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This rationale complements and extends the rationale for The Arts learning area.
Drama is the expression and exploration of personal, cultural and social worlds through role and situation that engages, entertains and challenges.



In addition to the overarching aims of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, drama knowledge, understanding and skills ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students develop:

confidence and self-esteem to explore, depict and celebrate human experience, take risks and challenge their own creativity through drama



Learning in Drama
Learning in Drama involves students making, performing, analysing and responding to drama, drawing on human experience as a source of ideas. Students engage with the knowledge of drama, develop skills, techniques and processes, and use materials as they explore a range of forms, styles and contexts.


Example of knowledge and skills


Years 5 and 6

Years 5 and 6 Band Description

In Years 5 and 6, students draw on artworks from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the arts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and of the Asia region and learn that they are used for different purposes. While the arts in the local community should be the initial focus for learning, students are also aware of and interested in the arts from more distant locations and the curriculum provides opportunities to build on this curiosity. 

As they make and respond to the arts, students explore meaning and interpretation, and social and cultural contexts of the arts. They evaluate the use of forms and elements in artworks they make and observe.

Students extend their understanding of safety in the arts. In Years 5 and 6, their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds on previous bands. They develop their understanding and use of performance or technical skills to communicate intention for different audiences. They identify a variety of audiences for different arts experiences as they engage with more diverse artworks as artists and audiences.

In Drama, students:

  • develop understanding of character through voice and movement and extend their understanding and use of situation, focus, tension, space and time
  • extend their understanding and use language and ideas to create dramatic action and consider mood and atmosphere in performance
  • use conventions of story and other devices such as dramatic symbol to communicate meaning and shape and sustain drama for audiences
  • explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements including voice, movement, situation, space and time, and tension as they make and respond to drama.

Years 5 and 6 Content Descriptions

Explore dramatic action, empathy and space in improvisations, playbuilding and scripted drama to develop characters and situations (ACADRM035 - Scootle )
  • experimenting with empathy to develop characters and relationships in drama and considering perspectives, exploring responses and challenging stereotypes
  • exploring physical, fictional and emotional space to create characters and situations and imagined feelings
  • manipulating dramatic action and use of available theatre technologies to create different meanings
  • comparing different ways improvisation and scripted drama create characters and action, and evaluating drama from other cultures and considering how they can use specific techniques in their own work
  • Considering viewpoints – forms and elements: For example – How is the voice, movement, gesture and the body used to represent a character, situation or idea? How did the performers use the elements of drama? How can the devised drama be developed to communicate meaning?
Develop skills and techniques of voice and movement to create character, mood and atmosphere and focus dramatic action (ACADRM036 - Scootle )
  • varying use of voice, for example, projection, dynamics, pace, pause and pitch, to create and communicate characters’ intentions
  • trialling different ways to move in character and situations
  • Considering viewpoints – evaluations: For example – How did the performers use the elements of drama and design elements effectively? For what purposes did they make drama? What evidence supports your judgment about the drama?
  • adjusting the weight (heaviness or lightness of movement), speed, use of stillness, levels and movement through space to focus on character and situation and create dramatic action
  • altering voice and movement to show change in mood and atmosphere, and to create images, effects and an engaging delivery
  • rehearsing, interacting and negotiating with others in interpretation of scripts to create characters and their relationships
Rehearse and perform devised and scripted drama that develops narrative, drives dramatic tension, and uses dramatic symbol, performance styles and design elements to share community and cultural stories and engage an audience (ACADRM037 - Scootle )
  • creating narrative and tension to communicate dramatic meaning
  • Considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – What did the performer intend audiences to experience and understand from the drama? Why did you make this drama?
  • exploring and applying different performance styles, and drawing on drama from other locations, cultures and times as sources of ideas in their own drama, and considering any protocols for representing community or cultural stories in performance
  • focusing communication with the audience by, for example, remembering lines, moves and cues in rehearsal and performance
  • showing understanding of the purpose of rehearsing drama and the need for collaboration and group work
  • using props, costumes, instruments and available technologies such as light, sound and multimedia to create dramatic symbols and enhance dramatic action
  • planning and designing elements of their performance, for example, creating a stage design and interpreting diagrams and locations and using proximity and directional stage language in performance spaces during rehearsal
  • presenting their performances using internet-based technologies, including social media, and considering the place of a real or virtual audience and their effect on the performance
  • using available software and applications to plan for playbuilding and to create scripts
Explain how the elements of drama and production elements communicate meaning by comparing drama from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama (ACADRR038 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • reviewing their own drama, outlining how they used elements of drama and narrative structures and the consequences of collaborative processes
  • identifying and discussing different performance styles and the portrayal of different roles and relationships in the drama
  • talking and writing about drama from other places and times and how it might or does contribute to their own drama, and how cultural understandings shape meanings in drama
  • Considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – What are the traditions, customs and conventions of this drama? How does this drama draw from other cultures, times and places? How have you used drama of other times, places and cultures in your own drama?
  • identifying the features of drama from other contexts, including investigating traditional and contemporary drama from Asia
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • understanding that the drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is unique to the Country and/or Place of a particular group or groups, while also considering the protocols for particular performance styles and traditions such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customary practices
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Years 5 and 6 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 6, students explain how ideas are communicated in artworks they make and to which they respond. They describe characteristics of artworks from different social, historical and cultural contexts that influence their art making.

Students structure elements and processes of arts subjects to make artworks that communicate meaning. They work collaboratively to share artworks for audiences, demonstrating skills and techniques.

By the end of Year 6, students explain how dramatic action and meaning is communicated in drama they make, perform and view. They explain how drama from different cultures, times and places influences their own drama making.

Students work collaboratively as they use the elements of drama to shape character, voice and movement in improvisation, playbuilding and performances of devised and scripted drama for audiences.

Years 5 and 6 Work Sample Portfolios