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Achievement objectives

The curriculum specifies four conceptual strands for the arts. These are:

  • Understanding the arts in context
  • Developing practical knowledge
  • Developing ideas in arts
  • Communicating and interpreting in the arts

The arts are structured on the disciplines of:

  • dance
  • drama
  • music – sound arts
  • visual arts
  • art history.

Within each discipline, achievement objectives are identified for four interrelated learning strands: Understanding the arts in context, developing practical knowledge in the arts, developing ideas in the arts, and communicating and interpreting in the arts.

Developing skills, knowledge, attitudes, and understanding in one discipline does not imply a similar development in another.

Separate sets of achievement objectives for each discipline recognise that each has its own body of knowledge and means of inquiry.

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The achievement objectives represent key learning for each level and each strand. They are signposts guiding decisions around teaching and learning. Although they may be listed separately, they are intended to be interactive and mutually supportive of each other.

Key principles informing progression

Progression in the arts disciplines is informed by five principles. These principles, stated broadly below, can be applied and adapted to each discipline.

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Students revisit concepts and skills in increasingly complex and sophisticated ways.


Students acquire increasing control in using art forms as a medium of expression and communication.


Students move from exploring a broad range of arts experiences and practices to engaging in depth with more specific aspects.


Students become increasingly autonomous and self-directed and depend less on teacher direction and support.


Students are increasingly able to deliberate on and structure their works and articulate their thinking and choices.

Last updated April 8, 2021