Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


You are here:

What are the arts strands about?

Ka Toi te uri o Mahara Pōhewa.

Art is the child of imagination.

The arts strands identify the skills, knowledge, and understandings that students develop through learning in the arts. The strands outline ways in which learning in the arts contributes to developing the key competencies, principles, and values of The New Zealand Curriculum.

The four arts strands

Each discipline (dance, drama, music – sound arts, visual arts, and art history) is structured around four interrelated strands:

The achievement objectives as expressed in each discipline reflect the distinct body of knowledge and practices of each discipline, while also articulating the relationship across disciplines and levels.

By building on and revisiting learning from previous levels, arts programmes in each discipline construct progressions in learning in all four strands. This spiral process ensures that students’ learning is relevant, in-depth, and meaningful.

The four arts strands define key areas of learning for each discipline. They are, by their nature, intertwined. Learning experiences may originate from any one of the strands and will often integrate learning through two, three, or all four strands. Teachers will connect and weave learning holistically across several or all strands.

Understanding the arts in context

This strand identifies students’ personal and collaborative experiences within the arts as culturally relevant and purposeful in terms of society, space, place, and time. It prompts students to connect their experiences to realising and questioning their place in local, Aotearoa, and global communities.

In understanding the arts in context (UC), students:

  • appreciate the arts as agents of change and as a unique means of transforming and making meaning of human experience and the changing world
  • identify, inquire, analyse, interpret, and code and decode arts
  • investigate how the arts have changed over time and how they impact on societies, human emotions, and identities
  • investigate how the arts influence the creative industries of the present and future.

Developing practical knowledge in the arts

This strand empowers students to develop theoretical and practical skills and knowledge and actively make connections between them. Making connections happens through planned, relevant, and purposeful arts learning experiences and through unplanned experimentation. Students make meaning from practical arts experiences as they individually and collaboratively construct new learning.

In developing practical knowledge in the arts (PK), students:

  • explore and experiment with the particular processes of creation and recreation in the arts
  • learn and use the languages, symbols, technologies, structures, practices, and processes of the arts, which support further practical and theoretical applications
  • engage with communities, practitioners, and audiences in an ako (reciprocal learning) relationship, by sharing skills and knowledge bases related to expressions of identity and creativity
  • challenge and apply new learning in diverse contexts.

Developing ideas in the arts

This strand allows students to express their personal imagination and developing ideas in and through the arts.

In developing ideas in the arts (DI), students:

  • explore the creative arts processes of invention as they generate, refine, clarify, and transform their ideas through ongoing cycles of action and reflection
  • build confidence and express intended meaning through their arts practices
  • share developing ideas with others to inform further learning
  • create unique arts works that reflect new learning.

Communicating and interpreting in the arts

This strand promotes and refines students’ opportunities to share and critically reflect on arts practices and works.

They evaluate their own and others’ embodied actions and responses within and through the arts.

Students actively communicate their artistic skills and knowledge as they present their own and others' artistic intentions.

They shape their understanding of how the arts are communicated and interpreted in past, present, and possible future contexts.

In communicating and interpreting in the arts (CI), students:

  • present their own and others' artistic intentions using conventions, technologies, practices, and refinements of particular arts practices
  • learn to view, interpret, and respond to arts works as presenters, as critics, and as an audience
  • challenge their own and others’ arts techniques and practices to inform further learning and interpretations of the world - past, present, and future.

Last updated November 22, 2011