Equipping your Child for the Future






Also known as Reception Year


Grade R (also called the Reception Year) is the year of schooling before Grade 1.


Why is Grade R so important?

Grade R was introduced to prepare children for entering primary school in Grade 1. In Grade R, children officially become learners, in the language of schooling where they learn to sit quietly and have structured lessons with a formal curriculum for the first time.


What do Grade R teachers do?

Grade R teachers teach Grade R within a prescribed curriculum, according to the relevant Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) documents. Grade R falls under the Foundational Phase, in which learning content focuses on three subjects, namely Language, Mathematics and Life Skills. Grade R teachers don’t formally teach language, mathematics and life skills, but expose Grade R learners to these fields, through integrated play-based activities. The main tasks of Grade R teachers include the following:


Expose learners to language incidentally through planned interactive activities and through play-based learning.

Expose learners to the following mathematics content areas through play-based activities

numbers, operations and relationships;

patterns, functions and algebra;

space and shape (geometry);

measurement; and

data handling.

Develop learners’ life skills in the following areas:

beginning knowledge and personal and social well-being;

creative arts; and

physical education



What are the challenges of a Grade R teacher?

Grade R teachers have to ensure that learners are ready for school in Grade 1. Because many children do not go to pre-school and do not get the benefit of a structured pre-school environment, these children who then enter Grade R may already struggle to cope with the demands of the Grade R classroom. Teachers must help Grade R learners to develop emergent writing, emergent reading and emergent mathematics skills, which demands a high level of skill from the teacher.


What is attractive about becoming a Grade R teacher?

Foundation Phase teachers choose Grade R because the school day consists of structured play and a lot of fun! Children are developing into learners, and are exposed to reading, writing and mathematics in interesting and fun ways, rather than through formal lessons.


For children who need extra attention.

I am proud to find out that all our graduates are excelling in their current schools.
All our children who complete our Grade R syllabus are taking the top 10 awards in Grade 1 in all the surrounding schools. We pride ourselves in maintaining a high education standard while making sure each child is happy and cared for. 


Approach to Learning

Our approach to learning is varied and takes into consideration the different ways in which young children learn and develop. This includes the understanding that children possess individual learning styles, process information differently, develop at their own rate and require support from their teachers that is suited to their needs. In addition, we aim to create effective learning environments, where pupils can feel valued and in which they are encouraged to become aware of their own thinking processes, as well as strategies they can master for future academic success.

We understand that learning and thinking is essentially an active process, in which children are continually building on their nascent ideas about the world around them, and developing ever more complex ideas, which they explore through their play and classroom learning. We also take into account the results of recent research in the fields of education and neuroscientific studies into brain development and learning. Through the grades, we focus on ensuring the consolidation of underlying skills and strategies and make use of various tools to develop creative and critical thinking. Our mission is to develop children that are confident, creative and can communicate effectively, and we use subject content as a vehicle to teach these vital life skills.


Learning areas

In Grade R, we focus on the three learning areas: numeracy, literacy and life skills.



Little Little Pre-primary follows an integrative approach to mathematics, combining various methods in order to deliver the most complete curriculum to the learners. Maths is a comprehensive, activity-based programme, designed to provide pupils with a firm foundation in numeracy and to develop creative and critical thinking skills resulting in efficient problem solving. It comprises a series of pupil workbooks, textbooks, teacher manuals, homework books and test books tailored to each grade. Enrichment books and reteach books are provided for learners needing extension or consolidation. Though the curriculum is informed by the set textbooks, teachers in the Junior Preparatory facilitate active experiences drawing on concrete and kinaesthetic learning.



The foundation of learning to read and write is one of the most critical in a child’s education. We use an integrated approach to ensure that our children develop and build the necessary skills to be proficient readers.

The process of learning to read is complex and to intentionally cover all the bases, Little Little combine the following programmes to support this process:

  • RWI - The principles of READ WRITE INC. underpin the teaching of sound-symbol relationships and developing phonemic awareness in all children. The programme embraces the principles of pace, passion, perseverance, purpose and praise to engage all children in learning their sounds. Sounds are taught through the use of picture cards, which link to handwriting rhymes, ensuring that the correct letter formation is grasped right at the start. Oral blending, using our special friend Fred (the puppet), equips children with the skills needed to later begin reading and spelling. Multisensory approaches to the teaching of letter formation and sound-symbol relationships are an integral part of our learning in Grade R and throughout the Foundation Phase.
  • THRASS - for the teaching of handwriting, reading and spelling skills, compliments and builds onto the READ WRITE INC. approach. It offers a method of improving vocabulary, teaching the variety of graphemes that make the same sound and provides children with a tool to help them spell and decode difficult words.

  • RAVE-O (Reading, automaticity, vocabulary, engagement and orthography) is a cognitive reading programme combining knowledge of the underlying linguistic and processing systems involved in reading to address the key components of reading.

  • Guided reading allows for classes to be divided into small ability groups where the allocated member of staff focuses on the development of a variety of reading strategies, language and vocabulary skills, as well as higher-order thinking and comprehension skills. This protocol allows us to give reading instruction to children at their correct instructional level.

There is a strong focus on written expression and from Grade 0 the children are encouraged to put their thoughts onto paper in a planned and organised manner. Tools such as thinking maps are used to facilitate this ideation and planning stage.

The sequential focus of the handwriting curriculum at Little Little is on developing pre-writing skills and writing readiness in Grade R, with the informal introduction of lower-case letters as they are written and linked to sounds.

Afrikaans and English are part of the literacy component. They are both taught at a first additional language level, This means that the same number of periods are devoted to English and Afrikaans. They are taught at a very basic level in Grade R. English and Afrikaans are done orally using simple vocabulary in the form of rhymes, songs, poems and stories. A written component is added as the children become more proficient.


