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Spotlight on: Year 2

Spotlight on: Year 2

Mrs Kerry Owens shares stories from Year 2

The last time I wrote about Year 2 was in October 2016, when the girls were just settling in to their year and learning the new routines and expectations. I can’t believe how time has flown and they are now known as ‘Form 2 ½’. I like to mention this from time to time to keep them on target for moving into Year 3! The girls love to look back in their books to the first piece of writing they completed in Year 2 and marvel at the progress they have made.

This term our topic has been ‘Unhealthy History’. Children like to describe history as life ‘in the old days’ and we have been working on ordering major events, periods of time and significant historical figures into a time line to gain a greater understanding of ‘old’. The girls have been fascinated by Samuel Pepys’ diary, especially about the Great Fire of London and learning about the plague. The group has also been looking at pictures of street scenes and the emptying of chamber pots out of the windows – with little concern for who was underneath – which caused much shock and amusement in the Year 2 classroom. 

The girls have been reading an abridged version of Oliver Twist to learn more about street children – so it might be a good idea to make sure nothing goes missing from your pockets! Using different sources to find clues about the past brings the subject to life and is an excellent skill for future History students to learn. It was reassuring to see how much society has progressed in health and medical knowledge, compared with the stories we heard of pioneers such as Florence Nightingale. After learning about Alexander Fleming’s happy ‘accident’ with mould and his discovery of penicillin the girls investigated mould growth in the classroom (in controlled scientific conditions I hasten to add).

Of course, after all this talk of being decidedly UNHEALTHY we have also learnt a great deal about keeping ourselves fit and HEALTHY. Our research project with Mrs Hutson on how keeping physically fit affects our mood and health has helped us to appreciate the benefits of being active at playtime. We have also learnt about the different food groups, and everyone knows fruit and vegetables are the group we should eat the most of. Whether this knowledge has any real affect on the vegetable tray at lunchtime remains to be seen!

Currently we are busy using our practical skills in STEM lessons to learn about paper and its uses. The children are in the process of making paper, which will lead in to learning about natural and manmade materials and how we can change materials. Please get ready for ‘home raiding’ homework this weekend where your daughter will be asked to find as many different examples of paper as possible. Take this as a warning to hide any valuable manuscripts or first editions.

Next term Year 2 will be learning about different habitats and the effects on the animals and plants that live there. We will also be looking at seeds and plant growth. Our topic on Island Life will take us back in time to look at holidays in the past and around the world, to compare two very different islands. You’ll be relieved that we’ll be visiting the Cambridge University Botanic Garden for our outing, rather than booking a trip to a tropical island!