Camphill Special School is a healing environment from the therapy room to the home life. Living alongside the typically developing children of long-term members of the Camphill Movement called “coworkers,” students build upon their classroom learning with the support of a house team trained to address their specific individual needs.
A close relationship among house parents, volunteers, interns, and each students’ parents is the norm at Camphill Special School. Everyone is expected to communicate and collaborate for the physical and emotional well-being, communication needs, and growth of the child.
The houses are organized by house parents, often a couple who are long-term, experienced members of the Camphill Movement. They oversee all aspects of life in the houses and supervise live-in coworkers and interns who have direct responsibility for care of the children. These volunteers and interns come from all over the world to work with the children and often are enrolled in the Camphill Academy. Each house contains two or three groups of children who share rooms.
The daily and annual rhythms of life are important aspects of community at Camphill Special School. The predictability of waking up, attending school, performing household chores, working on a prevocational crew, having a music lesson, meeting a friend for free play time, or going to sleep, all with established routines and expectations, provide children with a secure sense of the world around them. Consistency not only is an aid in discipline, also it encourages creativity, for a child who knows what to expect can relax and dream. In the same way, the rhythm of the year expressed in songs, nature, and seasonal celebrations provide a connection with nature, as well a sense of excitement and anticipation as the year unfolds.
High school students and young people in The Transition Program benefit from more flexibility during excursions, parties, cookouts, dances, and other special events.