History of Hermanus Waldorf School

Hermanus Waldorf School is situated 5 minutes from the centre of Hermanus, in Sandbaai, close to Zwelihle and Mount Pleasant, within sight of the sea.

The school began as an integrated Kindergarten at the Camphill School in The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in 1994 and has attracted money from the German, Japanese and Canadian Governments for its building projects.

As the children reached school age a Class One was started in rented accommodation within Camphill. In July 2001 the whole school moved to our present location, a 2-hectare plot leased from the Hermanus Municipality in Sandbaai on a 99-year lease.

At the end of 2015 we had 204 children in the school. We have two Kindergarten classes and the Primary School goes up to Class 7. We are an independent school,

registered with the Western Cape Education Department and described for tax purposes as a ‘Not for Profit Organisation’.

The Government subsidises the pre-primary, (five and six-year-olds) and also gives us a subsidy for the Primary School. The parents pay five hundred rand (R580.00) per month for ten months per annum.The actual cost to educate a child is R13 500.00 per year. The balance has to be met by fundraising.

Some children are currently sponsored by donors from Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany USA, U.K, Sweden and South Africa. The school facilities the coming together of different culture groups.

Ninety-five percent of our children come from the disadvantaged black and coloured townships immediately adjacent to our school with many of our pupils, the children of asylum seekers to this country.

History of Waldorf Schools

In 1919 Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, scientists and writer, was asked by the owner of the Waldorf Astoria factory in Stuttgart to establish a school for the children of the factory workers. One condition was that the school should be open to all children.

This remains the aim of the schools to this day. There are currently more than 1 000 Waldorf schools in 43 countries using a curriculum based on a detailed understanding of the phases of child development.

Waldorf Schools collectively form the largest and fastest growing group of independent schools in the world which is not affiliated to a religious denomination.

Whilst each school is administered independently, there are both South African and worldwide Waldorf Federations providing support for initial teacher training, on-going in-service training, monitoring standards and practice, researching resources and publishing material.