The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 gives expression to the knowledge, skills and values worth learning in South African schools. This curriculum aims to ensure that children acquire and apply knowledge and skills in ways that are meaningful to their own lives. In this regard, the curriculum promotes knowledge in local contexts, while being sensitive to global imperatives.
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 serves the purposes of:
- equipping learners, irrespective of their socio-economic background, race, gender, physical ability or
- intellectual ability, with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for self-fulfilment, and meaningful
- participation in society as citizens of a free country;
- providing access to higher education;
- facilitating the transition of learners from education institutions to the workplace; and
- providing employers with a sufficient profile of a learner’s competences
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 is based on the following principles:
- Social transformation: ensuring that the educational imbalances of the past are redressed, and that equal educational opportunities are provided for all sections of the population;
- Active and critical learning: encouraging an active and critical approach to learning, rather than rote and uncritical learning of given truths;
- High knowledge and high skills: the minimum standards of knowledge and skills to be achieved at each grade are specified and set high, achievable standards in all subjects;
- Progression: content and context of each grade shows progression from simple to complex
- Human rights, inclusivity, environmental and social justice: infusing the principles and practices of social and environmental justice and human rights as defined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 is sensitive to issues of diversity such as poverty, inequality, race, gender, language, age, disability and other factors;
- Valuing indigenous knowledge systems: acknowledging the rich history and heritage of this country as important contributors to nurturing the values contained in the Constitution; and
- Credibility, quality and efficiency: providing an education that is comparable in quality, breadth and depth to those of other countries.
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 aims to produce learners that are able to:
- identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking;
- work effectively as individuals and with others as members of a team;
- organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively;
- collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information;
- communicate effectively using visual, symbolic and/or language skills in various modes;
- use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others; and
- demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem solving
- contexts do not exist in isolation
Inclusivity should become a central part of the organisation, planning and teaching at each school. This can only happen if all teachers have a sound understanding of how to recognise and address barriers to learning, and how to plan for diversity.
The key to managing inclusivity is ensuring that barriers are identified and addressed by all the relevant support structures within the school community, including teachers, District-Based Support Teams, Institutional-Level Support Teams, parents and Special Schools as Resource Centres. To address barriers in the classroom, teachers should use various curriculum differentiation strategies such as those included in the Department of Basic Education’s.