The Arts

The Arts

The Arts is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has three subject strands: Art and Design, Drama, and Music. This Area of Learning gives pupils opportunities to develop their practical, exploratory, expressive, design and problem-solving skills.

The Arts subject strands share overlapping concepts and skills relating to:

  • creativity and expression;
  • analysing and interpreting observations and experiences; and
  • communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings.

The statutory requirements for the subject strands have a common framework that is linked to the curriculum objectives and key elements. This framework facilitates more collaborative and connected learning. It also encourages pupils to relate their learning to life and to work.

Schools can choose to organise pupils’ learning in The Arts by:

  • teaching the subject strands together;
  • connecting learning in the subject strands; and/or
  • teaching the subject strands separately.

If schools teach Art and Design, Drama and Music as separate subject strands, they should make some connections in The Arts.

See the subject strand pages for more information:

Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities

Pupils should have opportunities to develop their Cross-Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT, and their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities through The Arts.


For more information on The Arts, contact: