Autumn Term 1 2023
Hello and welcome to Year 2’s class page for 2022-2023. We have had such a wonderful first week together in the classroom. I have been so impressed with how kind, engaged and hardworking Year 2 are and I know we will have a fantastic year together!
Our theme this half term is ‘ How does Wetherby compare to London?’ . Please have a look at our newsletter so you can see what we will be getting up to in all our curriculum areas. I will update our class page with photographs and descriptions of our learning so please watch this space to find out what we have been up to!
Our prayer table is a very special place in our classroom. It is a place we can go to throughout the day to reflect and gather our thoughts. During our Collective Worship time, we come together to think and pray. We choose a special object from our prayer table and light our candle. We then read and discuss the word of God and our virtue of the week, thinking about how we can apply it to our day. We will celebrate many feast days this year, and in particular our class saint, Saint Stephen.
During our Collective Worships so far we have been reflecting on the virtues ‘ Respect and courtesy ‘. The children have been thinking about ways they can show respect and courtesy in their lives.
RE- Chosen People
In RE this half term our topic is ‘Chosen People’. We will start by thinking about what makes us special and learn that we have each been chosen by God. The children created their own self-portraits to celebrate how we are all different and unique. They also wrote sentences describing what makes them special and contemplated what their special gifts from God are.
We then experienced what being ‘chosen‘ felt like as we were given special roles and responsibilities within the classroom. Children commented on how they felt: special, privileged and important. We thought of ways we could thank God by helping others and wrote them on our ‘leaves of help’.
Over the last few weeks Year 2 have been looking at stories from the bible where God has chosen someone special. So far we have explored the stories of Abraham, Moses and Daniel to find out how God had chosen them. Through roleplay, story sequencing and hot seating the children have got to know each story well and have been able to reflect on the chosen people and the trust that they had in God.
Here is our Year 2 class reading area for children to come and enjoy the wide selection of books that we have. We aim to promote a love of reading in school and in our book area you will find a mixture of picture books, chapter books, poetry, fiction and our non-fiction box of books. There is something for everyone to get stuck into and enjoy and I am sure we will see many Year 2’s enjoying a book by the campfire soon!
We also have a fantastic range of new books in our class reading area which reflect our Geography theme as well as our science topic- plants. During our reading sessions children have access to the topic table of books and thoroughly enjoy reading for pleasure and around their ongoing topic learning.
We have started our English learning this year by speaking, reading and writing sentences in the past tense, to share stories from our summer holidays. We were introduced to our main character ‘Michael’ from our class text ‘Dear Teacher’ by Amy Husband . We compiled a role on the wall about what we could found out about him and why he was going to be late starting the new school year! Year 2 looked at where Michael went on his adventures around the world making good use of our Geography learning.
We compared features in both Michael’s and Miss Brooks’ letters and could compare a formal and informal type of letter. All of the children did a brilliant job writing sentences in the past tense and improving one of Michael’s letters to Miss Brooks that did not have enough detail as it was a short telegram. Year 2 have also explored different types of sentences in a ‘4 corners’ game and have spotted the different types of sentences in the text.
Year 2 have done some fantastic writing across the curriculum! We have written extensively in our Geography, Science and RE lessons using word mats to promote independent writing. We have been focusing on our BeeZones and really enjoyed retelling the story through editing and improving Michael’s sentences.
We have been working so hard on our letter writing skills finding out the features in both formal and informal letters and we decided that Michael should write one last letter to Miss Brooks with yet another excuse for being late starting school! The children have been very creative with their imaginations and have written, redrafted and published their own wonderful letters.
During maths this half term we are focusing on place value and number. We started the term extending our prior learning using numbers up to 100 to count forwards and backwards at different starting points up to 100, we mended ‘broken’ 100 squares, found missing numbers and used our knowledge of 1 more/less than to take our learning outside for a Burn2learn game.
We have enjoyed using a range of concrete materials to explore different ways numbers can be represented and partitioned. We have been comparing two-digit numbers representing them with coins, base ten, numicon and arrow cards which will eventually lead us to using the symbols ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ to compare numbers and amounts. Using our understanding of place value, we have been partitioning numbers into tens and ones using part whole models and place value charts to represent the value of the tens and ones in two-digit numbers.
