Senior Phase Life Orientation

Life Orientation is central to the holistic development of learners. It addresses skills, knowledge and values for the personal, social, intellectual, emotional and physical growth of learners, and is concerned with the way in which these facets are interrelated. Life Orientation guides and prepares learners for life and its possibilities and equips them for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society.

The focus of Life Orientation is the development of self-in-society. It promotes self-motivation and teaches learners how to apply goal-setting, problem-solving and decision-making strategies. These serve to facilitate individual growth as part of an effort to create a democratic society, a productive economy and an improved quality of life. Learners are guided to develop their full potential and are provided with opportunities to make informed choices regarding personal and environmental health, study opportunities and future careers.

Life Orientation helps learners to develop beneficial social interactions, such as respecting others’ rights and values and promotes lifelong participation in recreation and physical activity.

The subject contains the following five topics in Grades 7 to 9:

  1. Development of the self in society
  2. Health, social and environmental responsibility
  3. Constitutional rights and responsibilities
  4. Physical Education
  5. World of work

The issues dealt with in each topic are related to the issues covered in the other four topics of the subject. Owing to the interrelated and holistic nature of the subject, the five 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 7, 8 and 9 relate to those in the Foundation and Intermediate Phases and Grades 10, 11 and 12. The Grades 7, 8 and 9 Life Orientation curriculum focuses on similar areas of skills, knowledge and values and prepares learners to continue with this subject in Grades 10, 11 and 12. 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 learners to achieve their full physical, intellectual, personal, emotional and social potential;
  2. Develop learners’ skills to respond to challenges and play an active and responsible role in the economy andsociety;
  3. Teach learners to exercise their constitutional rights and responsibilities and to respect the rights of others;
  4. Guide learners to make informed and responsible decisions about their health, environment, subject choices,further studies and careers; and
  5. Provide opportunities for learners to demonstrate an understanding of, and participate in activities that promote movement and physical development.