Arts Education

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A broad experience in the arts is integral throughout a child’s experience in primary school. The arts give expression to and extend children’s understanding, imagination, and creativity through a broad range of experiences.

Such experiences have the capacity to engage, inspire, and enrich all children, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential. Art, Drama and Music provide opportunities for broad-ranging experiences in the arts, including visual arts, media arts and dance, that play a valuable role in children’s experience of childhood. Such experiences help them to participate fully in their community and in society as a whole.

While Art, Drama, and Music have a common creative process and share transferable skills, each has its own knowledge, concepts, skills, and intrinsic value. By drawing on more than one subject, learning in other art forms can be enhanced and developed through an integrated approach to Arts Education.

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Primary Arts Education Development Group

NCCA advises the Minister for Education on curriculum and assessment for early childhood education, for primary and post-primary schools. As part of the broader developments in primary, it is envisaged that a new specification for Primary Arts Education will be finalised in early 2025.

The Primary Arts Education Development Group will have a key role in this work. The Development Group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies and the Department of Education.

For more information on the development processes of NCCA and members of the development groups, visit Boards and Development Groups.

Meeting notes from the Primary Arts Education Development Group can be accessed below.

A literature review has been carried out by Marino Institute of Education and Trinity College Dublin on behalf of NCCA to support the development of a specification for Arts Education. 

A curriculum consultation event entitled ‘Arts Education and the Primary School Curriculum’ took place in Kilkenny on 26 October 2022. The event was jointly organised by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Burren College of the Arts. The event was designed using an adaption of the Bringing Education Alive for our Communities On a National Scale (BEACONS) model, developed by the Teaching Council, and
was part of a pilot study entitled Pilot Study of a Local School Community Engagement Model for
Informing Education Policy Making, supported by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).