Early Years Virtual Tour

Where society is becoming increasingly digital, with more and more young children learning to swipe before they can walk; where pupils as young as four years old are embarking on their school career; and where childhood is heading indoors, Edinburgh Steiner School looks at education from a different standpoint to mainstream independent nurseries in Scotland.

We offer early learning and childcare for children aged 2 – 6 years old that aims to stimulate and develop the faculties and skills which will enable our pupils to learn: for life, from life and throughout life.

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Early Years


Early Years

Highlighting Rhythm and Integrated Learning in early childhood Waldorf education.

1,140 Hours ELC

ESS is the only independent school in Edinburgh offering funded early learning and childcare.

Now We Are Six

Short documentary by award-winning education filmmaker about Scotland's school starting age.

Time To Learn

A look at the Waldorf Class 1 at ESS, where pupils begin formal education in their seventh year.

Meet our Early Years Department

Early Years education has a high profile in Steiner-Waldorf schools where practitioners have always been accorded equal status within the profession.

Learn more about our longstanding Early Years Steiner Waldorf Teachers

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our distinctive

Early Years


Offering an important alternative to mainstream Preschool – P2 education, our Playgroup and Kindergarten follow the internationally-recognised Steiner Waldorf model, which pays particular attention to the principles of imitation, play, and meeting every child at their stage of development.

Learn more about the the educational pedagogy at Edinburgh Steiner School.  

Screen-free Environment: Media & Technology

About three quarters of the parent body at sister Steiner school Waldorf School of the Peninsula in the USA’s innovative tech hub Silicon Valley work in the sector in some way, including high-level techpreneurs at Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo and Apple. They, like parents at Edinburgh Steiner School, are choosing a screen-free, broad, education for their children. Find out why:

Steiner Waldorf Media & Technology Philosophy


# Kids On Tech

This new film from Silicon Valley explores the issues and dilemmas around children’s use of technology.

Child-friendly Architecture

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to stream in. Spacious undefined areas employ the imagination, develop creativity and encourage meaningful play. A kitchen in each of the rooms brings a homely feel to the holistic environment; whilst the child-friendly architecture is complimented by the natural play props – from silk veils, wooden kitchen, Waldorf dolls, cooking utensils and open-ended playthings.

Interactive 360 Degree virtual look inside our Early Years 

Campaigning for Kindergarten 


We believe in ensuring that children are provided Early Years childcare and education that fits their needs. Sometimes this requires flexibility when it comes to the appropriate starting age for main schooling and formal education.

Find out more about initiatives that support these notions below:

Upstart Scotland and Give Them Time

Edinburgh Steiner School is an Official Supporter of Give Them Time. The School organised and hosted an interview by Trevor Mepham – Principle of the first state-funded Steiner school in the UK with Upstart founder, Sue Palmer.

Play is the Way is available to watch on our ESS Talks platform.

Reviews of Early Years Provision

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Parent & Child


Parent & Child


Early Years

3.5 – rising 7

Early Years