West Hill School

Helping children Achieve
as much as they possibly can
and to Flourish in adult life

Frequently asked questions 

In the context of COVID-19

Will there be any chance of an induction whilst schools are only partially open?

The induction process for all children and families is critical to ensure an effective start. Our experience tells us that often it is the other aspects of the induction process and not the school visits that often have a greater impact. The things that can still happen:

  • A short virtual visit with our short film
  • Information gathering meetings – we will just do these via Zoom so they can be remote
  • Information packs being sent through
  • Photo and induction booklet for your child
  • Shared Q&A sessions with group induction meetings 

Home visitsfor those children that usually have one of these scheduled we will look at alternative solutions e.g. a visit to you in your garden or a mutually agreed outside space.

School visitsas schools are currently working in identified Bubbles (small grouped classes with allocated areas) it is difficult to walk the site effectively. For children outside of Nursery and Year R that are joining us in September we will be arranging for your child to visit and join an induction Bubble for a session in July (as long as this does not interfere with any school provision they are currently experiencing) . For children in Year R and Nursery we will be focusing on their home visits at this time.

How can I get uniform sorted?all this is can be ordered on-line and there are further details on the website.

I have questions I need to be answeredjust email in and a member of the team will come back to you.

Will school start as usual in September? – what schools look like in September is currently unknown. We will keep in contact with you as part of our school community with news as soon as we know more. We will continue to follow government guidance in terms of bringing children in to school in an appropriate and risk assessed way.

General process

Do home visits happen usually?

For children entering nursery, or new families to reception (that have not been in nursery) we will schedule a time where we visit you and your child. Dependent on the time frames this can be either in July or September.

When does my child begin school or nursery?

For children that are pre-statutory school age (reception and nursery starters) the Autumn Term consists of a staggered start. Children will be allocated visits to school e.g. part days / every other day etc. until all children have experienced the setting with fewer children around. 

When can I expect my child will start full time?

Nursery & Reception children – every child will respond to starting nursery or school differently. Once we have met all children in a staggered and phased way (usually 2-3 weeks) we hope that the vast majority are in full time approximately 2 ½ weeks into term. For some children this process may take longer and the Head of Early Years will continue to liaise and talk to you about what is appropriate.

For children in other year groups – where children are joining us and they have been in another school previously then they will start the school year in a full time capacity from the start of term. 

I have got a question and I don’t know who to contact?

Email admissions@west-hill.surrey.sch.uk and a member of the team will be in contact with you. 

What time does the school day start and end?

Nursery – 9.30am – 2.30pm

School – 9.15am – 3.15pm

School lunches

Nursery – we ask that your child is sent in with a packed lunch daily

Reception, Year 1, Year 2 – Currently the government funds and provides a Universal Infant Free School Meal for children in these year groups. The school catering provision can meet all dietary requirements (although there are limitations for choice). You may choose not to accept this meal and your child can be provided with a packed lunch. Occasionally, your child’s teacher may liaise with you to identify if your child is not eating the school meal and suggest a packed lunch may be more appropriate. Some parents opt for school meals but also send in a supplementary packed lunch, if they are worried about their child not eating their meal.  These are all things that can be discussed and arranged with your child’s teacher. 

For children in other year groups – School meals are optional for these year groups, although we do encourage children to have a school lunch. For some children that are eligible for Pupil Premium then meals may be available under the Free School Meals plan. 

Uniform – I’m worried my child will not wear the uniform…

There are many children that have challenges around clothing and we endeavour to work with families to overcome this in a way that meets the child’s needs as well as working towards uniform requirements. 

Transport – what happens with that?

Some children, from Reception upwards, are entitled to allocated home to school transport via the Local Authority. There are some factors around this and it is not a guarantee for all. Other options may include parents providing the transport and being reimbursed for transport costs. Please access the Surrey Transport policy here for further details. Transport is something that is managed directly between parents and the Local Authority.  Contact details are:

passenger.transport@surreycc.gov.uk or 0300 200 1004 (option 2).

 If my child is entitled to transport will they have a Passenger Assistant (escort)?

This is not an allocated resource unless there is notification on the child’s EHCP. See entitlement in the transport policy.

Does the school run a before school club?

Currently we do not run this facility as children are transported from across the county rather than only serving children locally. This is not something that is routinely asked for but we do keep this under review to meet the needs of the school community.

Does the school run after school clubs?

As many children live across the county collecting a child after hours can be difficult (transport times cannot be changed). We do try to offer an outdoor experience in the Summer Term but this is dependent on funding and interest or take-up from families.  If you are still interested in finding out about clubs, we will work with you to signpost to clubs in your local area.