The Arts: Curriculum area advice
Introducing the curriculum
The Victorian Curriculum Arts includes six disciplines: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design. Each Arts discipline in the Victorian Curriculum has content descriptions and achievement standards, focusing on its own practices, terminology and unique ways of looking at the world. This structure is different to the AusVELS Arts curriculum that provides one standard to be applied to all disciplines.
The inclusion of the Visual Communication Design Levels 7–10 reflects a particular Victorian approach to the Arts, ensuring students have the necessary content and skills to pursue further study in this discipline in senior secondary years.
The Victorian Curriculum Arts is based on two overarching principles, students learn:
- as artist and as audience
- through making and responding.
A four strand structure has been applied to each of the Arts disciplines. For Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts the four strands are Explore and Express Ideas, Practices, Present and Perform, and Respond and Interpret. For Media Arts and Visual Communication Design the four strands are Explore and Represent Ideas, Practices, Present and Perform, and Respond and Interpret.
To view the Arts curriculum, please go to the
Victorian Curriculum F–10 website.
Whole-school curriculum planning plays a key role in enabling schools to deliver the F–10 curriculum for all students and reflects the decisions, resources and priorities of the school. As part of a comprehensive whole-school plan, schools are asked to consider the extent to which they have documented their teaching and learning plan for each curriculum area across the years of schooling to support a progression of learning.
More information and advice is available from the
Curriculum Planning Resource website.
An important aspect of curriculum planning is being able to articulate what student progress looks like, using the achievement standards in the curriculum continuum.
To support teachers to tie together what is being taught and how progress between achievement standards is described and demonstrated, the notion of "indicative progress" emerged.
Developing Indicative Progress descriptions during the planning phase will assist teachers to explain the learning expectations to the students, and assess and report student achievement.
Indicative Progress templates (below) have been developed for all levels/bands within each curriculum area, and are made available as:
- primary levels - covering Foundation level through to Level 7 or band 7-8
- secondary levels - beginning at level 6 or band 5-6.
This structure is to support planning with a focus on student progression along the curriculum continuum and encourage primary schools to explore the extension into higher levels and secondary schools to consider the lower levels to scaffold learning.
annotated example (docx - 56kb) is provided to assist teachers in visualising the steps in the process for developing indicative progress descriptions that link elements of consecutive achievement standards.
Indicative Progress examples will be provided during 2017. These examples are designed to act as stimulus material only and support teachers to develop their own descriptions relevant to the context.
Indicative Progress templates
Primary (docx - 57.42kb) |
Secondary (docx - 53.34kb)
Primary (docx - 29.27kb) |
Secondary (docx - 27.88kb)
Primary (docx - 30.02kb) | Secondary (docx - 28.16kb)
Primary (docx - 28.88kb) |
Secondary (docx - 26.8kb)
Primary (docx - 30.01kb) |
Secondary (docx - 28.25kb)
Visual Communication Design:
Secondary (docx - 25.48kb)
Curriculum mapping templates
Mapping identifies the extent of curriculum coverage in units of work and clearly links teaching, learning and assessment while working with the curriculum continuum. Mapping templates support teachers to identify where content descriptions and achievement standards are being explicitly addressed within the school’s teaching and learning program.
The Arts: Curriculum mapping templates
Assessment and reporting
The Victorian Curriculum F–10: Revised Curriculum Planning and Reporting Guidelines provide advice for Victorian schools to develop whole-school curriculum plans and to report student learning achievement. Specific sectoral requirements related to curriculum provision and reporting are the responsibility of and published by the relevant sectoral authorities.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10: Revised Curriculum Planning and Reporting Guidelines are available from the
Curriculum planning, assessment and reporting webpage .
Student work samples
Work samples illustrate satisfactory achievement in relevant aspects of the achievement standard. These are currently being developed and will be published during 2017.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture has existed in this land for around 50,000 years. The uniqueness of these cultures, and the wisdom and knowledge embedded in them, are things to be highly valued by all Australians. To this end, these protocols seek a way to protect the integrity of these cultural expressions and a way in which all Australians can engage respectfully and feel connected to this identity. The site includes links to a range of resources providing further information relating to working with Koorie and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
The Koorie Cross-Curricular Protocols for Victorian Government Schools
Please see the external resources lists on the following pages for more advice:
Visual Communication Design
Frequently asked questions
These frequently asked questions apply generally to The Arts. Please also refer to the specific frequently asked questions on the discipline pages (see links above).
Is the ‘Creating and making’ and ‘Exploring and responding’ structure from AusVELS Arts still central in the Victorian Curriculum?
