A Victorian Adventure – or Two!

Both Year 2 classes and the Year 2 staff arrived at school dressed in Victorian-style clothing this morning. 2H headed off to Wisbech Castle to experience life as trainee servants in a Victorian home whilst 2W had a taste of what it would be like to be a schoolchild in Victorian times. We don’t want to reveal too much more at this stage as the children have all promised to keep the details of their day secret form the other class until after Thursday when 2H will have a Victorian school day and 2W will go to Wisbech Castle. Watch this space for photos and more information on Thursday!

Terrific Timelines

Yesterday we had great fun with timelines in Year 2. To kick-start our Victorian topic, we had a look at a timeline representing Queen Victoria’s 63 years, 7 months and 2 days on the throne. In our groups (the Wonderful Ones, the Terrific Twos, the Thrilling Threes, the Fabulous Fours and the Fantastic Fives – because we are all amazing!), we worked as teams to sort the cards into date order. It was quite challenging and we thought the change from the 19th century to the 20th centre was particularly confusing! We had to listen to each other as well as discuss our thoughts and ideas. We enjoyed reading about the events and were horrified by some of the facts! Especially concerning was the thought that a factory act passed in 1847 meant that it became illegal for children to work for more than 63 hours per week in a factory! We worked out that before 1847 children could have worked for more than double the time we spend in school each week! Not only that but they would have had chores to do at home before and after work. We were also unimpressed at the thought that lunch would probably have consisted of no more than dry bread and some water.
We learned that school became available for children aged 5 to 12 in 1870 but that free schooling for all children was not available until 1880. We all decided that we were very lucky to be able to go to school 7 hours or so per day with breaks and a hot lunch…
We’ll keep you updated with more facts as we learn more about the Victorians and Queen Victoria.
Don’t forget to come dressed in Victorian-style clothing on Tuesday and Thursday next week, Year Two!

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On display…

The corridor outside the Science Room and Year Two has been transformed in the last week or two. The Great Fire has been recreated, complete with Tudor houses, flames and origami boats on the River Thames.
We have also worked in groups to write eyewitness accounts of the fire from different viewpoints. Using Mrs W’s magic dust, we were transformed into the King, the Guardian of the Tower, a resident of Pudding Lane and Thomas Farynor the baker. We then took different roles to record our ideas. In each group there was a scribe or writer, an adjective King or Queen, a capital letter checker, a full stop checker and a spelling checker. We found that we had to talk and listen carefully in order to create our work. It was interesting working in a team and we were all really pleased with the writing that we produced.
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The End of the Great Fire of London

We’ve been so busy learning about the Great Fire of London in Year 2 that we haven’t blogged for ages! The next couple of posts will bring you up to date with what we’ve been doing…

We have learned lots of amazing facts about Samuel Pepys and the fire. How many did you know before you read our blog?
More than 13,000 houses were destroyed by the fire.
The summer of 1666 had been hot and dry. This meant that the wooden houses were dry too; not a good combination when a fire starts.
As well as the houses being mostly made of wood, people were storing gunpowder in their homes after the civil war.
The fire was so hot that it melted the lead roof of St Paul’s Cathedral. When the lead roof collapsed the cathedral was engulfed in fire and destroyed, along with 86 other churches.
The fire started in the early hours of Sunday 2nd September and continued burning until Wednesday 5th September.
The fire started when Thomas Farynor, the King’s baker left his oven burning when he went to bed.
Today a monument to the Great Fire stands just outside Monument tube station.
Fire fighting changed forever after the fire – water buckets, water squirters and fire hooks to pull houses down had not been sufficient to fight the flames.
Very few deaths were reported – official figures range from 5 to 8.
One of the children’s favourite facts relates to Samuel Pepys himself. Did you know that he buried wine, cheese and his famous diaries in his garden to keep them safe?

