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. She will also sound the alphabet and learn how to build and pronounce words. She will enjoy stories her teacher reads her.

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 she 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 she 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 him 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. Ask questions about the stories.
  • Ask him questions. Find out how he feels and what he thinks.
  • 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 5 to 10 words every day.


Numbers: Your child's ability to work with numbers will help him forge a natural link with the outside world. In Grade 1 your child will learn how to recognise, describe, record, compare and order, as well as solve word problems with answers up to 20.

Patterns: Patterns are everywhere: Your heartbeat, breathing, music, seashells, sand dunes and breaking waves. Numbers also form patterns, as in 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, … Your child must be able to recognize, describe and copy patterns, where possible. He will also work with shapes to create his own patterns.

Space and Shape: You child will learn about three-dimensional objects (spheres, balls, boxes, prisms) and two-dimensional shapes (circles, triangles and squares). Of importance also is the relationship between objects ("Is the triangle above or below the circle?").

Measurement: Your child will use informal units of measurement to determine the mass of an object (e.g. a balance scale), length (e.g. string, hand spans) and volume (e.g. bottles, containers). He will use words like 'more', 'less', 'empty' or 'full' to describe what he observes.

Time: Your child will learn to distinguish times of the day (morning, evening) and to use a calendar to determine the days of the week and months of the year.


Please talk to your child's teacher about how to build your child's reading, writing and maths skills at home. By supporting your school you can do a lot to ensure your school is a happy place in which to teach and learn.

What you can do to assist your child with mathematics

If your child can learn to enjoy and not fear mathematics then the world of patterns, numbers, shapes will open up for him. Therefore, think and talk maths with your child:

  • If the newspaper costs R 15 on Saturday and R 5 on Monday, how much more do we pay on Saturday?
  • Which bucket holds more water?
  • How much time before we take the bread out of the oven?
  • What shape should we make this cookie?
  • When shopping, point out how items are arranged on shelves, how they vary in shape, size and cost.
  • Play number games with your child (e.g. dominoes, snakes and ladders).
  • In addition to the date, weeks and months, use the calendar for counting and number patterns.


Activities to reinforce READING and LANGUAGE skills






    • It's fun to read
      Using poems, tongue twisters, riddles and more to help your child's ability to read


    • I'm reading!
      For those children confident in their ability to read






    • Plural Play
      A two player tic-tac-toe where students drag word to their correct plural endings





    • Guess What?
      Read the clue and guess the word with the least number of clicks



    • PickIt: Adverbs
      Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Read and click the adverb


  • Word Burst
    See how many words you can make before the time runs out


Activities to reinforce elementary MATHEMATICS skills

    • Animal See Saw
      A game for two players to help them learn addition and subtraction



    • Maths Circus
      4 maths games for beginners or for those who seek a bit of a challenge





    • Airline Grouping (click on the image to start playing)
      This activity introduces simple division for the beginner


    • Egyptian Mummy Numberline (click on the image to start playing)
      This activity introduces addition and subtraction for the beginner




    • Alien Addition
      Find the sum of the given numbers before the enemy lands in our territory!


    • Alien Subrtaction
      Find the difference of the given numbers before the enemy lands in our territory!


    • Save the apples
      Help the monkey save his apples by filling in the correct answer