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The Grade 1 year

Grade 1 is an important and exciting year for your child as it is the start of their formal schooling, as this is the year that children are introduced to reading, writing and mathematics.

Perceptual development

The pupils continue to learn through experience. They advance from the known to the unknown by using as many familiar situations as possible. The school expands upon the Perceptual Programme that is started in Grade 0. Individual needs are taken into account – some pupils may need to complete more perceptual exercises than others.

Language and literacy

During this year the pupils will learn to formally read and create their own written stories. In order to cater for individual differences, a variety of materials and approaches are used and each pupil progresses at his own rate. St Peter’s uses the Time2Read literacy programme as the core curriculum, at the same time taking into account individual learning styles.

Additional Languages

Specialist teachers teach conversational skills and vocabulary in both IsiZulu and Afrikaans.


Most new concepts are introduced through problem-solving, exploratory and investigative learning. Pupils are expected to recognise and be able to manipulate numbers. The children work in different number ranges and are given differentiated tasks depending on their competence levels. The use of concrete materials remains the prime focus of Mathematics as this allows the boys the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of a variety of skills. The approach revolves around real life experiences that the children can relate to and find workable solutions for.

Creative development

The school exposes pupils to different media and materials during creative lessons. They work in groups or individually and are encouraged to paint, draw, design and construct.

From Grade 1 the boys are introduced to S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mechanics) using the "Maker-Space" which encourages innovation, creative thinking and problem solving. Lego kits, science experiments and iPads are used as part of this process as we prepare the boys for their futures. 


In order to develop co-operative learning, and to cater for different abilities, the pupils often work in groups. Sometimes these are mixed-ability groups and at other times children of similar strengths are grouped. As part of the Life Orientation lessons, boys are given the skills to work collaboratively.

Units of Inquiry

When a new Unit is introduced to the class, we explore what the boys "know" about that topic and what they "would like to know". This directs the learning in each of the classrooms. A "Big Question" is formulated and the boys work towards an answer as a class in small groups and individually through discussion, exploration and investigation. Units are chosen according to interest or current events to maintain intrinsic motivation.

Physical development

Most large muscle development is supported during Physical Education lessons. The boys are exposed to skills required for sports on offer at St Peter's as well as developing an understanding that physical education will play a role into their future. The Grade 1 boys are part of an integrated day programme which includes swimming, tennis, athletics, cricket, basketball, football, hockey and tag rugby.

An extra cost afternoon programme is available and every effort is made to meet the needs and interests of the boys.

Writing, cutting, pasting, finger rhymes and finger exercises help to develop fine motor co-ordination.


In Grade 1 independence is encouraged:

  • During the course of the year, your child should be encouraged to walk from the car park to the classroom independently
  • Pupils must take care of their possessions and ensure that they take their homework folder home every day
  • Some messages will be sent home verbally in an effort to improve memory in preparation for Grade 2
  • Daily reading is essential


The Grade 0 year The Grade 2 year