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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 (7-10). 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.

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.

Curriculum planning

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.

Indicative Progress

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.

An 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

Dance: Primary (docx - 57.42kb) | Secondary (docx - 53.34kb)

Drama: Primary (docx - 29.27kb) | Secondary (docx - 27.88kb)

Media Arts: Primary (docx - 30.02kb) |  Secondary (docx - 28.16kb)

Music: Primary (docx - 28.88kb) | Secondary (docx - 26.8kb)

Visual Arts: 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.

External resources

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:



Media Arts


Visual Arts

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).

What are the central concepts that underpin The Arts learning area 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 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.

The 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 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.


Contact us

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