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Year 2

Autumn Term – What lies beneath?

Our science-based topic ‘What lies beneath?’ begins with a Stunning Start where children are immersed with fun activities and learning experiences about life under the ocean surfaces. Children discover all about the layers of the ocean, investigate how to recreate the layers using different liquids, find out about the animals that live in each layers and create colourful art displays plus much more.


Within the topic we look at the basic needs for survival in plants and animals, we identify and classify animals into the different animal groups such as birds, reptiles, fish and mammals etc. We research and discover the different habitats around the world and how animals are adapted to live in that environment with a blubber experiment. We also look at food chains, how the energy is passed from one living thing to another and understand the 7 life processes in order to categorise things into whether they are living, dead or never been alive.

Within our learning of the Ocean environment, we also look at plastic pollution in our oceans, how it affects the marine life, their habitats, food chains and how plastic in the ocean affects us on land too!


In Geography, children will recap learning about the 7 continents and 5 oceans of the world. They will learn how to recognise and identify these continents and oceans using atlases, maps and globes.


In Art, we start by creating a range of observational drawings of sea life. We then move towards investigating artists and designers who create sea creature sculptures. The children will compare different practices and explore many sculptural techniques in order to inform their own sea creature designs. They will by the end of the topic make their own sea creature sculpture out of a range of modelling materials.


In D&T children will be learning about textiles so that they can create jellyfish. They will be looking at a range of fabrics, practice using different joining techniques including sewing and then all of their jellyfish will be added for our fantastic finish aquarium exhibition.


Alongside this learning, the children will be writing stories about a sea creature being washed ashore during a storm. They will also be creating their own fact file about a sea creature which we will then use to create a non-fiction information booklet to keep in our classes. They will use information from their science and geography learning to help them with their fact file.

During this term children will also be taking part in PSHE lessons and have forest school days.  We hope to enhance this topic children by going on a trip to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

This will involve spending the day being given a private tour around the Aquarium, watch feeding and diving shows and have an opportunity to continue their scientific learning.


What lies beneath will conclude with a Fantastic Finish in which the children's creations will all be combined to create a large scale aquarium display.

Spring Term – Fire! Fire!


Our topic for this term is Fire! Fire! The focus of the topic is on the Great Fire of London in 1666 and we will look specifically at history, D&T, science, music and computing. Our history lessons will focus on significant events and people. We will learn how the Great Fire of London started, how long it lasted, who was involved and how it was eventually put out. We will learn about Samuel Pepys and his importance in understanding about the Great Fire of London through his diary entries. Throughout our history learning we will be using primary sources such as architecture and artefacts to find out about what life was like in 1666 and how the people of London stopped the fire. We will also be comparing the past to the present and looking at the differences between fire services then and now but also how houses, streets and vehicles have changed since throughout history. Once we have studied Tudor houses we will create our own using cardboard boxes and straw.

We will then use these buildings in our Fantastic Finish.

As part of D&T we will be  exploring, making and evaluating different types of bread and baking 17th Century bread as part of our food technology learning.  

Within the science learning, children will be learning about different materials, their properties such as transparency, elasticity, and flexibility. They will take part in a range of experiments to test the materials for a range of properties before deciding the best materials to use to build a range of objects.


Following this, in Music the children will be looking closely at how music is created. We will be listening to and discussing pieces from different composers throughout the 17th century. The children will then learn the famous song 'London's Burning' and use their knowledge of the inter-related dimensions of music (tempo, dynamics, pitch, duration) to keep the beat and learn to sing in a round, where the children split off into multiple groups and start and stop singing at different times to each other.


In Computing, the children will be using the online platform Purple Mash to learn the basics of how to code a program to make objects move and react to controls, understand collision detection and add sounds and text to create a program.  


Finally, at the end of the topic, children will have a Fantastic Finish where the local fire service will come in to speak to the children, show them their equipment and a tour of the fire engine before safely burning down the children’s Tudor houses so the children can see how quickly the fire would have spread back in 1666.  


Additionally, within this topic the children also enjoy a day from an important historical figure, Samuel Pepys. They get to spend the day with this person with lots of fun activities, opportunities to role play and a fun quiz.

Summer – Wasson’ Wallabies


Our Summer topic is a topic with a Geography focus. This topic kicks off with a Stunning Start where children spend time learning about Cornwall and enjoying Cornwall as if they were here on holiday. They create their own passport (which they will need later in the day), ‘visit’ a beach, make a pasty and learn about the history of Cornwall. After spending some time in Cornwall children board a flight and travel to Australia. Here they look at the animals, taste some Australian food and learn about what they could visit or do in Australia.  


Alongside the Geography learning children will also be learning Science, Art, History, Computing and D&T.


As part of their Geography learning, children will recap the 7 continents and 5 oceans learning from Autumn before diving into learning about and comparing the human and physical geography of Cornwall and Australia. They will learn about the four countries of the UK, their capital cities and look at the capital city of Australia. Children will then learn about the compass and the four main compass points and use this learning to create a map and give directions around the local area.


In Science, as it is the Summer term, we feel it is the perfect time to learn about plants. Children will plant their own seed or bulb and observe its growth over the term. They will be learning about what a plant needs to survive, research if a bigger seed means that the plant will be larger than others, identify and name a range of plants and trees around the local area on a scavenger hunt but also looking at habitats and seeing how plants grow and survive in these places. We will also be researching how plants survive in extreme conditions such as the Australian Desert.


In Art, children will focus on Aboriginal Art and develop an understanding of why it is special. They will be looking at aboriginal art and discussing what they notice and like or dislike about it. They will notice that most of the art links to pointillism and through a range of lessons will make their own pointillist painting using a range of different mark making media and tools.


As part of History, children will be learning about local historical figures. Children will learn about Richard Trevithick, where he lived and what he did that made him well-known and become part of Cornish history. We will research Richard Trevithick’s inventions, find out why they were important in the history of transport and choose which invention we think was the best. We will use this to help our D&T learning.

We will then learn about an relevant historical figure from Australia and investigate his life and impact on Australia and compare who we think made the biggest impact on their country and why.


As mentioned, we will be using our history learning about Richard Trevithick’s inventions to support our D&T learning. Children will use their choice about what they thought was Richard Trevithick’s best invention and try to replicate it into their own vehicle. In D&T, children will be learning about wheels and axles which they will incorporate into their own vehicle so that it can move.


Throughout the term, children will be taking part in computing lessons to introduce them to programming. Children will learn about algorithms and programming as they use Beebots, coding caterpillars and Scratch. They will hopefully be able to program their own avatar on Scratch to move around the screen as they direct it.


During this topic, children will take part in half-termly forest school days, PSHE lessons and will create and advertise a product to sell at the Summer Fair. We also hope (weather permitting) that we will be able to enjoy a trip to the beach where children can explore the beach looking for plants and animals that live on the beach.


As part of our Fantastic Finish, children will become travel agents. The children will dress the classes up to resemble either Cornwall or Australia and then with their buddies from Year 6 will ‘visit’ each country, play traditional games, listen to music and learn traditional dances. The children will then vote for which country they preferred.