The role of active teaching programmes in academic skills enhancement of Grade 12 Learners in the Stellenbosch Region

  • M Barnard
  • KJ Van Deventer
  • MM Oswald
Keywords: Holistic development, Physical activity, Physical Education, Life Orientation/Life Skills, Literacy and numeracy skills.


The premise of this study focused on the holistic approach to the human body, mainly the connection between the brain and the body. Learners attend school as holistic beings and both the body and the brain require sufficient stimulation throughout the day. The primary purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of two intervention programmes presented over a period of 8 weeks: (1) an integrated academic skills and physical development programme; and (2) a moderately intensive physical activity programme, on Grade 2 learners' academic abilities, particularly with regard to literacy and numeracy skills. The Grade 2 learners (N=149) originated from two schools (School A [n=76]: boys=35, girls=41; School B [n=73]: boys=35, girls=38). Data was collected by means of a pre- and post-test. The measuring instruments used were the VASSI Mathematical Skills Test and the ESSI Reading and Spelling Test. The results indicated that both schools showed progress in literacy and numeracy, although it was not statistically significant (p<0.05). Based on the results obtained by the current study, general recommendations were made for the education practice. It is essential to recognise the importance of physical activity as it can have an effect on the holistic development of the child.

Key words: Holistic development; Physical activity; Physical Education; Life Orientation/Life Skills; Literacy and numeracy skills.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069