Grade One SA Syllabus Made Simple

Compiled by Robyn, South Africa ~ © April 2007


This is a very basic Grade 1 South African syllabus outline that I put together for my own use. I found the online one wordy and confusing.  Please note that this is my own guide and is by no means an official syllabus!


For the full South African Grade 1 Revised National Curriculum Statement Guide, visit -





Numbers and Relationships


-Counts forwards and backwards in ones from any number between 0 and 100 AND tens from any multiple of 10 between 0 and 100.

-Knows and reads number symbols from 1 to at least 100 and writes number names from 1 to at least 34.

-Solves money problems involving totals and change in rands and cents.

-Calculations, using appropriate symbols, to solve problems in addition and subtraction with whole numbers and solutions to at least 34.

-Performs mental calculations in addition and subtraction for numbers to at least 10.

-Doubling and halving.


Patterns and Algebra


-Copies and extends simple patterns using physical objects and drawings (e.g. using colours and shapes).

-Copies and extends simple number sequences to at least 100.

-Identifies, describes and copies geometric patterns.




-Recognises, identifies and names two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects including boxes (prisms), balls (spheres), triangles, rectangles and circles.

-Describes and compares two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects according to size; objects that roll or slide and shapes that have straight or round edges.

-Recognises symmetry in self and own environment with focus on ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘front’ and ‘back’.

-Describes and acts out one three-dimensional object in relation to another e.g. ‘in front of ’ or ‘behind’.




-Describes the time of day using vocabulary such as ‘early’, ‘late morning’, ‘afternoon’ and ‘night’.

-Compares events in terms of the length of time they take (longer, shorter, faster, slower).

-Sequences events using language such as ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’.

-Places birthdays on a calendar.

-Estimates, measures, compares and orders objects using measures in mass (e.g. bricks, sand bags); capacity (e.g. spoons, cups) and length (e.g. hand spans, footsteps).


Data Handling


-Collects objects according to given criteria or categories and sorts objects according to one attribute e.g. ‘Sort crayons into colours.’).

-Draws a picture as a record of collected objects.

-Describes own collection of objects, explains how it was sorted, and answers questions about it.







-Listens to instructions and responds appropriately and listens to messages and conveys them correctly.  Listens without interrupting, taking turns to speak and asking questions for clarification.

-Listens with enjoyment to short stories, rhymes, poems and songs and can listen for the main idea and important details in the story;

act out parts of story, song or rhyme; join in choruses; draw a picture of the story and writes a few words about it; put pictures in right sequence and matches captions with pictures; answer open questions about the story and expresses feelings about the story.

-Phonic awareness by distinguishing between different sounds at the beginning of words; recognising rhyming words and recognising plurals (‘s’ and ‘es’), ‘-ing’ and ‘-ed’ at the end of words.



-Talks about personal experiences, feelings and news.  Communicates ideas using interesting descriptions and action words.  Sings, recites, act out and mimes songs, poems and rhymes.  Uses language imaginatively for fun and fantasy.  Passes on messages.
Recounts in sequence personal experiences.  Tells a familiar short story that has a beginning, middle and ending, using pictures for support if necessary. Contributes to group discussions.




-Predicts from the cover of a book what the story is about; uses illustrations to interpret the meaning of stories and tells a story;

interprets information including simple tables and graphical images found in print, media and advertising such as calendars and rosters.

-Role-plays reading - holds a book the right way up; turns pages appropriately; looks at words and pictures and uses pictures to construct ideas.

-Makes meaning of written text - reads a story with the parent and discusses the main idea, identifies the details, says whether the story was liked and why.

-Recognises letters and words and makes meaning of written text - reads simple written materials; reads own writing; uses phonic and word recognition skills to decode new or unfamiliar words in context.

 -Develops phonic awareness - recognises and names letters of the alphabet; understands the difference between letter names and letter sounds; segments simple words with single initial consonants and short vowels (e.g. f-at, c-at, m-at, h-at, s-at); recognises the ‘silent e’ in common words such as ‘cake’; recognises two letter blends at the beginning of words (e.g. gr-een, bl-ow); recognises common consonant diagraphs at the beginning and end of words (e.g. sh, th, ch); recognises high-frequency sight words such as ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘to’, ‘my’, ‘your’, ‘like’ and including own name and print in the environment.

-Reads picture books with simple captions for information and enjoyment.




-Manipulates writing tools effectively; develops letter formation and handwriting skills, tracing and copying words; forms letters of the alphabet successfully.

-Writes for different purposes: compiles lists; writes simple labels or captions for drawings; creates simple texts such as birthday cards;

organises information in simple graphical forms, such as a chart or roster;

-Contributes ideas to a group writing a story (initially with parent as scribe); writes and reads own draft to others, and starts to make revisions.

-Writes so that others can understand: uses letters to form single words and short sentences; leaves spaces between words; uses left to right, top to bottom orientation to print; writes own sentences; starts to use basic punctuation (capital letters and full stops). Forms the plural of familiar words and uses capital letters for names.

-Begins to build vocabulary and starts to spell words so that they can be read and understood by others: writes words that represent familiar people, places and things; spells common words correctly; attempts to spell unfamiliar words using knowledge of phonics;

builds own word bank and personal dictionary.

-Writes simple sentences: uses punctuation - a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and a full stop at the end; uses nouns, pronouns (I, you, she, he, etc.) and prepositions correctly; uses simple present and past tenses correctly.


Thinking and Reasoning


-Understands concepts such as quantity, size, shape, direction, colour, speed, time, age, sequence;

-Understands and uses language for logic and reasoning, such as cause and effect; classifies information; identifies parts from the whole (e.g. parts of a bicycle, parts of a plant); identifies similarities and differences, using appropriate language (e.g. like, the same as, different from).

-Uses language to investigate and explore: asks questions and searches for explanations; offers explanations and solutions; solves picture and word puzzles.





Not necessary until Grade 3 unless you want to start earlier.





The other subjects for Grade 1 such as Arts, Management, Life Orientation, Technology, Natural Science, History and Geography are pretty much part of a homeschoolers everyday life. I found them pointless to read, but if you’d like to make sure, you can find all the details on the link provided at the top of this page.





Grade 1 ALL-IN-ONE Integrated Learning Programmes package (available in English and Afrikaans from or CNA countrywide)

Consists of Teacher’s Guide, Resource Book, Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills Workbooks


Little Footprints in Our Land is an excellent literature based curriculum for ages 4-8.


Online Reading Programmes-


Ideas for Implementing Living Math in a Home Environment-

Living Math Ideas









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