House Building in Year Two

This afternoon we looked at how houses would have looked at the time of the Great Fire of London. We already knew that they were mostly built using wood rather than brick or stone and that this helped the fire to spread more quickly. We looked closely at how the wooden structure made the houses look quite distinctive.
We then worked in pairs to cover a cereal box each with off-white sugar paper, carefully using very wide sticky tape to hold it all together. It was quite tricky folding the bottom of the paper and folding the top to make a roof but we helped each other and our teachers were there to help too. Mrs W and Mrs H told us that we will be experts at wrapping now and should be able to help wrap birthday presents!
We then used rulers and pencils to draw the outlines of the wooden beams ready to be painted on next week. We also drew some diamond pattern windows which we will go over using felt pen once all the painting is finished. It was hard work but great fun; we’re all looking forward to the painting but next week!

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Fire, Fire! The Great Fire of London, that is!

Year 2 have been continuing to learn all about the Great Fire of London and the diarist Samuel Pepys. They have found out lots of interesting information about the terrible event in 1666, both in class and in ICT. A particular favourite has been a game based on the fire, in which the children learn at the same time as having fun Рthe very best type of learning! Several children have asked if they can play the game at home so here is the link if you would like to have a go. http://www.fireoflondon.org.uk/game Please note that it is not, unfortunately, iPad friendly as it uses a flash player but it works on either IE or Chrome, unlike Abacus which only works properly on Google Chrome, as some of you have discovered!

Abacus Maths Homework… Ready, Set, Go!

The day that our willing Year Two pupils have been waiting for has finally arrived… Online homework has been allocated to each of the children to be done at any time before next Monday – the link is below. If you have any issues, please email your child’s class teacher and we will try to help. Once logged on, go to ‘My Stuff’ and everyone has two activities to complete. Enjoy earning those coins!

Click here to log on to Abacus at www.activelearnprimary.co.uk

The Year Two team have had a great start to the new year and wanted to share a couple of funny conversations that have been overheard…

On the way to lunch, two girls commented on the motorbike in the car park. Girl A – ‘That’s a nice green motorbike?’
Girl B – ‘Ooh yes. I’m going to have a motorbike when I’m grown up. Are you?’
Girl A – in disbelief – ‘yes of course! Mine might be pink though.’
We love the fact that equality is alive and kicking here!

Girl C – I’m going to retire when I’ve done my A-levels so that I don’t have to go to university. I’ll have worked hard by then and will need a rest!

Boy A, this morning, the 7th day of Year 2 – Mrs W, we haven’t been on a school trip yet this year! When will you be taking us out?

Beautiful Boats…

On Friday afternoon, Year Two have a fabulous timetable consisting of a triple Art and Humanities lesson. This week we followed instructions to create origami boats which will be used in our Great Fire of London display to depict those used to escape the fire.
Our first job was to colour one side of the paper in bright waxed crayon. Next up was the tricky folding part but the teachers and teaching assistants helped us out with this step!
It was quite complicated folding the paper this way but we all persevered and are really pleased with our boats.We can’t wait to see them on the display!
If you’d like to have a go at making origami boats, take a look at this link for more information.

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An Exciting Discovery!

There was excitement this morning in Year 2 when both 2H and 2W were in the middle of a comprehension lesson. We were just enjoying finding out a bit more about the Great Fire of London when Mrs Laxton rushed in to say she had Ady the LJS gardener on the phone. 2W quickly joined 2H and listened as Mrs W spoke to Ady. It turned out that Ady had been digging in the woodland garden and had found a box with Samuel Pepys written on it. He knew that Y2 were learning about Samuel Pepys and thought that we might like to take a look.

When we got to the garden we found a box with soil and leaves on it with a label which read ‘Property of Samuel Pepys’ – so exciting! We could hardly wait to open it and talked about what we might find…

Inside was a very dusty bottle of wine and a small waxed cheese – if you don’t know why, ask the children! We also found Babybels and Cheese Strings.

When we got back to our classrooms we ate the cheeses whilst discussing what we would write. Great fun and tasty too!

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