Literacy and Numeracy: Tips for Parents | Western Cape Government

Literacy and Numeracy: Tips for Parents

(Western Cape Government)

Grade 1 is a very important year. If your child enjoys their first few days at school, they'll learn more easily, grow in confidence and build a solid foundation for the rest of their learning lives.

The Western Cape Government has prioritised the improvement of literacy and numeracy skills by implementing a number of interventions within the education system, particularly in the Foundation Phase.

These interventions include the testing of learners in Grades 3, 6 and 9 to assess literacy and numeracy performance. The Western Cape Government introduced over 250 000 learners taking part in these tests each year. The results of these tests inform the province's literacy and numeracy strategy and assist identifying schools and areas where corrective action is needed.

In order to prepare your child for this competitive level of schooling, you need to play an active role in your child's development. What are some of the things you can do to help your child achieve in the first grade?

Ensure that your child knows what to expect

Everybody needs to know what to expect when starting something new. Talk to your child and find out what they expect and address their worries. Answer all questions and explain that school is a place where they'll meet new people, get to make lots of friends and learn to read, write and calculate.

  • Ensure your child that you will help with reading and writing in Grade 1 and that you will assist in learning many new words.
  • Explain the importance of listening in class and do the work given to the best of their ability.
  • Suggest that learning is exciting and fun.
  • Explain that the two most important things any child must do is to learn how to read and how to do sums, and that these skills are very important because they open doors to the world of learning.

Are you prepared?

In order to effectively assist your child, make sure that you understand the learning areas and subjects offered at foundation level. For public schools, Grade 1 curriculum comprises of three subjects:

  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Life Skills

What your child must know and be able to do by the end of Grade 1

Listening and speaking: In Grade 1, your child will learn to listen carefully and to ask questions. They will also sound the alphabet and learn how to build and pronounce words.

Reading: Being able to read will open your child to more of the real world and more of the world of the imagination. By the end of Grade 1 they should have learnt to recognize and sound all the letters of the alphabet, including simple words and sentences.

Writing: In Grade 1, your child will learn how to use a pencil, paintbrush and crayon. By the end of Grade 1 they will be able write all the letters of the alphabet, including simple words, sentences and stories.

What you can do to help your child develop language skills

Here are some tips to assist your child:

  • Set aside time in which to talk about school.
  • Encourage eye contact in order to help them concentrate on what is being said.
  • Keep alive your child's natural curiosity by answering questions fully.
  • Develop a love for reading by regularly visiting the library and helping choose books your child will enjoy.
  • Read your child a story every night before bed.
  • Develop a love for story-telling. Tell family stories and encourage him to tell stories about his own experiences and ask questions about the stories.
  • Ask questions and find out how they feels and what they think.
  • Give books as presents.
  • Make your child conscious of the alphabet. (Is this a "b" or a "d"?).
  • Help your child to read words (What is the name on this label?).
  • Increase your child's vocabulary by five to 11 words every day.

For more information and tips on how you can help your child progress through their schooling years, visit the Western Cape Education Department's (WCED) website.

The content on this page was last updated on 28 August 2019