Hemel-en-Aarde Education Project

Hemel-en-Aarde Education Projectt

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, with rolling mountains, big blue skies and rows of green vineyards. This unique valley is home to a special community of farm owners, farm workers and their families.

The Pebbles Hemel-en-Aarde Education Project was established in January 2017 and aims to ensure that the children and families living in and around the valley have access to high standard of education, health, social and recreational services – particularly focusing on the less-accessible Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge region.

The project is based on a non-working farm and has an ECD centre, which consists of First Thousand Days (FTD) and Early Childhood Development (ECD) classrooms catering for children ages 3 months-5 years. This centre has capacity to accommodate 60 children. 

The project is also home to the very first Pebbles Academy. This independent school opened in 2019 after the neighbouring government school closed down due to a lack of funding. The Pebbles Academy caters to children living on neighbouring farms and has capacity to accommodate children from Grade R to Grade 7.

The project currently has a dedicated team of staff which includes drivers, admin staff, ECD Practitioners, a Principal/ and Project Manager as well as Academy Educators.

All learners attending the project have access to the following services and initiatives:

  • Transport to and from the project is provided in the mornings and afternoons. There are currently children attending the project from over 40 farms in the area. 
  • All children at the project receive a nutritious breakfast, lunch and two snacks daily provided by the Pebbles Nutrition Programme.
  • All children receive annual dental and health check-ups provided by the Pebbles Health Clinic. 
  • The project has a sustainable working vegetable garden that substitutes the meals served to the children and also forms part of the daily education curriculum. Any extra produce is sold to local restaurants in the area which creates an additional stream of income for the project.  
  • The Pebbles Academy offers extra-curricular activities such as music, computer literacy, dance and movement, arts and crafts, life skills and sport. 

Our future goals include:

The Pebbles Hemel-en-Aarde Education Project constantly strives to increase the level of support that is offered to the local community and have identified the following needs:

  • Multi-sensory playgrounds for our younger children which will assist with the development of gross motor skills and the children’s sense of curiosity and exploration.
  • Four additional modular classrooms which will allow for growth in the number of learners attending the Pebbles Academy.
  • A skills training centre which will aim to provide school leavers, unemployed youth and young mothers/fathers with the necessary skills to help them successfully enter the world of work. With South African youth unemployment currently sitting at a staggering 67%, this is an urgent and critical support mechanism to help ensure the economic success of this next generation.

For sponsorship or donations please email: madelein@pebblesproject.co.za

For school applications and general inquiries please email: pebblesacademy@pebblesproject.co.za

Tel: 028 008 5129

Stephanie Olivier (Principal) Email: stephanie@pebblesproject.co.za

Message from our Principal:

Our main aim is to provide an all-inclusive learning experience which prepares our children optimally for future endeavours.  Our children are fortunate to be surrounded by the exquisite beauty of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and all its beauty which lends itself to eco-learning and outdoor educational experiences.

 We focus on 5 main points:

  • Academic rigour
  • Emotional and social well-being
  • Citizenship and character building
  • Nutrition
  • Intra and extracurricular programmes

 What makes our learning programme unique is the incorporation of our places and spaces of learning which promote innovative and critical thinking, creativity and collaborative opportunities. 

Access to our library and computer centre further enriches the learning experience of all our children.

Each educator, together with all support staff, are dedicated to walking the journey of discovery and growth with each of our children.

Sincerely,

Ms Stephanie Olivier