THE oldest nursery school in York is celebrating after achieving three prestigious awards this year so far with a fourth in progress.

St Paul’s Nursery School in Holgate has so far scooped the Rights Respecting Schools Bronze award, Renewal of Early Years Quality Mark and National Portage Association Accredited status.

Head Claire Rigden, said: “We are thrilled with this recognition, the staff work tirelessly and are driven by the desire for every child to have the best start to life they can. Each award brings with it recognition of a commitment to respecting the rights of children, offering high quality education and utilising a specialist approach to working with children with special educational needs.

“Covid-19 has brought many challenges but also opportunities for staff to concentrate on training and development and we have tried our best to use every moment to benefit the children.”

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “After a challenging 18 months for Early Years settings, to receive one award would be great news, but to gain three in the space of a few months is a marvellous achievement.

“These different awards from Tribal (quality), Portage (supporting SEND) and UNICEF (respect for children’s rights) all recognise the commitment of the nursery’s team to children’s learning and development. They are a great testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff of St Paul’s Nursery. Many, many thanks to you all.”

Due to many families changing their lives to adapt to working at home etc we do surprisingly have places available from September and we are now opening up to ‘rising threes’ which means children now may start with us at the beginning of the term they turn three.

The nursery opened on December 1 1936 and was gifted to the local authority by the Rowntree family.