Camphill School Hermanus is an independent residential and day school for children and young people with special needs and
provides care and education to 30 residential and 20 day learners. It is staffed by an international group of short and long
term live-in volunteers referred to as co-workers and employs 25 people from the local community. The volunteers serve as
house-parents, teachers, therapists or carers.
The School, located in the beautiful Hemel en Aarde Valley near Hermanus, 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.
Co-workers and residential students live in 'extended families' in three house communities, one of which accomodates
learners over 16. The day learners receive breakfast and lunch and spend their daily rest period in another house which
functions as the day centre.
Children aged between 7 and 16 attend our School where education, based on the Waldorf Method, is adapted to suit their
needs. Lunch is followed by a rest period after which the learners return to school for afternoon lesson.
Older students participate in the Upper School Programme where focus is on life skills and work activities (pottery,
woodwork, land work, leather work, gardening) although they still attend school three mornings a week.
Camphill School Hermanus also runs a day Waldorf-kindergarten for children with and without special needs.
The School's large vegetable garden provides the houses and the neighbouring Camphill Farm Community with biodynamically
produced vegetables. Many residents with special needs from the Farm work in the garden which also provides outdoor work
opportunities for the Upper School students as part of their programme. These students may also work on our Medicinal Herb
Project where herbs known for their medicinal effects are grown, dried and packed.
Many children are supported from the School's Child Sponsorship Fund as their parents are only able to contribute small
amounts towards the cost of their education. As school fees and government subsidies only partially cover the running costs,
Camphill School Hermanus needs and depends on donations.
The School and the neighbouring Camphill Farm Community share a community hall, a library, tuckshop and the Phila Therapy
Centre, all located on the Farm.
Camphill School Hermanus is a nonprofit organisation (No. 003-320) and is registered with/member of the following
organisations: the Southern African Region of the International Camphill Movement (Reg.no. 52/00007/08), the Southern
African Federation of Waldorf Schools, the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), the Western Cape
Education Department (WCED) (Reg. no. 13/3/1/215), Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability and the Department of
The story of Camphill School Hermanus begins in 1950 when Mrs. May Redman, mother of a severly handicapped child, first
heard about Camphill School in Aberdeen UK. She wrote to Dr. Karl König, founder and superintendent of the school, and asked
if her son, Robert, could become a pupil in the school.
From May Redman's letter Dr. König concluded that Robert was too frail to undertake the long journey to Europe and cope
with the Scottish climate. He replied that they could not take Robert but encouraged Mrs. Redman to find other interested
parents and set up a similar school in South Africa.
May Redman started working towards establishing such a school and her efforts soon yielded results. After she acquired Dawn
Farm in the Hemel en Aarde Valley as a suitable location for the purpose, Camphill was started here in 1952. In those days
it was a care home rather than a school. This changed over the years as another house (named after Robert) and a school were
built. With the establishment of Cloister House a few years later, a new impulse began. The older 'children' who outgrew
the school moved to this house where the focus was on work, farming, landwork, gardening, woodwork and weaving. As years
passed, more houses were built and when the need arose, a separate adult-orientated impulse started with the founding of
Camphill Village West Coast in 1964. Camphill Farm next to the School was established in 1978 as part of this impulse.
You can read May Redman's touching account of the birth and early years of Camphill School Hermanus
The foundation of our work – based on Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy – is an acknowledgment of the spiritual uniqueness of
each human being, regardless of differences such as disability, religious, or racial background. We use a threefold
approach called Curative Education which integrates care, education and therapy to create a holistic plan that addresses
the needs of individuals with special needs.
As each person's needs are unique, we aim to formulate individualised responses and approaches to meet these needs. We aim
to cultivate social integration not only through living and working together but also through the celebration of personal
anniversaries, seasonal activities and festivals.
Fundamental to our approach is the recognition of the strengths and abilities of each member of our community. We are
committed to treating everyone with respect and dignity, enabling them to discover their potential. We see our work as a
contribution towards a future where people with special needs are fully included in society.
Whilst maintaining our ideals and working methods, we remain open to new opportunities to contribute to the care and
education of children and young people with special needs.
Camphill School Hermanus is a non-denominational school, inspired by and grounded within Christian ideals, and is based on
the acceptance of each human being.
The School is governed by a Board of Directors which holds legal responsibility and delegates the responsibility for day-to
-day management to a co-worker group known as Management Group. Further responsibilities are delegated by the Management to
various Task Groups and individuals within the School. Decision making is based on consensus.
During school holidays, the School may be able to offer simple accomodation and/or modest conference facilities in beautiful