The children in Year 2 have been excited to start their new History topic about Norfolk. They were asked the name of the place where they lived and we talked about how these places were in an area called Norfolk. The children were shown a map of the British Isles which they thought was large, and had to guess where on the map they thought Norfolk was. After several attempts at locating Norfolk, ranging from Scotland to Southern Ireland, Isobel S got the spot! The children were then shown a map of the world and asked to pinpoint the UK? Both Australia and America were pointed to. When eventually shown where we are on the map, Poppy S said: “Oh, it’s so little!”; “Yeah, it’s tiny,” agreed Finlay B.
The children watched a short PowerPoint about how the UK is made up of four countries that work together and learned all about physical and natural features from each area. They discovered that England invented Rugby and Cricket and that we drink more tea than any other country in the world. Afterwards, the children filled in details of where the countries were on their own maps and then wrote about a favourite place that they like to visit in Norfolk. Answers ranged from Taverham Park to Bewilderwood and Eaton Park. Next week we will be looking at maps of Norfolk.
This new History topic follows on from our focus on the prominent Kings and Queens of England. We have debated, discussed and examined how the lives of our monarchs have differed over the centuries. We started by looking at our current monarch; who she is, the names of her children and who could eventually become the next king. The children were horrified to learn that in days gone by the eldest boy would have become king, even if he had an elder sister.
The children put a selection of monarchs into order on a timeline and saw how long ago the first King of England started his rule of the country. Comparing the lives of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I, we talked about their similarities and differences, such as both surviving plots to kill them and how Queen Elizabeth I remained unmarried unlike Queen Victoria who was married with nine children!
The favourite topic in Beech class was the debate about Richard III and the children in the tower. Were they or were they not murdered by their ruthless uncle? “How could he have done that? They must have played with him!” said Miracle Joy N. Isobel S, Harry S and Thomas S were adamant that he was guilty. “He had to have done it, he was wanting to be a king and he took the bodies somewhere else!” they insisted. The whole class came up with multiple theories as to what happened from “they were sent abroad and were alive” to “he locked them in a secret room and left them there for ever”. After a lengthy debate, the children got to pass their final verdict on the case: a definite “guilty”. They were fascinated by the fact that Richard III’s body was dug up in a car park which led to an interesting discussion about change of use of places as, of course, it wouldn’t have been a car park when he was buried there!
Along the way, the children have learned about source material and how things get changed over the years just like the message in Chinese Whispers. They discovered that unless the account was written at the time, the information can’t be entirely trusted. “It must be hard being a monarch because everyone is watching you,” said Amaya N, another lesson learned as we talked about how our monarch needs to have body guards and protection when she goes away.
The children enjoyed the topic and learned some interesting facts along the way.