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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. 



Friday 13th July - More dinosaurs!


This week, we continued our focus on dinosaurs plus we have been recalling our forest school learning. We have enjoyed a carousel of maths games for Maths week and yesterday, we had lots of fun on Throw Back Thursday. It was great to see all your 1960s inspired outfits! Happy 50th Anniversary Barley Close! We enjoyed dancing to 1960s music, tie-dying and playing traditional outside games like hopscotch and skipping.  Miss Rowley and I were so proud of your class assembly. You all did a fantastic job and you all looked like you were really enjoying yourselves! Thank you to all our families who attended, it was great to see you.


Today reports went home, your child's learning diary, books and P.E. kits. The children are looking forward to their move up days on Wednesday and Thursday next week. We will be having a class party on Friday.


Enjoy the weekend,


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 6th July - Dinosaurs


This week, we have been learning about dinosaurs. We have been describing our favourite dinosaurs and have been writing fact files about dinosaurs.


We enjoyed our move up Morning on Thursday, when we spent time with our new Year 1 teachers, doing a variety of activities. 


On Thursday 12th July, we will be celebrating the school's 50th birthday, so please come to school in 60s inspired clothes ready for a fun filled day of activities!


Next Friday is our class assembly, it will be lovely to see as many of our families there as possible. It starts at 2.30 p.m. and will be held in the hall.


We  hope you have a lovely weekend and if you are attending Barleyfest, we hope you have a great time!  


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 29th June - The Hare and the tortoise


This week our story has been 'The Hare and the tortoise,' the children have been recalling the story and writing character descriptions. We have had an action packed week with Sports Week, well done Koala class for all your participation. smiley Thank you to all our parents/carers who attended., we hope you all enjoyed it. On Thursday we had our final swimming lesson, it has been wonderful to see the progress the children have made over the course of their lessons.


 We will be moving onto a dinosaur theme to finish our year of learning in Reception. Our story next week will be 'Dinosaurumpus.'   


Today it is INSET day so we hope you all enjoy your extra long weekend and continue to enjoy the sunshine.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 22nd June - The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bag Pig


This week we have had fun with a twist on the traditional tale of 'The Three Little Pigs' with a story called 'The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.' The children have been using their knowledge of the original story to predict what was going to happen in the new version and have made comparisons between the two texts. We have been recounting the story and writing character descriptions. In Maths, we have been engaging in a wide range of learning experiences to consolidate their knowledge on various aspects of number and shape such as doubling, measuring distance and describing 3D shapes.


Next week is Sports' Week, please can the children wear their sports clothes everyday and please bring a water bottle as increasingly hot weather is predicted. We hope you can attend Sports Day on Wednesday. 


Next Thursday will be the children's final swimming lesson of the term due to other timetabled events on the final three Thursday of term.


We hope you have a lovely weekend.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



Friday 15th June - Giraffes can't dance


This week we have been continuing with our focus on jungle animals and have been discussing what facts we already know and what we would like to find out, using non fiction books and the internet to gain knowledge. We have also had a focus on celebrating what makes us and other people special using the book 'Giraffes can't Dance.' We created a class mind map as a celebration all of our gifts and what makes us special as a class. The children have been making cards for Father's Day and our preparation for Sports' Day have been going really well. The children have also been making progress in swimming and it is wonderful to see their skills and confidence grow week by week.


We hope you enjoy your weekend and whatever activities you may be doing to celebrate Father's Day.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 8th June - Rumble in the Jungle


Welcome back to the start of Term 6, we hope you had an enjoyable break. We have started our last term of learning with a focus on Jungle animals, which will continue for two weeks. Amongst a wide range of learning experiences, we have written a class poem describing our favourite jungle animal and have created art work of our favourite animals using paints and a variety of materials. In maths we have been revisiting number skills including halving and number bonds. In Forest school we had lots of fun creating 'Hapazome' textiles, a beautiful Japanese art where the dyes and shape of natural materials are impressed into fabric by hitting them with a hammer.    


We have started practising skills  in readiness for Sports Day. We will be returning to our P.E. lesson on Fridays, in addition to swimming on Thursday. Please can you ensure your children's p.e. kit is in school.


We hope you enjoy the weekend.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley 

Friday 25.5.18 - Puss in Boots



This week our focus in Literacy was 'Puss in Boots,' we recalled the story and discussed elements of plot, character and feelings before writing a class version of the story. In our mathematics learning, we spent the whole week developing our problem solving skills involving estimating and developing our ability to record and calculate problems involving addition and subtraction using pictures. We also had a shape problem to solve and had to calculate how many different ways we could arrange four isosceles triangles. 


We finished our week with a lovely party to celebrate achieving our class behaviour target of reaching the top of our beanstalk and also to celebrate my forthcoming marriage. I will be getting married during the half term holiday and am very excited!


