experiences to inform their making. 

Year level descriptions

Year level descriptions provide an overview of the key concepts addressed, along with core content being studied at that year level. They also emphasise the interrelated nature of the two strands and the expectation that planning will involve integration of content from across the strands.

For the five Arts subjects, the year level description includes forms, genres, styles, contexts, materials, practices and/or elements relevant to each Arts subject that informs approaches to teaching and learning in the Arts.

Content description

Content descriptions set out the knowledge, understanding and skills that teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. They do not prescribe approaches to teaching. The core content has been written to ensure that learning is appropriately ordered and that unnecessary repetition is avoided. However, a concept or skill introduced at one year level may be revisited, strengthened and extended at later year levels as needed.

Additional content descriptions are available for teachers to incorporate in their teaching programs. Schools will determine the inclusion of additional content, taking into account learning area time allocation and school priorities.

The additional content will not be reflected in the Achievement Standard.

Achievement standards

From Pre-primary to Year 10, achievement standards indicate the quality of learning that students should typically demonstrate by a particular point in their schooling. An achievement standard describes the quality of learning (e.g. the depth of conceptual understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well-placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.


A glossary is provided to support a common understanding of key terms and concepts included in the core content.

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