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Sample map: Australian Curriculum – The Arts: Visual Arts

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Foundation to Year 2

Level description

In Foundation to Year 2, students explore visual arts. They learn about how to make visual representations of their ideas, experiences, observations and imagination. They share their artworks with peers and experience visual arts as audiences.

In Foundation to Year 2, learning in Visual Arts 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 how and why artists, craftspeople and designers present their ideas through different visual representations, practices, processes and viewpoints. They learn how their ideas or subject matter can be developed through different forms, styles, techniques, materials and technologies. They enhance their perception skills by learning to notice visual detail as they examine and represent familiar and new objects and events in their lives. They explore how and why artworks are created and become familiar with using and applying visual conventions, such as line, shape, colour and texture. They develop and apply safe and sustainable practices when experimenting with different materials, techniques and technologies.

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

As they experience visual arts, students draw on artworks from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and of the Asia region. While visual arts in the local community should be the initial focus for learning, young students are also aware of and interested in visual arts from more distant locations and the curriculum provides opportunities to build on this curiosity. Students will learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks represent particular ideas and stories.

As they make and respond to visual artworks, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and styles through social and cultural contexts. They provide opinions about artworks expressing what they like and why. They experience the role of artist and audience and they respond to feedback in their visual arts making.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design, including considering ideas in artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM106)

  • identifying and using visual conventionin their artworks after investigating different art, craft and design styles from other cultures and times, for example, Expressionism, Fauvism, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and Asia

Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)

  • using techniques to demonstrate various compositional effects, for example, overlapping or crosshatching

Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108)

  • considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – What did this artwork or design make you think about and why? What figures/shapes can you see in the artwork? How has the artist treated the figures/shapes to convey their idea or meaning?

Respond to visual artworks and consider where and why people make visual artworks, starting with vosual artworks from Australia, including visual artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR109)

  • identifying where they might experience art in their lives and communities, for example, keeping a diary of 'art experiences' and combining to create a class list and then discussing how visual artworks sustain and communicate cultural knowledge
  • considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – Where is this artwork from and why was it made? Who made the artworks? Where and how are they displayed?
  • identifying how design elements, such as line, shape, colour or texture, are used in their artworks and in the artwork of others
  • describing and interpreting representations in a selection of artworks, for example, considering the subject matter, styles and techniques of a selection of artworks, and how the artworks make them think and feel in response to the artists' intentions
  • acknowledging the role of the artist and audience as they start to interpret meaning in artworks

Years 3 and 4

Level description

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

Students extend their awareness of how and why artists, craftspeople and designers realise their ideas through different visual representations, practices, processes and viewpoints. They explore and experiment with a greater diversity of materials, techniques and technologies. They further enhance their perceptual skills by observing closely the visual detail of the world around them and applying these observations through different practical applications of art making. Through observational, imaginative, cognitive and sensory investigations, students become more knowledgeable and discerning about their practices as a visual artist. They can determine and execute an individual approach to a theme or subject matter. They explore, predict outcomes, test and explain their experimentation. They use different physical and digital materials and techniques, technologies and processes in visual arts forms, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, design and digital media.

As they experience visual arts, students draw on artworks from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and of the Asia region. Students learn about visual arts in their community. They also learn about visual arts from more distant locations that may be represented in their community. Students also explore different styles of art made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

As they make and respond to visual artworks as artists and audiences, students explore visual representations based on their investigations of past histories, their heritage, and significant events and celebrations within their community. They make connections between their own artistic intentions and those of other artists, observing and identifying ideas and symbols used and adapted by artists in their artworks.

Students learn about safe visual arts practices. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon their experience from the previous band.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Explore ideas and artworks from different cultures and times, including artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to use as inspiration for their own representations (ACAVAM110)

  • researching artworks of different styles and artists from different times and cultures to inspire their own representations in forms such as printmaking and drawing, and styles such as realistic or expressive
  • considering viewpoints – meaning and interpretations: For example – What is this painting telling us about the past? How does the artwork use visual conventions to convey meaning? How did the artist work within a space, and at this time? How and why did they innovate their practice?
  • exploring ways to represent their ideas using visual conventions from different historical, social or cultural contexts
  • experimenting with visual conventions to create particular visual effects in representations
  • identifying and explaining choices in art making, including forms, styles and visual conventions in their artworks, and influences of other artists on their artworks

Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)

  • selecting and experimenting with forms, styles, materials and technologies to explore symbolic use of visual conventions used by various cultures and times, for example, how colour and pattern are perceived as symbolic in different cultures
  • considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – What clues in the artwork tell you where it was made, who made it, and why? What artworks are you familiar with?> Which style of artworks represents your community?

Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)

  • experimenting with alternative styles of representation from different cultures and times in their artworks, for example, realistic, symbolic, narrative, abstract

Identify intended purposes and meanings of artworks using visual arts terminology to compare artworks, starting with visual artworks in Australia including visual artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR113)

  • identifying meaning and describing subject matter and form in artworks from different social, cultural or historical contexts
  • considering viewpoints – societies, cultures and histories: For example – What clues in the artwork tell us where it was made, who made it, and why? What artworks are you familiar with? Which style of artwork represents your community? What are the people in the painting doing? Can you draw what you did on Australia Day?
  • comparing artworks made for different reasons, using appropriate visual conventions, and identifying possible differences in interpretations, for example, comparing contemporary representations of locations in their community with representations by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
  • examining public art in their community and comparing it to other artwork commemorating different people, times and cultures
  • considering viewpoints – evaluations: For example – Did you enjoy looking at the artwork? Why? Which artwork do you like the most? Explain why you like it. What artworks do you like to make, and why? Compare these buildings and their relationship with the environment, e.g. the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre and the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto

Years 5 and 6

Level description

In Years 5 and 6, learning in Visual Arts builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to visual arts independently, and collaboratively with their classmates, teachers and communities.

Students extend their awareness of how and why artists, craftspeople and designers realise their ideas through different visual representations, practices, processes and viewpoints. They develop conceptual and representational skills. They use and apply appropriate visual conventions. Students test and innovate with properties and qualities of available materials, techniques, technologies and processes. The focus for this experimentation is on combining two or more visual arts forms to test the boundaries of representation.

As they experience visual arts, students draw on artworks from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students explore the practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to learn about how these artists communicate intention.
As they make and respond to visual artworks as artists and audiences, students explore a diversity of ideas, concepts and viewpoints. They draw ideas from other artists, artworks, symbol systems, and visual arts practices in other cultures, societies and times. Suggested topics for their inquiry could include examining how artists have explored the concept of 'environment' or 'sustainability' in different places and at different times.

Students extend their understanding of safe visual arts practices and choose to use sustainable materials, techniques and technologies. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon their experience from the previous band.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Explore ideas and practices used by artists, including practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent different views, beliefs and opinions (ACAVAM114)

  • exploring cross-media effects and characteristics of representation when making artworks inspired by observation or imagination, for example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from the local community, graffiti art, graphic design, or manga art

Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)

  • considering viewpoints – materials and technologies: What is the artwork made of? How does the choice of material enhance the audience's understanding of the artist's intention? What made you want to touch this sculpture?
  • making informed choices about using various combinations of representational elements appropriate for a concept, theme or subject matter, for example, combining realistic drawing skills with an appropriated image from the past to create new meaning
  • explaining influences of other artists on their own art making

Plan the display of artworks to enhance their meaning for an audience (ACAVAM116)

  • considering viewpoints – histories: For example – What did the artist want the audience to see and understand?
  • recognising and evaluating how culture, gender, age, time and place, among other factors, impact on how an audience reads an artwork, for example, comparing the response of different age groups
  • considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – What clues in the artwork tell us where it was made, who made it, and why? What artworks are you familiar with? Which style of artwork represents your community? How would you represent your neighbourhood?
  • reflecting critically on how effectively their ideas or feelings have been expressed in their own artworks, and that of others

Explain how visual arts conventions communicate meaning by comparing artworks from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks (ACAVAR117)

  • considering viewpoints – critical theories: For example – Compare these paintings (one from India, one Australian). What do you recognise? What do you understand? What is new?
  • explaining the artistic vision of artists from different contexts, particularly referencing the meaning their artworks convey, for example, Aboriginal rock art, graffiti art, Egyptian art
  • considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – What is this artwork about? What visual conventions have been used to convey meaning? How did the artist represent their subject matter? How does the artwork reflect the artist's perspective about the environment? How did the audience react to the artwork when it was first displayed?
  • analysing how symbolic meaning or metaphor is constructed in their own artworks and artworks of others
  • expressing an opinion about the way numerous artists communicate multiple viewpoints through their artwork

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