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Grade R lays the foundation for all future Mathematics learning at school. The South African Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Foundation Phase Mathematics gives a framework for teaching and learning five Mathematics Content Areas. SDU, in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) developed a Grade R Mathematics Programme (R-Maths) that supports Grade R Mathematics teaching and learning. R-Maths is aligned to and extends CAPS and focuses on understanding how children learn the core concepts that underpin the CAPS Grade R Mathematics Content Areas. We emphasis a play-based, enquiry approach to teaching and learning maths in Grade R and encourage teachers to ask questions and engage in relevant and appropriate activities with children.

The R-Maths Programme is designed to provide a framework for teaching and learning Maths in Grade R and is based on a set of teaching principles that encourage inclusion, active learning, and fun, creative activities. The programme outlines and explains the concepts that are important for young children’s Maths development and sequences the Grade R Maths content across 10 weeks per term. R-Maths offers teachers structure and provides guidance that supports their lesson planning and continuous assessment of learners.

The WCED initiated the R-Maths project and with SDU trained Grade R practitioners/teachers in WCED registered public schools and community pre-schools and creches. The R-Maths Programme includes training and classroom materials.

Facilitators and participants are available in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa and training was offered in home language

- 30-hour UCT approved and South African Council of Educators (SACE) endorsed Mathematic content for teaching course offered to trainers.

- 44-hour SACE endorsed Mathematics for teachers course offered to practitioners/teachers

- Support to SAs who will train 3 200 Grade R teachers across the province at a district level in 7 x 2-hour (14 hours) cluster workshops followed by a five-day block (30 hours)


- a Concept Guide that links to the training

- Activity Guides for four terms

- Classroom kit


The R-Maths team included SDU and Primary Science Programme (PSP) Education Specialists and ECD specialists from ORT Education. 


70 ECD/Foundation Phase Subject Advisors registered for the 30-hour course, which was offered in a five-day block

2017 and 2018

The team supported Subject Advisors at dry-runs before they trained the teachers. 3 200 Grade R practitioners/teachers in the eight Western Cape Educations Districts completed the 44-hour training course, which was offered in seven afternoon workshops and a five-day block in each year.


SDU is supporting Lead Teachers to train novice teachers in R-Maths and to initiate and facilitate professional learning communities (PLCs) at their schools. In addition, SDU will offer UCT approved courses for Foundation Phase Heads of Department and for teachers in barriers to learning.


The ELMA Foundation, Zenex Foundation, Maitri Trust, Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI)

Foundation, Anglo American Chairman's Fund