SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Diploma in Grade R Teaching 
91954  Diploma in Grade R Teaching 
Lyceum College 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Diploma (Min 360)  Field 05 - Education, Training and Development  Early Childhood Development 
Undefined  360  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2029-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The primary purpose of this qualification is to empower teachers with the appropriate skills and knowledge to curriculate, and to optimise any teaching-learning situation. Empowerment does not mean unrestrained and unstructured actions but in fact wishes to increase the learning outcomes and other experiences which flow from it and to contribute towards developing the learner's full potential.

The human potential for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has in many ways never been greater than it is today. Yet the obstacles to human well-being on a personal, economic, social and geo-political level are formidable especially as it relates to the diversity of the South African society. What is the good life? How can we live it? How can we help others live it? Fifty million teachers around the world live these questions in their work every day. They constitute the only profession that is responsible for working with all the members of an entire generation, with the intent of enhancing the well-being of their learners through the process of learning.

Schools, which a hundred years ago served relatively small elite pockets of society, are now (second only to the family) the dominating institution for almost everyone from infancy to adulthood. While issues of cost and organisation often loom large in the minds of the public and educators, the justification for the existence of the school lies in its curriculum. What are the schools teaching? How successfully? What are they failing to teach? These are the questions that need to be subject to constant inquiry and debate.

Teachers need not stand on the periphery and be the onlookers in regard to things that are done for them and decisions taken for them, but they should be active participants in the process of relevant curriculum development and implementation. Success depends on the involvement of the teachers; they must be at the heart of the process.

The Diploma in Grade R teaching has been developed to meet specific national skills needs that exist in South Africa's Education system with specific reference to the Grade R distance education model which provides a customised and practical opportunity to aspiring or existing teachers to upgrade their knowledge and level of professionalism without having to attend full-time (contact) tuition. This qualification will systematically empower the student or existing teacher by distinguishing between but also integrating three sets of knowledge, these knowledge sets will include the following:
  • Supervised and assessed teaching practice.
  • Ability to identify barriers to learning and adapt to multiple learning needs.
  • Specialisation in First language teaching together with First additional English language teaching.

    The Diploma in Grade R teaching is an introductory qualification for learners who wish to register as qualified professional teachers in the early childhood school environment. The qualification furthermore is specifically directed to those practitioners that want to teach in the reception year of the Foundation Phase. It will provide teachers with the requisite knowledge of the following three learning qualifications (literacy, numeracy and life skills). It will capacitate teachers to offer learning and teaching in the classroom that will comply with the required standards set by the regulatory framework governing education in South Africa. The qualification mix provides for core, fundamental and elective modules. The fundamental modules are intended to provide learners with the general academic skills such as academic and computer literacy, numeracy and language teaching skills. The core modules are focused at the issues necessary for training as a Grade R teacher. As an initial teacher qualification the Diploma in Grade R teaching encompasses the seven roles identified as important for all teacher qualifications:
  • Learning mediator and counsellor.
  • Interpreter and designer or curriculator of learning qualifications and materials.
  • Educational leader, administrator and manager.
  • Scholar, researcher and lifelong learner.
  • Community, citizenship and pastoral role.
  • Assessor.
  • Learning area/subject/discipline/phase or grade specialist.

    In order to develop practical, foundational and reflexive competencies that are required for initial teacher qualifications, the qualification inter alia provides for the following: (Norms and Standards for Educators) The roles must be viewed as a broad perspective of the work that teachers perform in a teaching environment. The seven roles will continue to be useful in the design of qualifications, which lead to the development of teachers and the education of children. 

    It is assumed that the learner is competent in the language of instruction and the material, and the general theoretical, practical, and academic knowledge accomplished at NQF Level 5.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    Learning that has been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal means is recognised for the fulfilment of the requirements of this qualification or part of the qualification. It is required that through assessment practices, the learner should demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this qualification. Recognition of Prior Learning is performed by means of Integrated Assessment. This Recognition of Prior Learning may allow for accelerated access to further learning. All Recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited Education and Training Quality Assurance Body and is conducted by an experienced academic.

    Access to the Qualification:
    Access to the Diploma in Grade R Teaching is granted to applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements or who follow the available alternative route of entry. Applicants who are in possession of:
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) which grants access to Diploma studies.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) NC(V) at NQF Level 4 which grants access to Diploma studies.
  • A foreign qualification that is equivalent to the NSC as determined by SAQA.
  • A Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC) at NQF Level 4. 


    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 5:
  • Fundamentals of Numeracy, 8 Credits.
  • Fundamentals of Literacy, 8 Credits.
  • Fundamentals of Life Skills, 8 Credits.
  • Professional English, 8 Credits.
  • Teaching and Learning in Grade R, 16 Credits.
  • Developing Literacy, 8 Credits.
  • Life Orientation, 8 Credits.

