Barley Close Community Primary School
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Reception - Koala

Welcome to Koala Class!


Adults in Koala Class


I am Miss Mitchell and I am the class teacher in Koala Class.  This is my third year at Barley Close, following teaching in other schools around Bristol and London, mainly in Reception classes.

I have met many of the new children and their families and am really excited for an action packed year in Reception with everyone!


 If you have questions about your child or any part of school life, please come and see me anytime or if you would prefer to email me my address is: 


Miss Rowley is the HLTA (higher level teaching assistant) in Koala Class and we would be lost without her! Miss Rowley has worked in education for almost 30 years, with 13 of them being here at Barley Close following her time at Blackhorse School. She has two grown up children and a granddaughter who keeps her more than busy! In addition to keeping Koala class on track, Miss Rowley will also be leading our weekly healthy cookery sessions. 


Mrs Collins is the reading assistant in Koala Class and works with us every afternoon.  Mrs Collins reads with many children during the year and supports them to develop their reading skills.

What will my child need for school?


Waterproof coat


Book bag

PE kit


All children need a book bag with them in school every day.  This is important for changing reading books as well as ensuring you receive all school correspondence.

Wellies are stored on the trolley outside of the classroom; children use these regularly and need to stay in school.

PE kit is a white T-shirt, black shorts and daps.  This should be in a bag and kept on your child's peg (we will send it home each half term to be washed).


Please ensure all items of clothing (including shoes) are labelled clearly with your child's name.


When will my child do PE?


PE will be on every Friday.


Swimming will be on a Thursday during terms 1, 5 and 6. 


Forest school will take place every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Cookery will be in rotational groups every other Friday. 



We Need Your Help!


We are always looking for people to help in Koala class.  If you could help us with swimming, forest school, cooking or come in to listen to readers, please see Miss Mitchell and we can put the arrangements in place.

A date for your diary...


Monday 18th December (2.30pm) 


Please join us in Koala Class for an end of term Christmas celebration!

The children will be baking and decorating christmas biscuits in the morning, offering these and mince pies to you in the afternoon while singing our favourite Christmas songs. 

We look forward to seeing you there!




Friday 17th November


Another fantastic week in Reception is complete! We’ve been reading the story Zog and the Flying Doctors this week, creating story maps to retell the story and listening carefully for rhyme throughout the story. The children have really loved talking about doctors and so next week we will be turning our role-play area into a Hospital, and if we’re lucky we will have a visit from a paramedic and his ambulance!

The children have been continuing to develop their addition skills in Maths this week, as well as recognising teen numbers. They have also been talking about properties of 3D shapes in order to identify them in real-life objects. Next week we will be exploring money and beginning to count using pennies.

Christmas Fair


Next week we will be slowly starting to think about Christmas as Friday sees the arrival of our annual Christmas Fair! This will be in the main hall, from 4.30pm – 7pm where you will find each class has a stall selling various items made by the children in school (Reception will be combining their Forest School and creative skills to make festive decorations during the week.) It’s always a great event with lots of treats for both adults and children – come and enjoy some Christmas music, freshly baked pizzas from our new oven, mulled wine, prosecco, surprise performances throughout the evening and a visit from a very special guest…


As always I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend
Miss Mitchell



Friday 10th November


This week we have been reading the story of Zog, retelling the story in different ways, creating story maps and thinking of a new ending for the story. The children have loved pretending to be teachers and students in our new Dragon School role play areas! Next week we will read Zog and the Flying Doctors to find out what Zog has been up to in his new adventures.


In Maths, we have been developing our addition skills with single-digit numbers and quantities. The children will be writing number sentences next week to extend their knowledge and skills, as well as using a number line to count on from a given number. We have also been developing our knowledge of 3D shapes this week, looking at shapes in the environment and discussing their properties to identify which 3D shapes they are (cone, cylinder, cube, cuboid, sphere and pyramid). This is really tricky so we will continue to develop the children’s recognition and descriptions of 3D shapes next week.


In addition to learning more about Zog and developing our Maths Skills next week, as well as having lots of fun in Forest School, we will also be busy having our individual photographs taken on Wednesday 15th November. Please make sure your child is wearing appropriate school uniform that day. 


Parents Evenings


These will be held in the main hall next week on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th November. If you haven’t already done so, please log in to book your slot – if you are experiencing any difficulties with this, please go to the main office for further advice.

If you are unable to attend a session on either of those dates, don’t worry! I am very happy to arrange another time to suit you; just let me know.

Children in Need

This year Children in Need is held on Friday 17th November. Children are welcome to wear non-school uniform in exchange for a 50p donation towards the charity. On Friday morning, Koala class are going to dance a conga around the whole school in aid of raising money! Children are encouraged to bring in a further 50p donation to take part.


I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Miss Mitchell



Friday 3rd November 


The children have settled really well back into our routine after a week away for half term, keen and ready to learn. We have been reading the Julia Donaldson story ‘Room on the Broom’ and exploring our new Potion Making role play area, while learning about the celebration of Halloween. In Forest School, the children have had lots of fun mixing their own potions, and some were making up their own magical spells! We’ve also been learning more about rhyme, making a rhyming potion in English of all the rhyming pairs in our story.


