Please visit the Year Pages under the Children's tab for the weekly home learning timetable and resources

Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) department is made up of the nursery and the reception classes.  The staff are committed to providing an education which suits the needs of our youngest pupils. The children are encouraged to be independent, to respect themselves and others, and to develop knowledge and understanding of their own and others’ beliefs.  We expect pupils to be polite, helpful, caring and well behaved and reward with praise those who meet our expectations.


Early Years education is the foundation upon which children build the rest of their lives. It is a crucial stage of life in terms of children's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and well-being.


At Stanhope, our aim is to make every child’s first experience of school a positive one and as happy, fun and enjoyable as possible. To do this we feel it is vitally important to build close relationships with parents and carers so that everyone works together for the good of the child.


All children in the Nursery will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. At Stanhope Nursery, our aim is to provide a broad, balanced and progressive curriculum that responds to the identified needs of each child. The curriculum will allow children to acquire, use and consolidate skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge through first hand experiences.


Experiences and activities are grouped into seven areas of learning—as stated in ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage’ (May 2012).


Learning Areas


3 Prime Areas (Children should mostly develop these areas first)

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development                                                                                   
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development


4 Specific Areas (As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.)

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


The curriculum supports our view that young children learn most when they are active and that they can be taught best through play. Play experiences are carefully planned for the different needs of children, from the age of three to five years.  This prepares children for the national curriculum that all children follow when they from Year 1 onwards. Staff write a detailed plan at the beginning of each half term based on a topic and this is used to help work out a weekly plan. Planning is put on a notice board so parents can also see what the children are learning. A summary of the planning is sent home each half term to help parents support their child.



The Reception Year is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Teachers plan exciting topics for the children to learn and develop through. Each day children have the opportunity to access adult-led and child-initiated activities which cover the Early Years Curriculum. Whilst children are carrying out these activities, observations are made to inform where the children are on the assessment profile and therefore next steps can be planned for.


The children in Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and work towards the seven areas of Learning and Development. The framework uses a very holistic approach to learning and places strong emphasis on the individual child. It is also a continuation from the active learning the children have been involved in at Nursery and culminates in the Foundation Stage Profile that assesses all areas of learning for your child. At the end of the year, a written report shall be provided for each child based on the Foundation Stage Profile. 


By the time children leave the foundation department most children will : -

  • have a basic understanding of counting and size;
  • be able to listen to and understand stories;
  • recognise and begin to form letters and words;
  • spell simple words;
  • be able to communicate in sentences;
  • be confident in their knowledge of the school routine;
  • be able to co-operate with other pupils and staff;
  •  take pride in themselves and their achievements.


Nursery Information

Starting School

We can accept children into the nursery as soon as they are three, as long as there is a vacancy. Generally the children should be toilet trained. A place in our nursery however, does not guarantee a place in our reception class.


We call children in according to the following criteria:-

  1. Children in public care;
  2. Catchment area children who have a brother or sister in school;
  3. Catchment area children with medical or social needs;
  4. School catchment area children without brothers or sisters in school;
  5. Out of catchment are children with a brother or sister in the school;
  6. Out of catchment area children.


Where there are ties in any category a distance check will be made with the nearest addresses receiving the offers.  You will be sent a letter telling you the date your child will start and inviting you and your child to visit.


Prior to your child’s first day you will be asked to fill in an admission form and submit it to the school office where staff will check it for you.  If you need help with the form please come to the school office. We will take details of where you can be contacted in an emergency and any dietary or medical information which we need to know about your child. 


On your child’s first day you will be introduced to your child’s teacher and nursery nurse and they will explain more about the nursery routine.

Parents are asked to stay with their child on the first day. From then on the settling in of each child will depend on the individual needs of the child.


Each day pupils are able to choose from a wide range of play activities set out inside the room such as sand, water, dough, art /craft, computers, imaginative and manipulative play.  There is an outside area where children can explore the natural world in safety, under staff supervision.

Nursery Staff


At various times during the year we are able to provide training and support for students working towards professional qualifications. The students work alongside our own staff and so the children receive more individual adult attention.



Please label your child’s clothes.  Children should wear the school colours (see school uniform section).  Clothes should be appropriate for both safety and independence. Socks and shoes should fasten easily, have a good grip and cover the toes.  Clothes should let them move freely and be removed quickly when they go to the toilet.


If you have any children’s clothing that you no longer need please send it in to us. If your child does not get to the toilet on time, we will change their clothes for dry ones and send the wet ones home in a carrier bag. Please return the nursery clothes as soon as possible after they have been washed and dried.



The behaviour expected in the nursery is based on our school rules, which are included under the behaviour section of this website. New pupils are introduced to the rules and the reasons for them as the need occurs. Acceptable behaviour is praised and encouraged. Pupils who repeatedly ignore the rules may be withdrawn from play for a short time. If we are concerned about any child’s behaviour then the parent is consulted and together we decide on the action to be taken.


Moving on to the Reception Class

We aim to make sure that the move from nursery to reception is as stress free as we can make it.  In the summer term before your child moves into full time school, they will visit their new classroom and if possible spend some time working with their new teacher. 


When starting full- time school the children will start on several different days so that staff, pupils and parents can get to know each other more easily. Initially, the teaching in reception is similar to that in nursery, with the emphasis on learning through play. The children are taught in a variety of ways: as a class, in groups and as individuals. There is a qualified teacher a nursery nurse and teaching assistant in class.