Barley (VC) First School and Barkway (VA) First School which is in the neighbouring village form a soft federation. With similar challenges and aims, the two schools work together to provide an exciting and challenging curriculum for children at both schools.
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A Pioneering Collaboration leads the way in our Village Schools.
Two North Hertfordshire rural village schools, Barley and Barkway First schools are leading the way in a pioneering approach to local education, where they share resources, maximising the educational opportunities for children at both schools and sharing the financial strain in these times of straitened budgets. Staff work together to share their ideas and expertise for the children.
The children in Years 3 and 4, the Barkleys class, share a teacher and are taught at both schools throughout the week. The children travel on the school’s Classroom Bus. They benefit academically and socially as they work alongside children from the other school. Mrs Sue Jagelman, Chair of Barley School says,
“Our children have the best of both worlds combining the family feeling of a small village school with the benefits that the collaboration brings – shared resources, facilities and expertise together with opportunities for the children to learn, play sport, and make friends with a wider peer group.”
Sharing resources works really well. For example, one school has a large hall with apparatus for gym whilst the other has a magnificent playground and playing field. Benefits are apparent all round. Parents recognise that children in Year 4 are helped to become more mature and independent in preparation for their transition to the Middle Schools.
David Hart, a Barley governor says,
“Along with some other governors, we sat down with the children from the Barkleys class and asked them how they were finding the arrangement and encouraged them to share both good and bad: but there was a universal thumbs up from the children and some lovely anecdotes about making new friends and having new learning partners.”
Jack in Year 4 from Barkway School says,
“It’s cool because I like having different learning partners.”
Rose in Year 4 from Barley School says,
“It’s great because we get to meet and work with other teachers and make new friends.”
If you would like to come and see our schools in action, please contact Mrs Margaret Davies-Mckeon, Executive Headteacher on 01763 848281 (Barley) or 01763 848283 (Barkway).