Foundation phase

Foundation phase: Grade R to Grade 3 

In the foundation phase, we focus on teaching the foundational skills, concepts and knowledge which are required for further learning. We offer a vibrant, invitational atmosphere where the learners enjoy coming to school and where they acquire a love for learning, that will sustain them throughout their school years. We acknowledge the potential in each learner to reach optimum ability; therefore, there is less emphasis on competitiveness and more emphasis on individual achievement. We encourage opportunities for growth in independence and responsibility so that learners can take up the challenge of being personally responsible and accountable for their actions in the intermediate phase. 

In the Grade R class, learners are prepared for junior primary school through a school-readiness programme. 

The Grade R facilities include a creative room, a fantasy playroom, a cognitive area and a teaching room. The spacious garden has an enclosed ‘farm-yard’ and a wide variety of swings, jungle gyms, tactile tables and slides. This ensures that your children not only exercise their minds, but can also actively release their youthful energy. 

The three main learning areas in the foundation phase are: 

  • Language  
  • Mathematics 
  • Life Skills 

Perceptual development forms an integral part of all learning in the foundation phase, and includes gross motor skills, sensory motor integration, perceptual motor skills and language development. Computer skills and robotics lessons form part of the curriculum as well as music and art. 

St Dominics Newcastle’s alignment with 21st century skills includes: 

  • Language and literacy 
  • Mathematics 
  • Life skills


Perceptual development forms an integral part of all learning in the foundation phase, and includes gross motor skills, sensory motor integration, perceptual motor skills and language development. Computer skills and robotics lessons form part of the curriculum as well as music and art. 

Language and literacy 

Home language (English) and first additional language (Afrikaans or isiZulu) 

In the literacy subject, we have incorporated the latest global trend of matching learners to book levels and of teaching guided reading and writing. This develops conceptual understanding at the learners’ own pace. Literacy skills are also taught using structured text types.


The curriculum has been written with a learner-centric, problem-solving approach leading to an individualised, well-developed number concept in young learners. This facilitates the successful learning of Mathematics as an abstract subject from Grade 4 to Grade 12. 

Life Skills 

We have added Robotics and Science to this subject as it involves design and a deep level of cognition, which underpins the learners’ creativity in using software to program their Lego educational toys. Collaboration is encouraged by allowing learners to work in pairs.