Working Together in Collaboration

p1000651-adjustedSince 2013, Barkway and Barley First Schools have been working together in collaboration, sharing resources and expertise for the benefit of the children at both schools. Owing to the huge success of the project, the collaboration is to become a federation in September 2017. The story is detailed below.

As two North Hertfordshire rural village schools, Barley and Barkway First schools are leading the way in a pioneering approach to local education, where they share resources, maximising the educational opportunities for children at both schools and sharing the financial strain in these times of straitened budgets. Staff work together to share their ideas and expertise for the children.

The children in Years 3 and 4, the Barkleys class, share a teacher and are taught at both schools throughout the week. The children travel on the school’s Classroom Bus. They benefit academically and socially as they work alongside children from the other school.

img_3436Mrs Sue Jagelman associate governor of Barley School says, “Our children have the best of both worlds combining the family feeling of a small village school with the benefits that the collaboration brings – shared resources, facilities and expertise together with opportunities for the children to learn, play sport, and make friends with a wider peer group.”

David Hart, a Barley governor says:
“Along with some other governors, we sat down with the children from the Barkleys class and asked them how they were finding the arrangement and encouraged them to share both good and bad: but there was a universal thumbs up from the children and some lovely anecdotes about making new friends and having new learning partners.”

Sharing resources works really well. For example, one school has a large hall with apparatus for gym whilst the other has a magnificent playground and playing field. Benefits are apparent all round. Parents recognise that children in Year 4 are helped to become more mature and independent in preparation for their transition to the Middle Schools.

Ronan in Year 4 at Barkway and in the Barkleys class says:
"It’s fun because there are more people to work with. I enjoy going to two classrooms – it feels just like going to high school!”