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.


Some Curriculum Changes
This academic year we have made changes to the curriculum to ensure that it enriches opportunities for our children.

Enriching the Curriculum
What does enriching the curriculum mean? In short it means that we will 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
  • Provide opportunities that are designed specifically for Vernham Dean Primary School

Examples of changes we have made
A Creative Curriculum
This means that we now link subjects to enhance the area being learnt.  Children might be learning about art linked to History, or Geography and History linked together. However, we refuse to make tenuous links so when necessary, we will provide children with discrete themes. Our Creative Curriculum will also provide children with a multi-modal approach to learning. This means that when planning, teachers will plan different and exciting approaches for children to learn in different ways.

From PSHE to Health and Citizenship
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

Modernising Music
The school has updated its approach to music in order to improve listening skills, concentration and creative thinking and has moved to a cloud-based resource that brings together great music, modern education and the latest educational technology.  All children from Year R upwards use this resource.

From September 2016, you can sign your child up to learn the Ukulele or guitar (please note that these lessons have a charge).


Curriculum Map Overviews


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: English Overview
Science: Science-Overview
RE: RE-Overview
PE: PE-Overview
Creative Curriculum: Creative-Curriculum
Computing: Computing
Health & Citizenship: Health and Citizenship Overview web
Spanish: KS2 Spanish Overview
Music: Music Overnview

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