We were rated outstanding by Ofsted in May 2017. Read here >Ofsted 2017


We are extremely fortunate to have a large and varied garden that the children love playing in, all weather, featuring:

  • Large sandpit,  with awning to protect the children from the sun in hot weather;
  • Vegetable garden where children can experience firsthand what it’s like to grow their own produce and eat it afterwards
  • Tarmac area for driving cars, exploring water and messy play
  • Playground toys
  • Summer house, where children can explore imaginative play with one another
  • Bug hotel to support local wildlife and help children learn more about mini beasts. This area of the garden is also where we run our Forest School.

Our beautiful garden is a great setting for the summer fair every year, when we have stalls, games and activities for families to enjoy.


We are located in the heart of Steyning on Jarvis Lane, only a five-minute walk from the high street.

There is plenty of parking available nearby in Fletcher’s Croft car park or on Holland Road. Please note there is restricted parking directly outside the nursery.

Our history

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. It moved into the Gervays Hall in the 1960s.

The school was extended and a nursery added, so that by the 1990s 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 refurbishment of the hall and garden to enable it to open as a nursery for the September term 2000.

Southdown today

Southdown Nursery continues to be run as a charitable organisation with the support of volunteer directors/trustees, parents and staff.

Our current board of Trustees is headed by Mia Marshall, she is joined by Alex Marshall(Finance) Jodie Bryan (Secretary Emma Iavarone (Fundraiser) and Kaiya Parks (community and parent liason) .

If you’re interested in becoming a trustee and helping to guide the future of your child’s early years education, please contact Lucy Southdown Manager.
Please find the Trustee handbook with all you need to know to join us.
Southdown Nursery Trustee Handbook 2020