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Tour Edinburgh Steiner Kindergarten

Edinburgh Steiner School is in a unique situation in Edinburgh in that its Kindergarten is one of only two private Early Years settings attached to an independent school that is also part of the 1,140 ELC programme, offering up to 30-hours a week during term time free to all 3 & 4 and eligible 2 - 5 year olds living anywhere in Scotland. This offers children an opportunity for a seamless transition from nursery to school. 

Tours of the Waldorf Seedlings (for aged 2+) and Kindergarten (3.5 - 6 yrs) are offered Wednesday afternoons throughout term time by Early Years Manager, Synnove Frankel:

Edinburgh Steiner School is a selective independent school, situated in a protected conservation area of South Edinburgh. Admissions are subject to interview and pupils can be admitted at any time during the year  Priority on the waiting list is given to Early Years families who attend one of the Waldorf Toddler Groups run by the School, which offer a wonderful introduction to the international Waldorf approach to education that is embedded in a child’s age and stage of human development. Imitation, play, rhythm are cornerstones of this philosophy. Learn more about the tenet of rhythm in the article 'Busy & Unhurried'

Busy and Unhurried

Every parent is aware how a toddler’s sense of time starkly contrasts that of grown-ups. We require to work hard to shift from being a human doing to a human being. In Waldorf early childhood education doing is understood to be a biological necessity to laying the foundation for mental adaptability, initiative and moral strength in adulthood.

While education has a duty to prepare young people for the world and to help them develop skills and knowledge, we believe our most important purpose is to instil a sense of principled agency. Learning, from our standpoint, imbues an understanding of what it means to be human; how and why human beings are connected to each other and the natural world, and what it means to be a responsible individual in a wider community.

When we describe Waldorf education as education towards freedom it isn’t about the freedom to do as we please, but refers to the freedom which comes from adaptability, moral courage, and self-knowledge - the freedom to know ourselves and be true to ourselves.

The main difference between our setting and a mainstream nursery, above all, is the rhythm. Distinctively, this is rooted in “in breath” and “out breath” experiences that follow one another.

Structuring the day like the vital act of breathing, with periods of concentration and expansion, intellectual rigor balanced with play, of attentive thinking and daydreaming, works in harmony with the young child’s natural rhythm of alternating between periods of inward focus and outward engagement.

An inhale represents doing that draws a child to be introspective, such as kneading dough, puppetry, watercolour painting, beeswax modelling or sitting quietly observing one’s surroundings. These help develop their cognitive abilities, imagination and inner sense of self.

The exhales engage children with the external world and encourage social interaction. They typically invoke movement and exploration. Venturing into the conservation gardens, building a bonfire, turning a wooden pallet into a boat on the ocean are living examples. They hone the child’s physical coordination, emotional intellect, and connection with the world around them.

By providing a balance of activities that support both aspects, Waldorf educators aim to create an impactful learning environment that holistically nurtures the development of the whole child.

This is what the children do every day, so they become familiar with the shape of the day and what is coming next. This builds confidence, security and, above all, resilience.

To find out more about Edinburgh Steiner Early Years:

Seedlings: 2yrs - 3.5 yrs

Kindergarten: 3.5yrs - 6 yrs

ELC funded places for eligible 2 year olds, all 3 & 4 year olds and children who have Deferred Entry to P1. ESS is part of Tax

Free Childcare scheme. TFC + ELC can be used simultaneously.

0131 337 3410

Or come along to one of our Baby or Toddler Groups to gain an introduction to the international Waldorf


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