Our Story 1863 - 2008
Dr Grimley, Vicar Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope, who had been
actively associated with the education of the deaf in Dublin, invited
the Irish Dominican sisters to work in South Africa. The superior
of the pioneer group of sisters, Mother Dympna, began to teach some
deaf children on her arrival at the Cape and shortly afterwards
the Grimley Institute (now known as Dominican-Grimley School) was
founded under the patronage of the Vicar Apostolic. This work for
the deaf was entirely voluntary and without government recognition.
In 1908, the school was recognised by the Education Department of
the Cape Province, and eventually became a State-aided Special School
under the control of the central authority in Pretoria.
nineteenth century, the manual system involving the use of both finger
spelling and conventional signs was the recognised method of teaching
the deaf. During the early twentieth century, however, lip reading and
speech gradually took the place of the signs.
In 1920 the
Oral Method was introduced at the school.
By 1966 it
became clear that the transfer of the school to more adequate and spacious
premises was essential. A site of 22.5 acres in Valley Road, Hout Bay
was purchased by the Dominican sisters and ten years later the Department
of National Education approved preliminary sketches for the new complex.
A great deal
of planning went into the new buildings and from the outset the sisters
aimed at achieving the following important goals:
- The first was to provide
a teaching environment conducive to the Oral Method, which calls for
the maximum amplification in an acoustically orientated building.
- The second goal was to
give the young learners a feeling of home albeit away from their real
homes, as well as freedom from feeling confined.
aim to provide forward-looking education of the highest quality based
on a tradition that goes back over seven hundred years of commitment to
education. Our schools seek to care for the whole person in order to develop
in young people
- a love for learning
- an enthusiasm for
- a love for others
- respect for the culture
and religious values of all
- a willingness to
serve in a spirit of healing and reconciliation, flowing from an appreciation
of the Word of God and a deep commitment to Christ