History of Gaia

Gaia Waldorf School is a young, innovative Waldorf School situated on the urban farmlands of the Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands. This unique position has proved to be incredibly central for our diverse parent population. The school was started in 1998 to meet the popular demand for Waldorf education in the area and now comprises a playgroup, 2 kindergartens and a primary school. Our vision is to offer affordable Waldorf education to a broad spectrum of children that reflects the unique and diverse aspects of our South African culture.

Our school building is part of the original farmhouse complex, built in the late 1700’s. We have children joining our school from the following areas: Southern Peninsula, Southern Suburbs, Langa, Gugulethu, City Centre and surrounds.

The Oude Molen Eco Village allows the children access to the village’s craft businesses, sustainable organic farming initiatives, and contact with horses and other animals which provide a rural ambience for our school.

In 2005 the Provincial Administration passed the necessary legislation to ensure that the School will remain in the newly approved plans for the eco-village at Oude Molen. In addition to the historical buildings we occupy, Gaia has expanded by building three wooden cabins and landscaped gardens for the Playgroup and Kindergarten classes as well as a newly renovated upper primary building.

The school also has the advantage of the use of the Oude Molen swimming pool, which provides opportunity for lessons for primary school children during school time, with a qualified swimming instructor.

Interaction with the village, and eco-initiatives, along with the rural setting it affords, play an important part in the school’s wider curriculum. Our children are farmers, riders, painters, mathematicians, writers and innovators.

Meet Gaia Waldorf Teachers

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Elfie Benting

Elfie worked at Mamba primary and at Babin Pre-Primary. In 2002 she worked at Stellenbosch Waldorf as as a kindergarten and aftercare teacher. She then qualified as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher and joined Gaia in 2017.
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Zoliswa Stimela

Kindergarten Teacher
Zoliswa joined Gaia in July 2008 as an Aftercare teacher. She enrolled at the Centre for Creative Education and completed her Level 5 ECD training in 2007. Zoliswa has two daughters at Gaia.
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Kelly Collier

Kindergarten Teacher
Kelly joined Gaia in July 2008. She has completed a Diploma in Early Childhood Development at the Centre for Creative Education. Kelly is a mother of four children, two of which still attend Gaia. She moved over from Playgroup to Kindergarten in 2017.
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Nadine Abrahams

Class One Teacher
My training at the Centre for Creative Education has brought me to a deeper understanding of children, in terms of their development and learning abilities. I believe that my energy towards education will encourage and inspire children to do their best.
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Vienie McShane

Class Two Teacher
Vienie McShane started at Gaia in 2006. She completed her first cycle in 2012 and is currently taking her second cycle. Vienie has a BEd degree and a Waldorf Diploma.
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Yolande Terry

Class Three Teacher
Yolande worked in the Travel Industry for 18 years before changing her career to become a Waldorf teacher. She completed her B.Ed. at the Centre for Creative Education in 2014.
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Melanie Thorn

Class Four Teacher
Melanie worked as a graphic designer for 15 years before changing her career to become a Waldorf teacher. Melanie joined Gaia in 2007. She completed her B.Ed in 2012. She completed her first 7-year teaching cycle in 2013. Both Melanie’s children attended Gaia.
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Gabriele Feiter

Class Five Teacher
Gabriele taught various classes at Gaia from 2002-2006. She received her Diploma in Waldorf Education in 2005 and her B.Ed in 2007. She was as a support teacher and mentor for the Waldorf Federation. She rejoined Gaia in 2014.
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Joy Dreyer

Class Six Teacher
Joy studied three years of Psychology at UCT. She started her BEd at the Centre for Creative Education in 2008 and finished in 2011. In 2012 she spent a year assisting the Class 1 teacher at Michael Oak. Joy joined Gaia in 2013.
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Matthew Stodel

Class Seven Teacher
Matthew was the founder teacher of the Imhoff Waldorf School and completed a 7-year cycle at the Constantia Waldorf School. He studied to be a Waldorf teacher in Germany. Matthew also has a Bachelor of Journalism and Media Study Degree.