Barley Close Community Primary School
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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Children can begin their school journey from the age of two when they join our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which continues until the end of Reception.

Children engage in a range of high quality adult and child initiated activities throughout the day, in a well-equipped learning environment.  Learning is planned around the children’s interests, and they are encouraged to move between the inside classrooms and outside area to ensure a wide range of learning takes place.

All children work in groups, with highly skilled practitioners, to develop their individual learning needs.  In Reception, children also have daily Phonics, Maths and English lessons to support the learning of these important life skills and a weekly swimming lesson (on site).

The children take part in weekly Forest School activities, which are carefully planned to develop all areas of learning, as well as risk taking.  This takes place in our extensive grounds and is very popular.

All children have learning diaries, which practitioners use to record all learning achievements.  These are shared electronically with parents every month to ensure strong links with home and school learning.

Core learning:


Maths at Barley Close


In Reception, children are working towards achieving their Early Learning Goals (ELG) in Number and Shape, Space and Measure. They take part in both child and adult initiated activities and are encouraged to use resources to aid their learning, as well as written work.


Years 1 - 6

In Years 1 - 6, teachers plan lessons based on the aims of the National Curriculum. These aims focus on:

  • fluency - children are given regular opportunities to develop their understanding of all aspects of maths, so that they gain a deep understanding of the subject and are able to remember and use their knowledge quickly and accurately.
  • reasoning - children then extend their knowledge and understanding, through explaining their answers, using mathematical facts and language. E.g. 'I know that 97 is a larger number than 52, because 97 has 9 tens and 52 has 5 tens'.
  • problem solving - children are encouraged to apply the knowledge they have, to solve a variety of word problems and puzzles, which will involve breaking problems down into smaller chunks and persevering to find a solution.


Children in all year groups have the chance to improve their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills, through activities that link together the different areas of maths. 


As a school, we talk about having a mastery approach to maths. Mastery seeks to show children 'why' and 'how' mathematical concepts work, rather than just learning facts and tricks to get the answers right. We focus on children gaining a deep understanding of what they are being asked to do, rather than learning a skill quickly and moving onto the next one.


Maths Lessons

In Years 1 - 6, children have daily maths lessons that focus on the following areas of Maths:

  • Number and Place Value
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Fractions (Years 1 - 3), Fractions and Decimals (Year 4), Fractions, Decimals and Percentages (Year 5 & 6)
  • Measures (including time)
  • Geometry - Shape
  • Geometry - Position
  • Statistics (Years 2 - 6 only)
  • Ratio & Proportion (Year 6 only)
  • Algebra (Year 6 only)


There is a clear progression through the school, that uses previous knowledge to build on new knowledge. Lessons are planned to make sure children are able to access them at the level they are working at. We aim to make children proud and confident mathematicians, able to use maths in real life situations!


Mental Maths

Times Tables

We have recently started using the programme 'Times Table Rockstars', which focuses on children learning multiplication and division facts in depth, to make sure they are able to recall them accurately. Year 2 children focus on 2x, 5x and 10x tables and Years 3 - 6 are working through recalling all facts from 2x - 10x, as we introduce ourselves to the scheme. 

  As TT Rockstars is an internet based scheme, children in KS2 are able to access the games at home. Please ask your child's teacher for their log in details.

The English National Curriculum 

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



Reading is an essential life skill and it is our intention that every child at Barley Close will learn to read and understand text making progress from their starting point.



In order to achieve this we teach reading in the following ways:

  • Use of a systematic, synthetic phonics programme that is taught from the beginning of reception. We use the RWI reading scheme as the basis of our phonics teaching.
  • A reading scheme that is matched to the phonics progression. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which is supplemented with books from other schemes that are carefully matched to the RWI phonics progression.
  • All children from years 1 – 4 take part in a weekly guided reading session where children read as part of a group showing their understanding of the text and being exposed to a wide range of language and vocabulary.
  • Children in years 5 – 6 take part in weekly reading inference sessions. Once the skills of decoding, understanding, fact retrieval and vocabulary knowledge are embedded children will deepen their understanding of text by developing their inference skills.
  • A whole class weekly reading lesson is taught in years 2-6. Children are exposed to high quality texts which are aspirational in terms of their language and vocabulary. Children are supported in their independent understanding of these texts through a range of differentiated questioning.
  • Reading Assistants support children in their reading. In Reception and Year 1 they read with children individually to ensure their phonics knowledge is embedded and all children are able to access the year 1 phonics screening check. In year 2 upwards Reading Assistants use the Project X reading scheme to develop children’s understanding of the text alongside practicing blending and decoding skills.
  • Each year group has the support of an LBS Reading Buddy for 30 minutes every day. They will listen to children read on a 1:1 basis ensuring that all children have the invaluable experience of reading aloud to an adult.
  • Each class has a daily Book Talk time where class teachers read aloud to children. Our aim is to enthuse children about books, develop their love of reading and show them that reading can open doors to new worlds and experiences.
  • In order to achieve all of the above we use high quality picture books, novels, factual texts and poetry that are age appropriate as well as challenging and aspirational for all our children.
  • Children are asked to read at least 3 times a week at home. Reading records are monitored weekly and rewards and reminders given. Whole school and individual rewards are used to recognise reading achievement, these include a weekly reading raffle and a certificate system leading to becoming a Reading Ambassador.


