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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 3 years of age

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-year-old provision

Saplings is our newest addition to Michael Hall Early Childhood. Located in the beautiful surroundings of East Sussex, Saplings caters to children aged 2-3.5 years old. 

Saplings takes inspiration from Waldorf Education and the Pickler approach to form the foundation of the provision.  It is through the developmental research of Emmi Pikler, Rudolf Steiner, and modern educational theorists, that we have developed a home away from home environment for the 2 year old child that allows them the freedom and time to develop at their own pace while establishing secure attachments to those who care for them. 

Respectful Care: Respectful care lies at the heart of Saplings. We understand that times of bodily care, such as changing and eating meals, are crucial moments for building trust and fostering healthy relationships. Our experienced and trained caregivers provide gentle, responsive care that respects each child's autonomy and supports their growing independence. 

Self-Initiated Activity: We recognise the significance of self-initiated activity in a child's development. At Saplings, we create an environment that encourages children to explore and engage in self-directed play. 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. 


Saplings session times

Mornings: Monday to Thursday: 08:10-12:25
Afternoons: Monday to Wednesday: 12.25-15:30

Click here to apply for Saplings. For more information please see our Saplings Booklet.

We are now accepting applications for September 2024.

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Kindergarten - 3 to 6 years of age

A child’s learning is directly connected to their physical body and sensory experience – everything a child sees, hears and touches has an effect. In Kindergarten we provide beautiful, peaceful and orderly surroundings with natural materials and warm textures. We offer varied and nourishing opportunities for self-directed learning. Teachers support and offer guidance to parents, with the ideal of providing consistency between the home and the Kindergarten for each child. 

Why does it feel so different, so special, in a Waldorf Kindergarten? There is a hum of activity and focus, the teachers speak and sing softly, and the children move about the room with a comfortable confidence at any given moment. 

There are a great many things that contribute to our unique education, including the natural classroom design, the smell of fresh bread or soup, and the way the teachers move about the room doing purposeful work. All the while, the daily rhythm in a Waldorf Early Years classroom supports a deep level of social, emotional and academic learning. 

Click here to apply for Kindergarten 

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


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