Bygrove Primary School

Bygrove Primary School
Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School

Year 2 ~ Stephen Hawking Class


Year 2’s class name is inspired by Stephen Hawking, the highly respected scientist, who is best known for his research into the universe and black holes. He is a logical mathematical thinker who shows great determination in overcoming the barriers caused by his illness and enormous curiosity about the universe.

Autumn term – Fire! Fire!

We start off in year 2 with a bang! Our classroom becomes a fiery furnace with lots of reds, oranges & yellows & we’ve got firefighters’ costumes & fire engines to use in our role play. And we need them because there’s fire-breathing dragons around too.

Everything we learn this term has a fiery theme; we find out about the Great Fire of London & the Gunpowder Plot & how those things affected London; we learn about heat & melting, about firework safety & how fire start & about the fiery parts of our planet like volcanoes. There’s lots of good fire paintings (we look especially at Turner) & we sing London’s Burning & loads of campfire songs.


For our trips we go to the fire station & we make a fire escape plan when the fire brigade come to visit us in school. We also go to the Museum of London to research the Great Fire & to All Hallows Church.

By the end of the first term we think we know all about fire; how amazing & useful & dangerous & beautiful it can be. We’ve done an assembly for the rest of the school about Guy Fawkes & firework safety; we’ve written a diary like Samuel Pepys & instructions for melting chocolate safely. But the most exciting thing we’ve done is to make a model of London & set it on fire!

Spring term – Pirates of Poplar

Ahoy me hearties! Spring term sees us set sail aboard the good ship ‘Hawking’ to explore the oceans & seas, to find out about life on & below the ocean waves. From the very first time we set foot in the classroom in January, it becomes the vessel that will carry us across the term’s learning. There are treasure chests & pirate ships; the room is draped in blue & silver, turquoise & white & there’s an ‘under the sea’ role play den.

As you might expect, there’s a nautical theme to all our learning this term; we read & write pirate stories & poetry about the sea but we also do information writing about sea creatures that we find interesting. Our science work is about floating & sinking, living things & how they are suited to their environments, our maths is set in the context of the water & we look at the work of the artist Guy Harvey who is also a marine biologist. In music, we learn about ‘The Aquarium’ but also listen to whalesong & in RE we consider the theme of fish & fishing in Christianity.


During the spring term we visit the London Aquarium & the Horniman Museum & even get to go & see the world famous Billingsgate Fish Market which is a 20-minute walk from our school.

By the end of the term we have conquered the ocean waves; we’ve made fish sculptures using wire, presented a poetry assembly for the rest of the school & even cooked some delicious fish together. And we’ve learned to speak like pirates too!

Summer term – Proud of Poplar

After the oceans & seas of the world, we return in the summer term to what’s under our noses – our local area, Poplar. What’s it like to live here? What are its defining characteristics? How has life for the people of Poplar changed over the years & how has Poplar helped to shape who we are? The classroom becomes an estate agent’s with pictures of all the different kinds of houses & flats in the area. There are maps & dolls’ houses & lots of Lego for house-building. Our specific task is to help a family recently arrived in the area to decide where they’re going to live.

All of our learning is set in the context of our local area. Maths involves looking at surveys & reading & presenting data in lots of different ways; we read the author Jeannie Baker (& do art in her style too) & books like ‘Moon Rabbit’ about belonging & we write poems about our homes & neighbours. In RE we look at all the different places of worship in Poplar & consider what they mean to the people who visit them & in PSHE we learn all about relationships and our own family trees. We also learn how to say the rooms in the house in Spanish & how to say where you live.


Apart from our walks around the local area, we also go on trips to the Ragged School Museum in Mile End to learn about what it would have been like to have been in a school in this area in Victorian times. We go to the Museum in Docklands & we even try to get the local MP to come in & visit.

By the end of the summer term, we have planned & presented an assembly about the history of our school, made a guide to & models of Poplar & written to the local MP to invite him to speak to us in school. But the best thing is that we get to plan & make a time-capsule for future generations to open maybe when they’re learning about Poplar!

school video mle stebon