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'Education: an adventure to be enjoyed'
Welcome to the CAN Schools Federation. We are two well-established, teacher-led nursery schools supporting children and families in Derby.
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Opening Times and Session Costs
Opening Times:8.00am - 6.00pm (parents can drop off from 7.30am - additional charge applies)
Session Costs:£6.50 to £7.00 per hour booked within our published session times


Each child's journey through our nursery school begins with us building strong relationships with children and their families. Our strong emphasis on relationships ensures staff know the children well, which enables us to provide experiences for the children to build on their existing skills, knowledge and understanding, constructed around their current interests. Our highly skilled practitioners use careful observations to follow the child's lead. We recognise that children learn best when they are interested and motivated. 'In the Moment Planning' allows us to capture the moment a child is highly engaged and inspired, allowing practitioners to build and extend on learning, leading to the child having depth of knowledge rather than just quick recall of facts.


At Central and Ashgate Nursery Schools, pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated, adult-directed and guided play. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin the children's learning and development across the seven areas. Our staff ensure the children's needs are met through continuous provision, enhanced provision and following their interests. Children are provided with extended periods of time to engage in 'exploration' throughout the variety of experiences both inside and outdoors. Staff join them  in their play to develop ideas through discussion, open ended questions and wondering 'what will happen if...' Our passion for outdoors can be seen in our Federation curriculum, written by staff, parents and children. We offer enhanced outdoor experiences using our dedicated sensory gardens, forest school spaces and community allotment. 


Our 10 Federation Curriculum Goals consider the all-round development of children. Our children are immersed in an abundance of practical, first-hand learning experiences through which they are encouraged to explore, experiment and develop their language. Communication and language development are therefore a consistent focus for all our staff. We support children's development by providing a language rich environment, where conversations, singing and sharing stories become a regular part of the children's day, where children with SEND are motivated to take the earliest steps of communication, sharing attention. In addition to phonics activities, we have 'core books' and 'core rhymes', which are revisited again and again on different levels. This ensures our children develop knowledge of the English language, an increased vocabulary and a love of books.

New baby room opening in September. Please get in touch to find out more and book a place.