Skip to Content

The Arts

The Arts banner

Sample map: Australian Curriculum – The Arts: Drama

Download full Sample map of Asia related content in Australian Curriculum: Arts (Opens in a new window) (PDF 378 KB) 

Foundation to Year 2

Level description

In Foundation to Year 2, students explore drama. They learn about how drama can represent the world and that they can make drama to represent their ideas about the world. They share their drama with peers and experience drama as audiences.

In Foundation to Year 2, learning in Drama builds on the Early Years Learning Framework. Students are engaged through purposeful play in structured activities, fostering a strong sense of wellbeing and developing students' connection with and contribution to the world.

Students become aware of role and situation as they listen and respond as fictional characters. They explore voice and movement to create role. They learn about focus and identifying the main idea of the drama. As audiences they recognise that the purpose of drama is to share it with others.

In the Foundation Year, students undertake drama suitable to their level of development.

As they experience drama, students draw on drama from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the drama and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and of the Asia region. While drama in the local community should be the initial focus for learning, young students are also aware of and interested in drama from more distant locations and the curriculum provides opportunities to build on this curiosity. Students will learn that drama is used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for different purposes.

As they make and respond to drama, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements and social and cultural contexts of drama. They make simple evaluations of drama expressing what they like and why.

Students learn about safety in dramatic play and in interaction with other actors. They experience the role of artist and they respond to feedback in their drama making. As an audience they learn to focus their attention on the performance and to respond at the end of the performance. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Present drama that communicates ideas, including stories from their community, to an audience (ACADRM029)

  • presenting scenes in which they apply story structures to set the scene, link action and create an ending, such as a cultural or community story with the assistance of representatives from the community

Respond to drama and consider where and why people make drama, starting with Australian drama including drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACADRR030)

  • identifying where they might see and hear drama in their lives and community, for example, sharing experiences of attending drama performances or taking part in drama in their community, and considering how drama sustains and communicates cultural knowledge
  • Considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – Why are these people making drama? Where are they making drama?

Years 3 and 4

Level description

In Years 3 and 4, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to drama independently and collaboratively with their classmates and teachers.

Students extend their understanding of role and situation as they offer, accept and extend their ideas in improvisation. They vary voice and movement to create role when devising drama. They learn about focus, tension, space and time in their own and others' drama. They use language and ideas to shape dramatic action. They use story structures to shape drama for audiences.

As they experience drama, students draw on drama from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the drama and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and of the Asia region. Students learn about drama in their community. They also learn about drama from more distant locations that may be represented in their community. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama uses dramatic action and narrative structure to communicate ideas.

As they make and respond to drama, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements including voice, movement, situation, time and place, and tension. They explore social and cultural contexts of drama. They make personal evaluations of their own and others' drama.

Students maintain safety in dramatic play and in interaction with other actors. Their understanding of the role of the artist and of the audience builds upon their experience from the previous band. As an audience, students focus their attention on the performance and respond to the performance. They consider why and how audiences respond to performance. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Use voice, body, movement and language to sustain role and relationships and create dramatic action with a sense of time and place (ACADRM032)

  • experimenting with body language and gesture from different cultures and times

Shape and perform dramatic action using narrative structures and tension in devised and scripted drama, including exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama (ACADRM033)

  • exploring dramatic traditions and practices from one or more Asian societies in their drama

Identify intended purposes and meaning of drama, starting with Australian drama, including drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, using the elements of drama to make comparisons (ACADRR034)

  • identifying meaning and describing purposes in drama from different social, cultural or historical contexts
  • Considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – What features and ideas in the drama come from other cultures, times and places? How have you used these ideas and features in your own drama? Why do you think people from all different cultures make and respond to drama?
  • comparing the expectations and requirements of performers and audience in different cultural settings and applying learning in their own performances
  • examining drama in their community and comparing it to other drama of different people, times and cultures
  • Considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – What are the stories and the ideas in the drama you watch and listen to? Which of the characters do you identify with? What relationships and situations do you recognise (or not recognise) in the drama you watch and listen to?

Years 5 and 6

Level description

In Years 5 and 6, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to devised and scripted drama independently, and collaboratively with their classmates, teachers and communities.

Students develop character through voice and movement and extend their understanding and use of situation, focus, tension, space and time. They explore language and ideas to create dramatic action and consider mood and atmosphere in performance. They use conventions of story and other devices such as dramatic symbol to communicate meaning and shape and sustain drama for audiences.

As they experience drama, students draw on drama from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the drama and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn about drama in and beyond their local community. Students explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama develops narrative, drives dramatic tension and uses performance styles and symbolism to communicate ideas.

As they make and respond to drama, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements including voice, movement, situation, space and time, and tension. They explore the social, cultural and historical contexts of drama. They evaluate the use of elements of drama in drama they view and perform.

