Introducing early years education

The Steiner Kindergarten that was run at the Mulberry Tree until 2017 was one of a few early years settings in the UK which took children from as young as 18 months old. We ran a mixed age kindergarten from rising 2 to 6 years old. We could do this because we were small and had a high ratio of staff to children. Further, our teacher has early years training through a post graduate scheme completed in 2010. We initiated this practice in response to parents who wished their children’s early years care to be in a Steiner setting. (move the mouse over the picture to zoom)

We responded because we are in a rural area where Steiner education is scarce and both parents have the need to work. Since 2010 Clare Benson our lead teacher is a core tutor and contributor to the Holistic Baby and Child Course, based at Emerson College, Sussex, and Rudolf Steiner House, London. The course weaves the insights of Emmi Pikler into the Steiner Waldorf curriculum.

Playing with mud in a bowl
A worm in the hands

The Kindergarten Day

The kindergarten follows daily, weekly and yearly rhythms, which support the children explore the world through movement. The daily rhythm is broadly set out below. In between each activity there is tidying up and toileting.

The yearly rhythm follows the seasons and the festivals (more details are available in the section).

Each day of the week has a specific main activity: Painting day, Baking day, Drawing Modelling and Cleaning Day. The teacher and assistant are constantly ‘at work’, quietly leading the daily activities and preparing the organic food snacks and lunches.

Each DAY follows a clear daily rhythm where one activity flows into another. The teacher guides the children through this rhythm. The children enjoy participating and naturally sweep, wash, polish, preparing the organic food snacks and lunches and become a part of our activities. Our smallest children Imitate role models in their environment (opposite, move the mouse over the picture to zoom.)

Whilst these activities are available some children may play. Our daily rhythm involves inside activities and outside activities. Details about Free plays, Ring or circle play, Snack time, Story time, Lunch and After lunch rest time are further evoked in "Inside Activities". Outside activities take place from 11-12 am every morning what ever the weather. See the link below.




Working with clay
Working with watercolor