    Optional Modules at NQF Level 5 (Choose two):
  • Young Children in a Multi-Cultural Perspective, 8 Credits.
  • Families in Cultural Context, 8 Credits.
  • Entrepreneurship, 8 Credits.

    Total, 80 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Professional Ethics, 16 Credits.
  • Introduction to Educational Studies, 16 Credits.
  • Introduction to Educational Psychology, 8 Credits.
  • Educational Psychology, 16 Credits.
  • Philosophy of Education, 24 Credits.
  • Perspectives in Education, 16 Credits.
  • Early childhood Education in South Africa, 8 Credits.
  • Elementary Mathematics, 16 Credits.
  • Grade R Classroom Management, 16 Credits.
  • Study of Teaching Practice, 16 Credits.
  • Grade R Observation Teaching Practice (WIL), 8 Credits.
  • Teaching Literacy, 8 Credits.
  • Teaching Numeracy, 8 Credits.
  • Teaching Life Skills, 8 Credits.

    Optional Modules at NQF Level 6 (Choose two):
  • Legislation and Child Rights, 8 Credits.
  • Second Official Language (Afrikaans or SeSotho), 8 Credits.
  • Social Sciences, 8 Credits.
  • Technologies for Education, 8 Credits.
    Total, 200 Credits.

    NQF Level 7 Module:
  • Curriculum Studies, 16 Credits.
  • Learning in Practice (WIL), 16 Credits.
  • Learning in Practice (WIL), 24 Credits.
  • Professional Development, 24 Credits.
    Total, 80 Credits. 

    1. Demonstrate competence in reading, writing and speaking the language/s of instruction in ways that facilitate own academic learning.
    2. Demonstrate competence in interpreting and using numerical and elementary statistical knowledge to facilitate own academic learning.
    3. Demonstrate competence to communicate effectively, in general and in relation to the chosen Grade R specialisation in order to mediate learning.
    4. Interpret school curriculum and unpack its specialised contents for Grade R and use available resources to promote learning.
    5. Plan, design, and reflect on learning qualifications appropriate for Grade R learners and diverse learning needs.
    6. Demonstrate competence with regard to diversity in the classroom, identification of learning and social problems.
    7. Monitor and assess learner progress and use the results of assessment to improve teaching and learning.
    8. Operate responsibly within the education system, an institution, and the community in which the institution is located.
    9. Demonstrate a positive work ethic and values and conduct self in a manner, which befits, enhances and develops the teaching profession. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Read academic and professional texts critically, integrate and use the knowledge in own studies.
  • Read and interpret with understanding written and graphic materials.
  • Foster interactive communication with learners through the use of non-judgmental language, supportive replies, constructive feedback.
  • Use the main language of instruction, English, to explain, describe, discuss and relate key concepts.
  • Use an additional language to explain, describe and discuss key concepts in a conversational style.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Apply own understanding of numerical and statistical information to own learning and everyday life.
  • Apply own understanding of numeracy and elementary statistics to manage classroom resources and monitor learner attendance.
  • Apply own understanding of numeracy and elementary statistics to record, interpret and report on the academic progress and achievement of learners.
  • Use elementary procedures for financial management, including budgeting.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Use information and communications technology to further own learning and facilitate the learning of others.
  • Convey the content in written, graphic and other forms which are appropriate to the developmental level/s and language ability of the learners in their care.
  • Demonstrate competence with regard to a sound knowledge base underpinning Grade R teaching.
  • Compare the reception year and pre-reception year qualifications as well as those of the Foundation Phase of schooling.
  • Translate child development theory into classroom practice.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Apply acquired content and pedagogical knowledge and skills in different contexts.
  • Use the characteristic language, terminology and concepts of the chosen field of specialisation appropriately, and with confidence.
  • Discuss the content of curricular knowledge in Grade R and apply appropriate conceptual frameworks to problem solving in the relevant fields of knowledge.
  • Interpret curricular knowledge in practice in own area of specialisation, in terms of a broader understanding of the relevant fields of knowledge.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Select, design and evaluate what learning resource material (including textbooks) should be selected, at what level, in what sequence and how it should be assessed, in their area of specialisation.
  • Select, adapt, or design coherent learning qualifications and lessons appropriate for the learners, context and specialisation, taking in to account national, regional and school curriculum policies, learner contexts, and learner differences.
  • Plan lessons and other learning experiences by selecting appropriate teaching and learning strategies most suitable to five-year-old learner needs, abilities and interests.
  • Justify selection and design of learning activities in ways which show knowledge and understanding of a range of theories about teaching, learning, child development and curriculum.
  • Evaluate and improve learning qualifications, learning activities and materials on the basis of experience.
  • Accommodate diversity in the planning, adjustment and use of teaching and learning strategies.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Create and maintain learning environments which are safe as well as conducive to learning.
  • Discipline learners in ways that are firm, growth promoting and fair.
  • Create learning environments that are sensitive to cultural, linguistic and gender and other differences.
  • Resolve conflict situation within classrooms in an ethical and sensitive way.
  • Manage classrooms effectively across diverse contexts in order to ensure a conducive Grade R learning environment.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • Select, adapt and/or design assessment tasks and strategies appropriate to the specialisation and a range of learning contexts.
  • Explain the link between the method of assessment, the overall assessment purpose and the outcomes being assessed.
  • Design and administer assessment tasks using clear language and instructions.
  • Use a range of assessment strategies to accommodate differences in learning style and context.
  • Evaluate own and others' assessment strategies in terms of their validity, fairness, reliability and sensitivity to gender, language and barriers to learning and development.
  • Assess and record systematically the progress of individual learners.
  • Use assessment results to provide constructive feedback on learner progress and achievement.
  • Interpret and use assessment results to inform future teaching, learning and assessment strategies.
  • Justify choice and design of assessment strategies, methods and procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Initiate and maintain effective, professional communication with parents, guardians and other members of the community and involve them in school affairs.
  • Engage with a wide variety of stakeholders regarding issues that are specifically relevant to teaching and learning practices using internal and external networking opportunities effectively.
  • Select, use and adjust teaching and learning strategies in ways which meet the needs of the Grade R learners and their contexts.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:
  • Practice and promote a sense of respect and responsibility towards others by cultivating a critical, committed and ethical attitude.
  • Behave in ways that enhance the status of professional educators and ensure an accountable culture of teaching and learning.
  • Promote the values and principles of the Constitution.
  • Engage critically with education policies, procedures and systems which impact on institutions and classrooms, as well as on the national education and training landscape.
  • Apply school policies and developmental plans to own teaching.

