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Festivals, Assemblies and Cultural Life

A conscious effort is made to honour the cycle of nature as part of school life. One way this is done is through marking the main traditional festivals with a celebration, often incorporating an assembly. These regular social occasions are an important part of our school, reflecting the seasonal and festive note in the performances by the individual Classes; establishing a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthens our community.


Various plays, concerts, exhibitions and performances are also presented on our School Stage. Some of these are brought to the School by touring artists and are usually of a very high standard. Many are performed by our own pupils, with each Class typically presenting at least one play per academic year.  Class Teachers and older pupils present the three Oberufer Plays yearly. Extra Curricular Clubs and the School’s Lower and Upper School Orchestras enrich this programme of cultural events further.



Orientation in Time

Children hang their year and their time on the things that are important to them. These will usually come in the way of birthdays or celebrations that they hold with their families. By celebrating festivals as a tradition, Waldorf schools are giving them a framework to drape their lives on during their school time. In a society where many of the natural rhythms of life have virtually disappeared, this is now vital in addressing the basic human need for rhythm and repetition, so that they can feel safe and secure knowing what’s coming next.


Festivals serve to connect humanity with the rhythms of nature and of the cosmos. They join children to the seasonal moods of the year in a festive way.” Steiner


Wonder & reverence

Reverence is another unique feature of our approach to educating your child, intertwining with rhythm and repetition as themes that run throughout the entire length and breadth of the Steiner curriculum. We aim to cultivate feelings of wonder and reverence in our children, reflecting the human experience at the particular time of year, setting up important habits for life.


This is created through the many verses that are learnt by rote, (also a part of the curriculum and building strong foundations for literacy), many of which are then shared with the whole school community from the school stage. Candles and bonfires are lit at specific points in the day and year. A strong sense for the importance of these social occasions is supported by an aesthetic environment, which the pupils play their part in creating, maintaining and (where needed) repairing. These weave alongside singing and moments creating silence together.


In this way the inner spirit of each child feels a sense of nourishment and calm in a non-secular way. We instil a sense of appreciation in our children for the world around them, as they routinely give thanks for snacks and meals and the bounty of the earth.



Christian Festivals


The School Calendar marks the main Christian festivals. Other religious festivals are observed too, which help to deepen the children’s experience of other peoples and cultures; to appreciate diversity and understand one another despite differences of language and cultural background as they progress through the school.


Parents & Carers


The children always appreciate it when other parents/carers as well as their own can support their efforts by attending their performances. We therefore seek to invite parents to join us whenever there is the capacity in our School Hall to do so. Tickets may need to be booked in advance through the School Office for whole school events. Details of this will be given through the Tuesday Notice.


Learn more about Festivals, Assemblies and Cultural Life in the Parent Handbook (pages 17 and 55); see Session Dates; and read more about the individual festivals below:


Friday Market 

(*Returning after the October break 2022)


Autumn Term

Autumn Start-of-Term Assembly

Anniversary of first Waldorf school


Martinmas Lantern Walk

Christmas Concert 

Christmas Market

St Nicholas Visits


Trilogy of Oberufer Plays: Paradise Play

Trilogy of Oberufer Plays: Shepherds’ Play

St Lucia

Classes 1 & 12 Light Christmas Tree

Autumn End-of-Term Assembly


Spring Term

Epiphany – 6th January  

Spring Start-of-Term Assembly

Burns Ceilidh & Dinner

Trilogy of Oberufer Plays: Three Kings’ Play

Class 8 Pedagogical Play

Spring End-of-Term Assembly

Easter  – 17th April



Summer Term

Summer Start-of-Term Assembly

Class 8 Projects Exhibition

Founder’s Day for Edinburgh Steiner School

Spring Fair



Advanced Highers Art Exhibition

GCSE Art Exhibition

St John’s Festival

Class 12 Pedagogical Play

Class 12 Leaving Verse

Kindergarten Leaving Festival

Summer End-of-Term Assembly


Summer Camp 


Dates for plays by one of the four Kindergartens and Classes 1 – 12 vary from year to year. Presentations from the Extra Curricular Clubs and Lower & Upper School Orchestras are offered on an ad hoc basis. News of these events are shared in the Tuesday Notice and our School Calendar