Darlinghurst Public School

Quality Education, Quality Programs, Quality Opportunities

Telephone02 9331 4295


Creative arts

Creative arts is mandatory for students from Kindergarten to Year 6. 

In creative arts, students discover a variety of art forms through a study of dance, drama, music and visual arts where they learn to appreciate, compose, listen, make and perform.

Each art form has its own unique knowledge and skills, elements or concepts as well as a capacity to inspire and enrich lives.

Specialist Programs


Darlinghurst Public School currently offers a rich and diverse dance curriculum from K-6 within PDHPE and as a specialist activity. Dance styles provided include Contemporary, where Release, Cuningham and elements of Graham technique are taught, Jazz Technique, where commercial Street Jazz, with elements of Hip Hop are taught and a theatre based Jazz influenced by Musical Theatre and Fosse. Latin and Ballroom has has also been sampled. Darlinghurst also runs an extra curricular dance program operating outside of school hours offering specialized learning in Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Jazz. All children are equally encouraged to participate and single sex classes are provided to allow for tailor made training and interest, whilst delivering an equal solid foundation to both boys and girls.

Whether classes are taught within the set curriculum or within an extra curricular context, within the dance department we always strive to meet the following teaching objectives…

  • To progressively build new skills, knowledge and understanding
  • To challenge and inspire students to improve on their own current level of ability
  • To provide a broad, balanced and progressive dance education in relation to physical and performance skills, choreography, dance appreciation, understanding of the dancing body and to ensure that this is made accessible to all students
  • To create a forum for experimentation and creative thinking
  • To promote independent students who actively seek ownership over their work
  • To provide a safe and secure learning environment that nurtures confident and creative individuals

 Why is dance important?

Dance has the potential to offer unique learning opportunities across the school curriculum. As one of the major art forms, its intrinsic value lies in the possibilities it offers for the development of pupils creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. Due to its physical nature, dance provides a means of expression and communication distinct from other art forms and because of its expressive and creative nature, it stands apart from other physical activities.

The practical, theoretical and contextual study of dance as an art form contributes to pupil's artistic, physical, aesthetic, cultural and social development. It enables pupils to find their own voice as creator, performer and critic. Dance makes a special contribution to both physical and arts education, supports learning in other subjects and facilitates the development of key skills. It plays an important role in promoting physical fitness and well-being and contributes to pupils understanding of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Dance beyond the studio…

For students to gain a broad and diverse dance education it is important for opportunities such as trips to see live dance from prestigious dance companies, master classes and workshops by leading dance practitioners and dance artists to be offered. Here at Darlinghurst, we aim for such opportunities to be delivered and this year alone we have had various Latin Workshops and will soon be performing at an external performance platform ‘Bondi Showcase'…with more details soon to follow.

Dance coordinator Graeme Spencer

Teacher of dance within the PDHPE curriculum and Teacher of Extra Curricular Dance (Tap, Ballet, Contemporary).


Music continued to be a major focus at Darlinghurst PS with a ‘cutting edge' whole school music program. 100% of students were engaged and continually presented with intellectually challenging musical repertoire during classroom music lessons. This program was the pulsating heart of music learning, where all students participated in lessons based upon the NSW Quality Teaching Framework and Orff Schulwerk music educational philosophies.

In 2011, the classroom instrumental resources were expanded upon through the Telstra Kid's Fund Grant and school based funding. Two three-octave marimbas, two soprano metallophones, four alto metallophones and two bass metallophones were new additions to the music program, as well as a top-up of alto and bass xylophones to the existing resources.

Students deepened their understanding of musical skills and concepts including class-based compositions and arrangements. Our End of Year Concert was an outstanding whole school celebration and testament to the high expectations, engagement and social support that all students receive from the Darlinghurst PS music program.

Visiting performances again played a major role in the classroom music program providing students with the gift of engaging in concerts by high quality professional musicians. Musica Viva in Schools featured at Darlinghurst PS with two separate programs. The internationally acclaimed vocal group, The Song Company, deepened students' understanding of ‘the voice' throughout history through a study of vocal work from the Renaissance to the 21st century. In the semester two, "Teranga", a Sydney based, West African percussion ensemble, highlighted to the students that music is an international language that transcend borders and barriers to unite people. 

Students from K-6 were again immersed in the Sydney Symphony Educational Program, through a series of concerts demonstrating the incredible history, deep significance, aural colour and imagery of orchestral music. Kindergarten to Year 2 watched with sheer delight as Tchaikovsky's Peter and the Wolf was performed – a work that all Darlinghurst PS students study in the kindergarten literacy program.

As co-curricular music again featured at Darlinghurst PS, the band and choral programs expanded and five staff engaged in team teaching and administrative duties to support the expanding music program. In 2011, 68% of students in Years 3-6 were actively involved in the band program. High levels of engagement by students reflected a quality program that was responsive to student and community needs. As more children requested to learn a musical instrument, a separate Junior Band and Senior Band were established to differentiate the learning needs of our students.

The Senior Band began the year with a weekend workshop with Sydney's all women's jazz group, Sirens Big Band, who had featured at the Trocadero Dance Palace during the 2011 Sydney Festival.

Students were excited by the opportunity to share their skills and talents with such a highly engaging group of musicians. Harriet Harding, co-composer of ‘Sirens'

Big Band's repertoire returned later in the year to deepen students' musical knowledge and understanding in a series of performance and composition workshops.

For the first time at the Junior Band travelled to Clemton Park PS to join other beginner bands in Sydney Region for the ‘Beginner Band Bash'. This was a day of music making and friendships that culminated in a student performance for children in Sydney Region.

2011 was a year of sustained community partnerships with 9 highly professional instrumental music tutors. Our visiting tutors provided 71 private music lessons per week, immersing students in high quality instrumental lessons and reflecting an outstanding commitment and contribution to the Darlinghurst PS music program.

The Darlinghurst PS Choir expanded in 2011 with 34% of the Year 3-6 students participating, foregoing 2 lunch times per week to attend rehearsals. During the year, students learned approximately 20 songs and performed at various school functions including the Easter Hat Parade, Kindy Orientation and Book Week.  Each performance given reflected their dedication and hard work. The promotion of music education as a ‘gift' was the focus of the 2011 Darlinghurst PS choir – using their voices to participate in charity Gala concerts, including the 19th Annual Celebration Charity Fundraiser Concert at the Sydney Town Hall, raising funds the Westmead Children's Hospital, Burns Unit.