Arts & Academics

Consistently impressive matric results and the achievements of the alumni bear testament to the quality education offered by the National School of the Arts. NSA matriculants venture capably into all sectors stepping well prepared into tertiary institutions where they continue to make their mark in fields as diverse as actuarial science, astrophysics, medicine, engineering, architecture, and the arts. The high level of vocational training also enables learners to pursue professional careers  in the arts immediately post school.

Drama Department

The Drama Department provides an opportunity for personal growth on many levels. Strong emphasis is placed on the development of actors and theatre practitioners.

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Learners receive tuition in all aspects of theatre. Practical training includes acting, voice, movement, physical theatre, stagecraft and mime. A comprehensive Theory component covers the study of play texts, theatre history, history of costume, history of literature, voice theory, ritual and mythology.

Every available opportunity is given to drama learners to perform in productions as well as in the presentation of class work.

The school’s excellent results and awards in both the academic and artistic arenas, combined with the highly successful careers enjoyed by our alumni, clearly demonstrate that Drama is not taught for its own sake, but because it contributes profoundly to the holistic development of the individual.

Art Department

Extensive tuition is offered in Visual Arts, Two and Three-Dimensional Design. Courses include sculpture, printmaking, painting, ceramics, design and digital design. Theory of Design and Visual Art theory also forms an integral part of the syllabus.

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The Art Department is housed in the Gerard Moerdijk Heritage Buildingm, providing an inspiring aesthetic for the art learners with an attractive circular gallery downstairs and a stained-glass windowed chapel-like room upstairs for exhibitions and final matric portfolio displays.   

Music Department

Learners are required to study two instruments. The syllabus covers the History of Music, Theory, Arranging and Composition, Improvisation, Aural, and Performance in Solo and Chamber and Vocal ensembles. An orchestra awaits those eager to get into the classical world, offering a valuable training ground.

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The NSA choir and band are often asked to perform at Civic or Corporate functions. The band and orchestra are equally comfortable with contemporary and classical repertoire.

Versatility is a key quality of the NSA music learners. Public Performances are encouraged on various annual platforms, Pop-Up concerts, corporate performances, big stage concerts, and musical theatre, alongside performances at esteemed Eisteddfods and music festivals.

Learners may specialise in piano, recorder or vocals, or any of the orchestral instruments. Similarly, learners may choose to concentrate on guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and drums. The music department is also home to a magnificent pipe organ.

Many NSA specialist educators are sought after professional performers. 

Dance Department

The cornerstone of the Dance Department’s policy is to produce well-rounded, versatile and disciplined dancers, by offering the best vocational training in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, African, Spanish Dance, and choreography. The experienced staff focuses on technique, performance, interpretation, and stylistic understanding.

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Learners are exposed to visiting local and international companies, choreographers and teachers.

There are two regular productions on the annual calendar; “Dance Spectrum” – a flagship production with guest choreographers, which showcases the top dancers in a spectrum of dance including ballet, neo-classical ballet, contemporary, African and Afro-Fusion and Spanish. “Dance Celebration” – a showcase of original choreography from the Grade 11’s and 12’s.

The NSA Dance Department is frequently asked to perform at corporate or Embassy events. They are regularly seen at festivals and occasionally augment the corps for Joburg Ballet.

The NSA sees the importance of training the triple threat performer and the NSA dancers are known to feature in the annual musical theatre production.


A predisposition towards the Arts and Performing Arts does not preclude ambition for academic excellence. Learners from Grade 8 to 12 study a full range of academic subjects in addition to their chosen specialist subjects. The specialist studies foster the discipline and dedication which are pre-requisites for academic achievement.

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THE National School of the Arts follows the GDE CAPS CURRICULUM

GRADE 8 & 9

  • Specialist Art Subject (Art, Dance, Drama or Music)
  • English (HL)
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu or SeSotho FAL (First Additional Language)
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences (SS)
  • Natural Sciences (NS)
  • Technology Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Economic Management Science (EMS)
  • Life Orientation (LO)

GRADE 10 – 12

  • Specialist Art Subject (Art, Dance, Drama or Music)
  • English (HL)
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu or SeSotho FAL (First Additional Language)
  • Maths or Maths Literacy
  • Life Orientation

Plus, two of the following subjects:

  • Physical Science
  • Life Sciences
  • History
  • Business Studies
  • Geography


Learners receive nine hours of specialised arts tuition a week in their chosen subject.

school hours

Monday - Friday

07h30 - 14h30


17 Hoofd Street


011 339 6539