CAPS Explained


Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements or CAPS. It is a revision of the current National Curriculum Statement (NCS). With the introduction of CAPS, every subject in each grade will have a single, comprehensive and concise policy document that will provide details on what teachers need to teach and assess on a grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject basis. This curriculum review has the aim of lessening the administrative load on teachers, and ensuring that there is clear guidance and consistency for teachers when teaching.

CAPS gives detailed guidance with regards to what teachers need to teach and how they should assess. With CAPS each teacher in every subject should know what to teach, when to teach it, and how to do assessment.

Education authorities are introducing the CAPS over three years, as follows:

  • 2012: Grades 1 to 3, and Grade 10
  • 2013: Grades 4 to 6, and Grade 11
  • 2014: Grades 7 to 9, and Grade 12

Features of the CAPS include the following:

  • Greater specification of content
  • Detailed teaching schedules
  • New content in some cases

Major changes have included:

  • Greater focus on a second language in Grade 1
  • Reducing the number of subjects in Grades 4 to 6 from eight to six
  • Greater emphasis on geometry in Mathematics in Grades 10 to 12

In 1997 Outcomes-Based education was introduced to overcome the curricular divisions of the past, but the experience of implementation prompted a review in 2000. This led to the first curriculum revision: the Revised National Curriculum Statement (NCS) grades R-9 and the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) Grades 10-12 (2002). On going implementation challenges resulted in another review in 2009 and the DoE revised the RevisedNational Curriculum Statement (NCS) (2002).

The National Curriculum Statement (NCS) for Grades R-12 builds on the previous curriculm but also updates it and aims to provide clearer specification of what is to be taught and learnt on a term-by-term basis.

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