We recognise that each child is unique and develop and learn in different ways and at different times. We aim to help them all to build positive relationships which will encourage them to be resilient capable and self -assured. Garden Cottage Nursery has been carefully designed to create enabling environments to support our children's learning and development.
We focus on the three prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage for all children, embedding this into our day to day planning. These areas are Physical development, Communication and language and Personal, social and emotional development.

Physical development

We support each child’s physical development through a range of activities that encourage fine-motor skills, gross-motor skills and sensory exploration, as well as encourage each child’s independence in self-care as they develop. This is from cooperating with caregiving experiences to beginning to feed themselves, to toilet Learning.

Personal, social and emotional development

Early attachment is the key to personal, social, emotional development. From these, children can develop a positive sense of themselves and others as they develop their social skills and respect for one another. Through individual and group activities children can learn to manage their own feelings and make their own choices as they learn what belongs to them, how to share and take turns as well as gain confidence in their own abilities.

Communication and Language

We sing songs throughout each day to encourage each child’s communication and language development. Through songs, the children are able to learn new words, use gestures and begin to understand simple words in context. We give children the opportunity to develop ways to express themselves and experience a rich language environment, igniting their interest in stories, encouraging early reading and writing skills.

These three prime areas underpin and pave the way for development in the four specific areas of learning. These areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.


Literacy is encouraged through early mark making experiences for the babies as they distinguish different marks they make. As the children grow and develop, they will start to give meaning to the marks they make and begin to form letters. By providing open access to stories, children will gain an interest in printed material as they begin their journey of learning letters and their sounds.


We use mathematical language in children’s play as well as simple problem-solving. Resources are provided for the children to explore different shapes, size and counting as each child’s awareness in numbers grow.

Understanding the world

Children are given opportunities to explore and observe the world around them through different environments, living things and natural objects as a part of understanding the world. We are able to utilise the wonderful facilities within the Kent College Junior School and have regular picnics in the grounds and nature walks. The children visit the school library and also utilise the Sports Hall and tennis courts for activities. Our children have the opportunity to mix with the Reception Year groups and the GCN is often visited by the older children within the school. We also support children in the use of technology.

Expressive arts and design

In expressive arts and design, we nurture each child’s curiosity in play as they begin to act out their experiences through role-playing. We encourage the children to express themselves in their own ways through art, music, dance and movement with a wide range of different media in which the children can explore.

Children learn through the characteristics of effective learning. These are; Playing and exploring, Active learning and Creating and thinking critically. These encourage motivation, engagement and thinking which is observed in the children by our practitioners as they play and participate in activities, supporting the importance of process over product.

  • Kent College Canterbury, Whitstable Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 9DT, UK

How to reach us:
Located on the edge of Canterbury

Kent College Junior School, Harbledown, Canterbury CT2 9AQ, UK

Canterbury centre 8 mins 1.5 miles
Whitstable 18 mins 6 miles
Faversham 13 mins 8 miles
Wye 21 mins 10 miles
Bridge 13 mins 6 miles
Sturry 16 mins 5 miles