All children at Barley Close will learn to read and be exposed to an environment that demonstrates a love of reading.

In learning to read all our children will develop the skills that enable them to understand the written word and the meaning it carries both in terms of knowledge and understanding as well as imagination and creativity.



Children are encouraged to start writing in reception, initially printing and later joining their letters in a cursive script. Across the school children are encouraged to write different genres for different purposes and audiences. We constantly encourage the children to develop their vocabulary, spelling, grammar and sentence structure within those different genres. An extended write takes place every Friday in years 2-6, this is an opportunity for children to write at length showcasing the skills they have learnt throughout the week.


Speaking and Listening

Across the school we develop the children’s speaking and listening abilities as we believe this significantly compliments their reading and writing skills. We teach the children: turn taking, respecting the views of the others, poetry recitation, and formal presentations, as well as acting. There are many opportunities for children to take part in productions including assemblies, events for special occasions such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter, class assemblies and the Year 6 production. Talk topics are also set each week in all classes. In Nursery and reception talk topics are linked to the children's interests whereas in Year 1 -6, talk  topics are linked to the extended write for that week.

English Texts

Years 2 - 6 follow a key text each term as the basis of their English work. An overview of the texts used can be found below.

Phonics and Spelling at Barley Close

Spoken English has 44 sounds (phonemes) and these phonemes are represented by letters (graphemes). A sound can be represented by one letter or a group of letters, e,g. 'sh'. 

At Barley Close children are taught these sounds in the order outlined in the attached Phonics and Spelling map,  using techniques drawn from Read, Write, Inc. and Jolly Phonics.

Each term children learn set letters and sounds as well as key words. Some of these key words are decodable once letter sounds have been taught, e.g. 'it', but some are tricky and need to be learned by heart, e.g. 'was.' Children are taught to blend (merge sounds together to make a word) and segment (split words up into their sounds). They also learn to read alien words (nonsense words) in order to enhance the skill of blending.

In Key Stage 2 children are taught spellings in line with the English National Curriculum. Children are also taught words from the statutory word list as outlined in the English National Curriculum. These objectives and words are organised into year groups - see Phonics and Spelling map.


Science at Barley Close covers a wide variety of topics which build on the children's prior knowledge whilst further developing their understanding of a topic each year.


Plants, animals and humans are taught across year groups with a different focus depending on the age of the child and the curriculum focus. This begins by identifying plant parts, to moving onto their function or with identification of animals and their habitats, and progressing to food chains. Life cycles and adaptation are then focused on in the upper key stage year groups. Children are also taught in detail about the human body, its processes and how it functions - again by beginning with body parts when teaching the younger children to focusing on how the heart functions when teaching the older children. Aspects of chemistry and physics are covered in topics such as space, forces, states of matter, light and electricity, which again, are taught within specific year groups, and serve to broaden pupil’s scientific knowledge base as they progress through the school.


We believe that children should develop their scientific knowledge and understanding through enquiry and investigation. We strive to promote a scientific curiosity, encouraging pupils to question the world around them and seek answers through observations and data gathering. Wherever possible we endeavour to provide a practical and hands-on approach to lessons, allowing children to experience science at its best! By providing this type of approach to learning, the following skills can be developed as they progress throughout their primary school learning:


·         Observing

·         Asking and answering questions

·         Predicting

·         Planning and conducting investigations

·         Interpreting

·         Communicating


Science is a key part of our learning and features throughout our current Topic or as a stand alone unit when required.

