Prior to 1994, the so-called formative subjects, Guidance, Physical Education, Religious Education (usually Christian) and Moral Education occupied a fair amount of time on the school timetable. These subjects were designed to ‘grow’ learners at school in the moral, spiritual and physical dimensions of life. In those days, the state believed it was responsible for producing ‘good’ citizens amongst our children, submissive to Christian Nationalist dogma but ‘good’ citizens nonetheless. These formative subjects, subjects that didn’t count towards a learner passing or failing in the summative sense, were seen to be necessary alongside the subjects that did count, to provide a balance in the education of South African youth. Ironically, these were the first subjects to be discarded when in the early 1990’s a fairly major rationalisation of subjects taught in schools and the teachers hired to teach them, occurred.
When the national curriculum was reconceptualised in the light of a non-racist, democratic South Africa, first as Curriculum 2005, then as a The Revised National Curriculum, Life Orientation was introduced as one of eight learning areas that would be compulsory for all learners from Grade R to Grade 12. Life Orientation in no way resembles those formative subjects of days gone by. If one takes a closer look, the contents are far more intense and comprise all sorts of bits that are meant to contribute towards the holistic development of our children.
Life Orientation is designed to be interdisciplinary. It is concerned with developing knowledge about the self and the skills that will enable young people to engage socially, to be responsible citizens, living healthy and productive lives. Life Orientation is also about adopting a positive attitude towards physical activity, fitness and recreation. But that’s not all. Life Orientation has been given a human rights framework and the constitutional values of social justice, equality, equity, non-racism, non-sexism, respect for others regardless of their religious or cultural backgrounds and responsibility are meant to underpin the various bits that contribute towards Life Orientation. Life Orientation has been designed to once again bring about a balance in the education of our children. Mathematics, science and technology are necessary to equip our children for the workplace. But so is Life Orientation. Life Orientation, alongside the scientific or technical subjects must equip our children with those skills, values and attitudes that enable them to live as decent, compassionate, law-abiding and peace-loving human beings.
(Acknowledgments: Rene’ Ferguson, University of the Witwatersrand)
The aims and objectives of Life Orientation as a learning area have been divided up into the following Learning Outcomes.
Learning Outcome 1
PERSONAL WELL BEING – the learner is able to achieve and maintain personal well-being
Learning Outcome 2
CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION – the learner is able to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the values and rights that underpin the Constitution in order to practice responsible citizenship, and to enhance social justice and environmentally sustainable living
Learning Outcome 3
RECREATION AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING – The learner is able to explore and engage responsibly in physical activities, to promote well-being.
Learning Outcome 4
CAREER AND CAREER CHOICES – The learner is able to demonstrate self knowledge and the ability to make informed decisions regarding further study, career fields and career pathing.
On top of the normal curriculum we have also included the following exciting opportunities to our learners.
- Careers Evening
- The Grade 12 Job Shadowing day
- The Grade 11 Leadership Camp
The staff in this department include Mr R Coles and Mr A van Zyl.