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Curriculum – Year 2


During each term the children explore both fiction and non-fiction themes which are linked to our topics. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught through these topics.

Autumn Term

Our topics for this term are Bounce and Towers, Tunnels and Turrets. The children will write a list poem about a favourite sport using the Olympic poems book and design a calligram for a bridge, tower or other structure. The children will also write a newspaper style recount on a classroom incident where coloured balls are released as well as write a persuasive letter for the reasons against going into a tunnel based on the book The Tunnel.

The children will then use a familiar story as a model to write a new story and retell traditional tale.

Spring Term

Our topics for this term are Beat Band Boogies and Street Detectives. The children will perform their own rap based on Raps and Lyrics Gran Can You Rap, as well as rhyming couplets based on historical nursery rhymes like Little Jack Horner. The children will also retell the events of The Pied Piper of Hamelin as a newspaper report and write a series of instructions based on a recipe that they have followed for example making bread.

The children will then write their own version of finding an instrument in the woods based on the story The Bear and The Piano and use a diary account of Pepy’s Life in London to create their own street diary.

Summer Term

Our topics for this term are Wriggle and Crawl and Land Ahoy! The children will write a class poem based on not hurting living things as well as create their own tongue twister based on sea shore tongue twisters. The children will enjoy writing a leaflet about mini beasts including explanations about their life cycles and research the beach and sea and write an information book about the sea shore.

The children will then write their own creation myth based on How the Zebra Got His Stripes and then write their own narrative from the point of view of Captain James Cook.


MATHS (Maths No Problem)

Year 2
The focus this term is on number. The children will be developing their understanding of place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with numbers up to 100. They will be learning about length, mass and temperature. In length they will be working with metres, centimetres and using < and > to compare lengths.   Mass will cover the use of both grams and kilograms. They will also be taught how to read temperature in degrees Celsius on a thermometer.
The term will start with Year 2 learning how to read and interpret picture graphs. They will then be applying their learning in number and calculation to word problems including those with money. Geometry will focus on the properties of both 2D and 3D shapes which they will draw and construct. They will use the properties to group shapes according to specific criteria. The final focus for this term’s learning will be fractions where they will be revising halves and quarters and be introduced to the terms numerator and denominator. They will be ordering fractions and identifying equivalences. At the end of the term they will focus on finding fractions of numbers and quantities.
The focus for this term is time and volume. O’clock and half past will be revised before moving on to intervals of 5 minutes. They will be sequencing events and identifying start and ending times. During their work on volume, they will be comparing different-sized containers and learning about millilitres and litres. The language will focus on greater than, less than, greatest and least. Time will then be spent revisiting and revising topics in preparation for SATs.



The National Curriculum requires children at KS1 & KS2 to study science. Starting in the school year 2017 – 2018, children throughout Holdbrook are following an exciting new science scheme called ‘Engaging Science’. This scheme covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and is supplemented by additional exploration in relevant Cornerstones topics. The life and work of famous scientists are linked to relevant units of work throughout both Key Stages.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Further detail about the National Curriculum requirements for science at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Science

Our Curriculum:


Year 2

Living Things

Children classify things as living, once alive and never alive. They learn about the characteristics of living things and building and observing a wormery and going outside to hunt for examples of living and non-living things. They look for characteristic of life in plants and establish that plants are living things.



Children will identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses. They will use their knowledge and understanding of materials to sort materials according to their properties.



Children think about the difference between seeds and other objects and work out what a seed is.   They plant beans and monitor them weekly, observing, measuring, sketching and photographing them to provide a record of growth. They investigate the basic needs of plants for healthy growth and explore the way that plants change through the seasons.



Animals & their Needs

In this unit children begin by learning about the stages of human growth. They learn that animals grow until they are adult and that that different animals start life in different forms, some as eggs and some as live births and they look at the needs of the young of different species. Throughout the unit they observe some animals as they grow, both in the classroom, and through webcams on the Internet.


Children spend time learning about familiar and unfamiliar habitats such as woodland and the seashore. They work in the classroom and outdoors to look at animals and plants and further their knowledge of the variety of life in different places and they go pond dipping. They extend their knowledge of the diets of different animals to understand about food chains.


Additional unit: Local Habitats

Children visit the same habitats and microhabitats at different times of year and explore the seasonal changes in a habitat and a micro-habitat. They continue to develop their observation skills.


The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum in London are both free and well worth a visit.

TOPIC (Cornerstones)

We follow the Cornerstones Interactive Learning Projects scheme of work in order to build a group of well-rounded individuals who love to learn in innovative and dynamic ways. This new scheme has allowed us to create links between pupils’ learning, the classroom environment, the outdoor space as well as consolidate learning through trips and visitors.

Each half-term we engage our children with a new topic, develop their ideas and understanding, allow them to innovate with their new skills and express their ideas using all of their creativity.

Below is a summary of what Year 2 will be learning about during each half-term. You will find information about their topic, the books they will be reading, the phenomena they will be investigating – as well as information about what they will be studying in each of the foundation subjects during that time.

Ensuring children are exposed to high-quality literature is key to improving vocabulary and writing as well as developing a love for reading that will stay with children for life. We have invested in classic literature which supplements and adds to the curriculum themes. Our English curriculum has also been developed in line with the Cornerstones’ scheme of work so that children’s understanding and application of skills can be developed throughout the school day.

Homework ties in with the curriculum in school- the details for this can be found in our revised Homework Policy.




Autumn 1 – Bounce Hi3

The children will start their year learning about important individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements by conducting research and writing fact files about these notable people such as sporting heroes.

Autumn 2 – Towers and Turrets Ge SF1 Ge SF4 Ge HP2b Hi 2 Hi 3

In this exciting topic, the children will go back in time to look at castles in Britain. They will begin by looking at the different types of castles from around the British Isles and use their geographic knowledge to explain why castles were built in these key locations. They will explain how castles were created and begin to look at the effect these castles had on the local area.

As part of this, the children will develop their geographic language skills by describing the physical features that surround the castles they are investigating and use this to explain how/why the castles were made. They will then use virtual field study resources to plan where to place their own castle. The children will lastly look around the globe for other examples of castles and begin to compare them with those from Britain with simple explanations as to why there may be differences.

Spring 1 – Beat Band Boogie Ge SF4 Ge SF3

Whilst this is a music centred topic, geography and history skills will be discretely taught to discover the history of instruments from around the world and why they are made out of certain materials in different parts of the world. The children will be developing their general geographic sense on a global scale by experiencing a wide variety of cultural music and influences as well as placing these on a map and using this knowledge to improve their awareness of the mixture of cultures from around the world.

Spring 2 – Street Detectives Ge SF4 Ge SF2 Ge SF3 Hi 4 Hi1

Here, the children will be developing an awareness of their local area through field studies and research. They will recap the language and terminology started in Year 1 using aerial photography to explain where features of the local area are in relation to the school grounds using compass points and other prepositional phrases. They will then look at the key human geographical features in the local area and describe what impact this has had on the local environment.

The children will also be learning more about their local area and how it has changed in recent history through field studies, local research and other mediums. They will then compare these changes and discuss what else could be done to improve both the human and natural areas of our community.

Summer 1 – Wriggle and Crawl Ge SF4

In this science and computing topic, the children will be developing their field work skills to conduct investigations as part of their science lessons to reinforce their theories. These field studies will conducted within the school to improve their understanding of human impact on the natural world and what tricks nature has up its sleeve to survive in even the most urban environment. They will use their findings to create their own natural environment for mini beasts.

Summer 2 – Land Ahoy Ge LK2 Ge SF 1 Ge SF3 Ge SF4 Ge SF2 Hi 3

In this mainly geography centred unit, the children will be looking at the world as a whole to locate and pinpoint the major continents and oceans. They will then use simple field skills to plot a course to develop their directional and overall geographical skills to charter a voyage filled with treasure.

Next, they will look at a significant historical figure from these times including some famous pirates who started some very gruesome legends. The children will conduct case studies on these famous people to improve their understanding of chronological awareness and record these as fact files.


Here are links to the National Curriculum website that explains these strands and other expectations of your children in more detail:

Geography: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1


History: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1



The Department for Education, as part of the new Primary National Curriculum (2014), stated that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education would remain non-statutory. It did, however, guide that ‘All schools should make provision for PSHE education, drawing on good practice.’

At Holdbrook Primary School, we teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education through the comprehensive scheme of learning called ‘Jigsaw’. During the year, all classes from Nursery through to Year 6 benefit from a weekly, engaging PSHE lesson.

The ‘Jigsaw’ approach has children at its heart and helps them to understand and value who they are and how they contribute to the world. Celebration Certificates are awarded in a weekly assembly, to pupils in each year group, to recognise their contribution to a particular aspect of each theme.



Lessons are based on a theme (Jigsaw piece). In Year 2, Jigsaw Jo will help children learn about: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference; Dreams and Goals; Being Healthy; Relationships; and Growing Up.


Autumn Term

The lessons in Year 2 in the Autumn term cover this learning:

Spring Term

The lessons in Year 2 in the Spring term cover this learning:

Summer Term

The lessons in Year 2 in the Summer term cover this learning:

Further information about the ‘Jigsaw’ approach in Year 2:






Autumn: Getting Creative

This unit is all about the building and understanding of digital texts. The children use varied devices and software with an increased precision to create digital content. They revisit the differences between input and output and hardware and software. They develop understanding of networks related to computers at home and school, logging on to their areas and saving work in the correct places on the network. They build understanding of algorithms using unplugged approaches. They develop eSafe practice through the use of CEOP resources and a whole school unit on staying safe online both at school and home.

