At Stellenbosch Waldorf High School we are very proud of our continuous 100% pass rate in the NSC Matric exams over the last decade!


Our High School curriculum covers all the requirements of the South African syllabus, and significantly more. We offer a rich, in-depth look at content, with support and individual attention from our teachers through a wide array of subjects, in the form of main block lessons which make up a dynamic curriculum. This holistic journey facilitates the education of each and every individual child through their developmental years and as a preparation for life.

The Waldorf curriculum is unique and focuses on awakening the ability to apply knowledge not just in one discipline, but across a range of disciplines in order to strengthen critical thinking for the formative teenage years. Our core aim is not to merely impart knowledge, but to build the critical skills required in the 21st century and for successful management of any project later in life.

Our alumni regularly choose a range of different careers suited to their individual interests, enthusiasm and commitment, which we strongly support throughout their schooling journey with us.

Curriculum Subject Overview Throughout SWS High School

The curriculum is designed with the growing young adult in mind. Year by year, following the developmental stages of childhood into adulthood, the curriculum mirrors the inner development of the student and seeks to give the child experiences that they are unconsciously yearning for. This makes the lessons naturally relevant and satisfying to the student.

All the important areas offered in conventional schools are taught – with an approach carefully developed for each age, but the timing might differ to mainstream schools. The breadth of the curriculum is a unique aspect of Waldorf education and the material covered is used as an integrated whole, with one subject always connected to and enhancing another. Please see our full subject list below:















METAL WORK: Copper beating, Iron forging

Specific Focal Areas of the Waldorf Curriculum in High School

The child’s view of the adult as a natural authority changes at puberty, when the individual personality is felt more strongly. The students must now learn to think for themselves and form their own judgments. Class teachers now give way to specialist teachers, who lead the students through a rich and varied selection of lessons.

The students have moved into adolescence and bodily and psychological changes are well under way. The world of ideas begins to take on meaning, critical faculties are noticeably sharper; the accepted framework rules are being questioned.

The third seven-year cycle of development is entered – in this cycle of intellectual development the student yearns to understand why things are the way they are and how everything is connected to aspects of their world. This may often be a time of turmoil when values and role models are questioned. The student’s emotions roar yet through this chaos comes a strong sense of identity.


The curriculum is designed to mirror the experiences of the 14 to 15-year-old. It feeds the striving for truth, deep understanding, and self-knowledge, often by studying opposite processes and connecting them with the whole. The whole represents the balanced self.

Examples of study areas: In Chemistry, the opposite chemical reactions of respiration and combustion, which support all life on Earth are used as a gateway to study organic chemistry – the cycle of carbon in living matter from sugar through alcohol, organic acids and finally ether and esters. In Geography, the movement of the tectonic plates is studied: plate convergence and separation, how this shapes the earth and the force that drives it. In History, students learn about the French Revolution, from the seeds of social uprising to the full expression of the social revolution and the impact this had on social order across Europe. This marvelously mirrors their own personal revolution.

Throughout the curriculum there is an emphasis on biographies, the personal life stories of men and women who shaped the world. This connects with their own sense of personal destiny.

In Drama, the focus of the Grade 9 year is the production of a full length Shakespeare play in which each student is given a main part.

In this phase the student enters a pool of relative calm after the rapids and white waters of Grade 9. There is a marked change and a much clearer ability to see things in perspective; to recognise the grey areas and appreciate the differences. Balance becomes the undertone for this year.


The curriculum covers topics that the now more mature student can appreciate. For example, the Ancient cultures, where a much deeper understanding and appreciation is now possible. The journey travelled can now be viewed from a different vantage point.

Examples of study areas: In English The Odyssey by Homer stands as a literary monument at the beginning of Western civilisation. Chemistry studies acids, bases and salts. Similarly, the Fine Arts, including Eurythmy, reverberate with experiences of balance. Grade 10 Physics is the study of mechanics, exploring the world of classical mechanics as revealed by Galileo and Newton. The Economic and Management Sciences activities take on a very practical form with job shadowing arranged with local businesses. In addition, the Grade 10s need to raise money for their class camp, giving opportunities for entrepreneurial initiative.

The curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 takes into full consideration the further development of the adolescent, as well as the achievement of a high standard in respect to matriculation requirements the following year.


Some focal areas of the Grade 11 curriculum include The Grail Quest saga, written in the Middle Ages, which has surprising relevance for this age. As the young adults sense their need to undertake their own life-tasks, responsibilities and destiny, Parzival echoes this search in his undertaking of a mighty and timeless quest. Grade 11 also engages in the modern discoveries of physics, in particular electromagnetic theory. transmitters and transistors, atomic physics (gas emission tubes), cathode rays and X-rays, semi-conductors, diodes and many aspects related to electricity.

The Social Outreach Experience: The students have the opportunity to spend approximately three weeks working as part of social outreach programme.

The theme of Grade 12 is synthesis: Taking all the parts that the students have learned, and exploring how they might come together to make a whole. It is the full culmination of the Waldorf curriculum, and at Stellenbosch Waldorf School we offer an extensive and uncompromised Grade 12 preparation to ensure successful Matriculation of all our students.


The year’s work alongside Matric includes the student’s Grade 12 project which they present at the end of the third term. This involves both a practical and theoretical component, and the student chooses something they are passionate about, researches it with the support of a mentor, puts together a mini thesis, and formally presents the project to the community. This can include anything from learning to play a musical instrument, producing a range of organic beauty products or building a house, to starting a non-profit organisation, designing a computer programme, or building a wind turbine.


Regular assessments and reports are part of our continuous engagement with the progress of each student. It is our educational ideal to strengthen each student’s unique individuality. Our goal is to develop academic faculties alongside social, critical, creative, and problem-solving skills. These well-rounded young people will be equipped for life, and equally importantly will be able to contribute significantly to our changing times and the future of society.

Stellenbosch Waldorf High School is situated on a beautiful green campus on Spier Wine Farm and offers a wonderfully diverse community, which contributes to the learning experience of each student. This diversity provides a variety of perspectives and insights, which enrich the students’ learning and builds on the foundations laid in Kindergarten and Primary School. If you want to join our school for a unique High School experience, we will gladly welcome you for a visit – click here.

Hear what alumni parents have to say about their positive experiences of being parents at Stellenbosch Waldorf School, after having attended other forms of schooling themselves.

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The Overall High School Journey