This qualitative study explores the factors that are related to poor natural science performance of senior-phase learners and to propose remedial measures to improve such performance. The purpose of this research is to deepen and widen the understanding of scientific literacy, science concepts, practical work, graphic organisers and visual representations incorporated into the classroom as instructional strategies to increase learners' motivation and their learning of science concepts. A case study method was used at the research site (school). The difficulties that natural science educators are experiencing in teaching science concepts, science literacy, science language and compliance with the requirements of Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements were identified by means of document analysis, focus group interviews and completion of a questionnaire. Results indicated several factors that could cause difficulties including inappropriate teaching strategies, overcrowded classrooms and non-compliance with Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements. Recommendations and suggestions for further research aimed at addressing the identified factors are indicated.