Grade R

Our Grade R’s are considered to be the leaders of the pre-primary school. Although much of their learning is still through play, it becomes more structured and formal. The focus is not only on teaching them to read and write in this early stage of the foundation phase, but to gain the confidence to learn and to realise that the world is their oyster -anything is possible. As always, we learn through play, while we introduce more skills in challenging new ways.

In Grade R our children start to prominently develop two life skills: problem-solving and debating. We ask questions, consider many answers and learn from early on that there are two sides to every story.

Our main aim is to instil confidence and a sense of achievement in each individual as a foundation to future learning. Every year, we see our Grade R’s progress to primary school with enthusiasm, confidence and the ability to continue to learn with success.

A day in our Grade R class


Oral Expression:

Learning to communicate and express feelings, ideas, joys and frustrations is an all important life skill. We love Show and Tell in our Grade R class and we use story aids like six bricks or finger puppets to get the creative juices flowing.


We learn to crunch numbers from an early age by using an abacus, dominoes, playing cards, or anything really that is worth sorting and counting. By the end of Grade R we have a solid foundation and will easily grasp formal Mathematics in Grade 1.


Confidence is key. Later in life we need to sell our ideas, speak in front of an audience or entertain the guests at a wedding. Drama is a formal Grade R subject at Orban, but we also have a club after school where the dramatically inclined can play their hearts out during extra drama lessons for Grade R.


Art is an act of creation. It involves various skills like problem-solving, observation, good hand-eye-coordination and decision-making. The grade R artists at Orban use colour, line and buckets full of fun to make art that speaks of pure enjoyment.


In Grade R at Orban we have formal instruction in isiZulu at second additional language level. Teacher Dudu Cele is an active member of the isiZulu teaching fraternity and was recently awarded a certificate at a Teachers’ Conference for promoting isiZulu as a subject and for empowering other educators with her expertise and innovative ideas on how to make it fun and fashionable in the classroom.

Life skills:

We make and we bake and use our fingers and hands to create. Baking and playing with dough assist tactile defensive children to integrate all their senses. We also learn about quantities and textures and what happens to wet and dry ingredients when they mix.

Life sciences:

Through art, observation, books and videos we learn about our bodies – and what they look like on the inside.

Mini sport:

We learn to play mini netball, mini cricket, mini soccer and we participate in Orban’s annual Interhouse Athletics event.


The STEAM lab at Orban is a firm favourite. We play games with our Six Bricks and construct all kinds of projects. Apparently it improves our memories and we learn the basics of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. We don’t know about all of that, we just know that we love it!


The music centre at Orban has a variety of percussion instruments and we enjoy experimenting with rhythm and different percussive sounds.

Grade R Teachers

Grade R Teacher Simoné Fourie
Art – Teacher Marlies van Tonder
Dance – Mister Stephen Hawkins
Drama – Teacher Michele Zulch
isiZulu – Teacher Dudu Cele
Physical Education – Coach Karl-Heinz Koch
Physical Education – Coach Fred Leech
Physical Education – Coach Patience Ntshingila

STEAM – Teacher Nicolette Garraway

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