Theme based teaching: Learning pathway in Year 2

Published on 2020-11-04

Many aspects of our primary curriculum are taught under the ‘umbrella’ of a series of fascinating themes, with aspects of geography, history, science, ITC, art, design technology, Chinese and English blended into the theme.

The themes provide a rich tapestry from which the children’s love of learning and development are fostered.

Mr Oliver Cavender, Year 2 homeroom teacher, will introduce the Year 2 curriculum and the themes plan for this academic year at Wellington College International Hangzhou. We aim to use cross-curricular teaching as much as possible. We split our year into themes, one for each term.

Michaelmas Term:

The first theme of the year is ‘Toy Museum’. Within English, we read different stories related to this theme such as ‘The Toy Fairy’ by Stephanie Thatcher and ‘The Tin Soldier’ by Russell Punter. Within our writing, the pupils write about their favourite toys, plan and engage in interviews with each other and invite guests in to talk about their favourite toy when they were younger. We use these answers to write biographies. 

In science, pupils investigate the properties of different materials that toys are made from and learn specific vocabulary to describe the properties e.g. waterproof, hard, soft, warm, cold etc. In history, pupils learn about toys of the past and use specific vocabulary to describe the similarities and differences between old and new toys. 

In geography, pupils are taught about directions through the story ‘The Toy Fairy’ to help guide the toy fairy to our classroom. They learn about North, East, South and West to describe where we are in the world and use BeeBots (robots) to direct the toy fairy to our classroom.

After this theme, pupils move on to learn about traditional tales (fairy tales) and are taught to retell stories from a different perspective and write instructional texts. They are presented with the opportunity to study plant growth through the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and identify the importance of a healthy lifestyle through ‘Goldilocks and the 3 bears’. In history, they are subjected to a variety of traditional Chinese tales.

Lent Term:

When we return to school after out winter holidays pupils will begin their theme on pirates. Within this theme, pupils will write letters, write in the role of a pirate and learn how to write a ‘how to’ guide. In science, they will learn about the suitability of different materials in order to create their own pirate ship. In history they will learn about life aboard a pirate ship and they will study maps within our geography lessons.

After this they will move onto our theme about Dinosaurs. They will write non-fiction news reports and a setting description for their own story. In science they will be compare dinosaur bones and learn about excavation. In history they will learn about how the dinosaurs became extinct and they will create a video reporting on this. In Geography we will look at how the landscape has changed since the dinosaurs became extinct and where the dinosaurs used to live. 

Summer Term:

Finally, we will look at rainforests, how we can save our forests through recycling and creating advertisements to help with this. We will also look at poetry about rainforests and pupils will learn different poetic techniques. In science, there will be a large focus on biology, where pupils will look at the interdependence of different animals and plants in the rainforest and create their own mini eco-system. History lessons will focus on how the jungle has changed over the years and geography will focus on how mankind has affected the rainforests in positive and negative ways.

Within maths lessons, pupils follow a separate scheme of learning to ensure that all necessary maths skills are covered. However, when it can be implemented into the theme it is. This ensures deeper understanding of maths skills.

Theme-based learning ensures a better understanding of the concepts within the theme and allows pupils to learn in a variety of different ways across multiple subjects. 

Applications are now being welcomed for the 2021-22 academic year.

However, if you are moving to Hangzhou prior to the next academic year we are very happy to accommodate your requirements. We can offer you and your family a personalised tour where you will meet the Master and experience our excellent teaching and learning. Please contact admissions team via (+86-571) 8239 6366 or admissions.wcih@wellingtoncollege.cn for more information. 

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