How to teach Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase

Learn about Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase, and how best to teach this exciting, new subject!

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Coding and Robotics is a new subject introduced by the Department of Basic Education for grade 1 – 9 in South Africa. It aims to prepare learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by introducing technology, processes, and ways of thinking that allow them to live and work in a digitally-enabled society. ​

Coding and Robotics Knowledge Strands

The Coding and Robotics Foundation Phase subject in grades 1 to 3 consist of the following Knowledge Strands: ​

  • Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving    ​
  • Algorithms and Coding       ​
  • Robotics Skills          ​
  • Internet and E-Communication      ​
  • Application Skills
Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase consists of five knowledge strands. The subject methodology is based on computational thinking and the engineering design process.

21st Century Skills

The Coding and Robotics subject is aimed at guiding and preparing learners to solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and creatively, function in a digital and information-driven world, apply digital and ICT skills and to transfer these skills to solve everyday problems and its possibilities, including equipping learners for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society. ​

Coding and Robotics can help teach 21st Century Skills in the Foundation Phase

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Do you have what it takes to be a Foundation Phase teacher?

Find out all the facts behind teaching grade one, two and three learners, and decide whether you are the the right fit for this challenging career!

Foundation Phase teaching is the teaching of learners in grades 1, 2 and 3 in the South African school system. Generally, one teacher is responsible for teaching all subjects, and it is a foundational period as this is when reading, writing and numeracy are taught. 

Typical Foundation Phase teacher activities 

The Foundation Phase teachers are responsible for the following activities:

  • The preparation of lessons as per the CAPS curriculum requirements
  • Researching new teaching aids and support material such as textbooks
  • The development of each students’ interests and abilities through activities
  • Tracking the progress of each learner. Reporting this back to the parent or guardian as well as senior members of the school
  • Responsible for guiding and supervising work in class while retaining discipline (a sometimes difficult task with younger learners!
  • Maintain all records as required by the Department of Basic Education
  • Participate in staff meetings, parent-teacher conferences and other events as required
  • Fulfil assessment requirements such as conducting and marking tests

The Foundation Phase teacher’s role is varied and exciting but can also become overwhelming in larger classes. The suitable systems and processes need to be put in place early in a teacher’s career.

A Foundation Phase teacher in a classroom
A Foundation Phase class

What is the Foundation Phase?

The Department of Basic Education is responsible for K12 education in South Africa, and the local curriculum is called CAPS. This curriculum is divided into four phases – Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase, Senior Phase and FET. Foundation Phase is the first three years of schooling, and the medium of instruction is the learners home language. The language of teaching and learning then switches to English in the Intermediate Phase and for the remainder of the schooling system.

At Foundation Phase, the learner’s subjects are Languages (Home and First Additional), Mathematics and Life Skills. These three subject areas prepare the learners for the rest of their school career, and it is essential to get teaching right at this level!

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