Life skills

Experimentation is encouraged through the life skills programme, leading to the development of creative thinking, planning and problem-solving skills, testing boundaries and encouraging risk taking. It aims to develop social skills, including leadership, negotiation, conflict management, flexibility and empathy. Opportunities for child-initiated and -led inquiries are created.

Teachers design their termly programme around varied themes. Themes offer an interesting vehicle through which teachers can ensure that skills learned in literacy and numeracy are transferred and applied to different contexts. Children are encouraged to bring information and objects from home and opportunities for knowledge sharing and project work are created.

Educational grade outings are arranged once a term. These are often linked to themes that take place in the classroom. Shows and programmes that are presented at school are also considered outings.

The life skills programme also incorporates Philosophy for Children, Art, Music and Physical Education, which are usually taught by specialist teachers.


Philosophy for Children P4C

Philosophy for Children is a protocol that is used to develop critical thinking skills through participation and practise in philosophical and other debate. P4C aims to give the children democratic power, by enabling them to pose and select questions for discussion and allows the freedom to follow the direction of the discussion they have chosen. An environment of mutual trust and respect for each other, where children can express their opinions without fear of recourse, and where they develop an interest in understanding their peers, as well as a genuine community, is encouraged.



The purposes of art are manifold and offer the children a wide variety of skills to practise. A number of different mediums and materials are introduced through which the children are encouraged to express themselves. They engage with various tools in order to learn new techniques. By developing an awareness of the detail, concepts of perspective and position on the page are explored. There is a large emphasis on planning work before transferring it to larger pieces of paper. The children are encouraged to take time to appraise their own efforts and modify designs accordingly. Language development, decision making, visual learning and inventiveness all form an integral part of each lesson. Originality and unique interpretations are supported, together with a love and appreciation of art. The children’s artwork decorate the Junior Block in celebration of their talent and creativity.



Music forms part of the school curriculum at Little Little Pre Primary. Children are taught using a traditional African and Western music approach. Children are exposed to a wide variety of instruments and styles and are encouraged to participate in listening and movement activities. A second stream of music is included: African music includes group instruction on marimbas and African drumming and children are taught to sing and dance to music from across the African continent.


Physical Education 

Exercise readies the brain for learning and provides the body with the strength and endurance necessary to sustain concentration and seated tasks, while at the same time developing skills and positive attitudes that enhance self-esteem. With this in mind, the Little Little Physical Education programme targets physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.

The curriculum aims to develop healthy attitudes to exercise, promote an active lifestyle and foster general well-being by providing learning opportunities through the medium of movement. A wide variety of movement activities to extend agility, balance and coordination are offered in a range of increasingly challenging situations. During Physical Education, the focus is on developing the fundamental physical fitness components in order to prepare the children for sports participation. (During sport, the focus is on skill development.)

The Physical Education sessions also provide opportunities to develop desirable personal and social attributes, such as the ability to cooperate in group situations, the concept of fair play and acceptance of success and failure.

Grade R pupils have two 30-minute periods of Physical Education per week.



In order to develop confidence and communication, children are invited to say the prayer and each class is given an opportunity to participate in the assembly, in the form of a Class Assembly, once a year. The children are recognised for their efforts in the classroom and beyond, and are awarded Certificates of Recognition and house badge stickers.



Little Little believes that homework, especially in the early grades, has a limited effect on improving academic performance, unless employed effectively. A rule of thumb for homework in the foundation phase is that tasks should foster positive attitudes, habits, and character traits; permit appropriate parent involvement, and reinforce learning of simple skills introduced in class. The amount of homework assigned should be appropriate to students’ age and should not take too much time away from other home activities.

A guideline of about 15 to 20 minutes of homework is completed daily. The main focus of the homework programme from Grade R is on reading, due to its impact on achievement in all areas. A variety of books are sent home ranging from levelled reading books to library books. We expect parents or homework facilitators to spend quality time either reading to their children or listening to reading, emphasising the discussion around the book in the development of vocabulary and higher order thinking and comprehension skills.

A few routine tasks such as spelling, bonds, or consolidation and extension activities related to individual learning goals may also be sent home when needed.



At Little Little we believe that in order to create an environment that fosters good behaviour, connections – such as the relationships between teacher and pupil and between pupils – need to be developed. We believe competence needs to be built through appropriately pitched and differentiated work and quality feedback, and that confidence must be developed to ensure that each pupil maintains a good self-image.

We foster these through our academic, sporting and music programmes. Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is seen as more productive than punitive measures. Meritorious behaviour is also acknowledged through our class merit systems and the various opportunities for the children to be awarded certificates.

It is also acknowledged that pupils in the Junior Preparatory vary in their needs and responses to situations and discipline measures. Therefore, within the guidelines stated above, adaptations to disciplinary procedures that best accommodate the situation and the pupil may need to be made from time to time.

Children take a strong stand against bullying and follow an anti-bullying policy that incorporates dealing with both the bully and the victim, providing support and counselling for both.

At times, complaints go home about bullying and it is important to be wise in distinguishing between normal “children banter” and real bullying incidents. Real incidents of emotional, physical or verbal bullying need to be brought to the attention of the class teacher first and then to the Principal. Each case is dealt with according to the policy with a full investigation of all parties involved, parents are notified and, if deemed necessary, further steps are taken.


Hot Lunch

Hot lunch is available daily. Our team work hard to provide healthy food of a high quality. All children must have a hot lunch. The children are supervised during lunchtime.

Phone: 064 502 3373  

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