Year Two





Reading continues to be taught through our daily phonics session. The children are taught to read and write phonetically, whereby they recognise letters as ‘sounds’ and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which do not sound out, are called ‘tricky’ words and these are taught to the children gradually so they build up their sight recognition. 

Whilst the children are taught to read phonetically it is accepted that all children learn differently, and we teach the children to use a variety of other strategies to assist with their reading. We encourage the children to read for sense, (if there is a word the children are finding difficult we re-read the sentence and encourage them to guess what word might fit in there given its starting sound), and to use the picture clues.

Many children are ‘free readers’ by the time they reach Year 2. This means that, with guidance from the class teacher, they can choose books to read from our extensive library.

Guided Reading sessions, which take place on a weekly basis, allow the children to explore fiction and non-fiction texts under the guidance of the class teacher. Discussions take place around the setting of the book, the context, and the inference behind the words.


The children will have daily handwriting sessions in order to provide enough time for the children to hone the skill of joining letters. Handwriting is a taught skill and at Thomson House teachers put a high value on teaching and sustaining good handwriting. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation. We use a handwriting scheme which encourages joining letters once the children have mastered printing letters.

Children’s writing will be published and displayed whenever possible so that their creative writing can reach the widest audiences. Again, this provides a purpose to the writing task, raises self-esteem and allows children to receive praise from readers of their work.

Speaking and Listening

Children at Thomson House will be encouraged to speak in front of audiences, whether it be the class, an assembly, or even public speaking competitions. Show and Tell allows the children to talk about something important to them; Weekly News encourages them to share with others what they have been doing; Current Affairs allows the skills of discussion and debate of newsworthy items to be honed.



Maths can be divided into four different strands of learning – number; measurement; geometry and statistics (data handling). Maths at Thomson House will be taught through explicit teaching of skills; investigative work; rote learning; questioning assumptions; a creative and challenging curriculum.

In number pupils will be taught to:

  • count in steps of 2, 3, and 5 from 0, and in tens from any number, forward and backward

  • recognise the place value of each digit in a two-digit number (tens, ones)

  • identify, represent and estimate numbers using different representations, including the number line

  • compare and order numbers from 0 up to 100; use <, > and = signs

  • read and write numbers to at least 100 in numerals and in words

  • use place value and number facts to solve problems.

  • Add and subtract 2 and 3 digit numbers; recognising the inverse relationship

  • Multiply and divide using the 2x, 5x and 10x tables

  • Recognise and name simple fractions.

In measurement pupils will be taught to:

  • choose and use appropriate standard units to estimate and measure length/height; mass; temperature; capacity; money and time.

In geometry pupils will be taught to:

  • identify and describe the properties of a range of 2D and 3D shapes

  • use positional language to describe position, direction and movement.

In data handling pupils will be taught to:

  • construct and interpret a range of simple diagrams and charts

  • ask and answer questions about categorical data.

At Thomson House we ask children to be able to explain how they arrived at the answer, to describe different strategies and methods, to be able to reason and justify their ideas. We understand that this ability is of equal importance to getting the answer right in maths. We encourage children to show curiosity in their learning and to show courage in participation.  We recognise that children can sometimes learn more from getting the answer wrong!  Children should not be afraid to fail as this is a vital part of the learning process; what we are looking to imbue is resilience. 



We are totally committed to outdoor learning at Thomson House and as such many of our science lessons will take place outdoors. We aim to encourage curiosity about the world around us, we encourage questioning and the ability to challenge assumptions. Through investigations the children will begin to gain the scientific skills necessary to become great scientists.

There are four strands of science learning – living things and their habitats; plants; animals; and materials.

Living things and their habitats

The children will observe, record and challenge their findings. They will use the wilderness garden, the green areas in the local vicinity and school trips to expand their knowledge of living things and their habitats. They will explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive; identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other; identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats; describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.


We are lucky enough to have an allotment and gardening built into the curriculum. Children will experience at first-hand how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants. They will find out how and why plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to remain healthy.


Through observation and discussion children will learn about offspring which grow into adults, the basic needs for survival, the importance of healthy living involving food, exercise and hygiene.


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 find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.



At Thomson House we believe that healthy bodies link closely to healthy minds. We stipulate that all children from Year 1 onwards will have 3 hours of weekly curriculum time devoted to PE.

We aim for children to develop fundamental movement skills, to become increasingly competent and confident and to have access to a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They will be engaging in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Children will be taught to:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities – the children will have a weekly gymnastics lesson and the opportunity to join a multi-sports lunchtime club.

  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending – such as football

  • perform dances using simple movement patterns to music

  • master basic swimming strokes – front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke.



At Thomson House we encourage enquiring minds – we link history and geography to Philosophy For Children, exploring ideas, questioning assumptions, justifying explanations and reasoning with each other.

Our creative curriculum will allow the children to learn history and geography in relevant and exciting ways.  For instance children will research famous explorers, and what conditions were like when they were alive. This will lead to a greater understanding of past and present, and encourage a wider use of everyday historical terms.  Throughout the year questioning skills are implicitly taught, we will use stories and sources to clarify their understanding of the key features of historical events.

Likewise with geography the children will learn about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality through our curriculum.  For example during our Pirate theme we will start to use and then create our own maps, firstly of the school to locate the buried treasure, and then within the local area.   The children will use simple compass directions, locational and directional language to solve clues and map our locality.  Through our Explorers theme the children will learn to name and locate the seven continents and five oceans, but also learn about who discovered them and place this within a historical context.



At Thomson House we are devoted to our musical learning journey. 

In Yr 2 we link up with the Richmond Music Trust's Wider Opportunities Programme for violin and cello. This begins with learning to use their voices like instruments in the Spring term, followed by whole class string teaching in the Summer term. Children can then choose to continue learning in smaller groups, followed by individual lessons.

Every week, each class will have two music lessons and a singing assembly. There is a Choir for anyone in Yrs 1 and 2 to join (50-60 members), as well as a Percussion Club (14 members) – both lunchtime clubs. 

Every week, each class will have two music lessons and a singing assembly. Every child is expected to attend choir – one of our lunchtime clubs.

In lessons the children will be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically

  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music

  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

In addition to the above, individual piano lessons and cello lessons are available at a small charge, for any child in Year 2. Lessons take place during curriculum time although the timetable is rotated to ensure that no child misses the same lesson each week.



At Thomson House children will learn:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products

  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination

  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space

  • about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

We will have themed weeks throughout the year which will incorporate art and design through a range of different mediums. We often have visiting artists and workshops to motivate and enthuse our budding Tracey Emins and Damien Hirsts! As often as possible the children’s art and design work is displayed throughout the school.



Design and Technology can be divided into four areas – designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge.

At Thomson House children will learn to design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on exciting criteria. They will generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology. The children will be able to select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks and choose from a range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics. They will explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria. They shall build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable and explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products. Children will continue cooking – including nutrition values and packaging for snacks.



At Thomson House we believe that RE should be taught through Philosophy For Children, SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning) and through our Well-being programme of assemblies, circle times and specific lessons. The children will be taught to respect the beliefs of others and to respect different cultures.

In Year 1 the children will attend assemblies which will cover emotional well-being; school values; morals, social skills and other cultures. Within the classrooms, teachers will implicitly teach skills through philosophy for children such as questioning, reasoning, explanation, justifying and debate.

Each class will debate and discuss issues which arise as the year progresses, such as, friendship, settling in, sharing, self-esteem and bullying.

Learning about different religions and beliefs, through Philosophy for Children, allows the children to explore ideas, challenge assumptions and debate ideas. Exploring the concepts of religion and belief helps children to develop moral awareness and social understanding.