Our Environment

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 explore and develop their senses and skills in a huge range of environments and often have the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labours at snack time.

We have purpose built rooms for each age group. Apple room is for approximately 3 to 4 years old, Peach room is for 2 to 3, Sweatpea room is for 15 months to 2 and Snowdrops is for 3 months to 15 months.

We are also able to take advantage of the facilities at Windlesham House School. Including the chapel, Malden Theatre and sports fields

A short walk from the Nursery, the children have an area of woodland set aside as a forest school. The forest school offers the children the opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on experience in a new environment and learn about nature in a fun and informative setting.

When the children are at forest school they have time for free play, however structured activities are available for those children that are interested. Staff members that have level 2 in forest school plan activities which include craft, fire building, cooking, den and fairy garden building. The craft activities include making necklaces, wooden spinning shapes, leaf rubbing and whittling using tools such as drills and saws.

Within the forest school the children also have access to a mud kitchen, fire pit and wooden hut to play in should they wish to read or draw instead. Forest school offers stimulating resources, rich learning opportunities and supports the children to take risks and explore.

The forest school is continuously being developed since it was opened in 2012.

This room was the first room to be built at Garden Cottage Nursery. The children who attend this room will be moving on to school in the following September, so planning is centered around preparing them so it’s not a shock when they move on. The room is spacious and has amazing recourse for the children to learn from. The Apple Room children also spend a lot of time outside in their play park and in the forest school where they develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on experience in a new environment and learn about nature in a fun and informative setting.

The older toddlers up to the age of 3 have a bright and happy space to grow and develop in this room also known as the sequencing room. This is where children can develop the knowledge that they gained from their time in Snowdrops and Sweet peas, on numbers, letters, Spanish and the world around them. We offer opportunities for all children and all learning is based around play and individual needs. Activities also include visiting the farm, visiting the forest school, feeding the donkeys and collecting the chicken eggs.

A purpose-built converted barn is the home to the children in Sweetpea they have another great team of staff who really care about your child and are keen to know everything about them, so that they are able to make their time at Garden Cottage Nursery School as close to their daily routine as can be. They have a wide variety of activities that they can enjoy however a favourite is going on walks to the forest school and walled garden which we are blessed to have.

Positioned in its own playground area, Snowdrops is a cosy home away from home where the children can snuggle down with a member of staff to read books. They can play games and when feeling settled, can explore the many exciting activities that take place from painting and play-dough to music and dancing. The room has a very warm feeling, having installed underfloor heating, especially for those crawling. It is a safe and stimulating environment, your child is very much treated as an individual and when they are confident toddlers they can take the next step and progress to Sweetpeas room where the learning opportunities continue. Like all the other children in the nursery, the Snowdrops children enjoy walking up to the farm and visiting the chickens.

Stepping into our secret garden, takes you to another world, where children are safe and secure in a beautiful, tranquil space. It is where the children can explore and learn about growth and nature.  The children have the chance to investigate fruit, vegetable, plants and wildlife in its natural state.


The children learn how to nurture the vegetables and plants, from watering, picking and of course eating the delicious produce. We also have an area where the children show and sell the parents, carers and friends what they have produced. Other activities such as teddy bear picnics, bird watching, concert practice, sports and observational drawing also happen here. We are lucky enough to be able to take the classroom outside whenever we want!

We are luckily enough to be nestled in the middle of Highden Farm, so have access to a wealth of resources. The children regularly feed the livestock on the farm including the chickens, donkeys and sheep. They enjoy a variety of walks to develop their education on the great outdoors from where our food comes from, to sheering sheep, understanding growth and seeing it be harvested.

Next to the Nursery is a walled garden which offers the children a private space to run free. The children also get to watch the plants and vegetables that they planted grow and enjoy the fruits of their labours at snack time.

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