Instead of having 'subjects' at schools, we now have Learning Areas. These Learning Areas are grouped into Learning Programmes earlier on, and then studied as seperate areas when the learners are in Senior Phase. The General Education and Training band is divided into three 'phases'. There are tests and assessments throughout the year and at the end of each year, but the main tests are at the end of each phase.
Foundation Phase (Grades 1-3)
In this phase there are three 'Learning Programmes': Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills. Teachers are given guidelines for the teaching and assessment of these programmes. Schools are encouraged to integrate the three programmes, meaning that they try to teach parts of each programme together.
Intermediate Phase (Grades 3-6)
In this phase Languages and Mathematics are introduced as specific Learning Areas.
Senior Phase (Grades 7-9)
There are eight Learning Areas in the Senior Phase. Each Learning Area has its own curriculum and a set of Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
A Learning Outcome is a description of the knowledge, skills and values learners should have at the end of the GET level for each Learning Area. This is what your child should be able to understand, talk about and do by the time they finish Grade 9.
The Assessment Standards for each year break the LOs down into manageable units. They describe the concepts and skills (understanding and ability) your child should master each year in order to achieve the LO for that Learning Area. They will tell the teacher, and you, whether your child seems to be managing in that subject. The teachers check whether the children are managing through different forms of assessment. These can be tests (written or spoken), projects (individual or group) or other 'formal' assessments, or they can be informal, based on the teacher's observation of your child in the classroom.