Home Language Assessment in the Foundation Phase of Grades R to 3: A Guide for Teachers

As a teacher, assessment is an essential aspect of your job, as it helps you determine your learners’ progress and evaluate their understanding of the subjects taught. The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) Section 4 Assessment for the Foundation Phase Grades R to 3 outlines the assessment and monitoring program for the subjects taught in grades 1 to 3.

The Program of Assessment (POA) consists of one Assessment Task (AT) per subject per term, resulting in 4 assessment tasks per grade. The assessment tasks should be jointly planned and developed by the grade-specific teachers and monitored internally at the school level to ensure that the activities allow the learners to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and skills. The teachers should also plan together for assessment and ensure that the assessment activities are completed by a set date. The oversight and monitoring of the POA should also be carried out at the district, provincial, and national level for quality assurance purposes.

The home language assessment program is defined in the National Protocol for Assessment Grades R-12 as a systematic way to determine a learner’s progress in a particular subject. The assessment task should have an organized and systematic approach, and the principle of alignment and integration of the language program should inform the design of the assessment task. The assessment task should not be seen as a single event or test but should comply with the principles of continuous assessment. Each task’s learning goals and focus should be assessed through various activities, and the evidence gathered from assessment activities should be used to inform the learner’s progress.

When planning and implementing an assessment task, the teacher should ensure that the content, skills, and concepts are aligned with the curriculum and are appropriate for the grade, that the assessment is differentiated to accommodate all ability levels, and that the evidence is recorded and followed up with interventions for underperforming learners and enrichment for top-performing learners. The assessment task should be structured so that there is a balance of skills assessed, and the grade overview in Section 3 of the CAPS should be used as a guide to ensure content coverage.

In conclusion, assessing learners in the Foundation Phase of Grades R to 3 is an essential aspect of the teacher’s role. As outlined in the CAPS, the POA provides a structured and systematic approach to assessment. Teachers should ensure that the assessment tasks align with the curriculum and accommodate all ability levels. The continuous assessment of the learning goals and focus through a range of activities will provide valuable evidence of the learner’s progress and inform the teacher’s decisions regarding their education.