    Integrated Assessment:

    In the assessment strategy as whole, evidence must be demonstrated through a variety of options: case studies, problem-solving assignments, and projects, portfolio of evidence and teaching practice (Workplace Integrated Learning) and written examination. Some of these options are more suited to the assessment of foundational competence, rather than practical and reflexive competence.

    The final integrated assessment needs to assess the extent to which candidates can teach competently and effectively in different contexts. 

    Internationally, there are no qualifications focusing exclusively on the Reception Year. Instead teacher education qualifications focus on preparing teachers to work with larger age cohorts and therefore working with 5-6 year-old learners is incorporated into either (i) Early Childhood Education Qualifications (for children from birth to 4 or 5 years) and (ii) Elementary or Foundation Phase Qualifications (for children aged 5 or 6 years to 8 or 9 years). There appears to be an overlap in qualifications for teacher preparation qualifications for the 5-6 year old age group.

    We examined the design of Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase teacher qualifications offered by several institutions based in the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. This enhanced our understanding of the components of equivalent specialisation qualifications. The main difference relates to a broader focus on birth to 8 or 9 years, instead of a narrow focus on a specific age group. However, Grade R qualifications in these countries have been entrenched as part of the formal schooling system, for example in the USA kindergarten (Grade R) qualifications have been part of the schooling system for more than sixty years. In addition, kindergarten teachers are required to have the same minimum qualifications as their counterparts in primary and secondary schools. In other words, kindergarten teachers must also hold Bachelor Degrees with specialisation in Early Childhood Education.

    The Diploma in Grade R Teaching does compare with international qualifications, as most qualifications address the Reception Grade (R) within the knowledge/training that is offered to teachers in the field of Early Childhood Development. All the qualifications address child development theory, developmentally appropriate practice, a sound understanding of holistic development and the universal milestones of development. That the Diploma in Grade R Teaching puts specific emphasis on the role of the Grade R teacher in facilitating learning through play and focuses only on the Grade R learner and his/her needs does not detract from favourable comparability, since this qualification is geared towards the teaching requirements of the South African system. 

    Horizontal Articulation:
    This Qualification articulates horizontally with the Diploma: Early Childhood Development at NQF Level 06.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This Qualification articulates vertically with the Bachelor of Education (Foundation Phase) at NQF Level 07. 

    Candidates' results/performance should be moderated by one or more external moderators. They should report not only on the standard of achievement but also on the validity and reliability of the assessment strategies, design and criteria in relation to the purpose and exit level outcomes of the qualification. 

    Assessors and moderators must hold a qualification at least one level higher than the qualification being assessed or moderated. Moderators are also required to have more than two years' teaching experience. Assessors, with less than two years' experience, have their assessment work moderated by a peer. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Lyceum College 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.