Our journey so far
The Willow Tree Kindergarten was set up in 2010 by a group of Parents and Teachers to meet a growing demand in Bristol for Steiner Waldorf Early Years Education. We also set up a Parent and Child Group for children under 3 to attend with their parent/carer. We are registered as a member of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship.
After setting the plans for a kindergarten in motion, the search for a venue led us to the Jack Brimble Centre in St. Werburghs. The hall has a wooden floor, white walls, and notice boards used by other hall users are covered by light pink curtains. This creates a softeness to the space. The hall is quirky and not perfect, the environment that is created transcends the 4 walls that surround us.
The Kindergarten is equipped with toys made from natural materials, many of which have been made by staff and parents over the years. We also have a garden with space for the children to develop their gross motor skills. This outdoor space has evolved and has seen the addition of swings, climbing net and mud kitchen, built by one of our parents. The children have developed areas of it themselves, in particular a large mud pit for digging in!
After 7 successful years the kindergarten has grown and has a class of up to 18 children per day from the ages of 3 to 5. Most children join as three year olds and some then leave when they have turned four to join other schools.
We have 2 Steiner Kindergarten settings. Willow Tree Kindergarten is located in the centre of Bristol in St. Werburghs, an urban oasis of green surrounded by allotments, community gardens, a city farm and a nature reserve.
In St. Werburghs we offer early years Steiner Education for 3 to 5 year olds in an intimate setting, within a modest venue.
Willow Tree Fishponds is based on the site of Avanti Gardens School, in Fishponds and is suitable for 3 to 5 year olds.
In our kindergartens we nurture a caring atmosphere and a focus on learning through play. Both settings benefit from quiet and green locations at the heart of friendly communities. There is an emphasis on outdoor activities, using the local area as an extension of our Kindergarten spaces.
We also provide a warm and supportive setting for parents and their children aged 0-3 years at weekly
Parent & Child sessions (Mondays and Tuesdays.)
This is the perfect place to explore Steiner Education from the roots up,
within the safe space of a community of other families. It is a place to enjoy play with your child,
take part in creative activities, celebrate festivals, share song and story.