SA School Curriculum 101 – What You Need To Know
For first-time parents, sending your child off to school is a big and scary step. Your baby will be off into the big world to learn and interact with other kids thus opening up a whole new world of homework, school fees, lunch, play-dates and new extra-curricular activities to adapt to and plan for.
Its not just parents though that experience this new-ness. Just between 2006 and 2016 alone, South African public schools have had several curriculum changes that may have left new parents confused.
Here are a few things parents of kids entering school for the first time need to know about the South African curriculum in 2016.
What is CAPS?
If you have an older child, you are likely to have heard them or their teachers use the term “CAPS.” C.A.P.S, which stands for “curriculum assessment policy statements,” was put into place by the department of education to support the National Curriculum Statement. Both these statements outline what is expected of the teaching and learning process around the country.
What Are Children Being Taught?
School kids in the foundation phase of their education (grades R – 3) are taught in three main categories: literacy, numeracy and life skills. They are learning to read and write, count and how to interact with the world around them. While language and number skills are important, social, creative, physical and emotional development is just as crucial to ensure that children develop into well-balance individuals with emotional intelligence.
How Are Children Being Assessed and Assisted?
The department of basic education has implemented an Annual National Assessment (ANA), which assesses languages and mathematics at different levels. Children in grades one to three are assessed in numeracy and literacy. The standardised test results are not used to judge whether learners should progress to the next grade, they are in fact used to see if the learners need help and how the teachers can assist.
All this has been put in place to support your child and have them reach their full potential.
It is natural to be anxious along with your first-time scholar, but with this snippet of information, parents can now go in knowing what to expect from their learning institution of choice. Daunting as it may be, in time it will start to feel familiar and homework time may even be fun.
Always remember that support and encouragement from you will set the tone of your child’s relationship with school and learning.
In April 2016, for the first time ever, the Gauteng department of education implemented an online registration system. That’s right, Gauteng parents are now being spared the soul-crushing overnight queues and are now able to apply online to schools for their children who will be in grades one and eight in the 2017 academic year.
What’s your favourite thing about homework time?