How the competition works

  • One hundred and fifty schools are selected by the Western Cape Education Department to participate in Growsmart every year.
  • Each school is represented by a team of three learners in Grades 4, 5 and 6. Each year, different learners are chosen to represent their schools in the various competition.
  • Learners who have already competed in Growsmart may not compete again the following year.
  • Each team has a mentor who guides them and helps them prepare for the competition.
  • There are three levels to the Growsmart competition. All schools compete in Level 1 and the winners of each round advance to Level 2.
  • Eight winners of Level 2 advance to the semi-final, of which five will advance to the final. All competition rounds are held on Saturdays.

Growsmart newspaper

The words used in the Literacy competition are selected from specially-designed Growsmart newspapers. The content of the newspapers is aligned to the curriculum and is approved by the Western Cape Education Department.

The participating schools receive Growsmart newspapers for each level of the competition (each participant in Grades 4, 5 and 6 receives the newspapers). Teachers use the newspapers in their daily reading sessions for reading practice and dictionary work, as well as to help contestants prepare for the competition. However, the maths problems in the newspaper are only a guideline of what is asked in the competition.

Competition rounds

Level 1

  • All schools receive the first edition of the Growsmart newspaper to prepare for the first part of the competition: Level 1.
  • This level runs over five Saturdays. There are five competition rounds, with five schools competing in each round.
  • The winner of each round advances to the next level.

Level 2

  • All schools receive the second edition of the Growsmart newspaper to prepare for the first part of the competition: level 2.
  • The winning teams from level 1 use the first and the second editions to prepare for level 2.
  • This level works similarly to the previous level, with the winning schools from each round advancing to the semi-final.

The semi-final

  • All schools receive the third edition of the Growsmart newspaper.
  • The eight victorious teams must study all three editions to prepare for the final. The round is divided into semi-final and final rounds.


Five teams will compete to determine the winning team, as well as the second and third places.



Each participant receives a personalised Growsmart certificate, signed by both the Western Cape Education Department and Growthpoint Properties.

Winning school

The winning school receives an iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme. (Only in the Western Cape)

Winning team

The three learners in the winning team receive assistance with their future education to the value of R20 000 each. Learners submit a wish list at the start of the competition and if they win, we will ensure that selected wishes are fulfilled. These often include the payment of school fees, new uniforms, computers, printers, books etc. They also receive trophies, medals, certificates and a number of other prizes, such as schoolbags, stationery and books.

Winning mentor

The winning team mentor receives a shopping spree at one of the shopping centres owned by Growthpoint Properties, to the value of R10 000.

Second place

The school in second place receives improvements to the value of R50 000. The three learners receive assistance with their future education worth R10 000 each. The mentor receives a R5 000 shopping voucher.

Third place

The school in third place receives improvements to the value of R25 000. The three learners receive

Frequently asked questions

How are the participating schools chosen?

Participating schools are selected by the Western Cape Education Department.

How many learners are there in a team?

Each school is represented by one team of three learners. The team members are selected from the pool of learners in Grades 4, 5 and 6.

What if a team member can no longer participate in the competition?

The team may continue with only two members, but not less than two. You may have a substitute learner who can take the place of someone who has dropped out, but then the substitute from then on becomes a permanent team member. The learner who dropped out can no longer participate and will not be eligible for any prizes. You may not replace a team member because they are not doing well enough. The Growsmart organisers will have to give approval for the replacement of a team member, and their decision will be based on the circumstances.

What must our team do to prepare for the Growsmart competition?

The literacy participants can prepare for the competition by doing the exercises in the Growsmart newspaper (four copies during the year). The newspapers can be used for classroom reading practice, as the content is based on the curriculum. All the words and questions used in the competition rounds come from these. The only time words from the newspaper are not used, is when there is a tie, i.e. two or more teams have the same high score at the end of a competition round. Only then will they be asked to spell words that are not in the newspapers. The Story writing participants will be given specific topics and be provided with two books – one that can be used as a work book and the other to be used for the completed story, with illustrations. The science teams to be expected to complete a project and the maths participants will be given questions that are similar to the examples that occurred in the newspapers.