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CAPS: What you need to know

What is CAPS?

CAPS stands for National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement. The CAPS do not replace the NCS, but give clear guidelines as to what content has to be taught in a particular year and subject.

What are the time frames for implementation?

2012: Implementation of Grades 1–3 and Grade 10
2013: Implementation of Grades 4–9 and Grade 11
2014: Implementation of Grade 12

What will the procurement process be?

The National Department of Basic Education has called for all new Grade 1–3 and 10 CAPS aligned textbooks to be submitted on 17 June 2011. The screening and evaluation will take place during the June/July holiday. The catalogue of approved materials will be distributed to provinces in August 2011. Teachers are expected to make their choices by 16 September. Publishers will deliver new textbooks in time for the new school year in 2012.

What are the main changes?


  • The terminology “Learning Outcomes” and “Assessment Standards” will not be used anymore.
  • Numeracy Grade R–3 is now called Mathematics Grade R–3.
  • A Learning Area is now referred to as a Subject.
  • The CAPS give week-by-week planning for teachers to follow.
  • It gives clear guidance in terms of pacing and progression.
  • It gives clear guidelines in terms of assessment requirements.
Changes in subject offerings:
  • In 2012, English First Additional Language will be introduced in Grades 1–3. Therefore, learners will take four subjects in the Foundation Phase, namely Home Language, English First Additional Language, Mathematics and Life Skills.
  • In 2013, the following will change in Grades 4–6: Eight subjects will be reduced to six. Economic and Management Sciences will fall away; Technology will be combined with Natural Sciences; and Arts and Culture will be combined with Life Orientation.
Content changes:
  • The content to be covered has changed very little for some subjects, while for other subjects it has changed substantially.
Click on any of the below links to view the complete CAPS documents:
Foundation Phase
Intermediate Phase
Senior Phase
Further Education and Training (FET)

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