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About Our School

About DWS

The Dassenberg Waldorf School (DWS) started as the San Michell Nursery School in the mid nineties because of the need of employees’ children at San Michell Plant Nursery in what was then known as Dassenberg. The initiative was sponsored by Sandy and John Michell and co-founded by them and a Cape Town Waldorf-trained teacher, Laurine le Roux, who introduced the Waldorf teaching methodology and curriculum.

This led to the establishment of a proper Waldorf school in 1998 which started out as a kindergarten with five pupils, and slowly the word was spread in the community and more and more parents began to enquire about what was happening in the newly-painted, recently converted bungalow on Saxonwold Road. This initiative has grown from humble beginnings to a vibrant school with a playgroup, kindergarten and primary school classes up to Grade 7. Currently we have 75 children, and most of them are from the surrounding areas of Atlantis, Mamre, Darling and Malmesbury.

The curriculum was based on the one introduced by Dr Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher. The Waldorf method of teaching promotes a holistic approach to education that enables children to grow into healthy, balanced and self-motivated individuals.

From the start our vision was for a multi-cultural school serving children from all economic and cultural backgrounds. Our aim is to uplift and enrich the local community by providing an education accessible to all. In order to bridge the diversity of mother tongues we chose to use English as the medium of teaching and learning.The interaction of children from diverse backgrounds has proven to be greatly enriching. It is bringing about an understanding of one another’s lives and values, which we believe is important for the future development of our country.

 

Our vision is:

  • to enable children to develop to their full potential and become creative, free and responsible individuals who are well rooted within themselves;
  • to prepare our children for the economic, ecological and social changes of our time;
  • to enrich academic work by exposing our children to the arts during the course of each day and often incorporating the arts into daily subject lessons;
  • to foster reverence, respect and responsibility for the WHOLE COMMUNITY and NATURE;
  • to strive continually to make our school affordable to those interested in having their children experience the Waldorf approach to education;
  • to facilitate cultural exchange programmes with other schools in our region as well as abroad (e.g. our partner school in Germany)
  • to be part of the growing movement of Waldorf education in South Africa and the rest of the world, which means that we play an active role in the ongoing research and development of Waldorf Education, and to his end our staff members regularly attend conferences, workshops and teacher training courses offered by the Federation of Waldorf schools in South Africa.