Barley Close Community Primary School
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Reception - Panda

Welcome to Panda Class!


Adults in Panda Class


Mrs Sheppard - I share teaching Panda class with Mrs Gleed. I will be in class on Mondays, Tuesday and every other Wednesday.


Mrs Gleed -  I have been a teacher at Barley Close since 2009 and although I have previously taught in KS1 and 2; the Early Years are my favourite age group. I have gained specific qualifications in Early Years and hold a Masters in Education in addition to Early Years Professional Status (EYPS).  I enjoy spending my spare time developing my creative skills and am currently attending art classes. I am very pleased to be teaching Panda Class again this year.  Please come and see me anytime if you have questions about your child or any part of school life or if you would prefer to email me, my address is:


Mrs Lines is the HLTA (higher level teaching assistant) in Panda Class and we would be lost without her!  Mrs Lines has been at Barley Close for a very long time, as her children all also attended the school, so many of you will already know her.  Mrs Lines is a school governor and has a passion for outdoor learning, she leads our weekly forest school sessions which are always popular with the children.


Mrs Collins is the reading assistant in Panda Class and works with us on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  Mrs Collins reads with many children during the year and supports them to develop their reading skills.  Mrs Collins is also a TA (teaching assistant) and she works with Mrs Lines in Panda Class when Mrs Gleed and Mrs Sheppard have their PPA time on Wednesday afternoons


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.

Wellies are stored on the trolley outside of the classroom, children use these regularly so they will need to keep a pair in school.

PE kit is a white or Royal blue T-shirt, dark shorts and plimsolls/trainers. Children are to wear their p.e. kit to school on the day they do p.e. When the weather is wet/cold, children can wear tracksuit trousers/joggers and a cardigan/jumper over their p.e. t-shirt. 


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 a Thursday, starting 12th September.


Swimming will be on a Friday in terms 1, 5 and 6. Please remember to bring your swimming costume and towel in a named bag.  Swimming starts on Friday 27th September. Swimming has now ended for the winter. We will advise you when swimming re-commences. 


Forest school will take place every Tuesday.



Friday 29th November - The Gruffalo


We have had an exciting week in Panda Class. We have been making homes for woodland creatures in Forest school and on Wednesday, we went on a class trip to Downend library. We enjoyed finding out about all the resources available for us to borrow and listening to some stories. The children behaved really well, demonstrating good listening skills and remembering all the things we had learnt in our road safety talk last week. Thank you to the staff at Downend library for having us. The children responded to the new challenge of using the large apparatus in P.E.


We really enjoyed watching the Nativity performed by the Bristol Old Vic theatre school and we are looking forward to putting on our own performance of the Nativity on 19th December.


Next week, we are going to using The Gruffalo's Child as a focus for our learning.


Congratulations to our two raffle prize winners - Alice and Advitha.


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend.  


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins



Friday 22nd November - The Little Red Hen


This week, we have used the classic story of 'The Little Red Hen' as a focus for our learning. We have been thinking about the importance of people working together to get jobs completed and what things are fair and unfair.  We have also been learning about hibernation. The children really enjoyed making hedgehog bread rolls in Forest school and in English, the children recalled the process and organised their thoughts in words and writing.


In maths, we have been developing our number skills and have been learning about patterns and how quantities stay the same when objects are arranged in different patterns. 


Today, we have been learning about road safety with Paws and Mummy bear. We have been learning about the importance of finding a safe place to cross the road, looking and listening and holding hands with an adult. The children have a bookmark and it would be beneficial if the children could talk about what they have learnt and practise their skills when they are out and about. 


Our story next next week is another favourite - The Gruffalo.


We are going on our trip to the library on Wednesday, so please can you ensure that all replies are in by Monday. 


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend.



Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins



Friday 15th November  The Gingerbread Man


The children have really enjoyed this week's story and particularly enjoyed making and decorating Gingerbread Men. 


Thank you to all our parents/carers who attended our meetings this week. 


Thank you for all the donations to Children in Need. The children looked fantastic in their Pudsey outfits and spotty clothes! It was lots of fun doing our whole school Macarana dance! 


The children have all received their first set of keywords on their bookmark. Please practise these  words on a regular basis to help your child learn them. 


You should soon be receiving a letter about our forthcoming trip to Downend library in the afternoon of Wednesday 27th November. Please return the permission slip by 25th November at the latest. 


Congratulations to our two raffle prize winners this week.


