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St Stephen's Catholic Primary School and Nursery, a Voluntary Academy

Learning, living and loving one another in God's name

Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire
BD23 1PJ

01756 709451

                                Starting at Fossdale Nursery 

St Stephen’s Nursery is a Local Authority Nursery, part of St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, a voluntary academy. We are a 26 place Nursery, which means we can accommodate up to 26 children aged 3-4 years in each morning and each afternoon session.  Children can join the nursery the term after their third birthday.

We believe in equal opportunities for all children and we are able to support the inclusion of all children whatever their  additional needs.

What children experience and learn in Nursery can create strong and lasting foundations which can be developed further in later life, so we believe it is essential that the experiences are of the highest quality.  The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework guide provides information on key areas of learning and development, keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. 

The staff are skilful, trained educators, who are knowledgeable about how children learn, about child development and care, and have a strong commitment to the Nursery and its aims. We have an extensive indoor and outdoor foundation stage curriculum and work closely together as an integrated team.  We are also very keen to work closely with you to enable your child to be happy and to make good progress. 

 To come and visit our community nursery, please email or call the school on 01756 709451.  Come and see our fantastic provision for yourself and talk to our foundation stage staff.

All welcome! 

Our Aims – Learning, living and Loving one another in God’s name.

To treat and develop each child as an individual.

To give children the opportunity to grow in confidence and develop emotional resilience.

To develop social skills.

To participate in enjoyable, exciting and stimulating playful learning activities.

To foster a love of learning and a positive attitude to challenge

Joining the nursery

Children can start at our nursery from their third birthday.  Please contact the school office on 01756 709451 to arrange a visit. 

Parents can put a child’s name on the waiting list through contacting the Nursery or School administrator.

There is no catchment area for nursery schools. A place in our Nursery does not guarantee a place at St Stephen’s Catholic Primary school which would need to be applied for through the North Yorkshire primary school application process. 

Forms and information

Nursery handbook 2016

Download Nursery Application Form

Download Nursery Sessions Attendance Form

Settling In

We appreciate that you are probably feeling a little worried the first few times you leave your child. Settling into a new environment can be difficult, no matter how young or old you are.    

A child who is tense or unhappy will not be able to play and learn well, so it is important that we work together, to help your child feel confident and secure. We offer ‘settling in sessions’ for you and your child.

There are lots of things you can do to help your child to settle quickly. This can take longer for some children than for others, please talk to the staff if you have any concerns, an ideal opportunity for this is during our home visit.

Exploring the living wall
Exploring the living wall

New Outside Area

This is a really exciting time as we have just completed our new outside area.  The children having seen it being built can now get out and explore all the exciting areas.  For more details please see the Early Years Play Area page.

Peeping through the Hobbit Hole
Peeping through the Hobbit Hole


Our fully qualified teacher is Mrs Turvill and a Nursery Nurse, Mrs Blenkhorn, in addition to other staff including lunchtime supervisors. Our Nursery administrative assistant is Miss Wilkinson.

Session Times

Session times are:

                    8.30am – 11.30am


                    12.30pm – 3.30pm.

Children can stay for a full day and take advantage of our lunch club.  11.30am - 12.30pm   £2.50.

Hot meals are £1.60 or alternatively you can provide your child with a packed lunch.  Please do not include anything which contains nuts.

Additional Sessions

Over and above the funded 15 or 30 hours per week are charged at £12 per 3 hour session. Places are allocated subject to availability.

Children can also access the breakfast club (7.45 am start) and afterschool club (6 pm finish) which is on site and runs in the main school hall. 

Keeping in touch

We provide parents and carers with a newsletter on a half termly basis, to keep you informed of Nursery events and areas of learning we will be covering, as well as posters and flyers from time to time. This is emailed to parents and appears on the website.

The notice board in the entrance also displays further information that may be of interest to you. Of course we are always on hand to answer questions and queries! 

Making snozcumbers for Roald Dahl day
Making snozcumbers for Roald Dahl day

Making whizz popper drinks for Roald Dahl day
Making whizz popper drinks for Roald Dahl day

Some tips to help a child to settle include

  •  Try to look confident and happy when you drop off your child. Your child will pick up on your emotions: if you appear upset, your child will respond to this.
  • When you arrive, help your child to hang up their coat and bag and to self-register until they are managing independently and confidently.
  • If your child likes to use a comforter at home this can be brought into Nursery, until your child has settled. A favourite teddy or blanket can be very soothing to your child in a new environment.
  • During the first weeks at Nursery, please be prepared to stay and help your child settle. When you leave, do so confidently and positively. Tell your child what you will be doing and that you will be back to see what they have been doing, later. (Please feel free to contact us to check that your child has settled and is having an enjoyable time.)

Aim to make a clean break when your leave your child – try not to linger and go back to them. Some children can be a little upset for a short while but we aim to make Nursery a secure, comforting yet stimulating and enjoyable place, so tears tend to be short-lived. We would of course contact you if we cannot settle your child within a reasonable amount of time.

Remember that starting a new environment can be a tiring experience. Your child may seem more tired and grumpy than usual in the first few days or weeks.  This is perfectly normal, so bear this in mind when you pick them up, and if your child is staying for full days, tea and bedtime may need to be a little earlier!


30 hours funding update

The Government have extended the current universal free childcare entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds from 15 to 30 hours per week for working parents from September 2017.


What do you need to do?

  1. Apply for additional funded hours through the North Yorkshire County Council website (link here).
  2. North Yorkshire County Council will assess the application and if eligible you will receive email confirmation of this.
  3. Forward a copy of this email to us.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  Without a copy of the email any sessions above the 15 hours will need to be paid directly by parents.