Everything you need to know about the CAPS document for the Intermediate Phase

A guide to the Intermediate Phase CAPS document with all the information you need to be a top teacher!

The Department of Basic Education in South Africa developed and published a National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, known as CAPS, the curriculum used in state schools. CAPS covers all twelve grades in the South African schooling system and all subjects offered by schools. There are regular adjustments and amendments to the CAPS based on the latest teaching and learning developments and feedback on what works well at schools.

The Intermediate Phase is grades 4, 5 and 6

What does the CAPS document consist of?

There is a CAPS document for each subject and phase. The document provides an introduction to the aims and principles of the CAPS curriculum in section 1, specific information on the teaching and outcomes of the subject in section 2, with section 3 covering the content requirements and section 4 assessment. The policy is focused on learning and teaching in South African schools and consists of:

  • Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for each approved school subject as listed in the policy document National policy about the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12;
  • The policy document National policy about the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12 which describes the number of subjects to be offered by learners in each grade and the promotion requirements to be obtained; and
  • The policy document National Protocol for Assessment Grades R – 12 standardises the recording and reporting processes for Grades R – 12 within the framework.

What is the Intermediate Phase?

The South African school system is divided into four phases. These are Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase, Senior Phase and FET. Foundation and Intermediate Phase roughly translate to primary school, while Senior Phase and FET are high schools. Early Childhood Development or ECD is a relatively new offering for young learners before they enter official schooling in the Foundation Phase. 

Intermediate Phase Grades

The three grades in the Intermediate Phase are four, five and six. 

Is Grade 7 Intermediate or Senior Phase?

Grade 7 is not in the Intermediate Phase. It is the first year in Senior Phase but the last year in primary school.

How many subjects are in the Intermediate Phase?

There are six compulsory subjects in the Intermediate Phase

Intermediate Phase Subjects

At Intermediate Phase, learners need to take:

A new subject, currently undergoing pilots in schools, is Coding and Robotics.

Amended CAPS Intermediate Phase Document

In 2019, the DBE released an amendment to the CAPS document. This amendment focused primarily on Section 4, which is concerned with assessment. In some cases, formal assessment requirements were reduced or consolidated to lower the admin load of teachers and schools. The amendments are listed in one document.

PDFs for the CAPS document Intermediate Phase

Each subject has a CAPS document, which can be downloaded from this site as a PDF. Please download these here.

Intermediate Phase Teaching

An Intermediate Phase teacher is responsible for teaching grade 4 to 6 learners. Unlike at Foundation, teachers are not expected to teach all subjects at the Intermediate Phase. Still, they can begin to specialise in specific subjects such as languages or mathematics. Generally, Intermediate Phase teachers will be expected to participate in extramural or sporting activities.

Intermediate Phase Lesson Plans

Lesson plans can be downloaded from the Western Cape Education Department.

What is the ATP in teaching?

The DBE releases its Annual Teaching Plans (ATP) each year to guide teachers on what needs to be covered in the school year. For the past two years, these ATPs have been revised to include less content coverage due to the reduced teaching time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and school closures.

Intermediate Phase ATP

The Intermediate Phase ATPs for 2021 can be downloaded here.

How do you assess Intermediate Phase learners?

All assessment in the Intermediate Phase is internal. Use both formal and informal evaluation at the Intermediate Phase

Informal assessment is daily monitoring of learners’ progress in observation, written exercises, oral activities and presentations, written tests, reading aloud and other forms of assessments. Informal assessment happens by observing activities that the learner does independently, in a pair, or in a group. The teacher watches how the learners do their tasks, struggle with, and work together in a group or independently. Informal daily assessment tasks are not formally recorded unless the teacher wishes to do so. Lesson planning should incorporate such everyday assessment tasks and activities.

The DBE has provided guidelines on implementing and administering the formal assessment programme related to each subject in line with the released 2021 Annual Teaching Plans in the General Education and Training band. As in 2020, the emphasis on School-Based Assessment (SBA) remains on utilising strategies aligned to an assessment for learning approach to assist learners in achieving the learning outcomes of each grade and subject.

In the Intermediate and Senior Phases, the mid−year and end−of−year examinations are replaced by tests administered under controlled settings. The content of these must be based on work covered as stipulated in the 2021 Annual Teaching Plan. In principle, the June Controlled Test should cover work from Term 1 and Term 2 and would form part of the Term 2 SBA. The end of year controlled test should cover work from Term 3 and Term 4.

Types of assessment in Intermediate Phase

The main types of assessment at the Intermediate Phase are:

  • observation by the teacher
  • oral discussions,
  • practical demonstrations
  • written recording.

15 thoughts on “Everything you need to know about the CAPS document for the Intermediate Phase”

  1. Thank you, would the introduction of the eight column journals , General ledge and 3 column journals have anything to do with the move in order to prepare learners better for accounting.

  2. What is the notional teaching time for siswati in the intermediate phase classes and please brake them down

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