From 2012 the two National Curriculum Statements for Grades R-9 and Grades 10-12 respectively, are combined in a single document and will simply be known as the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12. The National Curriculum Statement for Grades R-12 builds on the previous curriculum but also updates it and aims to provide clearer specification of what is to be taught and learnt on a term-by-term basis.
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 represents a policy statement for learning and teaching in South African schools and comprises the following:
- Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for all approved subjects listed in this document;
- National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12; and
- National Protocol for Assessment Grades R – 12.
The implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 is as follows:
- January 2012 in Grades R – 3 and Grade 10;
- January 2013 in Grades 4 –6 and Grade 11; and
- January 2014 in Grades 7 –9 and Grade 12.
In response to concerns expressed by teachers who faced various challenges in the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12, the Minister deemed it necessary to appoint a Ministerial Task Team for the review of the Implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 with the aim of investigating the concerns expressed.
The brief of the Task Team was to identify the challenges and pressure points that negatively impacted on the quality of teaching in schools and to propose the mechanisms that could address the challenges.
On 20 October 2009, the Minister announced a decision to implement the recommendations of the Task Team’s Report. The Report promotes structured and improved coordination and seeks to achieve coherence across the system for the support of the curriculum in schools.
The Report of the Task Team also recommended that the Department of Basic Education should develop a clear and simple five year plan to support of the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 in schools.
The development of a single, comprehensive, and concise curriculum and assessment policy statements would replace the current Subject Statements, Teacher Guides and Subject Assessment Guidelines in both the GET and FET Phases.
What Is The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12?
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12, to be implemented during the period 2012- 2014, represents a policy statement for learning and teaching in South African schools. It is the curriculum that underpins the various programmes followed in each Grade from Grades R – 12. It enables a learner to obtain a National Senior Certificate after completion of the full programme of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12
How Is The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 Constructed?
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 consists of three documents, namely:
- Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for each approved school subject as listed in the policy document National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12
- The policy document, National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 which describes the number of subjects to be offered by learners in each grade and the promotion requirements to be obtained; and
- The policy document, National Protocol for Assessment Grades R – 12 (January 2012) which standardises the recording and reporting processes for Grades R – 12 within the framework
Why Was It Necessary To Repackage The Curriculum in 2010?
Teachers expressed their concerns about the various challenges in the implementation of the Revised National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 9 and the National Curriculum Statement Grades 10 – 12. The Minister of Basic Education then appointed a Task Team to identify the challenges and pressure points that negatively impacted on the quality of teaching in schools and to propose the mechanisms that could address the challenges.
The Ministerial Task Team recommended that the Department of Basic Education develop a clear and simple five year plan to support the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 in schools and refine curriculum documents.
What Are The Principals Of The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12
The National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 is based on the following principles:
- Social transformation;
- Active and critical thinking;
- High knowledge and high skills;
- Human rights, valuing indigenous knowledge system;
- Quality and efficiency; and
- Providing an education that is comparable in quality, breadth and depth to those of other countries
What Are The Aims Of The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12?
To equip learners with the skills 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.
What Are The Changes To The General And Further Education And Training National Curriculum Statements?
The following changes emanated from the Ministerial Task Team’s recommendations in stages. The changes are categorised into two categories,
- Decisions with immediate effect for implementation since 2010; and
- Decisions with a longer term effect for implementation during the period 2012-2014.
Decisions with immediate effect for implementation since 2010 are:
- Discontinuation of the Learner Portfolio Files;
- Requirements for a single teacher file for planning;
- Reduction of the number of projects required by learners; and
- The discontinuation of Common Tasks of Assessment (CTAs)
Decisions with a longer term effect for implementation during the period 2012- 2014 are:
- The reduction of the number of Learning Areas in the Intermediate Phase of the General Education and Training Phase;
- The teaching of English as a First Additional Language to be given priority to be taught from Grade 1;
- Regular external systematic assessment of Mathematics, Home Language and English First Additional Language in Grades 3, 6 and 9; and
- The development of curriculum and assessment policy statements per learning area and subject
What Other Changes Have Been Made To The General And Further Education And Training National Curriculum Statements?
The following additional changes have been approved to be accommodated in the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12
The weighting of School-Based Assessment (BA) and the end-of-year examination will be as follows:
|Phase||SBA component %||End-of-year examination %|
|Further Education and Training Phase||25||75|
The seven-point rating scale currently used in Grades 10-12 will also be used in the other three school phases, namely:
|Achievement Level||Achievement Description||Marks %|
A change in the designation learning areas to subjects
What are the Implications of the Curriculum Repackaging Foundation Phase (Grades 1-3)?
The Foundation Phase Learning Programmes will be increased to four subjects in order to accommodate the teaching of English at First Additional Language level as a separate and important part of the timetable.
The following are the four identified subjects to be taught in Grades 1-3 of the Foundation Phase:
- Home Language;
- First Additional Language;
- Mathematics; and
- Life Skills (Beginning Knowledge, Arts and Crafts, Physical Education and Health Education)
What are the Implications of the Curriculum Repackaging for the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4-6)?
The following changes will be implemented from 2013:
- The first decision is that the learning areas in the Intermediate Phase have been reduced to six subjects. The result is that in Grades 4-6 Technology will be combined with Natural
- Sciences, Arts and Culture will be combined with Life Skills and Economic and Management Sciences will be taught only from Grade 7.
