Curriculum Vision and Intent
At Vernham Dean Gillum’s our Curriculum is at the heart of everything we do. It is underpinned by our Christian Values of; Compassion, Courage and Creativity so that we can develop compassionate, Courageous, Creative citizens of the future in God’s love. Our Curriculum offers a diet that is broad and balanced, purposeful to their lives and the world round them. The curriculum is relevant with lots of “real life” experiences to support the children in developing and deepening their vital knowledge, skills and understanding . It builds on their prior learning and ensures that they can make contextual links between different areas of the curriculum, concepts, and subjects.
We want the children at Vernham Dean to SOAR in everything they do. ( Isaiah 40:31- "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like Eagles") Through a growth mindset (Courageous) attitude they can persevere to achieve what ever they set their mind to. At Vernham Dean our curriculum ensures that; "Every child is challenged, no matter what their starting point".
S= Success for all
O=Ownership of learning
A=Achievement and aspirations
R=Resilient, risk takers
Our curriculum intent ensures that through our Chrisian Values of; Compassion, Courage and Creativity, the children take ownership and the lead on their learning, through their own lines of enquiry, questioning and ability to reflect on and improve their learning:
S= Stretch- How did I challenge myself? Courage
O= Ownership of learning, out of the box thinking- How did I show Creativity?
A= Apply- How did I apply new skills, skills I already knew?- Creativity
R= Resilience, risk taking- How was I resilient, show Courage in the lesson?
Curriculum Strategies, Overviews and Enrichment weeks
Our curriculum is implemented in the following ways;
- Through purposeful experiences that relate to the children's life and will develop the skills they will need in the future.
- Through "real life, hands on" experiences- visits, visitors in and around the local community, wider community and global community.
- Using a 2 year cycle of planning for mixed year group planning. (Except in early years)
- Ensuring that the curriculum reflects the current climate supporting children's emotional health and well being as well as ensuring they are knowledgeable about how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations.
- Starting each new theme with an exciting "hook" to engage the children.
- Planning effective learning journeys that build on prior learning as well as developing new skills and have a clear end goal.
- Cross curricular themes enabling children to make contextual links, learning more and remembering more.
- Opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of contexts.
- Through a strong focus on our 3 Cs Christian Values- Compassion, Courage and Creativity and by ensuring "every child is challenged, regardless of their starting point", our SOAR learning principles.
- Through enabling children to take ownership of their own learning and challenge themselves by following their own lines of enquiry.
- Ensuring that the curriculum allows opportunities to risk take, develop resilience and make choices.
- Opportunities for children to problem solve and understand that mistakes are part of the learning process.
- To develop and apply a growth mindset attitude.
- Work in collaboration with others as well as develop crucial independent skills.
- The use of strong, engaging and diverse text drivers in English.
- Through celebrating the diverse cultural world in which we live and others beliefs.
Recovery Curriculum due to COVID-19
As many children were unable to attend school due to the COVID pandemic, it is vital that now they are in school, we are teaching them a curriculum that ensures we are able to fill any gaps which they may have in their learning. At Vernham Dean we are using strong assessment for learning day to day in every lesson to ensure the children's needs are being met and that they are being challenged from their individual starting points. As a school we are using the recovery curriculum devised from Hampshire in English and Mathematics as our basis. There is some more information and examples for you to see below under the different subject headings:
For more detailed curriculum information, please see each class page which will have half termly overviews of what the children will be learning in each subject area.
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. We like to engage with our local and wider community as much as possible to enrich the children’s learning and give them real life experiences. We plan our curriculum to cover the prime and specific areas mentioned below but where at all possible like to go with what the children’s interest are, there and then in the moment!
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:
- 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 and Early Reading
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.
Our reading books are all linked to support early reading and are fully decodable linked to the phonics that the children are learning. We use Letters and Sounds phased fiction and non-fiction phonic books, Dandelion phonic readers as well as Reading Planet phonic reading books, Big Cat phonics and Bug club. These books all cover Letters and Sounds phonics from phases 1-6 and so are used with our Early readers in KS2 also.
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
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.
Our Maths lessons are designed to provide children with meaningful skills to apply to ‘real-life’ situations. We follow the Hampshire maths curriculum overview framework and enhance it through high quality resources such as I See reasoning, NRICH, White Rose Maths and Dip and Pick. Within lessons, the children are encouraged to make choices about the resources and methods used, to discover and evaluate what helps them to learn in the most effective way. After the opportunity to build fluency of skills, the children are then guided in applying these through reasoning and problem solving, to deepen their understanding and showcase the value of the skills they have developed in meaningful ‘real-life’ situations and see the value of mathematics in every day life.
For our Early Years children, maths is integrated into daily activities through indoor and outdoor learning. They follow the EYFS White Rose curriculum for maths, which links story time and discovery to the key principles of early mathematics: cardinality and counting, comparison, composition, pattern, shape and space, and measure.
Equality Act 2010 and the SEN and Disability Regulations 2014
Please see individual subject Policies using the sub-heading below for more information and the Inclusion page of the website.