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The 7 things to do when setting up a Grade R classroom

1. Evaluate the classroom space and your style. The physical layout should follow the guidelines, as supplied by the Department of Education, but should reflect your own teaching style as well. Download the DBE's recommended Grade R Classroom Layout here

2. Add personal touches. As mentioned, the physical layout should also reflect you. Don't hesitate to give the room your personal touch with plants, art, mats, posters, and maybe some cozy pillows for the the reading corner.

3. Create distinct areas.
Within any Grade R classroom, there are in effect 10 distinct areas to consider:


  • Creative Arts Area
  • Literacy Activity Area
  • Life Skills Activity Area
  • Blocks and Puzzles Area
  • Numeracy Activity Area
  • Nature and Discovery Table
  • Large Carpet Area
  • Writing Area
  • Furniture
  • Outdoor Play and Furniture

4. Select the Educational Materials you need for your Grade R classroom. Important is to focus on the different learning outcomes and purchase a wide range of resources. It is more beneficial to select key materials that can be used in an integrated way, covering key subjects and various topics such as Large and fine motor skill development, sensory processing and visual perception.

5. Keep supplies within easy reach. Easily accessible materials and supplies can eliminate delays, disruptions, and confusion as learners prepare for activities. In poorly arranged classrooms, learners spend a lot of time waiting. Ensure to have a good storage and labeling system in place. Benefit to you? An organized classroom. Benefit to the learner? A great way to learn about sorting, classifying & matching.

6. Draw up a comprehensive inventory list and check regularly. It is important to keep a detailed record of all materials within a classroom. Click here to get your free copy of a Class inventory list. This states the description of the product, date of purchase, condition of resource and term. It is also important to keep a record of all losses and damages so that they can be addressed by repairing or replacing the items.

7. Last but not least: Never forget the importance of Safety
As you design and set up your classroom, keep the following basic safety checklist in mind:


  • High traffic areas (for example in Creative Arts area) are free of congestion
  • Student's desks are always visible
  • Arts and writing supplies, especially sharp, are stored safely
  • Breakable items are displayed or stored in safe places
  • window and door exists are unobstructed
  • Mats are fastened down so no one trips
  • Fire drill procedures and exit routes are posted by the door
  • Your name, class and room number are posted on the classroom door, where learners, colleagues and learners can see them easily

You most likely have equipped your classroom with a First Aid Kit. If you don't have one, consider the benefits of a Mini First Aid Kit in your drawer at your desk.
It is very affordable and ensures you the right equipment for minor injuries in and around the classroom. If you need one for your entire classroom, just click here.

For more instant (and free) tips, tricks and solutions for Grade R, click here