This school was one of the three original schools for children with cerebral palsy in South Africa. The school, called the Cape School for Cerebral Palsied Children, was established by the Cerebral Palsy Association of the Western Cape in a house called “Keerweer” in Rosebank, in September 1954, with four pupils, a teacher, a nursery school teacher, a nursing sister and a school physiotherapist. In 1955 the Department of National Education was persuaded to subsidize the project. The school grew quickly, which led to the acquisition of properties in Milner Road, Rondebosch, where the new school was built. It was opened on 7 March 1967, when it was officially renamed the Vista Nova School for Cerebral Palsied Pupils. At present, it is known as Vista Nova School.
Vista Nova later admitted children with specific learning disabilities, as there was no school to cater for these children. The school grew to such an extent that it formed a satellite school called “Tafelberg”. Eventually, in 1983, Tafelberg became a separate school. Vista Nova continues to accept pupils with specific learning disabilities, as well as learners with a range of other barriers.
Success at a school like Vista Nova is not measured by means of scholastic results alone. Each learner is treated as an individual and is developed to his or her highest potential. Success might be the achievement of good academic results, the development of self-esteem, the ability to relate to others on a social level, the ability to communicate effectively, the ability to walk, the ability to proceed to Further or Higher Education, or the ability to return to a mainstream school. On average, ten percent of our pupils leave Vista Nova each year to return to mainstream schools.