Our Philosophy

A Unique and Nurturing Transition to School

Founded in 1959, Garden Nursery School is a EEC state-licensed, part-time parent/teacher cooperative preschool for children ages 2.9 - 5 years located in the heart of Harvard Square.ย  Social and emotional development is the core of our teaching and practice. Through an emergent curriculum that emphasizes learning through play, our students begin to understand more about themselves and how to work with others in a group setting. The important skills of playing, interacting, problem solving, and empathy provide them with a strong foundation for their next steps into school.

Garden Nursery School is a safe, vibrant, and nurturing first school experience. As a community, we strive to honor differences and provide a model of cooperation and respect for all children and families. Our 60 years of experience as a parent- and teacher-run cooperative school reaffirms our belief that active parental involvement helps establish community and that this, in turn, naturally eases the transition for children as they make their way in their new school environment.

We believe that each child is unique, full of potential and continually evolving. Our school aims to provide a safe, stimulating and nurturing early school experience. We respect the different perspectives, experiences and dignity of each child and family.ย 

Family classroom visits, welcome books, GNS t-shirts and summer playdates at the park are all part of transitioning children into school.

Emergent Curriculum Emphasizing Learning Through Playย 

Play and social-emotional development are the heart of the curriculum, and the day is designed to provide a combination of structured activities and self-directed play. This allows the children to develop skills they need to participate in a group, as well as ample opportunity to explore and experiment independently with the wide range of materials set out each day.

Technology Policy

At GNS, children have access to very limited technology. There are books on CD's and a music CD/MPG player, but no TV or computer in the classroom.ย 

Diversity and Cooperation

Our teachers tailor activities to the interests and needs of individual students. Our materials and curriculum reflect our appreciation for human diversity; they honor the multiplicity of family structures and the economic, racial, and religious differences in our community. The classroom is at once calm and joyful. Teachers and parents work together to create an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect in which our children can play, learn and thrive.

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