At Barley First School we offer a broad and balanced curriculum and we try to be flexible and creative in our planning. We use the Creative Learning Journey approach to teach in topics. We take our children’s interests into account as much as possible and plan for different styles of learning. Because we have mixed age classes, we operate a two year rolling programme of study to ensure that the children do not repeat topics as they move through the school.
For the core subjects of English and Maths, we follow the National Curriculum but try to link the learning to topic work wherever possible to engage the children fully in their learning. As a Church of England school, we follow the Herts Agreed Syllabus for R.E. which runs independently of our topic work. ICT opportunities are integrated into all subjects.
For the youngest children, a play based curriculum (Early Years Foundation Stage) with lots of practical first hand learning is delivered by experienced practitioners in an environment appropriate to their needs. As the children progress through the school, teaching and learning styles become more formal but wherever possible they are supported in their learning by similar principles.
There are three classes in our school each with two mixed year groups. Each class is staffed by a teacher. In addition, each class receives assistance from experienced Teaching Assistants to support groups of children.
Children of primary age are organised into three key stages as follows:
The Foundation Stage consists of nursery and reception pupils (3 to 5 year olds).The emphasis in the Foundation Stage is upon developing early personal and social skills, creative and physical abilities and the first stages of reading, writing, communication, maths and science.
Key Stage 1
This key stage comprises pupils in years one and two (5 to 7 year olds). Our aim for this age group is to give a firm grounding in basic skills such as reading, writing, maths and ICT, and physical development, while having access to a broad and rich curriculum.
Key Stage 2
At our school, children begin the first two years of Key stage two, before transferring to their next school. The focus in this age group is increasingly to use and apply the basic skills learnt in key stage one, while aiming for the highest possible standards of effort and personal achievement in all areas of the curriculum.
Class sizes are small, so your child may be certain of a high level of support. At our school your child will be encouraged to grow in confidence as he/she learns and to become increasingly independent. We ensure all staff continue their professional development so that they are able to give of their very best at all times.