Each Arts discipline in Victorian Curriculum is based on two overarching principles:
- students learn as artist and as audience
- students learn through making and responding.
The four strands within each Arts discipline involves both making and responding as they are intrinsically connected. Together they provide students with knowledge, understanding and skills as artists and audience. As students make they consider both the audience and their own response to their work and as they respond they draw on the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired through their experiences in making work and as audiences of other artists’ work.
Do schools have to teach every Arts discipline every year?
Schools are required to develop a whole school teaching and learning plan that enables the content of the curriculum to be delivered. How schools approach the development teaching and learning programs depends on local needs, priorities and resources. For example schools may choose to deliver intensive programs in a semester or term within a two year cycle for each discipline, and/or could choose to offer an integrated Arts program incorporating each discipline and this is delivered every week of the year.
Victorian Curriculum F-10 revised curriculum planning and reporting guidelines (pdf - 1,010 (pdf - 1,010.58kb) outlines the use of stages of schooling as the basis for curriculum planning and indicates that schools should provide a learning program that:
- pays substantial attention to The Arts for Prep to Year 2
- includes all five Arts disciplines across Years 3-4
- consists of at least two Arts disciplines, one from the Performing Arts and one from the Visual Arts at Years 5-6 and 7-8
- includes at least one Arts discipline in Years 9-10.
Can schools use specialist and/or classroom teachers to deliver the Arts curriculum?
The delivery of the curriculum is determined by the school and will draw upon the resources that are available.
The Arts subject associations provide a range of resources to support classroom teachers to develop and deliver Arts teaching and learning programs. Many cultural organisations also provide resources including online materials, professional learning programs, incursion, excursion and residency opportunities to support schools to deliver high-quality Arts learning programs. Refer to the external resources listed on this page and for each Arts discipline.
What is the time allocation for The Arts?
There is no mandated time allocated for delivery of the Arts curriculum. Schools can choose to make the Arts the central component of the learning program, provide continuous learning in one or more Arts discipline supported by shorter programs in other disciplines or to use a combination of incursion, excursion, online and/or artist-in-residence resources to deliver the curriculum.
What is the difference between the Australian Curriculum and the Victorian Curriculum in the Arts?
The content descriptions and achievement Standards in the Arts still bear a strong correlation to the Australian Curriculum, however they have been adjusted to address Victorian approaches. The inclusion of a Visual Communication and Design curriculum for Levels 7–10 is uniquely Victorian and reflects the need to support senior secondary pathways.
- The language in the Level Descriptions, Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards has been clarified
- A four strand structure has been applied to each Arts discipline in the Victorian Curriculum
- Each discipline also has additional information in the ‘Learning In’ section of the website. This assists teachers in understanding the specific concepts and nuances of each discipline
- New content descriptions and achievement standards have been placed at Foundation Level in recognition of the importance and emphasis of Arts learning in the early years
- There are additional content descriptions and achievement standards for Levels A – D, to cater for students with disabilities
What are 'viewpoints'?
The term 'viewpoints' is explained in the discipline specific ‘Learning in’ sections on the Victorian Curriculum website.
Viewpoints enable students to understand that meanings in artworks can be generated from different perspectives. These are based on the experience, values and beliefs of the viewer and the artist as well as the context in which art works are located. Meanings are informed by the contexts of societies, histories and cultures where artworks are made and exhibited. The questions that students use to make informed and critical judgements about artworks are informed by viewpoints.
Are there connections between the four Capabilities curriculums and the Arts?
There are strong connections between all four capabilities and Arts learning. Schools can design teaching and learning programs that combine the Arts disciplines with the capabilities curriculum. To progress students learning the curriculum needs to be taught and assessed explicitly. Whole school planning is essential to identify the most suitable approach to delivering the curriculum. The potential combinations of currciulum content needs to be considered to ensure that progression of learning is supported. The Arts provide for holistic learning experiences that can include the capabilities.
What is the role of ICT in Arts learning programs?
Use of information and communications technologies (ICT) is central to many forms of contemporary Arts practice in all disciplines. Schools are encouraged to explore ways of including use of ICT in Arts learning program along with more traditional forms and practices. This might include use of the internet for research and for distributing or responding to arts works; use of digital equipment for making and editing screen and sound based works, use of digital instruments, equipment and software in music performances; use of recording technologies or creating imagery and soundscapes for projection as part of dance and drama performances; and the use of tools such as class blogs/wikis for sharing ideas when planning and developing, evaluating or reflecting.
Performing Arts: Dance, Drama, Music
Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager
(03) 9032 1723
Visual Arts: Media Arts, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design
Kathy Hendy-Eckers, Curriculum Manager
(03) 9032 1697