FET Life Orientation

Life Orientation is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. it addresses skills, knowledge, and values about the self, the environment, responsible citizenship, a healthy and productive life, social engagement, recreation and physical activity, careers and career choices. These include opportunities to engage in the development and practice of a variety of life skills to solve problems, to make informed decisions and choices and to take appropriate actions to live meaningfully and successfully in a rapidly changing society. it not only focuses on knowledge, but also emphasises the importance of the application of skills and values in real-life situations, participation in physical activity, community organisations and initiatives.

Life Orientation is one of the four fundamental subjects required for the National Senior Certificate, which means that it is compulsory for all learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12. it is a unique subject in that it applies a holistic approach to the personal, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, motor and physical growth and development of learners. This encourages the development of a balanced and confident learner who can contribute to a just and democratic society, a productive economy and an improved quality of life for all.

The subject contains the following six topics in Grades 10 to 12:

  1. Development of the self in society
  2. Social and environmental responsibility
  3. Democracy and human rights
  4. Careers and career choices
  5. Study skills
  6. Physical Education

The issues dealt with in each topic are related to the issues covered in the other five topics of the subject. Owing to the interrelated and holistic nature of the subject, the six topics of Life Orientation function interdependently and are considered to be of equal importance. The time spent on each topic may vary and should not be used as a measure of the importance of the topic. The topics of Life Orientation in Grades 10, 11 and 12 relate to those in Grades R to 9. Both Life Orientation curricula focus on similar areas of skills, knowledge and values. The content taught in lower grades serves as the foundation for the content to be taught in higher grades.


Life Orientation aims to:

  1. guide and prepare learners to respond appropriately to life’s responsibilities and opportunities;
  2. equip learners to interact optimally on a personal, psychological, cognitive, motor, physical, moral, spiritual, cultural and socio-economic level;
  3. guide learners to make informed and responsible decisions about their own health and well-being and the health and well-being of others;
  4. expose learners to their constitutional rights and responsibilities, to the rights of others and to issues of diversity;
  5. equip learners with knowledge, skills and values to make informed decisions about subject choices, careers, additional and higher education opportunities and the world of work;
  6. expose learners to various study methods and skills pertaining to assessment processes and
  7. expose learners to an understanding of the value of regular participation in physical activity.

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