Why Gnomes?

At Calder Valley Steiner School, gnomes and other invisible beings play a very visible part in the children’s education. In our Parent and Child classes for the under 3s, one of the perennial activities for both parents and children alike is the making of little felt gnomes, of different colours, with large fluffy heads and long woolly beards. In the kindergarten, gnomes will appear on the seasonal nature table, nestled amongst rocks and crystals; or in the form of a Tidy Gnome who looks after all the toys and keeps the kindergarten in good order when the children are at home. In the kindergarten or the lower classes of the school, the children may make gnomes of their own, from felt and wool, a pine cone, or simply a twig found on a walk, and given a hat and a beard. As the children in the school grow older, the gnomes may gradually begin to step back from the classroom. But what are they doing there in the first place?

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