Early Years Information

  • The Foundation Stage Unit

    Welcome to the West Park Primary School Foundation Stage Unit which was opened in April 2013. Entry into the Early Years Foundation Stage is both an important and exciting time for both you and your child and our staff endeavour to make the transition from home to school a smooth and happy one. This brochure intends to provide information and hopefully answer any questions you may have about life in our Foundation Stage Unit.


    Headteacher                                                               – Miss A Hall

    Assistant Headteacher                                                  – Mrs N Pearce


    Contact Information

    School Phone Number          – 01429 282090

    School Fax Number             – 01429 282090

    School Email                      – school.admin@westparkschool.org.uk

    School Website                   – www.westpark.hartlepool.sch.uk




    You need to apply directly to the school for a place in Nursery. Once your child reaches their second birthday an application form can be collected from the main school office. Our admission policy is in accordance with the Local Authority’s criteria:


    1) A child with a statement of special educational needs

    2) Children who are looked after.

    3) Sibling links within the school

    4) Children currently living within the schools admission zone

    5) Children who live closest to the school determined by the shortest suitable walking route.


    The Nursery class has places for 52 children, 26 in the morning and 26 in the afternoon. Some of these places are now taken up by children who stay for 2 ½ full days at the beginning of the week or at the end of the week. Alongside this we also offer a lunch club for those children who stay 2 ½ days. At the moment the cost of this is £1.50 per day. If the nursery is not full we can also offer parents the option to send their child to nursery full time, the children will receive the first 15 hours free and the remaining 15 hours will be funded for by the parents.  Children can be admitted to the Nursery class the term after their third birthday. When your child is settling in, please make arrangements to briefly stay until they feel confident alone. This will help your child to have a happy start to Nursery life.



    You will need to apply directly to Hartlepool Local Authority for a place in the Reception class. You can contact the admissions team directly on 01429 523768. The admissions criteria are the same as is outlined in the Nursery admissions section. We have two Reception classes, one class has 22 children and the other has 23.


    Induction Arrangements

    All children will be given opportunities to visit their new Reception class and meet their teacher in the Summer Term. The class teachers will also visit the children in their current nursery settings. Parents will be invited to a New Starters meeting towards the end of the summer term which gives parents the opportunity to visit the Reception classrooms and meet the teachers.


    Timings of the Day


    Morning session: 8.30am to 11.15 – 11.30am

    Afternoon session: 12.15 pm to 3.00 – 3.15pm

    Full Days: 8.30am to 3.15pm including lunch club (11.30 – 12.15) which is charged at £3.00 per two days.


    Please note the nursery door opens at 8.30am and 12.15pm and closes promptly at the beginning of this session. Should you arrive late to drop your child off or pick them up you will need to go to the main school office in the school building. Please ensure that your child is brought inside the Foundation Stage Unit lobby and collected by an adult (over 18 years).



    8.40am – 8.50am to 3.10pm

    Children enter the Foundation Stage Unit through a separate entrance towards the top of Coniscliffe Road. Please can you ensure your child is dropped off and collected on time as the door to the Reception classroom is locked at 8:50am. Any children that are not collected on time will be taken over to the main school office and you will need to collect them from there. If you know you are going to be unavoidably late please contact the main school office.



    If your child is unwell please telephone the school on their morning of absence and leave a message why your child is absent and how long the absence may be for.

    Please keep your child at home if they are unwell, or have a high temperature. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea they will not be able to return to school for 48 hours after their last episode of sickness/diarrhoea. This is in accordance with the Local Authority guidelines.

    Please can you ensure you have provided the school with up to date contact telephone numbers for yourself and that of a relative or friend as an emergency contact should you be unavailable, in the event of your child becoming ill or having an accident.



    Please can all clothing, including coats be clearly named. School uniform order forms are available from the school office. Grey trousers/skirts are also worn as part of the school uniform. Children in Reception will need a named PE bag with plimsolls, blue shorts and t-shirt. The blue hooded sweatshirt is not needed in Reception. In the summer term children need a named sun hat. Although the school uniform is not a statutory requirement for Nursery children, a large majority of our parents do choose to dress the children in our school polo shirt and sweatshirt.



    Children are not permitted to wear earrings in school. This is not only West Park’s policy but also the policy of the Local Authority. In the interests of safety please ensure your child does not wear jewellery of any kind. Rings, necklaces and bracelets can easily catch on clothing or apparatus and cause nasty accidents.


    Nursery Class Fund

    We ask parents for a £1.00 contribution each week to help to buy baking ingredients and snacks etc. A ‘Money Box’ is kept in the cloakroom.


    Preparation for School

    The most valuable skills your child can learn before starting school are those related to his/her personal independence – dressing, undressing, turning clothes the right way round, putting on coats and fastening them and also being able to go the toilet independently. The staff are very sensitive to the needs of the children and will always give assistance to a child who is struggling to cope as well as encouraging independence. We have found that those children who can cope with this area of their life settle quickly at school, can organise their own learning and become both confident and independent learners.



