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The Basic Concepts Programme© was developed to address the diverse learning needs of children in the Pre-School and Foundation Phase years. In 2000 while working with children from public schools in the Athlone area of Cape Town, Louis Benjamin, then an Educational  Psychology Masters student, became increasingly aware of marked deficiencies in their conceptual knowledge and language. A workshop held with teachers from the district confirmed the need for a focus on the area of conceptual development and Louis began to develop the Basic Concepts Programme© (BCP) to address this need. The development and evaluation of the BCP were the subject of his doctoral dissertation from 2001 to 2004 at University of Western Cape.

Pilot studies conducted in 2001 and 2002 in Athlone and Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town found that by Grade 2 many of the children from these areas had not yet learnt the names of basic colours or shapes. The majority of these learners were not yet on a Grade 2 entry level by the end of their Grade 2 year. Further research confirmed that almost two thirds of all school starters experienced significant deficiencies in their conceptual knowledge. These studies have now been replicated on numerous occasions in different parts of the country.

Since its inception the programme has received the extraordinary support of teachers, education specialists and Department of Education officials at both a local and provincial level. Over 1000 educators in South Africa and further afield have received training over the past 10 years. The results of the projects show encouraging improvements in school learning for learners who have received the intervention.

The Basic Concepts Programme© has been recognized as an effective early childhood intervention by many local education authorities, NPOs and Trusts in South Africa, e.g.: -