We hope you all have an enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you on Monday 4th June, ready to begin our final term of learning. We will begin our new term with a jungle theme when our story will be 'Rumble in the Jungle.' 


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley




Friday 18th May - The Queen's Knickers


This week, we have been in Royal Wedding mode; making bunting, writing invitations to our tea party and writing a letter to the Queen. We enjoyed making scones on Thursday and had a lot of fun having our Royal themed picnic lunch on Friday, followed by our Royal tea party on Friday afternoon. It was lovely to see the tea party attended by family members and friends, thank you to everyone who came and for all those who worked hard at making the event go well.


We hope you have a lovely weekend, one more week to go. Next week our story will be 'Puss in Boots.'


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley 


Friday 11th May - Eating Plants


This week, we have continued to learn about aspects of healthy eating and have been learning about different types of fruit and vegetables. We have been sorting food into different categories and have been talking about likes and dislikes regarding food. We have been encouraging the children to try different vegetables and this week, the children have had lots of fun making healthy pizzas. In our outside learning area, we have been planting vegetable seeds with Miss Rowley and are getting very excited about the prospect of watching the seedlings develop into vegetables. We enjoyed a bubble party to celebrate achieving 100% attendance. 


Next week, we will be having a Royal theme to our learning as we work towards our royal tea party on Friday 18th May. Our story next week will be 'The Queen's Knickers'


We hope you enjoy the weekend sunshine.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 6th May - Handa's Surprise


This week we have been learning to order and sequence the animals and fruit from this week's story 'Handa's Surprise,'   We have written sentences, recalling story events and inspired by all the fruit in the story, we made smoothies, giving us an opportunity to discuss healthy eating. In Maths, we have been reviewing our time telling skills with o'clock and half past. and have been counting back to help calculate how many objects are left when some have been taken away. This weekend, they are forecasting beautiful weather. We hope you have a lovely long weekend, enjoy the bank holiday and stay safe in the sun. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 8th May.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 27th April - St George's Day


This week, we have been learning about England's patron Saint St.George and in English we have also been looking at different forms of writing for example writing wanted posters, instructions and speech bubbles. We have been learning more about the features of story structure and used story dice to write a class story. In Maths, we have been learning about halving, measuring distance and counting in fives.  We enjoyed swimming and have been learning how to use floats alongside the woggles/toggles to help us balance and float whilst developing our strokes. We love playing the water confidence games and this week, we also enjoyed our free water play, we loved retrieving the sinkers from the pool!


Next week, we will be looking at healthy eating and our focus story is Handa's Surprise.


We hope you have a lovely weekend.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 20th April - The Life Cycle of the Frog


This week we have been learning about the life cycle of the frog. The children have been creating labelled diagrams to explain what happens and have also been writing sentences to explain the process. We have been comparing the features of non fiction and fiction books and have been discussing the feelings of the character's in this week's book 'The Teeny Weeny Tadpole.' In Maths we have been learning about sharing and have been re-visiting estimation. In Swimming we have been developing our confidence through games and have been developing our skills using floats, practising front and back movement. We also retrieved sinkers from the bottom of the pool! Please remember that we are unable to supply spare swimming costumes, so remember to pack your child's swimming costume every Thursday.


Next week, we will have England's patron saint St.George and the features of fiction writing as our focus and our role play has been converted into a bookshop.


We hope you enjoy the weekend and can make the most of this lovely sunshine. smiley


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley    



Save the Date! - Royal Afternoon Cream Tea - 18th May - 2.30 pm.


To link with the Royal wedding, you are cordially invited to attend our Royal Afternoon cream tea on Friday 18th May at 2.30 p.m. You will be served an afternoon cream tea and will enjoy some traditional British entertainment, to share with you what the children have been learning about our British culture. Weather permitting we will hold the celebration outside. All family members are welcome, do let us know how many are attending for catering purposes. Your invitation will follow. 

Friday 13th April - The Hungry Caterpillar



Welcome back to the start of Term 5, we hope you had an enjoyable break. The children have started the new term very well, with good focus and behaviour. We have been learning about the life cycle of the butterfly and the children have completed some fantastic independent writing on this topic. We have discussed features of fiction books and the children have been recalling story events, ordering the days of the week and discussing healthy food choices, linked with the story 'The Hungry Caterpillar.' In Maths, we have revisited a variety of areas - repeating patterns, ordering and sequencing numbers to 20, number bonds to ten and doubling. In P.E. our swimming lessons on Thursdays, will replace our PE hall slot on Fridays. In swimming, the children showed excellent behaviour and a real determination to challenge themselves, trying new activities, which will enable them to gain confidence and develop their skills in the water. We were really proud of you!