In Maths, the children have been using pumpkins to order by sizes and weights, tweezing pumpkin seeds to help count to 20, learning about 3D shapes (cone, sphere, cube, cylinder) and looking for them in our environment, as well as starting to learn about addition! It’s been a very busy four-day week!


In PE the children have been challenging themselves on different apparatus, including a large climbing frame, different sized horse-frames, balancing along beams and traveling to avoid obstacles. Please make sure your child has their named PE kit in school every day. We will happily offer spare kits to children if they do not have their own, but there are currently several children without PE kits and we quickly run out of spare clothes!


The weather is starting to become really chilly now and the children are learning outside for several periods of the day – please make sure your child has a named coat in school so they are comfortable and warm in all learning.


Sharing books have now stopped being sent home – but please do keep sharing books with your children! We will continue to change the children’s reading books once they have been read with an adult twice. Please make sure you write in your child’s yellow reading diary to say that they have read at home – it doesn’t’ need to be a long comment, just a note to let me know.


Next week will be another busy one as we read the story Zog, explore a Dragon School role-play, and learn about the firework celebrations of November 5th.


Have a lovely weekend, hopefully seeing some fireworks!

Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley




Friday 20th October – Half Term!


This week the children have been busy reviewing our trip at Westonbirt Arboretum, creating collages and pictures with the objects they collected, as well as using them to sort and count during Maths. We have also been exploring Autumn, taking a woodland walk around the school grounds to look for signs of the season changing. The children were very excited to see the Red Sky during our walk!!


We have also been learning all about Diwali, reading the story of Rama and Sita in English, and creating our own Rangoli patterns with beads and decorating our hand prints. We learned that Diwali is the Festival of Light, and the children really enjoyed finding out more about another culture.


Thursday saw our last swimming session until the Spring term so please keep swimming kits at home now. The children have done incredibly well and have gained more confidence in the water – I am very proud of all of them!


The children have settled really well into school life and to celebrate how well they have done we had our first class party on Friday afternoon. Miss Rowley and I have had a lovely start to the year getting to know the children and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again after half term.


Please remember that all children need every item of clothing clearly named – including shoes – and every child needs a pair of wellies and a named PE kit in school. Please also make sure you check inside your child’s book bag every day as we often send important letters home throughout the week, as well as updating their Phonics folders and changing books. Thank you!


Enjoy a lovely (hopefully not too rainy) break
Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



Friday 13th October


This week we have read 'The Little Red Hen' in English, which was a new story to most of the children.  We retold the story in different ways and the children are becoming familiar with using and making story maps to help with their retelling.  We also made bread, like the main character in the story, which tasted delicious.  


In maths we have been continuing our use of numicon, the children are becoming more familiar with using it and recognising the colours.  This will be a tool they will use often in maths as they develop calculating skills.


The highlight of this week was our trip to Westonbirt Arboretum today.  We had a fantastic time and the children all enjoyed it.  We walked to the top of a tree top bridge, which enabled us to be higher than some of the trees.  We collected leaves, seeds, acorns, conkers, cones and much more which we will use next week in school.  The children loved the ride on the coach and the picnic lunch, but the best part of the day was finding a Gruffalo!  The children (and adults) were completely exhausted at the end of the day, but it was certainly worth it.


Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Mitchell & Miss Rowley



Friday 6th October


This week we have experienced more new things in Koala Class; we walked to the Co-op to buy the ingredients for making gingerbread men, then we made and ate them - they were delicious! 

We then had our first swimming lesson, which was amazing. I could not believe how well the children listened in the pool; they stayed safe and had lots of fun. We are focusing on water confidence in these first few weeks and we began with blowing bubbles and playing games, a great time was had by all the children (although they were exhausted afterwards!)


We still completed all of our other learning this week: in English we read the Gingerbread Man and in Maths we undertook more measuring and found 1 more than a number. The children also used numicon for the first time, which will become something they use regularly in maths. Daily phonics lessons introduced the sounds; 't, p, i, n', which we have added to the home learning sheet in the children's book-bags; please continue to regularly review these with your children.


Next Friday is our Arboretum trip - please return the permission slip on Monday if you have not already done so.  We will also be helping to make the new school pizza oven next week - I am looking forward to tasting the pizza!


Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Mitchell & Miss Rowley



Friday 29th September


We have completed our first month of school and I am so proud of the way the children have settled into the routines and have learnt so much. This week in English we used the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, which was popular with all the children and in maths we have practised lots of measuring. The children used cubes to compare the different lengths of their feet, as well as classroom objects.


We had the large apparatus out in PE and the children were amazing. They used all the equipment safely and confidently jumped and balanced without any help.


We introduced a daily phonics lesson this week, which involved a new sound each day with some revision games on Friday. The children are full of enthusiasm for these sounds, so please encourage them to practise with you at home. You will find the phonics sheets in their book bag (as discussed at the reading meeting two weeks ago), please use these with your children to remind them of the sounds they have been learning. The phonics booklet needs to come in to school every day, with reading books, as we will add to it throughout the week.


