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Barley and Barkway (VA) Church of England First Schools Federation

‘Living Life in All Its Fullness’

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Essex School in London

Barkway School collaborates with the Essex School, London


For two years, Barley Barkway First Schools Federation has linked with a very large primary school in London called the Essex School. With over 950 pupils and 150 staff, this school is very different from our rural schools.  We began visiting each other’s schools in 2015 and have established strong ties for both children and teachers in the schools.  Essex school is very culturally diverse and set in London, visits to the school and its environs provide our pupils with an insight into different cultures and beliefs that they would not otherwise encounter. The children from Essex School are always amazed at the rural environment of our schools and enjoy exploring our village settings and visiting our churches.


As we all follow the same curriculum, we are able to share our experiences and recently hosted a music workshop for year 3 and 4 children in Barley. Our children then took part in the musical performance in London a week later.  Year 1 and 2 children from our schools took part in a dance workshop in London for International Women’s History Week, dressing up in costume alongside their Essex partners.  The joint Year 3 and 4 class, the Barkleys has worked with Year 3 and 4 children at the Essex School on French days where activities were arranged to help share each other’s good practice in teaching and learning MFL.  RE has also been a shared area where as a Christian school we have been able to share our around Christian festivals with the Essex School.  From Essex School we have been able to share what it is like to be a Muslim child and how Muslims fast in Ramadan and celebrate at Eid.


Our partnership continues to flourish with new joint areas of the curriculum being highlighted for projects on a continuous basis