- The following are the six identified subjects:
- Home Language;
- First Additional Language;
- Natural Sciences (including Technology);
- Social Sciences; and
- Life Skills (Creative Arts, Physical Education and Religious and Moral Education)
What are the Implications of the Curriculum of the Repackaging for the Senior Phase (Grades7-9) and Further Education and Training Phase (Grades 10-12)?
As in the case of the Foundation and Intermediate Phases, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement for each subject will replace the current Subject Statements, Learning Programme Guidelines and Subject Assessment Guidelines. The number of subjects to be offered by learners remain the same in both the Senior and Further Education and Training Phases.
When will the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements be Implemented?
- January 2012 Grades R – 3 and Grade 10
- January 2013 Grades 4 – 6 and Grade 11
- January 2014 Grades 7 – 9 and Grade 12
How Different is the First Nine Years of Schooling From that of Grades 10-12?
During the first nine years of training in the General Education and Training Phase you were introduced to eight learning areas, which are a combination of various subjects. In the Further Education and Training Phase the learner will be introduced to 29 individual subjects, which made up the eight learning areas
How Many Subjects Must a Leaner Select in Grade 10?
Seven subjects comprising 4 compulsory and three optional subjects.
How Must a Learner Choose Their Subjects?
A learner in Further Education and Training must select the following four compulsory subjects from the list of compulsory subjects:
- Two (2) of the 11 official languages, provided that one of the two official languages is offered on the Home Language level, and the other, on either Home or First Additional Language level, and provided further that one of the two languages is the language of learning and teaching;
- Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy; and
- Life Orientation.
- Furthermore, a learner must select a minimum of any three subjects selected from the list of optional subjects
- Learners may offer a maximum of one subject developed by accredited assessment bodies other than the Department of Basic Education and approved by the Minister of Basic Education for this purpose.
What Can a Learner Do if he or She wants to Choose a Subject that is not offered by the school where they Register?
Learners must first obtain approval from the Principal of the school where they are registered, as well as permission from the Principal of the school where the additional subject is offered before they can register for that subject. The school where the learners are registered must ensure that all internal assessment and examination marks are supplied by the school which is offering the additional subject
From how many different languages may a learner choose form?
Although languages are listed as one of the 29 subjects, there are in fact 11 official languages at three different levels, namely at Home Language level, First Additional Language level, and Second Additional Language level. Apart from the 11 official languages there are also 14 non-official languages which are offered at different levels
How Many languages may a learner choose?
A learner may offer a maximum of four languages as part of his or her seven-subject package. Apart from the required two official languages, a learner may either select two further official languages on Home or First Additional Language level, or two languages on Second Additional
What are the pass requirements of the national senior Certificate?
To pass each of Grades 10, 11 and 12, a learner must obtain 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level, and 30% in three subjects. Although a learner may fail one subject, he or she must have completed the internal assessment component of the subject failed.
When will the national Senior certificate examination be conducted?
From October to December each year.
Must a learner register to write the final national senior certificate examination?
Yes, before 15 March of the year that a learner will sit for the final examination. All subjects to be written, including those from approved assessment bodies must be registered.
What is the Role of Umlalusi?
Umalusi is responsible for the quality assurance of assessment in the Grade 12-year and issues the National Senior Certificate to successful candidates
Is there a Second chance for National Senior Certificate Candidates who have failed the final exam?
A supplementary examination may be granted under to an unsuccessful National Senior Certificate candidate if the candidate has:
- failed a maximum of two subjects;
- is medically unfit;
- did not satisfy Higher Education admission requirements; or
- has personal problems such as a death in the immediate family
Will Higher Education Accept the National Senior Certificate?
Higher Education South Africa (HESA) makes provision for three different qualifications for which a learner with a National Senior Certificate. These are the Higher Certificate; Diplomas and Bachelor’s Degrees.
For admission to a Higher Certificate, a candidate must obtain a National Senior Certificate, that is a pass of 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level, and a pass of 30% in three subjects.
The minimum entrance requirements for Diploma study is a National Senior Certificate with an achievement rating of 3 (Moderate Achievement, 40-49%) or better in four recognised National Senior Certificate subjects
To meet the minimum admission requirements to a Bachelor’s Degree study at a higher education institution, a candidate must obtain, apart from a National Senior Certificate, an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50% - 59%) or better in four designated subjects. For this purpose Higher Education South Africa (HESA) has identified the following National Senior Certificate subjects to serve as designated subjects:
- Agricultural Sciences;
- Business Studies;
- Dramatic Arts;
- Engineering Graphics and Design;
- Consumer Studies
- Information Technology;
- Languages (one of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and two other recognised language subjects);
- Life Sciences;
- Mathematical Literacy;
- Physical Sciences;
- Religion Studies; and
- Visual Arts.
In addition to the above entrance requirements for a Higher Certificate, Diploma, or Bachelor’s Degree study, HESA will, require over and above the met requirements, a pass of 30% in the First Additional Language, if that language is the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution
This article has been prepared to guide parents and learners during the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement for Grades R-12 during the period 2012-2014, and has been obtained from www.education.gov.za.
Information supplied by Department Basic Education