In Year 2, our topics in the Michaelmas Term are ‘People Who Help Us’ and ‘Changes’. The ‘People Who Help Us’ topic involves reading, writing and art work on the police, the fire service, paramedics and other rescues services. In History, we investigate the events behind the Great Fire of London and commemorate it with a burning of mock-Tudor cardboard houses at Forest School.
Our other topic, ‘Changes’, is mainly science-based. It examines materials and the effects that pushes, pulls and temperature can have on different items. We also look at the changing seasons around us.
In the Lent Term, our topics are ‘My World’ and ‘The Rainforest’.
The ‘My World’ topic has a strong geographic emphasis. It looks at the different countries of the world and the cultures and lifestyles which children and families experience in them, and then compares them to our own lives here in Bristol.
‘The Rainforest’ topic then moves from a broader sweep to a more narrow focus. Classrooms are transformed into jungles as (paper or cardboard) parrots, monkeys and snakes swing from the ceilings. As part of our topic, we also walk down the road to Bristol Zoo where, with the help of the staff, we get to look closely at rainforest creatures, including a chance for the braver souls to hold snakes and spiders.
During the Lent term, Year 2 also joins Year 3 onstage in the Redgrave Theatre to take part in the School play. It is an exciting opportunity for children to experience dressing up in costumes, taking part in a dance, and being part of a chorus. The spotlights, make-up and applause on a proper stage also serve as a drama apprenticeship for children in Year 2. The following year, when our children are in Year 3, they will be expected to take lead roles and make the school play their own.
In the Summer Term, our topics are ‘Knights and Castles’ and ‘The Sea’. Our very popular ‘Knights and Castle’s topic focuses on the history, lives and legends of medieval England. Swords are waved and trumpets sound as we visit Caldicot Castle and meet a knight and archer. Our topic on ‘The Sea’ looks at the variety of plants and animals which live on Earth, and gives children an opportunity to consider contrasting habitats. Over the term, children are also encouraged to explore their own interests, from gorillas to sharks, and record what they find in their own learning journals.