Our Past

The school occupies the Gervays Hall and Garden property, which is leased to the school by the Gervays Hall Trust. The trust was established and hall built in 1933 for the use in education and recreation of the people of the parish of Steyning and Ashurst.

Originally the school was a “Dame’s” school for primary school age children in the large house and garden at the southern end of Kings Barn Villas and moved into the Gervays Hall in the 1960’s.

The school was extended and a nursery added so that by the 1990’s numbers attending the school increased to 50. In 1999 parent power intervened to prevent the nursery from closing and The Southdown School Trust was formed. Donations, fundraising and voluntary work by parents resulted in the removal of a temporary classroom and the refurbishing of the hall and garden to enable it to open as a nursery for the September term 2000. Southdown Nursery continues to be run as a charitable organisation with the support of volunteer directors/trustees, parents and staff.

Our Present

The Head teacher has responsibility for the day to day running of the nursery and the business is overseen by a voluntary group of Trustees/Directors who are continuously looking to develop the provision that we offer our children.

Recently, we have secured funding which has enabled us to install our unique sand-pit. ‘Helen’s vision’, our plan for our outdoor environment, is well underway and with continuing parental support and further fund-raising, we are looking to complete it within the next year. We were swift to embrace a Government initiative to improve the quality of Early Years care and education and are now in the privileged position of having an Early Years Professional on the staff. Her leadership has enabled us to successfully implement the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Her expertise can only benefit our children in the years to come.