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Early Childhood

Welcome to Early Childhood at Michael Hall School

Early Childhood at Michael Hall centres the holistic development of each child, fostering their physical, emotional, and social growth through play-based learning and a strong connection with nature.

Parent and Child - Birth to 4 years old

Parent and Child sessions are a family’s first step into the vital community of the School. Parents and Carers come together to learn and share from gentle seasonal songs to emotional support in the social interactions of toddlers. 

The sessions take place in a beautiful home-like setting where your child is able to play safely and creatively. Children are free to play and explore carefully selected ‘bits and bobs’ of the sort that surround us in our homes, as well as toys crafted from wood or other natural materials. When outside in the beautiful garden space which is located amongst the extensive school grounds, children explore the natural world, which is an integral part of the curriculum as the children grow up. 

Please click here if you would like to register for Parent and Child 

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Parent and Child [email protected]

Saplings - 2 to 4 years old 

Our Saplings groups support and educate children 2-4 years old. Through the developmental research of Emmi Pikler, Rudolf Steiner, and modern educational theorists, that we have developed a home away from home Waldorf environment for the young child that allows them the freedom and time to develop at their own pace while establishing secure attachments to those who care for them. 

Our experienced and trained practitioners provide gentle, responsive care that respects each child's autonomy and supports their growing independence.  Our carefully designed space is filled with natural materials and open-ended toys that inspire creativity, imagination, and curiosity. We believe that self-initiated activity promotes self-image, self-control, and many other essential skills in young children. 

We offer flexible sessions, morning and afternoon for a minimum of 3 sessions a week.

We are now accepting applications for September 2024, click here to apply.

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Kindergarten and Waldorf Forest Kindergarten - 4 to 6 years old

A child’s learning is directly connected to their physical body and sensory experience – everything a child sees, hears and touches has an effect on their knowledge of the world around them. At Michael Hall School we offer Kindergarten and Waldorf Forest Kindergarten for children aged 4 to 6 years.  It is through these settings that children are given the time and room to learn through play, exploration, movement, and community connections.

In our Kindergartens we provide beautiful, peaceful and orderly surroundings with natural materials and warm textures. Kindergarten sessions include both indoor and outdoor time, with immersive natural experiences being at the heart of our curriculum. 

In our Waldorf Forest Kindergarten (opening September 2024) we provide an almost exclusively outdoor program with a dedicated woodland area that has a small shelter equipped with a wood burning stove used on colder days. 

Both our Kindergartens and our Waldorf Forest Kindergarten fully follow a Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum that includes play, practical work, seasonal circle times, arts, crafts and practical work. They do so while forming social bonds in warm, intentional and inclusive environments. 

We offer full time or part time (mornings only) registrations in Kindergarten. 

Click here to apply for Kindergarten 

Cherry Tree Kindergarten Afternoon Sessions

Cherry Tree Kindergarten Afternoon Sessions take place every day from 12:30 – 15:15/15:30 Monday to Thursday. Each day the session is run by Kindergarten Teacher, Nicky Goodland, in the Afternoon space in the middle of the main Kindergarten building.

Following a shared meal, using seasonal produce, locally sourced where possible, the children have a rest time. During this time, a story is read to them and they enjoy the benefit of a quiet time to digest their lunch and make the transition from the morning session to the afternoon. Once refreshed from their rest, the children can play freely either inside or, weather permitting, outside.

Both termly and one-off sessions are billed as an extra at the end of each term. The cost per session is £19.55

  • Please tell us if someone different is collecting your child on a particular day. We cannot let your child go with people unknown to us.
  • We ask you to pick up your children between 15:20 – 15:30, no later than 15:30.
  • We need to be informed if your child is not attending (e.g if they go to play with someone else), unless they have already been absent in the morning.
  • Payment is due for every session, whether you child attends or not.
  • A half term’s notice is required for cancellation (if you wish to cancel or alter the days your child attends Cherry Tree Kindergarten Afternoon Session, please contact Rachel Ford-Blanchard).

Please complete this form if you would like your child to attend Cherry Tree Kindergarten Afternoon Sessions.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Rachel Ford-Blanchard.

More Information

Saplings Session Information:

  • We offer flexible sessions, morning and afternoon for a minimum of 3 sessions a week:  
    • Morning sessions run from 8:10 - 12:30 Monday to Thursday
    • Afternoon sessions run from 12:30 - 3:30 Monday to Wednesday
    • Friday mornings and Thursday afternoons will be available once demand meets the threshold.
  • Children 4 years of age attend 4 morning sessions in preparation for their transition to Kindergarten.  There is not a maximum amount of sessions a child can attend in a week.

Kindergarten Session information:

  • We offer full time sessions or part time sessions (mornings only)
  • Kindergarten mornings are Monday to Friday 8:10-12:30 and afternoons are 12:30-3:30 Monday to Thursday
  • Full time sessions run 8:10 - 3:30 Monday-Thursday
  • Children 4 years of age attend a minimum of 4 mornings a week. 5 year olds attend a minimum of 5 mornings a week. There is not a maximum number of sessions a child can attend in a week.

EYFS Statement and Exemptions 

At Michael Hall, as with all Waldorf Schools in the UK, we begin formal academic learning in Class 1 in the year children turn 7 years of age.  In order to do so we have gained exemptions from certain parts of the EYFS, a statutory framework for children from birth to 5 years of age.  To learn more about our exemptions please click here


Early Childhood Professional CPD and Training Placement Enquiries

Early Childhood Professionals

Would you like to spend a morning observing Waldorf Early Childhood Education? 
Would you like a member of our Early Childhood faculty to speak at your school?

Please click here to complete the enquiries form.

Early Childhood Trainee Placement Inquiries

Are you in a certified Early Childhood qualification and are looking for a placement?  We accept placement applications for 2 weeks to a half term in duration. Placements are limited. 

Please click here to complete the enquiries form.

"Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom"

Rudolf Steiner