Supporting Grade R to Grade 3 Learners with Chronic Illnesses

posted by / Tuesday, 31 March 2015 / Published in Latest posts

Support and empowerment for Foundation Phase teachers

This manual has been written with the principles underpinning the primary health care approach of the school health service in mind. It shows clearly the necessary partnership between the Department of Education and the Health and Social Development sectors. The document attempts to ensure that educators are enabled to attend to the basic needs of the children in their care, promoting their well-being and helping them to grow in every way. (National School Health Policy and Implementation Guidelines, 2003).

Anyone with teaching experience knows that the job of a teacher is hardly ever done. Aside from educating pupils and finishing the curriculum, teachers’ tasks are demanding and need skills and time. You are going to be asked to focus on another group of learners in your classrooms – children suffering from chronic diseases or disabling conditions.

This teachers’ guide aims to support you. It provides knowledge, strategies and practical tips to use in order to manage your classroom in a caring way that includes all learners. Although the guide is designed for Foundation Phase teachers it can be adapted for use by those working in ECD centres for pre-school children and for older learners higher up the schooling system. In some sections of the guidelines reflection activities have been included. It will benefit you to spend time on these. They will help you understand how to put this material to good use.


While the concept of inclusive education is very important when considering children experiencing chronic illness or symptomatic disease, this manual simply deals with it in so far as it acknowledges the importance of accommodating any child who is different or who is experiencing learning difficulties for any reason. This document had to be easy to use and kept to a manageable size, so it has not been possible to include material on how to deal with learning difficulties experienced through poverty, trauma, disability etc. Ideas for teaching inclusively have been placed in the ‘Training Resources’ section at the end of this manual. However, useful addresses have been included at the back of the book to facilitate the support of such children by teachers.


You are not expected to deal with children with special needs (such as those who are sick) on your own. All those involved in the child’s life should act together and cooperate to provide assistance in different ways (see Guideline 3: Network and map resources).  Government departments such as education, health and social development are all committed to implement policies to make sure that children enjoy the best health possible and reach their full potential.


Link: Full Document