We hope you have a lovely weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

 Friday 23rd March - End of term


In Maths, we have been continuing to develop our number skills and have been counting in twos and finding out how many are left when one has been taken away, using the phrase 'one less.'  When we return after the Easter break, we will be having swimming lessons on a Thursday and our role play will have been created into a garden centre as we move into a focus on planting and life cycles. 


We hope we will have some warmer weather despite the forecast for snow! We hope you have a safe and enjoyable break. There is an INSET on Monday 9th April. We look forward to welcoming all our Koalas back on Tuesday 10th April.


Wishing you a Happy Easter 


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley


Friday 16th March - Spring Poems


This week we have been focusing on poetry, looking at its structure and use of descriptive language. We created a mind map on the theme of Spring and wrote a collective class poem. In Maths we have been reviewing shape and doubling and learning how to count in twos including counting pairs of socks!


Next week, for our last week of term we will be focusing on the Christian festival of Easter and learning about the Easter stories behind the festivities.


We hope you enjoy the weekend.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 9th March - Non fiction, learning  about Space 


This week we have been learning about the features of non fiction books  for example contents and glossary. Using books and computers, we  have been learning about space, We have written sentences about the facts we have learnt remembering to use sentence features such as capital letters and full stops. In Maths, we have been developing our number recognition of teen numbers and have been practising our number formation. We have been learning to compare objects by weight using balance scales.. We have started learning about doubling and the children have really enjoyed the doubling rap song, maybe they would like t o sing it to you. 

It was great to see you at our parent/carer meetings and remember the Koala staff are always available to speak to about any questions or concerns you may have.   


We hope you enjoy the weekend.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley


Friday 2nd March - Aliens Love Underpants 


This week we have been learning about the features of letters and have written a letter in response to a letter received from the aliens. We have also been rhyme detectives, looking for rhyming words in the text. In Maths, we have been measuring time using sand timers and stop watches. We have been exploring the meaning of fewer when comparing quantities and have been finding 'one less' from a group of objects. Thank you to those parents who attended the workshops on Tuesday afternoon. It was great to see the children dressed as their favourite characters on World Book Day on Thursday. The bad weather has meant that the school week has finished early and has been closed for Thursday afternoon and all of Friday. We hope you enjoy the snow and stay warm and safe. 


Enjoy the long weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley


Friday 23rd February - Whatever Next!


Welcome back after the half term holiday, we hope you had an enjoyable break. The children have been engaged in our new focus on Space, which we started with the story 'Whatever Next!' We have been discussing story setting, characters and plot. We created a class story map and have been writing sentences to describe the aliens we have invented. In Maths, we have reviewed shape and have also had a focus on learning to tell the time introducing o'clock and half past. On Friday afternoon we enjoyed our time with our maths buddies form Year 2, exploring positional movement and language through using beebots together. We hope to see as many of you as possible at our parent/carer workshop on Tuesday afternoon and also a reminder that it is World Book Day on Thursday. The children can come to school dressed as their favourite book character.


Enjoy your weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 9th February - Chinese New Year


The children have enjoyed learning about a different culture whilst engaging in role play in our Chinese restaurant; wearing traditional Chinese clothes and creating their own version of a Chinese dragon and ribbon dance. They have also been trying to copy Chinese writing to form the names of the animals in the Chinese New Year story.


In Maths we have been re-visiting our learning from this term, with the opportunity to consolidate our understanding of 2D and 3D shapes and their properties, sort and add coins, We have been practising counting forward and backwards and have also been using ordinal language to describe the position of the animals in the Chinese New Year story..     


We hope you enjoy the half term holiday and we look forward to seeing you for the start of Term 4 on Monday 19th February.


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 2nd February - Supertato!


The children have really engaged in this week's story of Supertato saving the day and working to defeat the evil peas! In English we have been discussing features of the book and using our White and Red hat thinking to talk about elements of the story setting, characters and their feelings. We have created wanted posters to help find the Evil Peas and have also introduced the conjunction - 'and' to encourage the children to create super sentences, where two ideas are joined together.


In Maths, we have had a focus on money and have been talking about the value of 1p, 2p and 5p coins and have been using our number skills to see how many different ways we can make a certain amount of money and have applied this to buying objects from our class shop. We have also had a focus on ordering number in forwards and backwards sequences, starting from different numbers and also having some missing numbers to extend our thinking and add challenge.


Next week, we will have a whole week's focus on Chinese New Year. 


Have a lovely weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



Please can we remind our parents and carers that every child should bring a warm coat and book bag every day. Please can you read with your child every day and update the reading diaries.


