Curriculum Overview

Our Curriculum Here at Vernham Dean Primary

This page provides an overview of our curriculum.  If you wish to find out more, please feel free to visit your child’s teacher.  If you are a new family about to join us, then please contact the office and we can arrange to have somebody talk through all that we do here.

Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

At Vernham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School in the Reception Year, the year in which the children turn 5, we follow the EYFS Profile.  Our class is called Willow and we learn in a happy and engaging indoor and outdoor environment.
Click here to view the EYFS Profile.

Early Years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.

The prime areas of learning are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Learning through play is one of the key principles of Early Years education and we embrace this fully whilst providing structure and content through teacher lead activities and interventions.  Have a look at our Willow class page in our ‘Classes’ section of the website to see lots of our learning in action!

Teaching Phonics
Here at Vernham Dean we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.

Letters and Sounds is a phonics’ resource that has a six phase programme designed to build children’s speaking and listening skills as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.  It sets out a detailed systematic programme for teaching which the school starts when children enter Year R; the key aim is for them to become fluent readers by the age of seven.

Parents often worry that they will not be able to support their child with phonics because ‘things have changed’.  Not to worry as our teachers here will guided and support you through the six phonic phases as your child progresses.

Enriching the Curriculum
What does enriching the curriculum mean? In short it means that strive to extend learners’ horizons and widen their experiences across the curriculum.  Through enriching our curriculum further we will:

  • Embed a wider range of activities for children to learn in different ways
  • Present different activities that create enthusiasm for learning
  • Enhance motivation for learning
  • Create an openness to new thinking and ideas
  • Create opportunities for children to think creatively and independently
  • Promote a higher level of thinking through enquiry activities

Outdoor Learning
At Vernham Dean Primary we believe in the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum. We take every opportunity to ensure that our children have the opportunity to be engaged in their learning. The outdoor environment has massive potential for providing learning opportunities and we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by an environment rich in opportunities. We ensure that our children are provided with the opportunities to learn outside the classroom and we utilise our grounds across the curriculum.  Both Year R and our Year 1/2 have dedicated areas for outdoors learning.  Last year we held our first Countryside Day at Linkenholt and will be holding another day this year.

Maths
Our Maths lessons are designed to provide opportunities to learn in different ways.  We utilise the highly effective Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach to develop a deep and sustainable understanding of maths (for a full explanation of CPA, please ask the office for a copy of ‘News for Academic Year 2017-2017). We value the importance of times tables, thinking and perseverance with maths so this is built into our daily lessons.   For our Early Years children, maths is integrated into the daily curriculum through indoor and outdoor learning.

We use the Hampshire Model objectives which are laid out into three phrases across the year.  Please choose your child’s year group and click on the link below to see these objectives.

YR1 Phase Assessment Model
YR2 Phase Assessment Model
YR3 Phase Assessment Model
YR4 Phase Assessment Model
YR5 Phase Assessment Model
YR6 Phase Assessment Model

English
At Vernham Dean Primary we always ensure there is an exciting hook for writing so that it inspires imagination. Examples of hooks include: a wellie walk; cooking; animated stories without endings and enriched texts. All our units of work are meaningful and have clear purpose and audience. Each week, children are given the opportunity for free writing so they can take ownership as an author.

Reading is highly valued at our school and as a school we love books. Each day the children have a reading session where key skills are taught which include teacher modelling and independent or group tasks. On Friday mornings we have Free Reading Friday where our children have the opportunity to read with other children across the school, work on a reading challenge or read for pleasure. Our library is well stocked, and well maintained by a parent volunteer; families are able to use the library after school on Tuesday and Thursdays.

In Early Years, our children enjoy learning phonics each day and are presented with many writing and reading opportunities linked into the children’s play both indoors and outdoors.
 English Overview

Health and Citizenship & British Values
The Government state that all schools should make provision for Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education, drawing on good practice.  Schools are now free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.

Therefore we made the decision to write and plan a programme of education which is specifically for our children.  This is called Health and Citizenship and will offer a wide range of subjects including:

  • Positive relationships and skills for success
  • Staying safe in the wider world
  • Money wise skills
  • First aid
  • Life skills
    Health and Citizenship Overview web

    Promoting British Values

    Our ‘Promoting British Values’ document has been written using guidance from Department of Education’s ‘Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in school’ (DfE 2014), which states:

    ‘Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

    We promote these values through our Vision, our Christian Faith and Values, and enrichment activities. We work together as a whole school community to provide a happy, safe, secure and stimulating environment where children are motivated to learn, are valued as individuals and encouraged to achieve their full potential.

    Our document:  Promoting British Values

Science
Our school recognises the part that science has to play in the world around us, and we strive to ensure that our children are curious about their world. We teach science through the delivery of practical and engaging lessons. Through our longitudinal studies, our children develop a natural curiosity to question and investigate the world in which we live. In lessons both in and outside of the classroom, we encourage our children from Year R through to Year 6 to ask questions and investigate scientifically.
Science-Overview

RE
At Vernham Dean Primary, our religious education curriculum gives our children a broad understanding of world religions. We follow Hampshire County Council’s syllabus called ‘The Living Difference’. It builds on the approach to religious education, enriched by philosophical and theological enquiry, as well as current research. The curriculum is predominantly Christian in focus but each key stage focuses on other world religions. To find out more about Christian Values and Worship, please click here.
RE-Overview

Music
Our school uses the cloud-based learning resource Charanga.  This brings together great music, modern education and the latest educational technology; all children from Year R upwards use this resource.  As a school we love to sing, and provide many opportunities across the school week including: Worship singing, music lessons and our highly regarded choir.  Our children have the opportunity to sing in school, church and perform to the community.  This academic year, our choir will take part in Young Voices at the O2, which is the largest school choir concert in the world.

We offer weekly ukulele or guitar lessons and you can sign  your child up through our office  (please note that these lessons have a charge).
Music Overview

PE
We take physical education very seriously and recognise that a healthy body is a happy body. We foster positive attitudes to health and understand that exercise leads to strong physical development; we also recognise that physical education aids self-confidence and social skills too. In addition to a teacher led PE lesson, each week we provide children with a specialist sports’ coach who develops elements of sport that the school does not normally teach, for example, Lacrosse and Handball. In addition, each lunchtime the school has an Active Play Leader who helps us to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Our active games help children to strengthen muscles and improve co-ordination.  Each year the school’s Tag Rugby team participates in a local rugby tournament, and we form teams when other sports events arise.
PE Overview

Creative Curriculum
Our Creative Curriculum is purposeful and stimulating and links are made to other parts of the curriculum. Throughout the year we use trips, visitors, members of the community and history boxes to ensure that work is brought to life. As with all our curriculum subjects, our Learning Values underpin all that we do. The themes have been chosen according to those that we will feel will interest and motivate the children to learn, as well as reflecting the diversity the world around us.
Creative-Curriculum Overview

Computing
Our Computing Curriculum recognises the importance of computing and IT as a tool in society. Pupils use computing tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly and creatively. They learn how to employ Computing and IT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wider range of sources.
 Computing Overview

Spanish
Our Spanish is taught across KS2 and is focused on speaking and responding to language. Vocabulary is regularly revised through games, songs.
KS2 Spanish Overview