We will have our first swimming lesson on Thursday. Please ensure your child has a one piece swimming costume / swim shorts and a towel. All ear rings must be removed before school and it helps the children if they wear socks (not tights) on swimming day.


Thank you to everyone who has already returned the letter about our trip to the arboretum, please send this back on Monday if you haven't already done so.


As always we wish you a happy and relaxing weekend with your children,

Miss Mitchell & Miss Rowley



The children have done amazingly well in their first full time week.  They have had an action packed week of learning.  In English we read the story, 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' which the children have loved.  They can retell the story well and enjoyed going on their own Bear Hunt around the school.  In Maths we have focused on a different number each day and explored ways of making that number.  We continued to look at pattern and shape names; please point out shapes around your house for the children. 


We had our first PE lesson today; all the children changed into their PE kit and we explored different ways of moving in the hall.  We played two new games; beans and duck - duck - goose, which help us to warm up and take turns, as well as get moving.  Please ensure your child has PE kit in school every day.


Thank you for helping the children with their story telling skills this week.  Almost all of the children had read with their parents and this is showing when we look at books in school. Please continue to read with your child every night.


Next week sees the start of Forest school. Each child will spend one morning learning in the forest every week.  It is essential that they have welly boots in school for this, so please put these on the trolley if you have not yet done so.


We will not start swimming until October - we will let you know when the children need their swim wear.


The children have all brought home a letter today about our school trip.  We are going to Westonbirt Arboretum on Friday 13th October to look at how the environment changes as Autumn arrives.  We have lots of fun collecting in the woods and building dens and the children always enjoy this day.  Please return the permission slips and payment as soon as possible to enable this trip to go ahead.


The sun is promising to shine for the next few days, so I hope you all have a great weekend!

Miss Mitchell & Miss Rowley





Wow – our second week has zoomed by! The children have settled in very well over the past fortnight and are probably very tired after their first week of staying for lunch! We’ve spent lots of time getting to know each other, and we are all making many friends in both Koala and Panda classes. The children have settled into the lunchtime routine really well and are trying hard to be independent in using cutlery – please encourage your child to do this at home as well, so that the lunchtime experience is as easy as possible for them.


We have been busy learning numbers 1-10 and challenging ourselves with numbers to 20 this week in Maths, singing lots of songs and rhymes to help us. We’ve also been practising shape names and learning to describe the shapes to a friend.


This week we have introduced the characters ‘Biff, Chip, Floppy, Kipper, Mum and Dad’ and inside each book bag you will find a laminated sheet with all characters on. Please take time to practice these with your child every day as they need to be able to recognise these words on sight, without sounding out.


You will also find a new reading book in the children’s bags, in addition to the sharing book. This book has no words in it and it is intended that children will tell their own story to you by looking at the pictures and becoming more familiar with the Biff and Chip characters. Please update your child’s yellow reading diary every day after reading with them.


Many thanks to all who attended our brief Reading meeting on Friday afternoon – if you were unable to attend, please see an overview of all points covered attached to this webpage.

Thank you to all who have offered to help us with Forest School, swimming and other activities – if you are interested in helping in any way throughout the year please see Miss Mitchell and we will make arrangements together.

Next week all children are in full time, from 8.45 – 3.15. Please make sure they all have their clearly named book bags, wellies and coats with them every day – even if it appears sunny in the morning!


Friday is Jeans 4 Genes Day - children are welcome to wear Jeans with a school top, for a £1 donation. 


Enjoy a lovely weekend, we’ll see you on Monday for our first week of full time Reception!

Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



Our First Week – 8.9.17


What a fantastic week we’ve had getting to know all the children in morning and afternoon sessions! The children have been very busy exploring their new classroom and outdoor environment, and we’ve played lots of games to help us make new friends. The children have settled into routines really well and we’re excited for the year ahead.


Thank you to everyone who has brought a family photo in – if you haven’t done so yet, please bring one in next week. We will photocopy all originals and return them to you.


Please make sure your child has a bag with them every day to ensure you receive all important information and to ensure their reading books/diaries are in school each day.


Next week all children will be in school from 8.45 until 1.30pm. They will have lunch in school; either a packed lunch or school dinner. Please collect your children from the classroom at 1.30pm each day.


On Friday 15th there will be a short meeting in Panda Class for all Reception parents at 1.30pm. This will give you an overview of Phonics and Reading in Reception, and some helpful tips of what you can do at home to support your child’s reading. Please come to Panda classroom BEFORE collecting your child – all children will be in Koala class with Miss Rowley and Mrs Lines. You can collect your child immediately after the meeting.


Enjoy a lovely weekend,

Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



Parents Meeting 15th September 2017

Early Years Vision

Induction Information

  • Barley Close Community Primary School
  • Barley Close, Mangotsfield, Bristol
  • United Kingdom, BS16 9DL
  • Tel: 01454 867090
  • Email: