Expressive Arts


The dynamic nature of the expressive arts can engage, motivate and encourage learners to develop their creative, artistic and performance skills to the full.

The Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience (Area) spans five disciplines: art, dance, drama, film and digital media and music. Although each discipline has its own discrete body of knowledge and body of skills, it is recognised that together they share the creative process.

What matters in this Area has been expressed in three statements, which support and complement one another and should not be viewed in isolation. Together they contribute to realising the four purposes.

Learning and experience in this Area encourages the development of knowledge, skills and values that can help learners grasp the opportunities and meet the challenges that arise in their lives.

Whether as creators or as audience, through engaging with the expressive arts, learners can gain an understanding and an appreciation of cultures and societies in Wales and in the world. Such engagement can equip learners with the skills to explore cultural differences through time and place.

Importantly, this Area wants to make the expressive arts accessible to all learners and, through this inclusive approach, expand the horizons of every learner. Experiencing the expressive arts can engage learners physically, socially and emotionally, nurturing their well-being, self-esteem and resilience. This can help them become healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

What Matters Statements

  • Exploring the expressive arts is essential to developing artistic skills and knowledge and it enables learners to become curious and creative individuals

Exploring this Area, both through their own creative work and other people’s, engages learners with genres, techniques, tools, materials and practices and enables them to become curious and creative individuals.

By exploring forms and disciplines in the expressive arts, whether through experimentation, play or formal research and inquiry, learners can develop an understanding of how the expressive arts communicate through visual, physical, verbal, musical and technological means. This exploration can also progress their understanding of how the expressive arts shape ideas and feelings. It can encourage them to develop their imagination and draw upon their own experiences, skills and talents to become creative artists themselves.

  • Responding and reflecting, both as artist and audience, is a fundamental part of learning in the expressive arts

Responding within the expressive arts engages the emotions and the intellect. Response may be a simple sensory reaction to artistic stimulus or a critical analysis of creative work. The ability to reflect is deepened as learners increase their knowledge and understanding of how and why creative work is developed and produced.

Adopting the skills and critical vocabulary encountered in this Area can equip learners to consider creative work in a range of media, forms, genres and styles.

  • Creating combines skills and knowledge, drawing on the senses, inspiration and imagination

By engaging with this Area, learners will be given opportunities to be innovative and bold, to create individual work and to develop their own identity as artists in Wales. This learning and experience can foster resilience and flexibility to overcome challenges.

Creating in the expressive arts embraces a range of activities including planning, drafting, designing, making, choreographing, shaping, composing and editing. Creating requires learners to develop and demonstrate control of a range of skills and an application of knowledge.

During the creative process learners communicate through a variety of art forms or disciplines. Communication includes performing, presenting, sharing, exhibiting and producing with consideration of the audience.

Expressive Arts Vidoes