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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

The NSW context and the Australian Curriculum: The Arts


The Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation to Year 10 is not available for implementation in NSW at this time.

Teachers of all Creative Arts subjects in Years 7–10 or of Creative Arts K–6, will continue to implement current approved NSW Syllabuses.

Teachers in NSW are reminded to refer to the following updates and memorandums to Principals released by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) for advice about implementation of curriculum in NSW.

NSW Syllabuses update – 30 May 2014

BOSTES released the following update (30 May 2014), advising that:

"Schools must implement NSW BOSTES syllabuses."

"The Australian curriculum in the areas of The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, and Geography are not alternatives to the NSW BOSTES syllabuses."

BOSTES Memorandum to Principals – 24 July 2013

BOSTES released a memorandum to Principals - Update on NSW syllabuses incorporating the Australian curriculum (24 July 2013), advising for Creative Arts subjects (and other K-10 learning areas not included in Phase 1), that:

"Any decisions about adopting the Australian curriculum, developing syllabuses, and planning subsequent implementation will be made only after thorough consultation with NSW stakeholders."

Joint Memorandum to Principals: Update on the Implementation of Australian Curriculum in NSW - 31 July 2012

In relation to new syllabus development for Creative Arts subjects in New South Wales, the Joint Memorandum to Principals Update on the Implementation of Australian Curriculum in NSW (31 July 2012) advises that:

"The Board will follow its regular cycle of curriculum evaluation and review which will identify priorities for curriculum renewal. When a current syllabus or learning area is identified for renewal the Board will take the opportunity to incorporate Australian curriculum content."

A brief history of the development of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts

A draft curriculum for The Australian Curriculum: The Arts was released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on 10 July 2012 and national consultation concluded on 23 September 2012. The draft can be viewed here.

A Revised Draft - that differed significantly to the previous draft - was then released on ACARA's website on 22 February 2013. The Revised Draft had no public consultation period. The Revised Draft can be viewed here.

NSW has provided significant feedback to ACARA at all stages of the development of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

Read the Executive Summary of the NSW Consultation Report, including a summary of Key Matters and Recommendations to ACARA on the BOSTES website. You can also download the entire Consultation Report.

NSW response to the Draft Shape Paper

Prior to developing the draft curriculum, ACARA released Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, a paper outlining the directions planned for the curriculum. The purpose of this document was to provide the purpose, structure and organisation to be evidenced in the final curriculum.

The Department conducted a comprehensive consultation for the Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts as part of the NSW response. You can read the NSW response to the Draft Shape Paper, published on the BOSTES website here.

You can also read ACARA's Consultation Feedback Report on the Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: the Arts on ACARA's website here.

Background reading

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is charged with the development of the Australian Curriculum.

BOSTES has developed NSW K-10 syllabuses for ACARA's Phase 1 subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and History. Information about the Australian Curriculum in NSW is available at the Australian Curriculum section of the BOSTES website here.

The Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians, developed by MCEETYA in collaboration with school systems sets the direction for Australian schooling for the next 10 years.

The National education and the arts statement is a document developed by Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) the Cultural Minister’s Council (CMC).

The National review of school music education and the National review of visual education are two national reviews which inform federal government policy and funding initiatives. These reviews provide a national view that does not necessarily reflect the New South Wales context.

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