LEARNING IN OUR SCHOOLS
At Barley and Barkway First Schools, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum which offers creativity and excitement, a curriculum which is taught using a variety of learning styles to ensure children achieve both the best possible progress and outcomes.
For English, we follow the National Curriculum using Herts for Learning programmes with a focus on high-quality texts. For phonics, we use the DfE validated systematic synthetic phonic programme: Pearsons Bug Club. We support our phonic teaching in EYFS with Montessori phonics. For maths, we follow the hugely popular White Rose Maths. For science, we follow the National Curriculum and use teaching materials from different sources.
As Church of England schools, our teaching in RE follows modules from the Church's national document, "Understanding Christianity" and elements from the Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus for R.E.
All children in years 1 to 4 have a continuous provision of IT allowing for one device per child at all times. iPads are in use within years 1 and 2, and Chromebooks in year 3 and 4. These are used by children on a daily basis in different ways to both support the curriculum and in weekly computing lessons. Children learn French from Year 3 but often begin earlier when they learn French carols at Christmas. We have a successful Forest School which operates in all but deepest winter. Our children love to work outside. We pride ourselves on very high-quality PE lessons delivered to the children by coaches from the Small Stars sports company. Music plays an important part in our curriculum with years 2, 3 and 4 all learning glockenspiels, recorders and cornets respectively. We hold an annual summer concert and art exhibition in July to which we invite all parents and the local community to share our work of which we are rightly proud.
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.
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 is for pupils in Years 1 and 2 (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 IT, and physical development while continuing access to a broad and rich curriculum.
Key Stage 2
At our school, children begin the first two years of Key Stage 2, 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 1, while aiming for the highest possible standards of effort and personal achievement in all areas of the curriculum.
As class sizes are small, your child will be certain of a high level of support. At our schools, your child will be encouraged to grow in confidence as he/she learns and becomes increasingly independent. We ensure all staff continue their professional development so that they are able to give of their very best at all times.