Year 2

In Year Two, our curriculum is enriched with practical and hands-on activities, which meet the needs of the children. Our aim is to continue to strengthen our children’s love of learning, that has been developed in Reception through our play-based, explorative approach and further enhanced in Year 1 by our nurturing environment that promotes independence and curiosity. We actively encourage our children to be curious, and support them to ask and answer questions in their learning through exploration, and well-planned lessons that develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills, and this, alongside our continued prioritisation of developing reading fluency, prosody and comprehension, ensures that all of our children have both a love of reading and are able to access the wider curriculum with ease.

Our English curriculum is taught through high-quality key-texts, which often link to our wider curriculum. The Year Two texts include: The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery, The Water Princess by Susan Verde, The Proudest Blue by Ibithad Muhammad and S.K.Ali, Little People, Big Dreams: Florence Nightingale by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears by Hilda Offen, The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams & James Weston Lewis and Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob) by Simon Bartram. We start each English topic by immersing the children in the engaging and challenging text so that they have a full awareness of its structure, the author’s language choices, the development of characters and settings, and the sentences structures used. Our texts inspire what we teach in Reading, GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) and Writing. This immersion in reading provides the children with a secure scaffold on which they can build and develop their writing skills. The key skills taught in writing include different sentence types, expanded noun phrases, punctuation such as commas, apostrophes, exclamation marks and question marks, subordination and co-ordination. Each unit of writing gives the children a purpose for writing – with the highest standards of writing being modelled to the children to ensure that they achieve their full potential. In addition, we deliver three reading practice sessions each week with the children reading a carefully chosen reading book which matches their phonics knowledge and skills. Ongoing assessment ensures that children will be able to read 90% of assigned texts (9 out of 10 words) correctly, using their prior phonic knowledge enabling each child to see themselves as a successful reader, developing further confidence in their reading ability. Each child reads the same book three times in school. 

At Hill West we follow a Maths Mastery approach to our maths learning. We follow the progressive short blocks devised by Hamilton Trust to ensure that children have regular opportunities to revisit and recall prior learning alongside acquiring new mathematical skills and knowledge through fluency, problem solving and reasoning. This means we focus on ensuring that all children have a solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills. We take learning at a steadier and deeper pace, ensuring that no child is left behind, as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are working above the national expectation for their age. Children build upon their learning from Year 1 and can reason and problem solve with growing confidence. 

Science captures the interest of the Year 2 children through topics surrounding: plants, everyday materials, animals (including humans), and livings things and their habitats. Children explore these areas through a range of exciting experiments and observations! Children work scientifically by carrying out observations, performing simple tests and gathering data.

Our Year Two curriculum covers a broad range of exciting topics, which are taught creatively through our key questions, driving learning and ensuring good or better progress is made by all. The key questions develop an investigative and problem solving approach to learning, in which the children master key knowledge and skills and make links with different subject areas, thereby deepening their understanding by building well developed schema. 

Across the year, children will develop their historical interpretation skills through stimulating and exciting topics such as The Great Fire of London and Florence Nightingale as well as learning about significant artists from the past. This learning is interleaved with the Year 2 Art curriculum, in which children explore and create different tones and shades, through study of artwork from these periods in time. Children will develop knowledge and understanding of appropriate geographical vocabulary, learn map and compass skills (identifying the UK, continents and oceans), begin to develop observational skills in fieldwork, explore weather and climates and how the weather impacts physical geography. 

Personal Development and Wellbeing (PDW) will be taught as a discrete subject and children will learn to recognise a range of feelings in themselves and others, along with strategies they can use to manage these, especially within friendships. They will explore the importance of positive behaviours for learning, particularly how their behaviour can impact upon themselves and others, both offline and online. They will consider the similarities and differences between people, including their views, religion, culture and beliefs, and respect these. They will also be able to explain different ways to stay safe, and how family and friends should care for one another, including understanding and promoting their own mental health. 

 

Key Questions to drive learning and progress

  • Why did the fire spread so quickly?
  • Do wheels have to be round?
  • Who was the woman with the lamp?
  • Are you ready, steady, grow?

Exciting events in Year 2

  • We perform the school’s annual Nativity
  • We undertake our KS1 SATs
  • Fantastic visits to the Black Country Living Museum and Birmingham Hippodrome

Class Novels include

The Magic Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Stuart Little by E.B. White, Milton the Mighty by Emma Read