    Children who attend Nursery for two and a half days need to bring a packed lunch to school with them. Please note a packed lunch is not necessary on a Wednesday as they do not stay for lunch on this day. In Reception, the children have the option to have a cooked school dinner or bring a packed lunch.  As from September 2014 school dinners will be free to children in Reception and KS1 classes. The Reception staff will be present initially in the dining hall alongside the lunchtime supervisory assistants. There is always a choice of dinner and dessert for the children, plus a drink.  It would be very helpful if your child is competent in using a knife and fork.


    If parents prefer, children can bring a packed lunch to school. As we are a nut free school please ensure there are no nut products in your child’s packed lunch. If your child wishes to change from school dinners to packed lunches or vice versa please inform the office and give the appropriate notice. A change can only be made at the start of a new half term.

    Any child who goes home for lunch should not return to school until five minutes before the afternoon session begins.



    During lunchtime the Reception children are looked after by our lunchtime supervisory assistants as well as our KS2 Playground Friends. The children are able to choose if they would like to play on the top or bottom yard or stay in the quieter area situated outside the dining hall. During the summer months children will also be able to play on the school field. A selection of bats, balls, hoops etc is available for the children to play with. Nursery children always stay within the Foundation Stage Unit and do not go out to play with the rest of the school.


    Other Information


    Reading Folders

    In Reception, children are provided with a reading folder when they start school and are expected to bring this to school each day. PLEASE DO NOT BUY A READING/BOOK BAG AS YOU ARE PROVIDED WITH ONE FREE OF CHARGE. We send home letter sounds initially for children to practise at home and as time progresses they will also bring home a reading book. We also put any letters or newsletters in the children’s reading folders so please check these bags daily. Please could we request that children do not put their water bottles in the reading folders as on occasions these have leaked and damaged books.


    Please always inform the staff of any problems your child is experiencing at school. Problems can usually be solved quite quickly once we know about them. Alongside this if you feel there are any changes or problems at home that you feel may impact upon the child please let staff know so we can be aware and sensitive to the needs of your child.

    Parent Consultations

    During the Spring term, Reception parents are invited to parent consultations after school to discuss their child’s work and progress.  In the Summer term the Nursery Teacher will also hold a parent consultation day for the children leaving Nursery that term to start school in September. Reception children will also receive an end of year report in July. If your child’s teacher feels they are having difficulty in a specific area then they will contact you and invite you in to discuss this at any point during the school year.

    Teaching and Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage

    All of our teaching is based upon the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Children have access to both an indoor and an outdoor learning environment. This covers the areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

    Children are continually assessed using the Development Matters document and they are assessed at the end of Reception against the Early Learning Goals and a judgement will be given if they are emerging, expected or exceeding. We gather evidence throughout Nursery and Reception using a handset from our Fingertips program. We value parental contributions and we will provide you with details of how you to can upload information that has made you think ‘WOW’ when your child has achieved or done something that you are really proud of.

    Communication and Language

    This area of learning focuses upon developing the child’s listening, speaking and understanding skills.

    Physical Development

    Children develop their physical control, awareness of space and their manipulation skills in both the indoor and outdoor environment.

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development

    The most important aspect that children will learn is the ability to work and play with others whilst taking account of others feelings and needs.



    Children are encouraged throughout all activities to mark make with various tools e.g. pencils, crayons, paints etc. When children recognise a letter stands for a sound or part of a sound then the children are taught the fundamentals of reading and writing. This stage often occurs at the beginning of Reception. We teach the letter sounds alongside the formation of both letters and numbers. Much practice will be given to this. Once children become confident with all of their sounds they will begin to read and reading books will be sent home. Please read with your child at home and actively encourage them to sound out each word and blend the sounds together independently. In the interim before your child brings home a reading book please read stories to your children to nurture a love of stories and understand the reasons for print.


    This is taught using very practical tasks and applying it to real life situations. The following areas will be taught:

    • Number recognition and understanding of their value.
    • Early addition and subtraction beginning to combine two groups of objects and say how many there are altogether.
    • Recognising and naming 2D and 3D shapes.
    • Repeating Patterns.
    • Sorting objects in a variety of ways.
    • Positional language.  

    All of the above are taught through practical tasks, class and group teaching as well as discussions.

    Understanding the World

    Children will talk about their own environment, their lives and where they live. This incorporates the beginnings of early Science, ICT, History, Geography and RE.

    Expressive Arts and Design

    Children’s imagination is developed through a variety of creative ways such as dance, role play, art, music.

    Supporting Your Child’s Learning at Home

    Your role in your child’s education must not be underestimated.  The children rely upon parents reinforcing work at home that has been taught at school. To enable you to do this successfully the teachers will provide information about our terms learning through the school website on a termly basis. Work will often be placed in your child’s reading folder which we expect the child to complete or practise at home. The most successful way to reinforce and practise work at home is to do it over short and regular intervals throughout the week and weekend.