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Launch of New Arts Curriculum for Schools

5 September 2000
Media Statement

Launch of New Arts Curriculum for Schools

After five years of research, development and consultation, “The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum” was launched today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"For the first time, what school students will learn in dance, drama, music, and the visual arts has been brought together in one package," said Trevor Mallard, speaking at the launch of the curriculum at Island Bay School, Wellington. Associate Minister for the Arts, Judith Tizard was also present at the launch.

The curriculum sets aims and achievement objectives for all four arts disciplines, through to senior secondary school.

“New Zealand's leading arts educators and practitioners have played pivotal roles in developing this new curriculum. It was also circulated for nationwide and international comment before publication.

“I am confident teachers and their pupils will find this curriculum both inspiring and challenging. It’s another step to ensuring a strong and vibrant arts community across the country.

“For the first time, dance and drama are recognised as separate and significant contributors to students’ learning. Maori and Pacific arts have also been integrated throughout this document. This will lead to Maori and Pacific Islands pupils becoming more strongly engaged with their school and with learning," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum” completes the process of review and reform begun in the early 1990s. Schools now have two years to prepare before the new 110-page curriculum becomes mandatory in 2003.

All four arts disciplines will be compulsory up to year 8 (form 2), but schools will be able to decide what balance they achieve amongst the four. After year 8 every student should study at least two of the arts until the end of year 10 (form 4).

Every school in New Zealand will soon receive an information kit explaining “The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum”. It will include the new curriculum, a video and wall chart explaining the key features for teachers and parents, and other background information. A team of 10 spokespeople in the arts has also been set up to help with communications to school communities over coming months.

“A lot of thought has gone into preparing teachers and schools for the introduction of the new curriculum. The Government is to invest $5 million for each of the next two years for teachers' professional development in the arts, the production of teaching materials, videos, exemplars, and for arts coordinators in schools to provide leadership in each discipline," Trevor Mallard said.

Hon Judith Tizard, Associate Minister of Arts and Culture added her support to the release "I see "The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum" statement as an important part of the government's broader strategy to open up opportunities to all New Zealanders to participate in creative, high skilled work in New Zealand.

Education in music, visual and performing arts enhances young people's ability in subjects such as maths and English. It also boosts their self confidence. This strong, coordinated curriculum statement is therefore intrinsically good for our young people, as well as having economic benefits in the longer term," Judith Tizard said.

ENDS

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