We we hope you have a good weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins



Friday 8th November - Helicopter Stories


Welcome back after the break, we hope you had an enjoyable rest. We have started off a new term by introducing the children to poetry. Studies indicate that knowledge of rhymes helps with the development of reading skills. Ask your child if they can share some of them with you. They really come to life with all the actions! We have also introduced 'helicopter stories.' Children create a story, which is recorded in writing by the adult and then the children act it out. They have been very enthusiastic about this and are really excited by the fact that they will have produced their very own collection of stories by the end of their time in Reception. 


In Maths we have been practising counting skills and developing our understanding of teen numbers. 


We have started to use to use apparatus in our P.E. lessons, please remember to send your child to school in their kit on Thursdays. 


We still have some slots available for our parent/carer meetings if you haven't signed up for a meeting with us on Tuesday or Thursday next week. 


Congratulations to Erik, who was our raffle prize winner this week.


Next Friday, we will be raising money for Children in Need. Come dressed a Pudsey - wearing yellow or brown or  spots! 


Enjoy the weekend.


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins


Friday 25th October - Room on the Broom


We have reached the end of our first term and the Panda team are incredibly proud of the way in which all our Pandas have settled into Reception. They have achieved so much over the past eight weeks - they have settled into the routines, made friendships and shown a fantastic attitude to learning. 


They have finished the first set of single sounds in phonics, this week we were focusing on x and z. If you didn't have an opportunity to practise the phonics home learning sheets during the term, the holidays would be a perfect time to go through all the single sounds. Please continue to support your child's reading. We hope you are enjoying the Book Trust packs.


This week in Forest school the children had fun making potions!


We finished our term with a class party, which celebrated the children's attitude to learning, all their great work and for all the occasions they remembered our class agreement and showed their Sapphire powers, ignoring distractions. The children and staff had lots of fun playing musical statues and musical bumps and sleeping lions. The photo booth was very entertaining! 


Next term, we will begin with introducing our next learning power - Diamond, which celebrates when children have take responsibility for solving their own problems.


The children have really responded to our raffle ticket system, which rewards positive behaviour and attitude to learning as well as for their reading. From now on, we will be announcing weekly winners, who are drawn out from the raffle. This week, we would like to congratulate - Amari, Sonny and Maisie. Our star reading raffle award goes to Siyana.  


We would also like to congratulate our pupil of the term - Kayden. 


The Panda team would like to wish all our families a safe and enjoyable half term break. We look forward to seeing you for the start of a new term on Monday 4th November. 


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins


Photo of our class party

Photo of our class party  1 Panda Class party - Term 1

Friday 18th October - The Cave 


This week, our English lessons took inspiration from the Book Trust story 'The Cave.' Each of the children were given a book pack from The Book Trust, which they can keep to help develop their love of reading. The children enjoyed the story, thinking about who lived in the cave and predicting what was going to happen next. We had lots of discussions about the story and the children are looking forward to sharing the book with you at home. 


In phonics, we have been learning the sounds v, y and w. We have nearly come to the end of the first set of phonics, which have focused on the single sounds. 


In Maths, we have had a whole week focus on shape, specifically learning about 2D shapes, with  a particular focus on triangle, rectangle, square and circle.  We have been learning how to recognise and describe what they look like and have been looking for shapes in the environment. Perhaps you can do this when you are out and about over the coming week.  


In Forest school, the children had a wonderful time learning how to use spades for digging and had fun exploring the mud kitchen. 


We had our last swimming lesson this week. The children have developed their confidence in the water and have been learning skills to support them in swimming through developing kicking and arm strokes. We will let you know when our lessons re-commence next year.


Next week, we will be using the story 'Room on a Broom.' We will have a shortened week next week as we have an INSET day on Friday 25th October.


We hope you have a good weekend.


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins      

Friday 10th October - We're going on a bear hunt! 


This week, Panda Class have been looking for bears, inspired by the story 'We're going on a bear hunt!' We looked for them in Forest school and enjoyed acting out the story, adding lots of sounds effects and actions. We have drawn story maps and also enjoyed an alternative version with the familiar characters - Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy. 


In Phonics, we have been learning the sounds l, h, r and j. In Maths, we have been developing our number skills and have been learning about estimation. 


In swimming we are working on developing our confidence in the water. It will be our last swimming lesson next week on Friday 18th, before the pool is closed for the winter.


On 17th October, the children, who have had parental/carer consent will be receiving their flu vaccine. Information is on our latest newsletter. 


