The variation of needs in a classroom




Look at the range of proficiency levels for this group of learners. It extends from learners at Grade 3 level through to learners at Grade 9 level. And they are all in the same Grade 9 class. This is also only showing an overall level. This data was collected from an assessment of 81 different concepts – and each learner demonstrated their proficiency from Grade 1 to Grade 9 on each of those concepts.

You can see how different each learner’s skillset in Maths is. The demand for the class teacher to meet each learner’s specific needs seems impossible! And we’re also not trained for it.


Most pre-service teacher training is delivered in phases. A Senior Phase teacher is not trained to teach Foundation Phase, nor Intermediate Phase. A High School teacher is not trained to teach Primary School mathematics. This makes the task of catching up learners that have backlogs that extend back beyond their phase very difficult to address.



How do we find these specific gaps? How do we target them in remediation? That’s what we’re going to explore next.