Curriculum - The Arts


Musical Futures, Trinity College London and Little Kids Rock

This year in music, students from Grades 1 through to 6 will be taught music through a combination of approaches from Musical Futures, Trinity College’s Rock & Pop and Little Kids Rock.  I have learned and adopted these approaches through my affiliation with Musical Futures International as a ‘Champion Teacher’ and joining them on a teacher tour to the Little Kids Rock ‘Rock Fest’ conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA last year.

Grades 3 and 4 are learning through a pilot program between Musical Futures and Trinity College, where students learn ‘modern band instruments’ such as drums, guitar and keyboard through a leveled rock and pop syllabus. This will provide a measure of growth, and achievable goals as students develop their skills on their chosen instrument.

Each student will be taught the fundamentals of each instrument and then focus on one instrument at a time through differentiated instruction that allows students to learn a simplified version of the song as they work towards the full song at their own pace.  

Students first learn aurally and informally and through visual diagrams and play-alongs and will be extended accordingly depending on experience and progress.

A great benefit of the play-alongs, is that students can work at their own pace as I am freed up to provide immediate feedback and new challenges to individual students.

Grades 1/2 and 5/6 will learn once per fortnight rotating with ‘Teaching for Artistic Behavior’.  If you have children in multiple year levels, you may notice that often students across year levels can be working on the same song. You will also notice that the expectations at each year level are significantly different.

By learning the same song, this enables students of varying abilities to be supported or extended as needed. A student in Grade 1, could have been having instrumental lessons and playing at a level the same as a student in Grade 6. Or a new student to Grade 6, may need to be supported to go right back to basics.

For an example of how students learn at different levels, Generally, in Grade 1/2 focus on playing simple notes on keyboard and playing in time, they also learn ukulele rather than guitar, as their hands are still small. In Grade 3/4 students begin to learn whole chords on keyboard, are introduced to the guitar and are expected to demonstrate greater accuracy on drums. In Grade 5/6, students are encouraged to use their ears to earn aurally and develop more complex skills.

To see an article on the Trinity College and Musical Futures partnership, visit

Little Kids Rock provides fantastic resources to support student learning from home. Visit -

For more information on our programs visit


Visual Art

This year students at WEPS from Grades 1/2 and 5/6 will be learning visual art every fortnight through the model ‘Teaching for Artistic Behavior’. The main aim of this method of teaching is to give students a voice, unlock their creativity and to assist them find artistic inspiration from the world around them. Ultimately, students will learn to think and behave like artists, rather than recreating my ideas.  Students in foundation will be taught about the materials and basic skills at each station throughout the year in preparation for TAB in grade 1. Grades 3/4 will be introduced to TAB next semester where they will have weekly visual art sessions.

Every second week students will be given mini demonstrations of various art skills, elements and/or art history with the aim of inspiring them as creative thinkers, building their artistic vocabulary and providing them with multiple exposures of various art forms.

Students will be encouraged to try various arts, but will also be given the time they need to finish their envisioned projects. As a result, on Seesaw you may see unfinished work published so you can see how your child’s work is unfolding.

For further information on TAB visit

In our initial phase of introducing TAB, students will be exploring new stations as they open. Each session one of the following stations will be opened and added as a new choice for students to explore;

      -          Drawing

-         Collage

-        Painting & print making

-        Collage  

-         Digital Arts

-         Fiber Arts  

-        Construction & 

-        Clay 

In this phase, students are exploring and experimenting with a range of art styles and learning to work together as a class to maintain a productive, collaborative and creative learning environment.

As we progress through the stations, students’ work will become more focused and planned, taking inspiration from various sources to inspire their own creative process.

In time, our aim is that students will develop their creative and critical thinking to become problem solvers and independent learners of the arts.

A typical TAB lesson is structured as a 5-minute demonstration/focus, 5 minutes of planning time, 35 minutes of ‘doing’, 10 minutes of packing up and loading to Seesaw and 5 minutes of class reflection.

Your child’s art may not always look like what you imagine art should look like. Especially for the younger students, as they need time to develop their skills as they experiment and develop new techniques. The depth of their work will increase with time as they learn to take risks and behave like artists.

‘This is a style of choice based art education that focuses on the students, their interest, and their ideas. Students are viewed as authentic artists, and groups of materials are made available and introduced to the students one by one (Douglas & Jaquith, 2009)

Drama, Dance and Media

Each of these areas will begin to be introduced to our program in Term 2. They will be integrated into our ‘Teaching for Artistic Behaviour’ program, where students are given small workshops, demos and resources from each area and then students will select which art form best suits what they are wishing to express or feeling inspired to do.

We also offer instrumental lessons in guitar and keyboard through The Jammin' Factory for every year level.