Focus on Year 2

Continuing with our Remarkable Person theme, the children have begun to look at the life and work of Florence Nightingale.

They delved into the history of Florence, who was named after the place of her birth, Florence, Italy.   Her parents were wealthy landowners, dedicated to the pursuit of an active social life.  Her father educated Florence and her sister Penelope at home and was keen for them to follow the same direction in life that he had taken.  However, young Florence had other ideas!  As a lady of faith, she felt it was her calling from God to serve others and work as a nurse.  Her father was against her being a nurse as the conditions of hospitals at the time were dreadful.  Eventually her parents gave permission for her to attend a training school for nurses in Germany.  It is always lovely to see the reaction of children during history lessons and hear the thoughts and questions that the discussions inevitably bring.  One child said it was similar to how women and girls are treated in Afghanistan by men today, where they have to stay in their homes and are not allowed to receive an education or work.  They all agreed that this was an awful way to treat women.  This then led into a discussion on British Values, which is taught across Springmead and we focused on ‘treating everybody equally’.

Along with timelines, paintings and comprehension on Florence Nightingale, the children continued to look at some of the art that Frida Kahlo painted, and created some super pictures based on her paintings.  They also had fun making lovely paper flowers and patiently unfurling them so they could be added to our display on Frida.

Each day, along with SPaG, the children spend a short time practising their handwriting.  From reception they are taught how to sit at the table comfortably with their feet placed on the floor, tilt their books slightly and use their spare hand to hold down their book.  They practice where to start their letters – whether it’s a tall or small letter, then if it’s a dangly letter.  There is so much to remember!  The children tend to enjoy these lessons as it can feel like a calming lesson on mindfulness, where they focus just on how to form the letters by repeating the patterns.