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Growsmart is an annual Educational Programme which is currently aimed at Grades 4, 5 and 6 in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

Participating schools are selected by the Education Departments. A mentor for each school in each subject will be responsible to co-ordinate Growsmart at their school.

A learner may only participate once in any one of the Growsmart competitions during their lifetime.

  • This is based on a spelling bee competition. It requires learners to not just spell words, but also to give definitions and construct sentences. The language is English only.
  • The reason for including definitions is so that learners understand the words they are using. Take the example of the word “water”. The spelling is easy, but most people do not know how to define it properly. Most would say that water is something that we drink, or that water is a liquid. That definition would be insufficient because Coca-Cola and tea and juice are all liquids that we drink, but they are not water. Learners are encouraged and taught to be as clear in their definitions as possible.
  • Each school is represented by a team of 3 learners.
  • Each competition is overseen by a quizmaster, judges and scorekeepers. The teams compete in front of an audience of supporters, teachers and parents.
  • The quizmaster begins by giving the first team a word. The team will then have thirty seconds to discuss the word. When the time is up, one member of the team must spell the word, the second member must provide the definition, and the third member must use the word in a sentence. The team receives one point for each correct answer. The quizmaster then moves over to team number 2 and gives them a different word. The competition round also consists of a buzzer section in which the quizmaster asks a question and the team to press the buzzer first is the team that gets to answer.
  • At the end of the competition round, the team will the highest score advances to the next level of the competition and the other teams are eliminated, although they will continue to receive Growsmart newspapers for all their learners in Grades 4, 5 and 6. If there is a tie for the highest score, the teams are separate by means of a tie-breaker.
  • Competitions are held on Saturdays so as not to interfere with schooling.
  • All participating learners receive either certificates or medals.
  • There are prizes for the top 3 schools, their teams and the mentors.
  • Each of the participating schools selects three learners who do not enter as a team, but as individuals.
  • Growsmart provides topics from which to choose and then the learner creates and submits a story book or an anthology of poetry and a book review.
  • Each book is marked twice by a team of markers according to criteria set by the Western Cape Education Department and audited.
  • There are prizes for the top 3 authors, their mentors and the most creative submission.

*Currently in the Western Cape only

  • This competition is conducted similarly to the literacy competition, in that teams of 3 learners represent their schools and the winners progress through levels to the final round. The format also includes a quizmaster, judges, scorekeepers and an audience.
  • Questions are not found in the newspapers but rather examples that are similar can be found in the newspapers.
  • Teams are required to solve mathematical problems, some of which are timed.
  • They are broken down into round 1: Mental Maths; round 2: Basic operations in higher number ranges involving BODMAS and round 3: Problem solving: Routine & non – routine.
  • There are prizes for the top 3 teams and the mentors

*Currently in the Western Cape only

  • Teams of 3 learners again represent their schools.
  • They are given selected topics which require scientific solutions. 
  • The teams receive a board on which to display the hypothesis and their proposed solution. They then do a short presentation to the judges and are marked accordingly.
  • There are prizes for the top 3 teams and the mentors.

*Currently in the Western Cape only

  • Debating is only open to Grade 6 learners.
  • Teams of 3 learners represent their schools.
  • Each debate session has two schools. After each speaker has spoken for 4 minutes, each team has one reply speech. This can be given by the first or second speaker on the team. The reply speech is 2 min long. During the main speeches the opposing team can offer Points of Information. However, no Points of Information may be offered during the reply speeches.
  • There will be a debate chair who will conduct each round of the competition.
  • There are prizes for the top 2 teams and the mentors

*Currently in the Western Cape only

  • Entrepreneurship is only open to Grade 6 learners.
  • Teams of 3 learners represent their schools.
  • Each competing team will receive an Entrepreneurship starter kit and will be invited to attend 3 seminars prior to their first level of competition.
  • For evaluation purposes, the learners will be given an online questionnaire to complete after each seminar and will have one week to do so. The completed questionnaire will be discussed at the next seminar.
  • The learners must submit the completed journal together with receipts and/ or proof of spend, the project display board and a video presentation for the final evaluation.
  • There are prizes for the top 3 teams, their mentors as well as Most Innovative Business, Most Sustainable Business and Most Social Enterprise Business concept.