Like a supernatural being, Toi, we acknowledge you.

The heart quickens at your call.

Your heart gladdens the spirit,

your spirit releases the voice,

your voice opens the mind,

the mind weaves the words,

weaving the words carves the inherited treasures.

Inspired by your image sound resonates,

performance thrives, the many faces of imagery

captures the eye.

Linked by a soaring voice,

fix your eyes on the people.

From traditions etched in the future

let your breath be felt.

Ignite imagination!

Let the mind create beyond what is seen,

so that the arts that inspire continue to do so.

Let everyone know that the arts celebrate

the present and create the future.

The Purpose of the Arts

Ascend the great peak of imagination; traverse the seen and unseen to the space where all things converge.  Art, the child of imagination.  Through the arts we are able to express one‘s most inner thoughts, it is by the arts that the artist soars. Inspiration grows, and it lives. Art derives from one‘s being. Hold fast to the traditions bestowed upon you, child of art, rest not but at the base of the mountain of inspiration. Art lives, people evolve. The performance becomes a centrepiece for expressing pride, power, and prestige; it is the performance of Tānerore . So too does Hineruhi  glisten in the dawn light imbued. Art is creative, it leaves people in awe, and art inspires the world.

The Structure of this Learning Area

It is through the arts that we present our thoughts, feelings, wants, and desires for all to see. Our interpretation of the world as it was, the world that we know it, and the world we want to see is captured and articulated through the medium of music, performance art, and visual art. The Arts develops the aesthetic dimensions; spirit, inspiration, awe, the being. Through the power of the mind the art produced by the artist is a manifestation of the tangible and intangible.

The Arts is about fun, laughter, mistakes, experimental play, frustration and personal triumphs. It is also about a willingness and perseverance to try and resolve an idea whether through visual form, sound, drama, or dance.

The learning area of The Arts in the Marautanga o Aotearoa celebrates and acknowledges the skills and knowledge of the past, and empowers and challenges the thinking of the now and the future. It contributes to our intellectual knowing, and to our social, cultural, and spiritual being. The Arts is forever changing, and therefore the achievement objectives in this learning area allow for, and support that changing notion. The achievement objectives are purposefully wide in their scope to acknowledge that there are numerous entry points, endless viewpoints to what is considered art, and limitless experiences.  There are connections, acknowledgement, and use of knowledge, ideas, and thinking from the previous curriculum for the arts and this present document.


In levels 1 and 2 the principal objective is the exploration and growing of art skill, in the use of materials and tools, and art knowledge and articulation of their own art. Levels 3-5 shift more to the doing aspect of art preparation, art thinking, and testing of ideas, interpretation of others art, and more abstract thinking. Levels 6 - 8 are the refinement of practice and thought. Artists are more inquisitive and critical of their own, and others‘ artwork. The achievement objectives at these levels provide a platform for students to seek entry into tertiary study, or into professional art realms. It is also at this level that artists develop and refine their style or genre of art in whatever form or disciple they pursue.

Symbols in the achievement objectives have been used to assist in the identification of the strands; exploration, creating, knowing, and appreciation. These are not absolute and should be seen as examples of how the achievement objectives could be utilized by the teacher when planning their arts programme.

The Arts Strands

The carved figure represents the challenge of developing a holistic approach to learning, and also provides a focus for the teaching and learning of the arts. The strands, represented as icons, identify the areas of exploration, creating, knowing, and appreciation as foci within the teaching and learning process, however they connect together to form the carved figure to remind us that all aspects of the strands contribute to the arts experience.

EXPLORATION: with a focus on exploring, investigating, manipulating, and interpreting art.

CREATING: with a focus on making, composing, writing, drawing, and creating art.

KNOWING: with a focus on students being able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of art processes and theories.

APPRECIATION: with a focus on students being able to evaluate and critique, through their own knowledge and understanding, their own art and that art created by others.