Students maintain safety in dramatic play and in interaction with other actors. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse performances. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Explore dramatic action, empathy and space in improvisations, play building and scripted drama to develop characters and situations (ACADRM035)

  • comparing different ways improvisation and scripted drama create characters and action, and evaluating drama from other cultures and considering how they can use specific techniques in their own work

Rehearse and perform devised and scripted drama that develops narrative, drives dramatic tension, and uses dramatic symbol, performance styles and design elements to share community and cultural stories and engage an audience (ACADRM037)

  • exploring and applying different performance styles, and drawing on drama from other locations, cultures and times as sources of ideas in their own drama, and considering any protocols for representing community or cultural stories in performance

Explain how the elements of drama and production elements communicate meaning by comparing drama from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama (ACADRR038)

  • talking and writing about drama from other places and times and how it might or does contribute to their own drama, and how cultural understandings shape meanings in drama
  • Considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – What are the traditions, customs and conventions of this drama? How does this drama draw from other cultures, times and places? How have you used drama of other times, places and cultures in your own drama?
  • identifying the features of drama from other contexts, including investigating traditional and contemporary drama from Asia

Years 7 and 8

Level description

In Years 7 and 8, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to drama independently, and with their classmates, teachers and communities. They explore drama as an art form.

Students build on their understanding of role, character and relationships. They use voice and movement to sustain character and situation. They use focus, tension, space and time to enhance drama. They incorporate language and ideas and use devices such as dramatic symbol to create dramatic action and extend mood and atmosphere in performance. They shape drama for audiences using narrative and non-narrative dramatic forms and production elements.

As they experience drama, students draw on drama from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the drama and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have converted oral records to other technologies. As they explore drama forms, students learn that over time there has been further development of different traditional and contemporary styles of drama, including contemporary styles developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dramatists.

As they make and respond to drama, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements including voice, movement, situation, space and time, and tension. They consider social, cultural and historical influences of drama. They evaluate the directors' intentions and expressive skills used by actors in drama they view and perform.

Students maintain safety in dramatic play and in interaction with other actors. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse performances. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Develop and refine expressive skills in voice and movement to communicate ideas and dramatic action in different performance styles and conventions, including contemporary Australian drama styles developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dramatists (ACADRM043)

  • developing use of performance techniques and conventions relevant to selected performance styles, for example, refining use of the body to communicate through movement and stillness, and through realistic and non-realistic movement; and exploring ways to transition between scenes
  • adapting facial expression, posture, gesture, movement and voice (including accent) to portray age, power and disposition in a specific performance style, such as contemporary Australian styles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dramatist

Identify and connect specific features and purposes of drama from contemporary and past times to explore viewpoints and enrich their drama making, starting with drama in Australia and including drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACADRR046)

  • identifying the social, historical and cultural contexts of the forms and styles represented in their drama
  • locating and exploring specific examples of contemporary Australian, Asian and other world drama
  • describing the role of drama in different cultures and using this information when they plan their own drama
  • Considering viewpoints – contexts: For example – What is the cultural context in which the drama was developed, or in which it is viewed, and what does it signify? How does this drama relate to its social context and that of its makers and audiences? What are the appropriate protocols for viewing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama and other culturally specific performance? What historical forces and influences are evident in the drama? How does this style of drama vary from those seen in other traditions and other parts of the world?

Years 9 and 10

Level description

In Years 9 and 10, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to drama independently and in small groups, and with their teachers and communities. They explore drama as an art form through improvisation, scripted drama, rehearsal and performance.

Students refine and extend their understanding and use of role, character, relationships and situation. They extend the use of voice and movement to sustain belief in character. They maintain focus and manipulate space and time, language, ideas and dramatic action. They experiment with mood and atmosphere, use devices such as contrast, juxtaposition and dramatic symbol and modify production elements to suit different audiences.

As they experience drama, students draw on drama from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the drama and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have converted oral records to other technologies.

As they explore drama forms, students learn that over time there has been further development of different traditional and contemporary styles of drama and that dramatists can be identified through the style of their work.

As they make and respond to drama, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements and social, cultural and historical influences of drama. They evaluate actors' success in expressing the directors' intentions and the use of expressive skills in drama they view and perform.

Students maintain safety in drama and in interaction with other actors. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse performances. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Evaluate how the elements of drama, forms and performance styles in devised and scripted drama convey meaning and aesthetic effect (ACADRR052)

  • analysing how the elements of drama are manipulated to focus the dramatic action for audiences and using this information to refine drama they make
  • evaluating how the features and conventions of forms and styles create dramatic meaning and theatrical effect

Analyse a range of drama from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their drama making, starting with drama from Australia and including drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and consider drama in international contexts (ACADRR053)

  • evaluating conventions from past forms and styles to consider incorporating into their own drama and contemporary practice
  • identifying and describing the actor–audience relationship in different dramatic contexts, forms and styles
  • linking conventions from different forms and styles with purposes, origins and contexts 

back to top