Year 2 Curriculum Overview
Autumn 1 - Malala’s Magic Pencil
WOW! Factor: Kite making (Basant Kite Festival)
Fantastic Finish: Green and White Pakistan Day
Book: Malala’s Magic Pencil Author: Malala Yousafzi
Children in Year 2 start off this unit learning about the famous Basant kite flying festival which takes place in India. They create their own kites and fly them outside, which they thoroughly enjoy! They explore how locations differ and share similarities whilst developing their understanding of geographical language. They then use this knowledge to write persuasive pieces to convince their reader to visit the places they have learnt about. Later in the unit the children learn about how plants grow and carry out an experiment to test their ideas, recording what they find out. Throughout this unit the children will enjoy a great range of books focused on the lives of inspirational people. This also links to their RE work about inspirational people and stories from different religions. As a conclusion to this exciting half-term they take part in a green and white day which provides them with the opportunity to dress up, try some delicious Indian food, experiment with art techniques from another culture and learn a variety of dances.
Autumn 2 - Toby and the Great Fire of London
WOW! Factor: Great Fire of London workshop
Fantastic Finish: Re-enactment of the Great Fire
In this unit the children are taken on a journey back in time to London in 1666. To kick-start this unit, they travel back to the fateful night of the Great Fire of London using role-play and drama. This experience is guaranteed to engage and enthuse them and is a wonderful start to the half-term. Their learning about this significant historical event continues as they develop their understanding of the similarities and differences between the ways of life of different people living at that time, making comparisons with life now. A visit from the local fire service builds on this knowledge as they learn how fire-fighting has changed over time and how to stay safe. This is explored in more detail during Personal Well Being when the children talk about people who help us and learn what to do in an emergency. Using London as a stimulus, the children explore the work of the famous artist Monet and use different materials and techniques to re-create Monet’s views of London. In English they plan and write their own defeating the monster stories and learn all about the features of diary writing which provides them with the skills to write their own diary in role. Towards the end of this unit the children will explore mechanisms then design and make a moving fire engine with axles. The grand finale to this unit is a re-enactment of the Great Fire of London. The children make buildings that are reminiscent from that era and these are set on fire outside. They watch the fire spread just as it would have done back in 1666.
The children will learn about the events at the time as well as the modern fire and rescue service.
Spring 1 - The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
WOW! Factor: Café experience in class
Fantastic Finish: Café for parents in the school hall
Book: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me Author: Roald Dahl
During this unit the children embark on an enterprise project which involves them working in teams to create their own ‘café.’ As an introduction to this they take part in a ‘mock’ café where they take on the roles of customers and workers. Throughout this half term they complete several tasks that will help them to develop a range of skills including problem-solving, staying positive and being creative. In Design Technology they learn about a varied and healthy diet then plan and create items that are suitable for their café. In Maths, the children learn how to add, subtract and solve problems involving money which also prepares them for the financial side of the enterprise project. The fantastic finish to this unit is when they use these skills to set up and run a café where parents are the customers. The children love this event and are always amazed at the total profit they make! The book for this half term explores the themes of friendship, jobs and rewards for helping others and is a perfect link to the enterprise project as the characters set up a window cleaning business. Later in this unit they explore the work of Quentin Blake, who illustrated The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, and re-create his artistic style in their own drawings and paintings and learn how animals are grouped, making comparisons between the animals studied.
Spring 2 - Dinosaurs and all that Rubbish
WOW! Factor: Junk music man
Fantastic Finish: All about recycling day
Book: Dinosaurs and all that Rubbish. Author: Michael Foreman
The theme of this unit is caring for the environment and the initial starting point for the children is a junk percussion workshop. This is a wonderful way for them to have fun playing instruments whilst gaining valuable experience of working as a team and learning how old pots, pans, brushes and boxes can all be recycled to form a ‘junk’ orchestra. Within Science, they learn about the suitability of everyday materials for different purposes and test out their ideas about the ways in which the shape of some solid materials can be changed. The children will explore a range of stories that show what people believe and discuss how we care for the Earth and why it matters. Through their work in Personal Well Being, they will develop their understanding of how we can help to improve the environment and learn about reducing, reusing and recycling. Throughout the unit the children will explore the features of transformation tales and explanation texts, using what they have learnt to write their own. As a conclusion to the end of this term they will experience a ‘recycling’ day when they have a go at recycling paper and other materials.
Summer 1 - The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
WOW! Factor: Teaching Talons
Fantastic Finish: Habitat day
Book: The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark Author: Jill Tomlinson
This unit starts with an unforgettable learning experience in the classroom when Teaching Talons come to visit. The children gain hands-on experience with different animals and learn lots of facts at the same time. It is guaranteed to engage and inspire them! Following on from this, they learn about different habitats and find out how animals obtain their food using food chains. Using what they have learnt, the children write non-chronological reports about animals of their choice. In Art they use viewfinders to focus on an image and experiment with pencils and charcoal to create texture. Later on in this half term, they develop their geographical and fieldwork skills through the use of compasses and by devising their own maps of the local area. The unit ends with a habitat day where the children work with clay and other media to create a range of artwork.
Summer 2 - I Was There…Titanic
WOW! Factor: Trip to Walton on the Naze
Fantastic Finish: Making models of Titanic
Book: I Was There…Titanic Authors: M.I. McAllister
In this final unit of the year, the children embark on their own journey to the seaside which always proves to be a fantastic day for everyone involved. They visit the RNLI station, get to feel the sand between their toes and end the day with an ice cream on the pier. The children will be immersed in life at the time of the Titanic through our book which tells the story of this event through the eyes of a young girl. They will learn about Grace Darling, the Titanic and the work of the RNLI and make comparisons between sea rescue in the past and present. In Art, they explore architecture through the work of others and use what they have learnt to create lighthouses using different media. Using the knowledge they have gained during this unit, the children write news reports recounting the events at the time of Titanic. As a finale to their learning, they will use a range of materials to make their own models of Titanic.