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The Arts


Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe ao katoa.


Essence Statement

The teaching of arts should encourage a lifelong interest in music, dance, drama, and the visual arts. The arts are powerful forms of expression that recognise, value, and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand, enriching the lives of all New Zealanders. The arts have their own distinct languages that use both verbal and non-verbal conventions, mediated by selected processes and technologies. Through movement, sound, and image, the arts transform people's creative ideas into expressive works that communicate layered meanings (New Zealand Curriculum; pg 20).


The Arts is an important curriculum area for all children. Arts education explores, challenges, affirms and celebrates unique artistic expressions of self, community and culture. Learning in, through and about the arts stimulates creative action and response by engaging and connecting thinking, imagination, senses, and feelings. By participating in the arts, students' personal well-being is enhanced. As students express and interpret ideas within creative, aesthetic, and technological frameworks, their confidence to take risks is increased (New Zealand Curriculum; p20). The arts learning area comprises of four disciplines: dance, drama, music-sound arts, and visual arts.

Onehunga Primary Concept Curriculum Plan

Each discipline is structured around four interrelated strands:

  • Understanding the Arts in Context
  • Developing Practical Knowledge
  • Developing Ideas
  • Communicating and Interpreting in the arts

Organisation of the arts in school:

Onehunga Primary School values the arts and the connection with the community. Through valuing diversity, exploring origins and history, students will be encouraged to make connections with other curriculum areas to develop, reflect and problem solve. Students will develop skills and practical knowledge in all four disciplines.

Maori culture is valued within the arts programme. The arts programme is structured in a two-year overview as is embedded in our curriculum concept plan. One skill is focused on each term with specific programmes for junior, middle and senior teams to follow.

Individual teams create the plan for the focus of the term in relation to their micro concept plan.

Visual arts:

  • Drawing
  • Print making
  • Fabric and fibre
  • Collage
  • Painting
  • Modelling
  • Design process
  • Sculpture

There are annual performances in the school and in teams. Children participate in assemblies, powhiri and special community celebrations. Children also participate in simple poems, games and drama activities in drama during the year.

Student Portrait

Monitoring and Assessment

Monitoring is integral to learning and achieving in the arts.


Through observation and discussion because the performing arts are an immediate and creative process that happens spontaneously and cannot necessarily be recreated. However, all assessment of the arts will of course relate to the student learning performance indicators which represent benchmarks for the different levels.


Assessment of students' progress towards achieving the focus skill for the term, using, for example:

  • SOLO rubrics/maps
  • School tracking books
  • Audio and video recording of performances to encourage self-reflection – actively involving students in reviewing and reflecting on assessment information that relates to them.
  • Photographs of completed works or works in progress displayed in class and around the school.
  • Students' journals containing on-going reflections and self-assessments.


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