The Australian Major Performing Arts Group welcomes the recent endorsement of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts by all Education Ministers.
‘Their endorsement caps off the incredibly hard work that has gone into the process of developing the curriculum,’ Ms Bethwyn Serow, AMPAG’s executive director, said.
‘Our members continually strived for recognition of the need for a relationship between school-based learning and the sector—and during the extensive consultation process they were strenuous advocates for the arts being divided into separate subjects, rather than just being lumped together as “the arts”,’ she said.
The curriculum now gives every Australian student the opportunity to engage with dance, drama, music, visual arts and media arts, in primary school. In secondary school, students will study one or more subjects in greater depth.
‘We know the enormous benefit that studying the arts brings to young people—not only lifting their comprehension of our whole cultural experience, but also improving their learning and academic success across the board,’ Ms Serow said.
‘For the best outcomes we believe the students and teachers need to interact with the performing arts sector, to develop the student's sense of confidence and awareness of the outside world that performing arts fosters, and to stimulate new ideas and ways of expression.
‘That is why our companies all provide such extensive education programs which they roll out around the country every year.
‘They run great community workshops and school education programs in cities, rural and regional areas, performing to a combined theatre audience of over 3.2 million people in 2012 as well as over 540,000 school students and thousands more people through community activities.’
Kim Waldock, Head of Education at Sydney Symphony, said, ‘The implementation of the new Arts curriculum will create new and exciting ways for our companies to enrich classroom around the country through performance, workshops and masterclasses.
‘Finally all Australian students will have access to a rigorous program of arts learning—now we encourage teachers to develop the skills and confidence to deliver it and AMPAG companies are well placed to do that very thing.’
AMPAG companies are supporting teachers in the roll-out of the curriculum—for example:
- the Sydney Theatre Company has a ‘teaching the teachers’ program
- Musica Viva provides generalist teachers with dynamic digital and live music programs with specific curriculum-based objectives and outcomes
- Bangarra’s Rekindling program reaches out to teachers and Indigenous children in rural and remote areas
- Bell Shakespeare delivers programs to children and teachers from Port Hedland to King Island
- last year, the Australian Ballet released its Professional Learning Cluster Model for primary school teachers.
These are just a few of our major performing arts companies education programs that support teachers as well as students, and will play a critical role in the success of the arts curriculum.
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