Thank you

Date for your Diary


 Tuesday 27th February 2.00-3.00 p.m. in the Main Hall


On Tuesday 27th February you are invited to join us in the main hall between 2.00 - 3.00 p.m. for a Reading/Writing/Maths workshop. You will be able to take part in a range of fun learning activities with your child. Our previous parents/carers have always enjoyed these workshops and we do hope you will be able to attend. They are lots of fun and it will give you an opportunity to see the type of activities that we do which support the children's learning and we hope it will give you some ideas of activities you can try at home.  

Friday 26th January - Turbo Tortoise


The children have been really excited by our Superhero theme and have been doing some fantastic writing in our new superhero writing station. We have been learning about alliteration and have continued to use our White and Red Hat thinking to discuss our understanding of story setting and characters' feelings. We have been practising our writing skills and have been constructing sentences to enable us to retell part of the story and to describe the main character Turbo Tortoise. In Maths, we have built skylines with 2D and 3D shapes. We have been exploring number bonds to ten using Numicon and have continued with our focus on measurement, this time focusing on height. To complete our week we learnt about estimation and have been recording our answers. 


Have a lovely weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

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.

Friday 19th January - Rainbow Fish


This week we have been discussing aspects of literature and have introduced new vocabulary such as author, illustrator, blurb and the front cover. When you do you reading at home, see if your child can talk to about some of these features. We introduced a new element of thinking using a Red Hat to explore how the characters in the story are feeling and have used the White Hat to think about story setting.. In Maths we have been reviewing 2D and 3D shapes, we have been developing our ability to write numerals whilst playing bingo. We have also been learning about non standard units of measure whilst measuring length and compared the length of two different objects.

Have a lovely weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

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!




15th December - The Christmas Story


This week we have been reading and discussing the Christmas Story. We have thought about the characters in the story and have created our own story maps. Following our trip to the theatre to see 'The Snow Globe,' we did a piece of writing about our favourite part. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the children for their good behaviour whilst on the trip.

We would also like to say a huge 'Well done" and "Congratulations" for your performance of 'Whoops a Daisy Angel.' Thank you to all of you who came to watch.


In Maths, we have been working at estimation, and have been learning about number bonds to 10. We have also been doing some work on 3D shapes, playing a game whereby the children had to sort and described a variety of shapes.  


On Monday 18th, it is our last day of term, we are going to be playing games and having a class party. We would like to remind you about coming in at 2.30 p.m. to join us in class for a mince pie, hand decorated gingerbread biscuit and a Christmas sing-along.


All the Koala staff would like to wish you a Very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018!


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley

Friday 8th December -  The Elves and the Shoemaker


This week we have been using the traditional tale 'The Elves and the shoemaker' as a starting point for our learning. We have been describing the setting and discussing the feelings of the different characters as well as creating alternative endings. We have also looked at different versions of the story and have begun to think about similarities and differences between them. We have started to write a sentence to describe an event we can recall from the story. In Maths we have been doing further work on addition, we have been practising our number formation through the use of play dough, we are trying hard to be able to hold a number and  count on. We have revisited 2D & 3D shapes and three step repeating patterns. The children have enjoyed engaging in creative activities in our Santa's workshop. The children have been working hard during our rehearsals for our nativity. We are looking forward to performing it next week as well as going on our trip to the theatre. The children were very excited to see tiny flurries of snow falling on Friday. We hope you keep warm and stay safe.


Have a lovely weekend


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley


Friday 24th November


This week the children have enjoyed reading the traditional tale Little Red Riding Hood, listening carefully to the story so they could recall facts and descriptions of the characters. They decided they wanted to help the Police to catch the Big Bad Wolf by creating Wanted posters, carefully sounding out and writing each word to describe him. Next week we will be reading the story of Stick Man, as we begin to think about Winter – they will be exploring this story in Forest School, as well as in the classroom.


In Maths this week we have compared and sorted 2D and 3D shapes by describing their properties, continued to develop our counting on skills using number lines to 20 for support, and we explored different money coins, using quantities of pennies to buy different priced objects in preparation for the Christmas Fair!


Thank you to those of you who came to Barley Close’s Christmas Fair this year – it was a magical evening with many fabulous attractions, including freshly made pizza from our school pizza oven, Santa’s Grotto and an amazing performance from the Musical Theatre and Choir club. Our class stall completely sold out of the beautiful tree decorations Reception children had made in small group time!! We also thank those of you who donated to the Elf Shelf.


Next week we will be continuing to practice our Christmas Performance which will be held on Tuesday 12th December at 2.15pm in the main hall. Your child will be sent home with information about their costumes this week – please look in their book bags for this information. Please bring your child’s costume in to school as soon as possible, in a labelled bag. We will use these to dress rehearse before the big day!


*** Please return all trip letters and donations as soon as possible ***


Enjoy a lovely weekend – keep an eye out for snow!


Miss Mitchell and Miss Rowley



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: