Primary school children all dressed up for readathon day 2001

In class one the letters of the alphabet are developed pictorially from stories and from the forms of nature. Writing follows from drawing; reading then grows naturally out of writing. The objective is a vivid experience of the sounds and shapes of the letters, preceded by a broad experience of language as it lives in poetry and story.

Arithmetic is introduced in the first class with attention both to the qualitative and quantitative aspects of number. The children may experience, for example, how the number one can be seen not only as the smallest number, but as the largest, encompassing all the others in one world, one whole. Effort is always made to relate the subject directly to daily life rather than to present it as a purely abstract study.

Number concepts and patterns, freehand geometry and arithmetic practice with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing consolidate the experience of numbers in classes two and three, while fables, legends, farming enrich content and expand writing and reading skills.

By class four, children are ready and eager to explore the surrounding world through geography. Their studies begin the environment close to home, and grow to include nearby land, towns, streams and mountains. Class fours also learn about the animal kingdom and the many relationships between animal and man. They study Norse myths as a preface to history which begins properly in class 5.

Primary school children at music practise

Primary school children at woodwork class

The horizons of the class fives widens to encompass the geography of South Africa. They begin to relive, though history, the evolution of human consciousness, beginning with ancient
India, Egypt and Greece. In science they receive an introduction to botany. By class six, the science curriculum expands to include astronomy and physics through an introduction to light an sound. History moves from Roman to medieval times and geography expands to include......

During the last two elementary years the student is brought up to date through modern history and world geography. The study of man and animal, begun simply in class four, is expanded in class five and leads to elementary physiology in the junior high school years; physics ( an introduction to electricity and magnetism) and chemistry are also part of the science curriculum for classes seven and eight.

Languages are an intrinsic part of the elementary school curriculum. Currently Afrikaans and Zulu are introduced in class one with an emphasis on conversation and on learning though doing: games, singing, reciting and plays. Grammar and simple reading follow, starting in class four. The purposes of these classes is to acquire a certain flexibility of outlook. We attempt to foster in the students a feeling for the special character of a language and of the people who speak it.

Handwork and crafts are an important part of the school curriculum throughout the elementary years. In classes one and two all students learn to knit and crochet, followed by sewing and embroidering in classes three and four, and then woodworking an more complex projects in later years. Through these activities students develop co-ordination and concentration, a sense for form and design and an appreciation for the beauty in everyday objects.