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Planning Overviews for the Visual Arts

Underpinning any long-term planning in the visual arts should be a clear understanding of achievement objectives laid out in the curriculum document, The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum , for the level being taught. Learning is spiral in nature and each levels' achievement objectives include and build on learning from previous levels. Opportunities to revisit, make connections with, and extend existing skills, knowledge, and understanding assist students in-depth learning.Other planning factors include:

  • the teaching team's interests, skills, expertise, and confidence;
  • the children's interests, cultures etc;
  • the children's experiences in previous visual arts programmes;
  • the materials available in the school;
  • what is happening across the curriculum;
  • time-tabling issues, for example, the actual time available for the programme.

Schools should decide on a programme structure that best serves their need; for example, a school-wide (year 1 to 6/8) model; a single-year model; a two-year rotation model.

The two-year model example (PDF 15 KB)

PDF 15kb

  • This focuses on media/processes (the PK strand), and the five-units-a-year structure acknowledges the need to offer students a range of visual arts experiences while also allowing enough time for developing some units in-depth.
  • Listed processes/media are suggestions only and should be matched to the school/context, including the experience, expertise, and interests of staff and students.
  • Both 2D and 3D activities should be offered in each year of the programme.
  • Painting and drawing are seen as core processes and included in both years of the two-year structure. Drawing, in its many forms, is also included across the other media/processes.
  • A topic or theme may be developed in depth through a number of media/processes.
  • Processes/media may be combined to produce mixed-media works.

The long-term planning format example (PDF 69 KB)

PDF 70kbThe number of units for the year the planning format indicates is a guide only. Timetabling issues, teacher confidence, and other factors will influence the actual number of units undertaken.

  • Duration: Some thought should be given to the content of each unit to set a realistic duration time. However, the programme aims to ensure students are not having single-session visual arts experiences.
  • Media/process, topic: Select from the processes/media listed in the two-year model. Aim for a variety of visual arts experiences that include at least one 3D unit a year, and try to provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively as well as individually. Include Māori art, and art from other cultures.
  • Description of unit/learning focus: Write a brief description of the unit/task outlining key areas of learning. List links to other curriculum areas.
  • Strands covered: Use this column to track coverage of the four strands. Some strands might be addressed several times over the year: i.e., the PK strand; others may only be addressed once, i.e., the UC strand. All strands should be covered over the duration of the programme.
  • Strands assessed: Again, use this column to track assessment of the four strands. Some strands might be assessed a number of times over the year: i.e., the PK strand; others may only be addressed once, i.e., the UC strand. All strands should be assessed at least once over the duration of the programme.
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