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The Grade 0 year

Grade 0 is a vital and exciting year for your child. The atmosphere in the classroom provides a happy secure environment for the transition from pre-prep school into the formal disciplines of learning to read and write in Grade 1. The aim throughout the year will be to provide an informal, happy atmosphere where pupils will be encouraged to participate fully in all activities.

Young pupils learn through experience and a concrete hands-on approach. In Grade 0 the pupils are encouraged to explore, discover and challenge themselves through play and structured activities.

Development in the following areas is planned and encouraged:

Perceptual development

St Peter’s stimulates knowledge and understanding of the world through direct personal experience. These experiences are provided in a progressive sequence through several activities: structured or unstructured, informative or creative, active or quiet, indoor or outdoor, alone and in groups. The focus of the Grade 0 year is to build a solid foundation of all perceptual developmental skills: visual and auditory perception, fine and gross motor skills, and the emotional and social development of each individual.

Language and literacy development

Language, as a vehicle for thinking, remembering, reasoning, expressing and communicating, is part of every Grade 0 activity. In addition, opportunities for the development and enrichment of language form a large part of the Grade 0 programme.

An interest in reading and writing is encouraged and pupils are exposed to pre-reading skills, early writing skills, symbol sound association and auditory discrimination through the Time2Read literacy programme.

Additional languages

Grade 0 pupils are introduced to Afrikaans and IsiZulu.

Mathematical development

St Peter’s aims to develop mathematical understanding by providing pupils with opportunities to explore concepts using concrete mathematical apparatus. Experiential exploration and problem-solving add depth to the integration of knowledge and skills. Pupils will be able to recognise, describe and represent numbers and their relationships; count, estimate and calculate. The development and appropriate use of Maths vocabulary is taught and demonstrated throughout the day.

Creative development

Creative activities are offered to allow pupils to explore the basic elements of line, form, colour, texture, space and the properties and possibilities of a variety of materials and tools in creative situations. Creative thought, sensory exploration and aesthetic sensitivity are encouraged.

Using patterning, the boys are introduced to the basic concepts required to understand and develop an Information Technology coding process. They use Lego to understand cogs, pulleys and levers as part of the simple machine's Lego programme.

Physical development

The Grade 0 programme focuses on the development of both fine and large muscles through activities. Pupils develop control of movement, refine body image and develop concepts of the body in space through experiences in the classroom and playground, as well as in the specialist physical education classes. Introduction to basic skills required for the various sports takes place as part of the intergrated day programme.

The inhouse biokinetisist completes weekly "physicalfun" lessons to develop core muscles, shoulder gurdle strength and balance in preparation for increased tabletop time in Grade 1.

A comprehensive, extra cost programme (in the afternoon) is available and caters for individual needs. This programme includes: cricket, football, rugby, karate, judo, gymnastics and dance.


Music is taught by a music specialist and includes opportunities for appreciation, memorisation, creativity, self-expression and communication, as well as perceptual and physical development. Dramatic expression plays a large role in this programme which allows the boys to develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for performance.

Educational Support

At St Peter's we have our own Educational Support Unit which includes Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Remedial Therapists and an Educational Psychologist who also offers play therapy. The teaching staff consult with the therapists on an ongoing basis and small group support is offered if needed during class time.

  The Grade 1 year