Lower Primary (CBC) Subjects/Learning Areas Definitive Guide

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  • Date Modified04-04-2021
  • Date Published2021-04-04

The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) started out in the year, 2017 and is gradually replacing the old 8-4-4 Education Curriculum that most Kenyans have studied under. CBC by the year of 2022 will have fully replaced the Primary Level. Turning 8 years of Primary School into 6 years. CBC's carries a 2-6-3-3-3 education cycle.

As such it is essential to get to know the CBC's curriculum and familiarize ourselves with the intricate details as it will definitely be the system our children and children's children will learn under. When learning about the Competency Based Curriculum, it is important to know that it vastly differs from 8-4-4. This change was done to resist carrying forward 8-4-4's basic failures. This article shall focus on what is taught in the Primary Schools.

Switching from STD to Grades
CBC has successfully replaced the lower primary, which consisted of:

  • STD 1 to Grade 1
  • STD 2 to Grade 2
  • STD 3 to Grade 3
  • STD 4 to Grade 4

However Grade 4 is now no longer considered as lower primary but part of Upper Primary. The Upper Primary consist of Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6. Because of this Grade 4 is not covered in this article. For this click on, Subjects/Learning Areas of Grade 4. At the end of Grade 6, this is the end of Primary Level learning. The student then ascends to the Junior Secondary level

Switching of Subjects
In CBC, what we have come to know as subjects is no more. Subjects have been replaced with what is called Learning Areas. What was once called Topics are now known as Strands, sub-topics have also been replaced with Sub-Strands. 8-4-4 had learners on a steady diet of 5 subjects for the whole 8 year duration of the Primary cycle. CBC learners of the Lower Primary have a wide variety of learning areas:

  • English Language Activities
  • Kiswahili Language Activities
  • Mathematics Activities
  • Environment Activities
  • Art & Craft
  • Music
  • Hygiene & Nutrition Activities
  • Movement Activities
  • Christian Religious Education
  • Islamic Religious Education
  • Hindu Religious Education

Learners must choose between one of Christian Religious Education, Islamic Religious Education and Hindu Religious Education. Note that this may not be an option for some schools where the school itself imposes the study of only one Religious Education. In which case, the learner simple learns what the school offers. This total to nine(9) Learning Areas, a learner must study in Lower Primary.

Switching Exams
Basically, a student's academics is measured over time as they continue learning. Not the usual KCPE and KCSE and its over. This assessment is done based on 2 types of assessment;

  1. Class-Based Assessment
  2. School-Based Assessment

Class-Based Assessment is whereby the teacher assesses the student in a larger breadth, precisely matters on:

  • Communication and collaboration
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Learning to learn
  • Digital literacy and self-efficacy

This are quantified by Expectation Level. Basically performance on any of the above level shall fall under 4 levels:

  1. Exceeding Expectation (EE)
  2. Above Expectation (AE)
  3. Average Expectation
  4. Below Expectation

This takes up a 40% of the students academics which is summed up with School-Based Assessment.
School-Based Assessment are a set of test developed by KNEC designed to gauge a student's entry level to the next grade. They take up 60% of the student's academics.

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