What Is Grade R Teacher? – Details You Need To Know

It should be noted that it was in the Revised National Curriculum Statement R-9 (2002) that the curriculum of this level was first outlined. This was actually part of the Foundation Phase Curriculum. It should be noted that in South Africa, it is not really a must that kids should attend Grade R. Also note that it was in 2010 that the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) documents were first implemented in South Africa for Grade R.

What Is Grade R Teacher?

Grade R in South Africa is also known as Reception Year. This is actually the year of schooling that comes before Grade 1. Hence, a Grade R teacher is one who teaches at this level, achieving the purposes why children are enrolled in the Grade R in the first place.

There are different types of teachers in South Africa with different forms of expertise in different areas. Nevertheless, a Grade R teacher is pivotal, as it is a strategic responsibility that has to do with foundation. A good teacher can help shape a kid appropriately, academically, and in other important ways, and the child will grow into an adult that will excel adequately. Hence, it is always important to employ only qualified Grade R teachers to handle kids in the class. And of course, on the side of parents, it is helpful to enroll their kids in a Grade R class if they still fall in the category.

What Is The Main Reason For Grade R

Actually, Grade R was included in South Africa to make ready kids for entering primary school in Grade 1. In this stage, kids are officially learners, in the language of schooling, getting familiar with certain stuff to prepare them for the next level.

A child in Grade R has passed from the usual unstructured learning to a structured learning environment and atmosphere. Here, for the first time, the child can learn to sit calmly and will be given structured and well-prepared lessons generated in line with a formal curriculum. 

Why Do I Want To Be A Grade R Teacher

Of course, any job that has to do with kids requires competency and tact. It is necessary to be passionate about children as a Grade R teacher and to have the required skills to exert excellence in your duty. 

It must be noted that Grade R in South Africa is categorized under the Foundational Phase. As a teacher of this level, you should know that learning content focuses on three subjects, which include Language, Mathematics, and Life Skills. Hence, you should be well acquainted with these, and know-how to pass it across at the level of the kids.

It should also be added that according to the existing structure, the Foundation Phase Language, as well as Life Skills CAPS documents, is used from Grade R to Grade 3. It is a different thing for Grade R Mathematics. So, it is not simply about having the desire to teach Grade R, but knowing what to do. The job is not pretty tough though. As a teacher at this level, you don’t even have to formally teach language, mathematics, and life skills, as when one is expected to teach those of higher classes. You just need to know how to expose the kids to these fields, usually via integrated play-based activities. 

It should also be added that the demand for Grade R teachers in South Africa is pretty healthy. It has been made known that as of 2015, there were 792 309 Grade R learners in 17 188 schools (released by the Department of Basic Education).

You can therefore understand that a huge chunk of all primary schools had Grade R classes in the country. Even in 2013, it was made known that there are about 21 207 Grade R teachers in the country. Unfortunately, many of them are not qualified to teach Grade R. Hence, if you are qualified, then folks like you are widely needed in South Africa.

Grade R Job Description

According to the relevant Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) documents in South Africa, it is straightforward to highlight that the Grade R job is basically teaching Grade R within a prescribed curriculum.

The job description of a Grade R teacher is basically summed up this way:

A teacher should be passionate about exposing learners to language incidentally via structured interactive activities as well as via play-based learning. It should be noted that the kids will easily assimilate into a free and fun environment.

A teacher with the know-how regarding exposing the kids to the highlighted mathematics content aspects via play-based activities:

  1. patterns, algebra, and functions
  2. numbers,  relationships, and operations
  3. data handling and measurement
  4. space and shape (that is geometry)

A teacher that knows how to develop the life skills of the kids in important areas like:

  1. Creative arts
  2. Physical education

beginning knowledge as well as personal and social well-being 


Generally, to handle kids in such a manner that you can impact and influence them academically, you should be passionate about them, and enjoy their company. You have to be patient with kids, and even beyond that, be qualified (having the capacity you need to impact the knowledge they need at their own level). Hence, if you want to become a teacher, you should get the necessary education and experience plus skills. Don’t think it’s something casual since you will be teaching kids – it is actually a big deal, as you will help to mold them to become significant adults useful to themselves in the future, as well as to their family and the society


In conclusion, it is helpful to enroll kids in a Grade R class as far as they are still at that level. More importantly, the kids should be in a class with a qualified Grade R teacher. The importance of having a qualified teacher cannot be overemphasized. They can help build the child to become one of the most significant adults in the history of times. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *