Garden Cottage Nursery

and Forest School

Garden Cottage Nursery School is a stunning childcare setting, located within the beautiful grounds of Highden Farm, next to Windlesham House School and nestled in the middle of the South Downs. We are open for children aged 0-5 years old all year round or term timely. We are lucky enough to have a wealth of facilities and resources available to us including two forest schools, a walled garden, a greenhouse and a farm with our own donkeys, sheep and chickens. The children love to explore and develop their senses and skills in a huge range of environments. We are confident that your child will be happy with us and make steps towards achieving his or her full potential. Our children go onto Schools like Ashington, The Vale, Windlesham, Findon, Worthing, Horsham, Storrington, Steyning, West Chiltington, and Shipley.

What Our Parents Say

Lucy and Simon H

“The experiences our children had at Garden Cottage Nursery have been nothing short of incredible. It is evident that their time spent there has been filled with joy and growth, as they have each thrived in their own unique way. We have witnessed their progression first hand, and it brings us great joy to see how well they adapted to the first stages of their education.”

Charlotte G

“There aren’t really enough words to express how grateful I am to the Garden Cottage Nursery team for the care and attention they have given to my daughter. She has flourished under thier care and has learned so much about so many things. We are going to miss Garden Cottage being part of our lives on a daily basis!”

Lauren H

“The nursery is based on a farm in the South Downs national park and there is a big emphasis on outdoor playing and learning. There are farm animals which the children get to visit, a forest school and a walled garden for vegetable growing. The staff are excellent and I’m confident in their ability to care for my children. I’m so pleased that my children have had the opportunity to attend such a special place in their early years of development.”


 Claire G

“Garden Cottage is quite simply the best nursery around. I couldn’t be happier with the care they provide for my daughter and the facilities are incredible, from the chickens and walled garden to the forest school. There are so many occasions to enjoy with your child too – sports days, summer concerns, easter egg hunts, bonfire nights, all in the beautiful setting of Windlesham school. I couldn’t recommend it more.”

Sophie A

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to send my children to nursery. They have loved every second and learned so much. My eldest started school quite far ahead of his peers and I give Garden Cottage full credit for that. The care is second to none and the facilities first class, especially the outdoor space. They spend their days feeding the donkeys, collecting eggs from the chickens, at Forest School, walking up on the farm (and feeding lambs in the Spring), growing/picking mint and veg in the walled garden. Who could ask for more? I will be very sad to not be part of it when my youngest starts school.”


 Angela B

“Without exception, the staff have been amazing, nurturing and caring for the children as if they were their own. There is never a day when our daughter does not want to go to Nursery but for those that are a bit more hesitant, there is always a reassuring member of staff on hand for the children (and parents).

The activities the children do are hugely varied (inside and outside) and there is plenty of opportunity to learn whilst having an enormous amount of fun. I would not hesitate to recommend this Nursery.”

Alice S

“Our daughter joined Garden Cottage from 8 months old. She is now 2 1/2 years old and thriving. She has learnt and developed so much and we credit the time that she has spent with all the team at nursery, as well as the fantastic facilities. The farm animals are just a dream. I love having chats with her to find out what she’s been up to at the end of the day; it’s always so different, insightful and always so educational.”

Rosaline P

“Thank you for accommodating Hugo when his previous nursery closed. You guided us through this stressful time and made it that much smoother for us all. I really appreciated your flexibility and getting Hugo in the fold so quickly. Fate is a wonderful thing as it turned out this was worth it many times over as Hugo has come on massively in such a short period of time. He is so excited about starting school and you have got him in the best position for this.”

Gemma R

“Garden Cottage nursery is a unique and outstanding childcare setting – for us, there isn’t any other nursery that even comes close in comparison.  Our children have had so many opportunities through their time here and have enjoyed every single minute.  The environment and setting is absolutely amazing, including having two Forest schools on site, the walled garden, the farm and being able to just walk into the countryside-  our boys have absolutely thrived here and love coming home and telling us about their adventures, like collecting the eggs, sitting on the donkey or their latest makings in Forest school.”  

