The Australian Curriculum, The Arts comprises five subjects. The distinctive languages, knowledges, skills, techniques and processes of each arts subject in the Australian Curriculum is valued equally its own right. Through making and responding to arts works, students develop creativity and critical thinking, and through engaging with the worlds of artists, arts works, audiences and arts professions, they gain a deeper understanding of local, regional and global cultures. 

The Review identified a need to declutter the content of The Arts curriculum by improving the clarity of its structure and refining the content descriptions and achievement standards.

Australian Curriculum Review – the process

In preparing for the Review, ACARA:

  • considered the latest research and international developments; and
  • consulted with practising teachers, curriculum experts, key academics and professional associations.

We formed The Arts Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group to provide advice and feedback, with members nominated by state and territory education authorities and non-government sectors.

We also wanted a specific focus on primary schools, so we created the Primary (F–6) Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group. These groups helped give advice and feedback on how we could improve the curriculum for our youngest students.

From this research, teacher feedback and our work with the reference groups, we identified some key areas where The Arts Curriculum could be improved.

Download The Arts Consultation Curriculum

To give feedback, you need a copy of the proposed Australian Curriculum, which is available in three formats:

  • all elements
    • introductory information - includes the rationale, aims, organisation of the learning area, key connections and key considerations
    • curriculum content for all levels - includes year/band level descriptions, achievement standards, content descriptions and elaborations
  • scope and sequence - with achievement standards and content descriptions only
  • comparative information - showing the current and proposed revisions to content descriptions and achievement standards only.
You can access the primary level scope and sequence charts that combine all the learning areas and are presented by year level

How to have your say

Provide your feedback through our survey, which will ask you to respond to statements about the revised curriculum. You can see a copy of the survey questions before you begin to give your feedback.

For further information on the survey, including how to save and return to it, refer to the survey information sheet.

The consultation version of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts includes the following key changes:

  • The key ideas underpinning the current curriculum are recognised as the core concepts that underpin all Arts learning. The concepts are: learning by making and responding; and learning as artist and audience.
  • Separate Foundation year content has been developed to better support learning in the early years.
  • The threads used to organise content in the current curriculum have been refined and recognised as the strands. Together, these strands reflect critical aspects of artistic and creative processes.
  • Content descriptions have been refined to provide greater clarity to teachers about what to teach.
  • Achievement standards more closely align with the content descriptions.
  • Cognitive alignment has been strengthened between content descriptions and achievement standards.
  • Language and terminology have been updated and refined to minimise jargon and recognise contemporary arts practice and forms.
  • Content elaborations have been improved to show suggestions for authentic and meaningful alignment to general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities.

An important change in The Arts is the identification of content for the Foundation year, separate from Years 1–2. This content provides a clear set of expectations for the Foundation year and recognises the importance of play, imagination, curiosity and wonder in early years learning. It establishes the basis for learning in the Arts subjects from Year 1 and allows for improved alignment of content across all learning areas in Foundation.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts is written to provide teachers with flexibility to implement the curriculum in ways that will meet the needs of their students. This allows implementation by classroom and specialist teachers. It also enables schools to partner with arts and cultural organisations to deliver programs that complement teacher-led learning. A glossary and examples of knowledge and skills for each subject will be provided with the published curriculum to support teachers’ planning and implementation of the curriculum.

The different presentation of achievement standards is provided to support the different ways schools may choose to implement The Arts curriculum.

In The Arts, the learning area achievement standards provide a single standard for use in situations where the classroom program has drawn on content from more than one Arts subject. For example, a performing arts program may include content from Dance, Drama and/or Music, or a project-based learning approach may involve more than one Arts subject.

Content that aligns learning in The Arts with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority has been emphasised through additional content descriptions at F–6. Providing additional content descriptions means that this content is no longer an ‘add-on’ at the end of another content description. Directly connecting this content to organising ideas for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority helps clarify teachers’ expectations as to what should be taught and also provides guidance about ways to incorporate the content in learning programs.

Content descriptions with direct connection to the organising ideas for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority are also included at Years 7–10.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts includes content for the Foundation year and specific curriculum for each of Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts from Years 1 to 10. The Arts curriculum is written on the basis that all students will study The Arts from Foundation to the end of Year 8.

  • In primary school, the curriculum has been developed to allow for the study of the five arts subjects from Foundation to Year 6.
  • In Years 7 and 8, the curriculum has been written to allow students to experience one or more arts subjects in depth.
  • In Years 9 and 10, the curriculum is written to allow students to specialise in one or more arts subjects.

State and territory school authorities or individual schools will determine how the curriculum is implemented. There is flexibility for schools to develop teaching programs that may involve integrated units within The Arts and/or across the curriculum. Schools may also form partnerships with the arts industry to complement provision of The Arts curriculum.