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Australian Curriculum: The Arts


There are many forms of art. In the Australian school curriculum, a decision has been made by curriculum authorities to focus on five arts subjects as the components of an Arts learning area.

The Arts learning area has five arts subjects:


Each subject focuses on its own practice, terminology and unique ways of looking at the world.  (

Content structure for the Arts curriculum

In the five arts subjects teaching the arts is focused on two inter-related strands:

  • Making – learning about and using knowledge, techniques, technologies, skills and processes to explore Arts practices and to make artworks

  • Responding – exploring, responding to, analysing and interpreting artworks

Together, the two organising strands, Making and Responding are intrinsically interconnected.In both making and responding to artworks, students consider a range of viewpoints or perspectives through which artworks can be explored and interpreted.Each strand provides students with knowledge, understanding and skills as artists and audience as they develop students’ skills in critical and creative thinking.

Why the Arts in schools

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts aims to develop students‘:

  • creativity, critical thinking, aesthetic knowledge and understanding about arts practices, through making and responding to artworks with increasing self-confidencearts knowledge and skills to communicate ideas; they value and share their arts and life experiences by representing, expressing and communicating ideas, imagination and observations about their individual and collective worlds to others in meaningful ways

  • use of innovative arts practices with available and emerging technologies, to express and represent ideas, while displaying empathy for multiple viewpoints

  • understanding of Australia’s histories and traditions through the Arts, engaging with the artworks and practices, both traditional and contemporary, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

  • understanding of local, regional and global cultures, and their Arts histories and traditions, through engaging with the worlds of artists, artworks, audiences and arts professions.(

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