Verham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School is situated at the edge of the village, surrounded by the school’s own grounds, the Burydene and open fields. The school was founded in the 1860s thanks mainly to the generosity of the Revd, Sidney George Gillum and is very much part of the village community. Today the old building is still recognisable, with its brick and flint walls and distinctive hip roof. However, 2002 saw exciting and major changes to the school when it was extended to include four purpose built classrooms, a library, new offices and staff facilities.
The school aims to provide each child with the skills for living, inspiring them to reach their full potential through love of learning within a creative, purposeful and Christian atmosphere. The school has good links with the local church with the clergy regularly leading worship for the school. The children experience a broad curriculum in a stimulating environment with time for both the creative arts and sport. The OfSTED report in 2007 said that the school was Good with Outstanding features and showed that ‘A commitment to an all-round education is at the heart of the school’s work.’
Little Fingers Pre-school was established in 1986 as a playgroup in nearby Faccombe and moved to its current location in the Gospel Hall in 1991. The pre-school has continued to adapt over the years to the changing needs of children and parents by extending its opening times and improving facilities. We are currently registered to provide 16 places per morning session to children from the age of two to five years. We have three employed members of staff, a Play Leader, Deputy Play leader and Play Assistant.
The pre-school is based in the Vernham Dean Gospel Hall. We have the use of the hall, kitchen and toilets, with access to a secure outdoor play area. In recent years improvements to the setting have included resurfacing the car park, installing railings and entrance gates, a newly fitted kitchen, computer, new play equipment, central heating and hot water system. Plans are being made to re-locate the pre-school to a new extension of the sports pavilion. A planning application for this is hoped to be submitted in Spring 2019.
Little Fingers Pre-school is a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance; we comply with the National Standards and have been inspected by Ofsted in 1997, 1999 and 2003. After the last inspection Ofsted reported that ‘Little Fingers provides well for its children. Staff are friendly, lively and supportive and offer imaginative and exciting activities. Children respond with interest and enterprise and their behaviour is good’.
In 1993 Little Fingers became a charity with its own constitution and an elected committee of parents. The committee members and staff meet about once a month to discuss matters concerning the running of the pre-school and to plan fund raising activities. These meetings are friendly, social occasions and we always welcome new members and fresh ideas.