We hope you enjoy the weekend despite all the heavy rain that is forecast.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins 





Friday 4th October - Whatever Next! 


This week, we set off to space in a cardboard box, a pair of space boots (wellies) and a space helmet (colander) all inspired by the book 'Whatever Next!' The children recalled their favourite part and have been introduced to story maps, a way of recalling story events in picture form. 


The children enjoyed Forest school, they played games and have started a tally of the things they observe in the environment.


In phonics, we have been learning the sounds - u, b, f, e. 


The children showed good listening skills in swimming and are developing their confidence in the water. 


We we hope you have an enjoyable weekend.


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins

Learning powers in Reception 


We are going to introduce the first of our learning powers the week commencing 30th September. Please find below information about the learning powers. The children will receive a sticker when they have demonstrated these learning powers and will collect a gem. When the children have collected a jar of gems, they will be rewarded with a class party at the end of the term.


The first learning power we are going to focus on is Sapphire. The children are going to be encouraged and praised to ignore distractions. This complements the work we have been doing on developing the children's listening and attention skills. We have been praising the children when they listen to the person who is talking, think about what is being said and use their 'magnet eyes' to focus on the person who is talking.   


There are superhero characters to accompany each of the learning powers, which support the children's interest in superheros.


If you have any questions, please speak to a member of staff.          




Dear Parents/ Carers,

We are the Learning Detectives at Barley Close and we would like to tell you about some of the work we have been doing on learning behaviours.

You may have heard your child talk about Purple Learning and learning gems/powers but do you know what this means? We hope this information sheet will help explain,,,

What is Purple Learning?


Purple Learning means that learning is the right level of challenge - it’s not too easy and not too hard. Working on this has taught us that it is important to be challenged so that we become more resilient and are the best learners we can be.




What are learning gems/ powers?

Learning gems /powers help us become purple learners. We focus on four of these...

  • Diamond power helps us develop our independence and ability to try to solve problems.
  • Ruby power helps us to support each other. This creates a climate where we are pleased for our peers when they experience success and supportive when they not successful. As a result we work well together and feel safe to ‘have a go’ when learning feels tricky.
  • Emerald power is having the ability to stay calm and positive when we are feeling challenged or if we make a mistake. When we have Emerald power we can bounce back and keep trying.
  • Sapphire power means being able to stay focused and ignore/ manage distractions. We know that in life there are lots of distractions and that to be the best learner we can be we need to develop strategies to manage these.

Purple Learning and learning gems are discussed throughout learning experiences and children are praised and rewarded when they demonstrate these. Teachers also have some new stickers they will be giving out to reward these behaviours; if your child comes home with one please ask them to tell you about it.

Yours faithfully,

The Learning Detectives at Barley Close Primary School

Panda Class Learning Powers

Panda Class Learning Powers 1

Friday 27th September - Goldilocks and the three bears


This week, we introduced a focus story using the traditional tale - Goldilocks and the three bears. We talked about setting, characters and described the main story events. Our phonics this week focused on the sounds - g, o, c, k. 


The bad weather put a stop to Forest school this week, so fingers crossed, we will be able to get out next week. 


In Maths, we have been practising our counting skills and forming the numerals from 1 - 10.


On Friday, we had our first swimming lesson. Our swimming teacher has been assessing the children's skills and confidence in the water. Please can you support your child by practising getting changed independently and help us by labelling all your child's belongings. It is very difficult to get the correct item to the child, if they are un-named. 


Next week, our story will be 'Whatever next!'. We are going to be making junk model rockets on Friday, so please you send in any cardboard boxes/tubes and cartons etc. Thank you.


We hope you have a good weekend and the children have a chance to rest. 


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins

Friday 20th September 


This week, we have been introducing the children to aspects of fiction through a range of stories,  for example the setting, characters and the structure of stories using the vocabulary beginning, middle and end. Next week, we will introduce our focus story of the week, through which we will develop the children's literacy and speaking skills. Our first story will be one of the classics - 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears.'


This week in phonics we have been learning the sounds for the letters - t, i, n, p. Please can you practise these sounds with your child through their home learning sheets. It really does make a difference to their development in reading and writing when they are secure in their sounds. The Read, Write, Inc approach that we use highlights the importance of producing the sounds without adding an 'uh' sound at the end. For example it is ss sss not suh and b b b  (short, bouncy sounds) not buh and d d d (short bouncy sounds) not duh.    If you have any questions about our phonics programme or how to pronounce any of the sounds, please just speak to a member of staff.         


On Tuesday, the children were introduced to the Forest school and the rules for safe learning in the area. They are looking forward to their first proper session next week.   


A reminder that it is P.E. on Thursdays, your children can come to school wearing their kit and stay in it the whole day. Also please can you ensure that all items belonging to your child are labelled. 


We are planning on starting our swimming lessons on Friday 27th September but we require one more volunteer. Please let us know if you are able to help. Thank you.


We hope you all have a super weekend. Enjoy the sunshine.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins   



Friday 13th September - End of the second week


The children have done very well during their first full time week at school. 😀


We have started learning the sounds of the first first four letters in our Read, Write, Inc programme - m, a, s, d. We have sent home a sheet for your child to practise. See if they can tell you the sounds, actions and rhymes for each letter. 


In maths, we have been focusing on number, the children have engaged in number exploration in a variety of activities, including number songs and a number of the day.


They enjoyed their first p.e. lesson Thursday when we played more getting to know you games and also did 'Write Dance' - a programme of music, movement and stories which support the development of muscles  used in writing. 


The reading books have been sent home, please remember to complete your reading records. Thank you for your support.


We hope you enjoy the weekend and the children e joy a well deserved rest, ready for a new week of learning.



Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines and Mrs Collins.




Reading in Reception


Starting next week w.c. 9th September, we will be sending home a book for you to share with your child. These books are the first level in our Oxford Reading scheme. It will introduce your children to the main characters they will see in lots of the books in the scheme - Mum, Dad, Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy the dog.  You will also receive a laminated sheet with the book characters on and it would be useful if you can talk to your child about the characters, so they become familiar with the characters' names.  The books do not have any words so they will provide your child with the opportunity to describe what is happening in the pictures and to create a story.


Along with the book, they will also receive a reading record book. This will be used for the school to write comments about your child's progress in reading and also for you to record when your child reads at home. 


We expect the children to be read with at home three times a week. Your support is really valuable as it will help your child to progress with their reading and to practise skills they are learning in school. If your child reads three times a week, they will be entered into a raffle, giving them the opportunity to win a prize. In addition, they will earn credits and can achieve bronze, silver and gold reading certificates.


Please can you ensure your child has a book bag to keep the book flat and dry.   It is important that your child brings their book bag, containing their reading book and reading record.


All books will be changed on Wednesdays, but some books will be changed on Mondays, providing children have read their book at least twice. 


If you have any questions about reading with your child, please speak to a member of staff.







Friday 6th September - First week at school



The children have spent the first few days of school getting to know each other, exploring the school and learning some of the school routines. They managed their first lunch and lunch time play on the field really well on Thursday. We are really proud of how they are settling and we are looking forward to an exciting and happy year of learning.


As explained in the parent/carer meeting today, the children will be full time as from Monday 9th September.  Remember you can speak to any member of the Reception staff if you have any questions or if you want to speak to us about how your child is getting on.



We hope you enjoy your weekend


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines  and Mrs Collins 





We thought it would be useful to share with you the keywords we will be working on in school. These are the words the children will frequently come across in their reading and will begin to use in their writing. Some of the words can be sounded out, others cannot. It is important for the children to recognise these words. 


To support the children learning these keywords in school, we will have a keyword of the day and also play games with the keywords so the children become familiar with them. Short and frequent repetition of these keywords will enable the children to build their confidence and recognition of them.


We will send home bookmarks with the keywords printed on them, as we introduce them to the children. 


You can support their learning by playing games at home for example writing the words on pieces of paper and playing snap or a treasure hunt with them or children really enjoy splat, where they have to splat the word. You could ask your child to touch the word with a wooden spoon as quickly as they can or maybe you could write them on big paper and the children could jump on them. They could practice writing the words with water in the garden or spelling the words with foam letters in the bath. These are a few suggestions. We're sure you can think of lots more ideas!


If you want to ask any questions about keywords, please ask any member of the Panda team.


Please see the list of keywords below:-


I, the, you, your, said, Mum, was, want, are, of, do, my, her, no, be, go, Mum, Dad, and, A, can, cat, it, at, dog, on, is, in.


He, me, she, we, like, look, by, saw, come, for, they, what, to, day, see, yes, get, big, am.


All, away, play, going, school, over, down, how, watch, who, there, where, this.


Induction Information

We Need Your Help!


We are always looking for people to help in Panda class.  If you could help us with swimming, or come in to listen to readers, please come and see me and we can put the arrangements in place.

Early Years Vision

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