Edinburgh Steiner Kindergarten

Learn: for life, from life and throughout life

In early childhood education at Edinburgh Steiner School doing is understood to be a biological necessity to laying the foundation for mental adaptability, initiative and moral strength in adulthood. The child is seen to have physical, emotional and spiritual needs as well as intellectual ones. The teaching and curriculum together seek to nourish all these aspects.

The Kindergarten grow and harvest their own fresh produce in the gardens, situated in a protected conservation area of Edinburgh, providing superfood educational material.

The physical movement of preparing ingredients for cooking once a week: cutting, grating, chopping, stirring hone fine motor skills. Discussion about taste, colour, shape of the vegetables expand and exercise language & literacy. Mathematics is organically interwoven through the counting and sequencing. Creativity is employed through the exploration of tastes, ingredients and the varying methods of cooking or eating raw. Breaking bread together around a table set by the children, eating soup made by the children, cultivates the physical, social & emotional side of the child’s being. A kinaesthetic knowledge of composting, nutrition, the safe use of utensils makes it a rare example of an education which emphasises sustainability and the belief in self-reliance.

This encourages a food culture that helps children enjoy trying new ingredients; acquaints healthy eating; and provided the opportunity of feeling grounded in an interconnected world, as they see and participate in the process from start to finish.

Because the child learns to know what to expect in the busy and unhurried day, resilience thrives. Because learning gains meaning when it bears relevance to real life, education develops experientially, meeting the developmental needs and wellbeing of the child. Because a child learns through observing the perseverance of an adult completing a mundane task with as much reverence and pleasure as the tasks we do enjoy, it impacts the work ethic that all jobs can be done to a high standard, any job can be a job well done.

ESS has just announced our Seedlings Playgroup and Kindergartens will continue its Partner Provider status, meaning parents have the opportunity of a Steiner Waldorf integrated education for their 3- and 4-year-olds with up to 30 hours a week met by the Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) grant.

We are the only school in the independent sector continuing to offer parents ELC funded places when it almost doubles from 600 to 1,140 hours in August.

This will be at a financial loss to the School, as fees would normally be £8.5k and the ELC grant is just over £6k (£5.40/hr). However the Board of Trustees felt it was important to continue to offer parents in Scotland the opportunity to give their child a Steiner Waldorf early childhood education.

ESS has places available from 22nd February.