Welcome to Camphill School Hermanus

Click here to download our brochure

An independent residential and day school for children and young people with special needs, situated in the beautiful Hemel en Aarde Valley near Hermanus. The School is part of the international Camphill Movement and aims to create and maintain a therapeutic community in which children and young adults with special needs can live, learn and work with others in healthy social relationships based on mutual care and respect.

The School follows the guidelines of Waldorf Education. The curriculum aims to cultivate the whole human being through responding to the various developmental stages the growing child experiences. Subjects are presented in a creative, artistic way and learners are involved in activities related to the content such as drama, movement, painting, drawing, modelling. Most subjects, e.g. History, Mythology, Geography, Botany and Sciences, are covered in block periods of several weeks. These lessons are referred to as Main Lessons. Subjects requiring practice and the development of certain skills, e.g. numeracy or literacy, are not taught in blocks.

In the younger classes there is an emphasis on working with movement and developing the imagination through stories. The emphasis shifts as the children grow older, and more formal subjects are introduced, such as history, geography and science. The children are grouped in classes according to their ages and are supported by class helpers and assistants as necessary. The content of the lessons is made accessible to each learner as best as possible, for instance, by providing sensory experiences and other activities related to the content.

The school week begins on a Monday with the School Assembly, where the whole school gathers to hear some music, to sing and to hear about a particular theme. The birthdays of the week are announced, so the whole community can prepare for these special events.

There is a strong rhythm within a regular day in Camphill and this is maintained during school time. The school day starts at 9am, usually with rhythmical activities involving movement. This is followed by the Main Lesson for the whole class after which the learners have a snack and a break, normally spent outside on the playground. The rest of the morning the children usually work in smaller groups based more on their individual needs. In these lessons the activities cover sensory work, movement, craft work, life skills and basic skills, as appropriate. The school morning ends at 12:30 when the children return to their houses for lunch and a rest period. After this, school continues until 4pm when the boarders return to their houses while the day learners are transported home in the School's buses.

When possible, the class teacher remains with his or her class over a number of years, providing continuity and security for the pupils. Class assistants, specialist teachers and therapists support the class teacher with individual and small group activities and when necessary.