We have been using mathematical vocabulary to compare and order numbers. We found that we needed to look very closely at the tens and ones to help decide which had the fewest, most, least or equal amounts. Year 2’sthen went on to estimate the position of numbers to be able to place them on a number line. We worked practically first making some of our own number lines and having a game of ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ to help to perfect our estimating skills.
We then recapped and built on our learning from Year 1 using greater than, less than or equal to signs so that we could make simple equations and to help us to continue to compare numbers or amounts.
Our Science unit this half-term is plants. We started by looking at RAG rating some vocabulary from our year 1 learning to establish what we already knew about plants. Year 2 have already gained a good foundation from which to build on and could recall the names of some common plants and their features.
Today we worked scientifically to observe and record when dissecting flowers. Children had to look and name the features of a flowering plant before finding them. They then went on to make their own glossaries to describe each of a plants functions.
Year 2’s have also been putting their reading skills to good use to research the first famous female botanist Jane Colden. We found out that Jane was a pioneer in botany and her detailed sketches from her own garden were admired by many. After reading all about her life , year 2 applied their Bee Zone editing skills. They also enjoyed a true or false quiz to check if their fact finding information had stuck!
We used our new learning about botany to become botanists! Year 2’s took their science learning outside to search and discover some common wild plants. They were quick to name many different varieties and made careful observational sketches with labels. Here is what we found in the school grounds:
During our next science lesson, we observed and looked closely with magnifying glasses to investigate different types of bulbs and seeds. Year 2’s had to try and decide which were the bulbs and which were the seeds. Then we sorted and grouped some other seeds and bulbs and made observational sketches of our sorting and classifying. Finally we had a quiz to check our knowledge and see how good we were at identifying which foods were bulbs or seeds.
To help us with our unit of work on self portraits we have been investigating lines. In our sketchbooks we have explore line thickness and used rulers to make straight lines. We then tried to create texture by crosshatching and using smaller dots and dashes. These skills will be important when we create our portraits inspired by Frida Kahlo.
Year 2 have begun researching the life of female artist Frida Kahlo. Children collected different facts about her as an active Burn2Learn activity and during Guided Reading. We used our developing Geography knowledge of the continents to find out where in the world she lived and how she was heavily influenced by her home country, Mexico. We dove into some of her self portraits to make an initial response to some of her work and began to compile our research and thoughts in our sketchbooks to evaluate some of her pieces.
Some responses from Year 2 included:
- She used some very bright colours.
- She must have liked flowers, animals and nature.
- I can see tropical birds, flowers and
- animals around her self portraits.
By Looking at her work we were able to begin to think how we would incorporate and develop our skills using line and texture in our own self portraits . We moved our learning on to the next step and by looking at our partners faces where we were able to further practise our line skills by making some up close sketches of our partners facial features. All of this practise was beneficial to help us to become confident with our sketching.
We have started our computing learning off this term by recapping our important Stop, Block, and Tell message to ensure that we know how to keep safe online.
We helped Smartie the penguin make some good decisions when he was faced with different online dilemmas. The Year 2 children were all extremely sensible in their decisions and were able to shout out the STOP,.BLOCK and TELL message with actions when Smartie needed advice.
Today in computing Year 2’s were thinking about all of the different devices and Apps or games that they use which use the internet. We discussed how useful the internet is to communicate and enjoy but that it can also be a place where online bullying can occur and where people can say or do unkind things online. We looked at various scenarios and different devices for examples of what online bullying can look like. We explored how this may make people fee: e.g. sad, worried, lonely or upset. Year 2’s discussed what they would do to help in each scenario and took advice from our STOP motto for bullying at school as well as STOP, BLOCK,TELL.
Year 2 have begun to consider their Geography enquiry question: How does Wetherby compare to London? by thinking about where in the world Wetherby and London are. We recapped some of our year 1 learning thinking about naming the countries that make up the UK including their capital cities. We used our developing atlas skills to find the countries in the UK and where the UK is in the world.
We then went on to think about how the UK is part of the continent Europe and how the world it split up into continents. We have loved learning a song to help remember their 7 names.
