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Anniversary of first Waldorf school

Invited by Emil Molt – the managing director of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company in Stuttgart, Germany- and his wife Berta, Dr Rudolf Steiner visited the children in the factory in the year 1919. They hoped to build a sensible curriculum that would address the future with a new form of raising children to think differently, finding ways to think in order to decide on more constructive ways to end conflict than the wasteful and destructive World War they had just survived.


Rudolf Steiner could see the urgent need for human beings to view themselves as beings of body, soul, and spirit, to avoid the kind of brutal view of pure materialism that had led them into war.  For a future worthy of human beings and of human endeavour, this inclusion of the spiritual side of all people must be accomplished. Most people think immediately of religion as soon as anything spiritual enters into worldviews. Steiner’s thoughts on spirituality transcended religion. He saw the spirit as an essential element in the human being’s organism. One need only think of aspirations, idealism, friendship, inspiration, and love, to understand this necessary spiritual side of being human.

The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility; these are the very nerve of education

Rudolf Steiner.


The school opened on 19th September, 1919. During the Second World War, on 31 March 1938, the Nazis shut down the School, but not before 34 Waldorf schools had been founded – in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, England, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, and in the USA. It became the model for further schools to open, including The Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School Trust (now Edinburgh Steiner School) on 4th May, 1939. Steiner’s insights and methods became known as Waldorf Education, or Steiner Education in the UK.


It introduced a unique concept of child development, and a plan for educating children so as to include the spiritual, emotional, social, and moral aspects of the young human beings, as well as the physical and intellectual elements already-dominant since the late 19th century and continuing into our own.


It is now the largest global network of independent non-denominational schools. There are 1,200 Steiner Waldorf schools and 2,000 Kindergartens in some ninty countries on every habitable continent.


Steiner School is a registered collective mark of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF). Edinburgh Steiner School is a charity registered in Scotland No. SC002109