NSA Admissions

Curriculum: Specialist Subjects

The National School of the Arts offers the widest range of ART subjects available to secondary schools. The Art subjects are taken as follows:

Grade 8 and 9

All learners will complete modules in Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and Jewellery Design as well as Theory of Design and Visual Arts.

Grades 10, 11 & 12

Learners are required to choose ONE of: Two Dimensional Design, Three Dimensional Design or Visual Arts.

It is compulsory to do Visual Art Theory or Design Theory.

General Information:

The school also boasts a wonderful art gallery, in one of the school buildings designed by Gerhard Moerdyk, which is used to exhibit the learners' work as well as for public exhibitions.

GRADE 8 & 9

Practical Work

All Grade 8 learners must do Classical Ballet and Spanish Dance.

Theoretical Work

All Grade 8 and 9 learners must do Dance Theory.

GRADE 10 & 11

Practical Work

The new FET syllabus requires ALL learners to do African Dance as their Minor dance form (prescribed by the National Curriculum). All learners will do Choreography, Classical Ballet, Modern Dance and Spanish Dance.

Theoretical Work

All learners must do History of Dance, Music (Appreciation) and Anatomy.


Practical Work

ALL learners will do African Dance as their Minor dance form (prescribed by the National Curriculum) and then they must choose ONE dance form as their Major dance form from the list below. All learners must do Choreography.

ONE dance form may be taken from the list below:

Classical Ballet
Modern Dance
Spanish Dance

Theoretical Work
All learners must do History of Dance, Music (Appreciation) and Anatomy.

Emphasis is placed on performance and learners are provided with as many performance opportunities as possible.

Each year the school presents a major production in a professional theatre and at least two additional productions at the school. In addition, there is an annual showcase in which every drama learner is involved in performance.

Practical training includes:

Acting, Voice, Movement, Physical Theatre, Stagecraft, Mime, Poetry, Workshop, Directing

However, there is also a large theory component, which covers the study of :

Play texts & their contexts, Theatre History & Design, Arts Administration, Stagecraft, Poetry, Voice, Theory, Ritual, Mythology

Learners must do TWO music subjects which are divided up as follows:

  • First instrument (Learners must play either a Royal Schools or Trinity (which includes Rock and POP exams)
  • Theory (Learners must write either a Royal Schools or Trinity Theory exam.
These exams are compulsory

Grade 10 – Practical Grade 5 and Theory Grade 4
Grade 11 – Practical Grade 6 and Theory Grade 5
Grade 12 – Practical Grade 7 and Theory Grade 6

It is important to take note of the required standard for each grade. If you only start with this subject in Grade 10 it is not possible to do a Grade 7 exam as you will not reach the required standard in Grade 12.

Second Instrument together with the following theoretical subjects:

History of Music
Form Analysis
Theory and Harmony
Composition and Arranging
Aural Training

Learners who play an instrument are required to play in the School Orchestra / Band / Ensemble

Vocal learners are required to sing in the vocal ensemble.