At the beginning of the school year, teachers from Sentinel Primary School refer students who are failing in the key skills areas of English, mathematics and Afrikaans to ABC for Life. Pre-tests are then administered to determine the level of functioning of each student and their suitability to participate in the programme. These are students who, with a little support, have the potential to succeed.

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Based on their proficiency, students are “streamed” into groups of between 6 to 10 students each.

Low-scoring students participate in three 45-minute bridging classes per week, amounting to 60 hours of teaching time per annum.

Those who score slightly better are assigned two 45-minute slots per week, totalling 40 hours of teaching time per annum.

The aim is to “bridge” students to their correct grade within a 12-month period.

At year-end, ABC for Life administers post-tests to determine how much of the lost work students have caught up. These results are compared to students’ results in the Department of Basic Education’s Annual National Assessment (ANA), and only if they achieve 50% or more in the ANA are students “returned” to their correct grade.

Students who are not ready to return participate in one more term of the bridging programme.