Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage Unit

We would like to welcome you to our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Unit. We welcome children from the term after they turn three years old.
We offer a wealth of opportunities facilitated by our five full-time members of staff and supported by our Outdoor Learning Specialists.
Our Early Years Team incorporates both Nursery children and Reception children within the same neutral and inviting learning environment. Our intention is to provide high quality experiences with a focus on promoting independence and problem solving and ensure learning experiences which enable children to develop enquiring minds and to become successful learners within a safe, happy and stimulating environment, both indoors and out. We recognise that young children prefer to learn outdoors and place great emphasis on our outdoor learning. The outdoors offers our children to experience the changing environment first hand whilst allowing the freedom to work on a larger scale, be messier and be louder!  Using the environment to support learning outdoors is one of our fundamental beliefs and is well recognised in helping develop strong, independent learners and thinkers. To support this belief, we have a fully qualified forest school instructor on site to ensure that children have the highest quality learning experiences both on the school site and beyond on our ‘into nature’ days.
Our intention is to provide the best Early Years education, in partnership with parents, carers, Governors and the wider community, to ensure that every individual child enjoys education from their very first experiences with us and reaches their full potential. We strive to involve parents at all levels, recognising the huge benefits that a shared partnership brings to each child’s early life experience.  All children in the EYFS are encouraged to support one another and help build on each other’s strengths. The cooperative learning is wonderful to see!
Please take a look on our Gallery Page to see us in action!
At King Street Primary and Pre-School Early Years Foundation Stage Unit, we:
  • provide open-ended activities so that our children develop their imagination.
  • let our children touch nature so that they feel connected with their world.
  • point out creatures passing by so that our children learn to let things go.
  • allow our children to take risks so that they learn to assess danger for themselves.
  • let our children handle fragile things so that they learn to be gentle.
  • share amazing stories so that our children grow to love words and their meanings.
  • provide our children with challenges so that they develop persistence.
  • encourage movement and balance so that our children feel strong in their bodies.
  • allow our children to disagree because that is how they learn to work things out.
  • show our children that mistakes are ok because that is how we grow.

Miss Louise Whitfield

EYFS Lead/Pre-School Teacher


Hello and welcome to EYFS. My name is Louise Whitfield and I graduated over twenty years ago from the University of Sunderland with a BA(hons) in Primary Education. I recently gained my Forest School Leader qualification, so am looking forward to using my new skills with our children in the setting.
I have been working at King Street Primary and Pre-School for over ten years and have worked in lots of different year groups during my time here, but I love my current role and can't imagine being any where else!
I consider myself very lucky to work with all of the amazing children and families who enter our doors every day.
I live in Spennymoor with my little boy and we have a LOT of pets. I have five rescue cats, three axolotls and two tortoises.
I enjoy reading, shopping and singing.

Miss Helen Lowery

Early Years Practitioner

My name is Miss Lowery and I live with my partner, our two beautiful little girls and our dog Luna.
In my spare time, I love spending time with my family and going for long walks with Luna. Also, shopping and catching up with friends.
My favourite things to do at nursery is exploring outside, dressing up and dancing to music and best of all getting MESSY!
This year, I will be moving down from year 5 to early years, however I have 10 years experience working within a local nursery and Reception class here at King Street, so I am looking forward to getting to know all you little people and your families.

Mrs Helen McGonigal

Early Years Practitioner

Hi, my name is Mrs McGonigal and I’m delighted to be working in EYFS whilst Mrs Scott is off having her baby.
I live in Evenwood with my husband and our three children, two girls and a boy. They’re 13, 10 and 7. We also have a cat called Bruce and a rabbit called Malteaser.
I enjoy running, reading, writing, cooking, baking and gardening (but not all at the same time!). I also like camping, walks in the woods and being by the sea with my family.
I write children’s fiction in my spare time. I also love reading children’s books and I’m looking forward to sharing lots of books with you in Early Years at King Street.
My other passion is looking after the planet we live on. We like to be as environmentally friendly as possible in our house and I share all our tips on my blog ‘Spot of Earth’.

Mrs Fiona Scott

Early Years Practitioner

Hello, my name is Fiona Scott and I have experience working in Early Years for nearly 8 years now. I joined King Street Primary and Pre-School in 2015 working as a Teaching Assistant and working in our Day Care After School Club. I currently work within our new Early Years unit in Pre-School. I enjoy working with children and helping them learn through play. In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family, going shopping and walking my dog.
I am currently at home looking after my new baby boy.

Miss Rebecca Simpson

Reception Class Teacher


Hello, my name is Rebecca Simpson and I am the Reception Teacher at King Street. I graduated in 2016 with a BA Hons in Early Childhood from the University of Teesside. I then completed my teacher training with the outstanding teacher training provider High Force Education and graduated again in 2017 with a PGCE in Primary Education.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage, this will be my second year teaching Reception children. Before I began my teaching career I worked in a private day nursery for 5 years. I look forward to supporting children on their learning journey and watching them make excellent progress.

Miss Kate Starkie

Early Years Practitioner/Breakfast Club Manager

Hello, my name is Kate Starkie and I qualified around 15 years ago and started off my career by working in a private nursery. I have worked in King Street for a lot of years now and after working in many year groups, I recently joined the new Early Years Unit. I am manager of our award winning Breakfast Club. I love working with our children and seeing them grow. In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family, going shopping and having days out at the seaside.

Mrs Sarah Kenna

Outdoor Specialist

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a member of the Real Adventure Through Sport team. I provide Forest School activities during our Welly Wednesday sessions with our Early Years Unit. Our focus is a holistic approach to helping children develop their skills physically, practically and mentally.



My role at King Street EYFS Unit is to welcome the children. I am very nosey and like to get a good view of what is going on in our Early Years Unit. I love climbing up the bars of my cage and dream of becoming a famous gymnast. I sometimes get into trouble when I climb too high and fall back onto my shell but I am getting better at turning myself over. The other staff often call me, "Oh Nigel!"
As well as climbing, I enjoy warm baths, dandelions and sleeping! I am a Hermann Tortoise and I am now 4 years old.

Kevin and Trevor

Guinea Pigs

Hello! Our names are Kevin and Trevor (or Kev and Trev for short!)
We support our children in the EYFS by teaching them how to look after us by being gentle, giving us fresh drinking water and using their cutting skills to cut us delicious fruit and vegetables to eat. Our favourite vegetables are peppers and carrots.
We love listening to the children reading in our reading nook. You know we are happy when you hear us squeaking!
We would love it if you could bring your old newspapers to keep us cosy and any left over vegetables to eat!

T. 01388 816 078
E. kingstreet@durhamlearning.net