The front entrance to the Roseway Waldorf School
 

The Roseway Waldorf School was founded in 1985 by a group of six families and three teachers. The school opened with just eight children - two in Class 1, three in Class 2, and three in Class 3. The school began in the February of that year after temporary premises had been obtained through a local businessman, Mr John Rumble. It was housed in a small farmhouse in Alverstone, which is now the present Kindergarten and staff housing.

Mrs Janine Hurner was invited from the Cape Town Waldorf School to become the pioneer teacher, and it was her stamina and dedication that steered the school in those early, vital yeas. She was joined by Sue Gurney and Cornelius Lehr, and together they formed a mighty staff of three! Ingrid Olivier, a parent, was our Secretary.

Every subsequent year saw the opening of a new Class 1 and a new class teacher join the staff, and all the while the other classes were growing steadily. The early years were ones of intense excitement, with the whole parent body welcoming new families with joy, and everyone feeling the pain if a family had to leave the school.

The festivals were always celebrated according to the tradition of Waldorf education; but in those days with the numbers still low, all the children were needed to stage the annual Nativity Play. The parents were intimately involved and were taught the songs of the festivals to add volume to these.

Demand for Waldorf education grew steadily, and in the second term of 1986 our first Kindergarten class, could open its doors. Janine Hurner facilitated this Kindergarten group with Anne Bruzas gradually taking over from her. This room was especially altered by Mr Rumble for this purpose. He was always very tolerant of our needs as a growing school and actively encouraged our expansion. He enclosed a verandah for a new Class 1 classroom, and the parents then would come in over the Christmas break to paint, put up blackboards, and do whatever was necessary for the children. One year the final touches were completed by the parents the evening before school opened in the new year!

In a short time it became quite obvious that space was running out and that a "proper" school was needed. Again Mr Rumble came to our aid and donated seven acres of land adjacent to the then school, and plans could begin. W engaged the assistance of an architect, Brian Johnson, who was sympathetic to the requirements of a Waldorf school. Mr Rumble played an intensely active part in the supervision of the plans and eventually in the building of the school.

A Foundation Stone laying ceremony was held in September 1988 on the new site, with festival activities by the children. A dodecahedron, which is a container with twelve faces similar to the light fitting hanging in the foyer, was laid in the ground in the centre of what would become the circle of the school. This contained a copy of the verse said by Rudolf Steiner at the opening of the very first Waldorf school, along with various names including the members of the Board and teachers at that time: Janine Hurner, Sue Gurney, Cathy Baas, Nic van Heeswijk, Sue Winchester, Des Mitchell, Eddie Dawes, Jenny Stipcich, and Anne Bruzas.

When the building began, Mr Rumble's assistance was invaluable: he laid out the structure for the builder, and his donations in the form of materials are far too numerous to mention. Parents and pupil helped with the painting and decorating with sometimes hilarious results. Desks and chairs were carried across the veld - the move had begun!


View of the school entrance through the trees in the parking area.

In September 1990 the school was officially opened by Elizabeth Sneddon, just five-and-a-half years after the doors opened for the first time, and two years after the laying of the Foundation Stone. The first Class 1's were housed in their special pink room in the new school.

With the death of John Rumble in 1993 his role as benefactor was willingly undertaken by his daughter, Janeese Silen. Her advice in all matters legal and financial has always been invaluable and of the highest standard. She offered the school first option on the original piece of land where the farmhouse stands, and when we were able to purchase this, a dream of Janine Hurner's and John Rumble's became a reality.

Alterations were again needed in order to open a second kindergarten class, and these two rooms were turned into places of magic and fantasy by the teachers. When the need arose, space was made available for use by children needing aftercare facilities. This activity is now housed in its own building near the kindergarten, and operates as a playgroup centre in the mornings. Every year has seen a major development, 1996 being the year of the sports field. 1997 was the start of the high school which saw developments that benefited the whole school community - from kindergarten through to Class 12. Parent support, commitment and involvement was needed now as it always had been.

The school has grown from strength to strength. From 8 children we have grown to over 245, with 25 teachers on the staff. 1997 saw the start of our high school and first Class 8's, and by 2002 we are able to accommodate children for the whole 12-year curriculum and the matric preparation Class 13 year.