About Raphaeli Waldorf School

“The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.” ― Rudolf Steiner

Raphaeli Waldorf School is a Primary School in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, South Africa which provides creative education for children from Playgroup to Class 7 (ages 2 to 13). Set on the beautiful Olive Hill Estate which overlooks the Tsitisikamma mountains and the ocean our Waldorf registered school inspires children to learn.

Our Vision

Our goal is to develop strong and healthy individuals who have a will to work; who are inspired to learn, explore, understand and create; and who have a strongly anchored sense of responsibility for themselves and others.

As a Waldorf School we are committed...

  • To work out of Anthroposophy
  • To provide Waldorf education for children of all ages;
  • To enable children to develop their full potential and meet their destiny as creative, free and responsible individuals, who stand strong in themselves;
  • To put special emphasis on quality in all our activities and provide a natural, enlivening and enriching learning experience for all involved;
  • To infuse academic work with life through the incorporation and development of all the arts into curriculum themes;
  • To foster reverence, respect and responsibility for the whole Community and Nature;
  • To encourage and facilitate conscious relationship to one’s self and others;
  • To establish a strong, self-sustaining School and strive to be affordable to those requesting our education;
  • To play an active role in the ongoing research and development of Waldorf Education in South Africa, preparing children and adults for the economic, ecological and social changes of our time;
  • To research and implement ways to make Waldorf education accessible to rural communities in South Africa and Africa;
  • To increase environmental awareness and the preservation of all natural resources;
  • To provide ongoing teacher training in Waldorf methodology;
  • To enable cultural exchange programs with schools of other nations;
  • To be surrounded by children learning to love learning.

Our History

Our Waldorf roots run deep...

Raphaeli’s journey through time began in 2008 when a group of remarkable women joined together with their unique talents and drive to discuss establishing a Waldorf School in Plettenberg Bay.

Gabbeh Wellens had worked at Camphill, Hermanus, a Waldorf home, farm and school for special needs children, started with 1 student as a Waldorf home-school in 2009 in Wittedrift. She was supported by; Rain Martin who had trained as a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher, Maria Shearer and Claire Randon ex-pupils of Michael Mount Waldorf School in Johannesburg, Rose Shearer who had run a small Waldorf inspired school in Cape Town and Sue Gurney who had been a class teacher at Roseway Waldorf in Durban.

By January 2010 Claire and Maria started a Waldorf Kindergarten on a separate property in Wittedrift and Yvette Worrall, a Waldorf teacher and eurythmist from Cape Town joined Raphaeli in May of that year.

The name ‘Raphaeli’ was chosen by the founders. It identifies with the mission of healing by Raphael, an archangel acknowledged in Hebrew, Mohammedan and Christian texts and whose mercurial healing nature is found under many names in other cultures. It has been said that in our times all education is remedial and we all have special needs. We strive to meet these needs through the inspired understandings of the child that Waldorf Education offers.

Raphaeli Art 1

Both the Primary school and Kindergarten outgrew several premises and in July 2012 Leathem Farm in Piesang Valley became their combined home. An important milestone was achieved in 2014 when Raphaeli was granted developing school status by the South African Federation of Waldorf Schools, making us the first Waldorf School on the Garden Route. In 2016 we were registered as an  Independent school.

Now, thanks to the vision of our founding members, the persistence of our teachers, the support of our parent fraternity and the generosity of the Garden Route community, we have our own land to develop into the spectacular school we dreamed of.

Over 120 students have the benefit of Waldorf Education at Raphaeli and our classes range from Play Group to Grade 7. We have big plans and the desire to develop our High School is strong.