Foundation Subjects

 Foundation Curriculum

Our  curriculum aims to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve in an exciting and stimulating environment. We promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. By equipping pupils with the skills and personal qualities, it will enable them to become successful and effective members of society in the 21st century.
The curriculum is very carefully planned by all staff to ensure we provide children with a broad and balanced education. The foundation subjects are taught through topics which last for the length of a term, sometimes this will cover two terms. As we know that children learn in a variety of ways, we plan topics that will enthuse and engage. The topics often start  or end with an exciting visit, visitor or activity which get the children involved and eager to find out more.
Children map out what they already know about a topic before generating questions about what they would like to find out about next. Links between subjects are made, so if the topic is history based, ‘What was life like for Viking raiders?’, the children will develop their learning through drama, writing, art, design-technology, computing, geography etc. Activities are designed to be stimulating and engaging so that all children can take part. We are aware that children learn in different ways and so ensure that what we provide is varied, active and engaging.
Aims into practice
We want pupils to develop a positive attitude to life and learning, with a will to solve problems, the resilience to do so and the ability to work well with others. We want all our pupils to approach the process of learning with confidence and independence, gaining a broad knowledge of all subject areas.
We have PSHE at the heart of our curriculum and believe pupils need to develop high-esteem and the ability to think well in order to achieve in all other areas of the curriculum.

Links between curriculum subjects are made when and where appropriate to make learning more meaningful.


We encourage pupils to be reflective learners, to review aspects of their own learning and to be actively involved in planning next steps or learning opportunities.
The delivery of the school curriculum is inclusive for all learners with extra support or resources provided as appropriate.


At Barley Close, children learn History through carefully planned topics (please see topic maps for specific information). Pupils gain a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of the past and that of the wider world.  In line with the National Curriculum, we equip pupils to ask questions about the past, critically evaluate evidence, and develop their own opinions.



At Barley Close, children learn Geography through carefully planned topics (please see topic maps for specific information). Our curriculum ensures that pupils are equipped with knowledge an understanding of our world - the places ,people, cultures, and environments.


At Barley Close we follow the South Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for RE. This follows two main strands- learning about and learning from religion. As well as Christianity, children learn about different aspects of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. R.E encourages children to respect the values and beliefs of others. Intrinsic throughout all areas of the curriculum is the understanding of social, moral, spiritual and cultural values. 


Sport and Physical Education (P.E.)

At Barley Close we are lucky enough to have our own swimming pool which means that pupils have weekly swimming lessons from April to the end of October throughout their school life.

All pupils take part in P.E. twice a week throughout the school. Activities include gymnastics, dance/movement, athletics, games, and orienteering in older year groups.  Some of these activities are led by an external sports coach.



 The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

At Barley Close, computing skills are taught on a weekly basis but where possible will link to the topic that the class is studying.  Each class has regular access to laptops and ipads. Children in KS1 and lower KS2 are able to put their programming skills into practise using programmable Bee Bots and Probots, whilst children in KS2 are learning how to create their own games through coding on websites such as Scratch and Flowal. 

We are also lucky enough to have a 3D printer for designing and printing skills. 

We also have good links with the wider world and provide our Year 5 children with a Robotics day and we have Google Expeditions visiting all classes from Year 1 onwards for a virtual reality experience. 



At Barley Close, we encourage pupils to develop a love and appreciation of music. Our music curriculum ensures that pupils:

  • perform, listen to and evaluate music across a range of genres and styles
  • learn to sing and use their voices
  • create and compose their own music
  • have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument
  • understand how music is created and performed

Throughout the year, we participate in a range of musical events including:

  • Christmas, Easter and Harvest celebrations.
  • Music concerts at the Colston Hall
  • Year 6 leavers’ production

Singing takes place as part of collective worship. In addition, we have a school singing club which often performs for the whole school, parents, the local community, for example this year they performed at the Emerson’s Green Town Council annual Christmas event


Art and Design

Art and design is taught in an inspiring, practical and cross-curricular way at Barley Close

In Key Stage 1 pupils are taught to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products, to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination, to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Pupils also learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, comparing them, and making links to their own work.

In Key stage 2 Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. Pupils also learn about great artists, architects and designers in history.

You can see some fantastic examples of our art and design work on display around the school.



At Barley Close, we understand the importance of pupils being emotionally literate. We teach PSHE using Jigsaw.



Across the school we teach French through a fun, multi-sensory approach.  In Key Stage 2, pupils are encouraged to explore the language in more details and develop their French speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. All french is delivered by Mrs G when she covers class PPA.

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