“We are all meant to shine, as children do”
Introduction to Vista Nova
• Vista Nova School caters for children with Cerebral Palsy, Physical
Disabilities and other barriers to learning.
• These disabilities preclude our learners from attending mainstream
schools as these schools are generally unable to provide for their
particular barrier to learning.
• Vista Nova strives to provide learners with a quality education whilst
catering for their specific needs.
• Vista Nova provides remedial education and therapies to learners from
the age of 3 through to Grade 12 (18 years of age).
• Learners come from across the greater peninsula area and cover all
• The parents’ inability to pay school fees plays no role in a learner being
accepted at our institution.
• Over 400 learners are enrolled and enjoy the attention of a large team of
dedicated professionals who provide continual individual assessment to
ensure that the best personalised treatment is provided for each child.
• The ultimate goal is to provide those learners who can, with the tools to
successfully reintegrate into mainstream schooling.
• Others are given the life skills and/or tools to play a meaningful
role in society in spite of their disability.
• Visa Nova is Latin meaning “a New Vision”
History of the Vista Nova School
• Established in 1954 by concerned parents in Rosebank, WC
• Specifically focussed on children with Cerebral Palsy
• Government subsidies and generous financial aid led to acquisition of
our current premises (Rondebosch) with the official opening on 7 March
• At this time the school started admitting learners with specific learning
disabilities as no other facility was able to cater for them.
• An annual increase in learner numbers and a growing waiting list
necessitated the establishment of a High School campus in 1989. This
campus is located in Pinelands, WC.
• We operate our own bus service, across the peninsula, that transports
learners to and from school.
• This service is critical, providing support to parents and our wheelchair
bound learners who would otherwise not be able to attend school
Phased approached to education
• At Vista Nova we believe in a phased approach to education and
• Key to the success of our philosophy is early intervention, especially
when dealing with physical disabilities.
• We have 4 learning phases namely:
• Pre-Primary (3 years old to Grade R)
• Foundation (Grade 1- 3)
• Intermediate (Grade 4 - 6 and Grade 7)
• High School (Grade 8-12)
• In addition we have an Enrichment section catering for those learners
who require a more individualised, practical programme
1. Pre- Primary Phase
• Catering for children from as early as 3 years of age
• Key is early intervention for those learners with cerebral palsy or severe
• Focus is placed on a the peculiar needs of a specific learner
• A team of quality health and education specialists assesss the learner
and establish a customised programme to ensure optimal development
• This program may include:
• Speech and Language development
• Perceptual skills
• Fine and Gross Motor Co-ordination
• Cognitive, social and emotional skills development
• By creating a solid foundation we greatly enhance the leaner's ability to
reintegrate into mainstream education and assist him/her to overcome
2. Foundation Phase
• Grade 1 - 3
• The phase in which most new learners enter our school
• The principle of early intervention is key.
• We continue our individual assessment of learners and establish
attainable development goals for each child.
• The learning programmes of numeracy, literacy and life skills become a
part of the formal school day.
• We follow the mainstream curriculum and adapt it to suit the needs of
any particular child.
• Learners are provided with further exposure to music, art and various
• These formal learning activities are complemented by outings, visiting
speakers and community involvement activities.
3. Intermediate Phase
• Grade 4 – 6
• Focus shifts to independent work, study and interpersonal skills
• Further development of skills established during Foundation Phase
• The goal of reintegration into mainstream education for some children is
• Learners are exposed to a variety of practical learning experiences such
as Science experiments, problem solving in Design and Technology as
well as Entrepreneurial opportunities such as Market Day.
4. High School Phase
• Grade 7 – 12
• Learners are now encouraged to achieve scholastically by focussing on
the setting of personal goals and the mastery of study skills.
• Emphasis is placed on rounding off the development process and
preparing learners for the possibility of tertiary education and life in
• A range of subjects, depending on the physical abilities of the children,
5. Enrichment section
• Due to a variety of reasons such as the severity of their disability,
some learners struggle to cope with the pace and demand of our
• These learners could be placed in our enrichment classes.
• The children in these classes enjoy individualised teaching methods
designed to allow the child to develop and progress at their own pace.
• Their programme provides a great deal of practical activity and
Our Aims and Objectives
• Provide the best possible care, therapeutic and educational
intervention for special needs children
• Maintain and further develop an accepting, nurturing and caring
• Provide support groups for parents wherever possible
• Ensure sensitivity and tolerance on campus and provide equal
• Mainstream as many of our learners as possible
• Create awareness of the variety of special needs that can be catered for
in a special school.
• Further develop our educational community outreach programmes
• Play an active role in educational transformation in our province
• Expand our capacity without compromising our standards of education
• Increasing financial demand is a reality faced by all learning
• institutions, but catering for learners with disabilities and special needs,
places an even greater fiscal demand on institutions and parents.
• At Vista Nova we strive to provide the best possible education, care and
rehabilitation facilities to our learners, creating a demand for financial
assistance and/or donations from the private sector.
• The Vista Nova School Governing Body employs a full time fundraiser to
assist in addressing this need.
• Friends of Vista Nova assists the school with fundraising initiatives such
as the annual auction and the challenging Cadiz Freedom Swim, for the
sole benefit of Vista Nova School, from Robben Island to Blouberg.
• The Swim attracts large crowds with SA Olympic swimmer Natalie du
Toit, a patron of the school, being a regular participant (and victor!)
• In 2005 Friends of Vista Nova obtained full NPO status with Vista Nova as
its sole beneficiary
• Today the organisation has one full time staff member and relies heavily
on parental / volunteer support for its fundraising efforts.