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CMIG pledges around £40k+ to realise 12th Waldorf classroom by adding a purpose-built Early Years building

The Christmas Market Investment Group made their largest grant approval to date: allocating two-thirds of proceeds from 2023 and 2024 Christmas Markets, along with a lump sum from the current pot, to Growing Spaces Project. This is expected to match-fund close to half the prospective grant from philanthropist organisation Software Stiftung.


The annual festive celebration is the largest fundraising event on the School calendar. These monies are intended for projects/items that will benefit school life and enhance the experience of the pupils. Considering typical projects in the region of up to £2,500, the criteria outlines applications can be submitted for investments including ‘equipment, support for school events and activities, upgrade and improvements to infrastructure or school grounds.’ (CMIG Constitution).



After two years of shelved in-person Christmas Markets, which typically welcome some 2,000 people through the gates, current Class 4 parents did an incredible job (in just four months!) of organising us all to play our parts in the public event that both showcases Waldorf education in Scotland and offers an antidote to the commercialism that often surrounds this time of year.


Without the visible and unseen efforts of literally hundreds of parents and carers from Seedlings to Class 12, pupils to alumni, ESS staff to former parents and teachers, this day would not be possible.


Starting off as an idea for an intimate small-scale affair to bring back the magical social occasion, manageable to be organised within the short timeframe available, it quickly grew arms and legs as the organisers were met with flocks of veteran parents gently informing them that this stall and that activity are part of the fabric of the day; and therefore MUST be included.


More than £10,000 was raised in November 2022; bringing the kitty to just over £27,000. The CMIG, consisting of parent volunteers and staff members, meet monthly to process applications. (CMIG seeking new members. Join)



The CMIG met several times this month to discuss a unique application for funds. Members voted to allocate £15,000 from the current pot and 66% of proceeds from 2023 and 2024 to GSP, the School’s ambitious campus development initiative. The School is looking to raise funds of approximately £0.5million, whilst match-funding a prospective grant of Euro 100,0000 (~£88,000) from Software Stiftung.


With typical Christmas Markets raising upwards of £20k a year, it means the School’s parent body will be providing close to half of the match-funding through the gift of their time – a parent’s scarcest resource. For this generosity, ESS is both humbled and grateful to the many who care about our school and our mission, rolling up their sleeves in the lead up, on the day, and returning the campus to normality on the Sunday.


Meetings must have at least four attendees to have a quorum. Decisions are approved by simple majority. In the event of an evenly split vote, the Chair or the Substitute Chair will have the casting vote. On this occasion, all present members voted in favour.



Currently the Seedlings groups are occupying a large building that is not best suited to their pedagogical needs. The West Coach House, renovated last year, was always
intended to benefit the older pupils, and is part of the School’s commitment to create twelve appropriately spacious classrooms.


Pupils are profoundly affected by their built environment. Walking into a Waldorf Class 1 will feel distinctly different to an Upper School classroom or an Early Years classroom. Spread over three Victorian villas, the position of class cohorts next to others is also decided with thought. A delicate dance of classrooms takes place at the end of each academic year, as the School relocates classes according to their age.


At present, with flourishing numbers, Class size is also an unavoidable determining factor, with spaces redecorated annually. Children often leave their mark on schools, from scribbles on desks to testing the resilience of furniture; however our intention goes further than upkeep, striving to offer inspirational learning spaces that incorporates child-friendly architecture and is sensitive to the developing child’s senses.



The School has invested over £1 million in the School’s architecture and design over the past seven year years, creating a long-term masterplan and conserving two 19th Century Coach Houses into 21st Century curriculum spaces.


Quantity Surveyor indicative costs for the new-build were provided by Morham & Brochie on Monday; and efforts are underway to raise the funds needed to grow our campus with the addition of a purpose built Early Years building in the Edinholme enclosed gardens, which will create two separate Seedlings rooms for our youngest pupils aged 2 – 3.5 years old, each with their own kitchen; and shared bathrooms and cloakroom.


The final design goes to Planning Permission over the Easter holidays.



The needs of the school are constantly evolving with the changing nature of the outside world. Designing for flexibility of spaces allows the school to develop and change as well as allowing classrooms and other spaces to be used in different ways. This helps the programme considerably.

Phase Three is part of a long-term masterplan for the campus, which intends to place the Creative Arts at the heart of our campus in the adjoined Coach Houses, incorporating the School Theatre Hall.



This decision still leaves resources in the pot for additional projects, which are encouraged from all in the school community throughout the academic year.  (APPLICATIONS).