After finding more about where London and Wetherby are in the world, Year 2’s were ready to apply and describe their understanding of some of the key vocabulary that they had been learning about.
We started our French learning in Year 2 by reflecting on why we learn French. All the children understood it was so that we could speak a different language, and help us to understand more about different people and cultures. We linked to our Geography learning and looked at where in the world the French language is primarily spoken. We then looked at greetings in French and how we could introduce ourselves by saying our names. We then extended our learning further by asking the question: “Comment t’appelles-tu?” What is your name?
Year 2 are enjoying listening to different pieces of classical music. We have been listening very hard so that we could identify and name some orchestral instruments. We also looked at the role of the conductor in an orchestra and explored the term composer.
To link with our Geography theme, Year 2’s were given extracts of music from around the world and had to listen very carefully to be able to appraise and identify any instruments that they could hear. We guessed which country the music that they heard was from before revealing and locating on a map of the world the correct country. Year 2’s have loved learning about the names of different instruments and musical styles.
After spending time enjoying listening and appraising music from around the world. Year 2’s then led their musical journey on to the rainforests. Using their Geographical skills they were able to identify where in the world rainforests are using maps and atlases. Year 2’s listened carefully to the sounds of the rainforest and could identify animals noises as well as the patterns of rain and quieter even the sounds that came from within the rainforest such as leaves rustling, twigs snapping and water flowing.
We moved our learning on to try and recreate some of the sounds that they could hear from the rainforest. Year 2’s had some great ideas of what they could use to make similar sounds using body percussion and objects around the classroom. We were inspired and listened to the choir (Perpetuum Jazzile) who create a rainstorm with their hands. Year 2’s tried out different parts of their hands and fingers to recreate their own rainforest music. I saw lots of great team work and resilient learners when trying out different sound effects through trial and error.
Finally after exploring and recreating rain sounds using their hands (clapping, clicking, tapping) different parts of their bodies.
In our PE lessons, we are working on developing our co-ordination, agility and mastery of movement through a range of multi-skills lessons. During our first PE lesson in year 2 we worked on our agility and speed of movement in sprint races.
We have enjoyed, Mrs Powell teaching us some warm up games and especially the ‘do this, do that’ game where we have demonstrated some keen leadership when instructing exercises to the class. Another favourite that has really tested our reaction times has been the ‘sneaky jumper’ game where you have to catch your partner making sneaky jumps towards you whilst you face in the opposite direction.
We have also been developing our balance and knowledge of points of contact. In the ‘alphabet game’ we had to make ‘strong’ and solid shapes with different points of contact. We had to freeze and hold the shape of something with the same letter very still whilst our friends guessed what the shape was.
Year 2’s were introduced to our class worry monster named Rocky. The children know that Rocky is also there at school and in class to eat up any worries that may be bothering them. He is also present and on hand if children need any comfort.
Our PSHE learning journey started by developing the children’s emotional literacy using a familiar book from year 1, ‘The Colour Monster’. Children were able to name and describe how their bodies change when feeling each different emotion. We followed on from this by discussing ways to manage and change our negative feelings and who can help to do so.
Each day we start with a well-being check in to address any concerns or worries that the children may have. We talked about why it was important to share our feelings and listed all the different feelings words we know. We talked about ways to feel better if we are sad. We recognise it is always important to share how we are feeling. We find it helpful to say sorry if we do something wrong. We know we can always talk to a grown-up but we also wanted to develop our own strategies to help ourselves. We practised using a happy memory to make ourselves feel better: we closed our eyes and thought about a happy time from the past or in the future to help us feel better now.
This week we have recapped the NSPCC’s message of Pants are Private. The Children were reminded of Pantasaurus’ important message in his song ‘Pants are private‘. We then worked on making some posters to demonstrate our understanding of the five pants rules.
British Values – Democracy.
We have been exploring the British Value of Democracy and have voted on our class representatives for whole school responsibilities. So far we have been able to elect our Year 2 School Councillor, our mini RDT and 2 Planet Protectors. In class the children are also showing their eagerness to take on other roles of responsibility. We have class roles and monitors which change regularly to be : librarians, desk monitors, cloakroom assistants and part of the ‘tidy up crew’.