Spring: Starting Research

The children develop an understanding of researching using non-digital and digital sources, including the World Wide Web. They understand the need to check their research results. They present their research in a variety of different ways and start to use charts, graphs and mind maps. The children are beginning to understanding the need to respect copyright and ownership and know who to talk to if they are worried. Esafety is covered again throughout this unit when discussing using the web and apps.

Summer: Messages and Virtual Worlds

Children explore ways of sending messages using digital and non-digital systems. They investigate the history of messages and how sending messages have changed. As a class, they send and receive emails and read and comment on blogs. The children explore simple virtual worlds both through age appropriate apps and websites. They create algorithms linked to their simulations and can discuss them to explain what might happen. They program onscreen characters to do simple actions. They develop eSafe practice understanding the need to keep personal information private and how to protect themselves.

Department for Education Computing Program of Study KS1 and 2



At Holdbrook, we are now following the ‘Music Express’ program for teaching Music.


Year 2
Autumn 1 The topics are ‘Ourselves’ and ‘Toys’.

In the topic ‘Ourselves’ the children will be discovering ways to use their voices to describe feelings and moods. They will create and notate vocal sounds, building up to a performance.

In the topic ‘Toys’ the children will move and play to a steady beat and to sound sequences. They will learn to control changing tempo as they take a scooter ride.

Autumn 2 The topics are ‘Our Land’ and ‘Our Bodies’.

In the topic ‘Our Land’ the children will be exploring timbre and texture as they explore descriptive sounds. They will listen to, and perform, music inspired by myths.

In the topic ‘Our Bodies’ the children will develop a sense of a steady beat through using their own bodies. They will be responding to music and play rhythm patterns on body percussion and instruments.

Spring 1 The topics are ‘Animals’ and ‘Number’.

In the topic ‘Animals’ the children will link animal movement with pitch movement to help develop understanding and recognition of changing pitch. They will interpret pitch line notation using voices and tuned instruments.

In the topic ‘Number’ the children will be exploring steady beat and rhythm patterns. They play beats and patterns from Renaissance Italy to West Africa and create their own body percussion, voices and instruments.

Spring 2 The topics are ‘Story Time’ and ‘Seasons’.

In the topic ‘Story Time’ the children will be introduced to famous pieces to stimulate composition. The children will interpret a storyboard with sound effects, and develop their own ideas using voices and percussion.

In the topic ‘Seasons’ the children will be developing an understanding of pitch through movement, songs and listening games. They will become familiar with pitch shapes and perform them in a variety of musical arrangements.

Summer 1 The topics are ‘Weather’ and ‘Pattern’.

In the topic ‘Weather’ the children will have opportunities to create descriptive sounds and word rhythms with raps and songs about weather. They will create a descriptive class composition using voices and instruments.

In the topic ‘Pattern’ using simple notations, the children will play, create and combine mini beast rhythms using body percussion and instruments.

Summer 2 The topics are ‘Water’ and ‘Travel’.

In the topic ‘Water’ the children will sing and play a variety of pitch shapes, using movement and ready from scores. They will create a class composition which describes the sounds and creatures of a pond.

In the topic ‘Travel’ the children will learn a Tanzanian game song and accompany a travelling song using voices and instruments. They will listen to an orchestral piece and improvise their own descriptive ‘theme park’ music.



At Holdbrook Primary and Nursery School the children will learn about the six main religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism. The children may also learn from other religions and theological ideas to ensure they are exposed to a diversity of faiths and viewpoints so they can begin to appreciate and understand that people around the world may have different beliefs and practices from their own.

This academic year, the RE curriculum will be delivered in a new and exciting way. The children will participate in six curriculum days, meaning they will not follow their usual timetable instead they will spend the whole day learning about Religious education. Each curriculum day will be based on a different ‘theme’ and the children will study a key area of focus set by Hertfordshire for Learning.

The themes for this academic year are:


Curriculum Day



Term 1 – Curriculum Day One Nature and Thankfulness
Term 1 – Curriculum Day Two Creationism
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Three Belonging and Places of Worship
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Four Festivals
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Five Ceremonies
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Six Signs and Symbols


What are the eight key areas of learning that the children will study?

Belief and practices Sources of wisdom Symbols and actions Ultimate Questions
Identity and belonging Prayer, Worship and reflection Human responsibility and values Justice and fairness


Click on the link below to see key information regarding Religious education in English schools (Non-statutory guidance)