Emma J P

“I couldn’t think of a better start for my boys than GCN. The girls are so lovely and have treated my children like family. Both my boys have been so happy and GCN, learning so much and experiencing so many different things.  Lovely events are put on each year for parents to enjoy too, great to experience a bit of what your children are experiencing and see all the opportunities they have to develop, with great outside space like the farm and forest schools.”

Mary K

“I wouldn’t dream of sending my children anywhere else. With their forest schools, vegetable patch, gardens and animals my son has the best time! It’s clear the staff really care about the children and their wellbeing.”

Our Environment

Explore our beautiful setting and amazing facilities.

Meet Our Staff

Take a look at our wonderful and highly trained staff.

Contact Us

Got any more questions? Get in touch today.

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Our aims are to:

  • Provide a safe, friendly, happy and stimulating environment for children from birth to 5 years old. With appropriate adult to child ratio
  • Create and develop a caring, welcoming community for pre-school children which will enable them to feel happy, secure and respected
  • Work closely with parents and provide a broad and balanced curriculum from the Early Years Foundation Stage, which fosters the intellectual, emotional, physical, moral, social and cultural development of children
  • Enable children to make an effective transition from home to school
  • Help the children become familiar with classroom routines
  • Develop independence and decision-making skills
  • Prepare children for a smooth and easy transition to mainstream education

Your key worker will assess the children continuously throughout the year to inform us of how they are progressing and to inform us what the next step in their learning will be. There is parent consultations available throughout the year where you will have time to talk about your child. Our learning Journals are online so that you can see the updates. We like to share their progress with you so you will have a feedback sheet to see what is happening at home as well.

All this will be achieved by providing child-centred activities which:

  • Stimulate children’s creativity
  • Enrich their language and literacy development
  • Form the basis for mathematical understanding
  • Encourage the children to observe and find out about the world around them, thus developing their curiosity to ask questions
  • Encourage development of manipulative skills
  • Enable children to come to terms with their own lives and express their feelings

Children learn about themselves and their world through concrete first hand experiences which include carefully directed play and the purposeful use of language as a tool for thinking about, exploring and expressing ideas. We also do lots of fundraising for our local community and the wider World which gives the children understanding, respect and feelings for others that are less fortunate.

    Children will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is structured into the following four distinct but complimentary themes:

    • A Unique Child, recognises that children are competent learners from birth the staff will encourage them to be resilient, confident and self-assured.
    • Positive Relationships, encouraging children to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and key workers.
    • Enabling Environments, the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
    • Learning and Development, recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

    The statutory learning goals are expectations for most children to achieve by the end of the EYFS and can be broken down in to seven main areas of development and learning:

    • Personal, Social, and Emotional Development
    • Communication and Language
    • Literacy
    • Mathematics
    • Understanding the World
    • Physical Development
    • Expressive arts and design Development.

    Planning will take place by observing the children, then using what we have learnt to inform our planning for that child’s next steps. We do have a calendar of activities and celebrations that take place throughout the year and these will be introduced by staff, however if you would like your child to talk about any festival or celebration then please feel free to inform the staff so that we can include this is our daily plan.

    We will be using the Ten Town, Jolly Phonics Sound Schemes and several reading schemes. This does not mean, however, that these will be the only schemes used as we hope to develop individuals who can fit easily into school life anywhere. Children are encouraged to develop a love of reading and you can support your child by reading with them regularly. They will bring home 2 types of reading book. The first the children choose from the Nursery library and the second is a reading book that is appropriate for their current reading level when we feel they have developed and are ready. In the very early days, reading will involve telling a story using the pictures.

    They will have a Reading Folder in which these books will be put, along with a reading diary and any information we need to communicate with you. This will be treated as a two-way method of communication between ourselves and the parents.

    We are very lucky to be able to take advantage of the facilities at Windlesham House School. The children will also benefit from Music and Foreign Languages and farm walks each week.

    Got a question?