Autumn Term 1 2022
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 ‘Around The World’ . Please have a look at our half term plan 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 Collective Worship we have been reflecting on the virtue ‘Love of Learning’. The children have been thinking about the different qualities of a learner. The children came up with a list of ‘good’ learning attributes these included: showing perseverance, being motivated and hardworking. After exploring what we thought makes a good learner, we discussed how even adults are ‘life longer learners’ . We talked about how we do our learning and what makes us successful at learning new things. We also discussed how we can learn from our mistakes which can help us to grow.
We used the proverb- “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” (Proverbs 1:5) as part of our worship.
We have been lucky to be joined by Brother Jonathan, Father Franpisek, Sister John-Paul, Sister Emmanuel and Sister Ciara from The Franciscan Sisters of Renewal who were visiting us for a morning retreat. We started the day with a whole school collective worship where the children were able to reflect on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which had taken place the day before. As a whole school, we learnt a song about ‘God is good’ with actions and an accompanying guitar.
Sister John-Paul and Sister Emmanuel spend some time with us in Year 2 and shared the parable of The Good Shepherd from the Gospel of John. The children enjoyed singing and praying together in an interactive memorable way.
Year 2 enjoyed taking part in the Harvest Liturgy where the whole school community came together in prayer, song and worship. We are extremely grateful to all our families and members of our school community for supporting this appeal. We have been overwhelmed with the number of donations, both foods and other items which we have now donated to Wetherby Food Bank and monetary donations which we will be donating to CAFOD, in support of their work to support those in need around the world.
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 ‘helping hands’.
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 topic: All Around The World as well as our science topic- animals and their habitats . 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.
During some of our reading sessions we have also used our class text ‘Dear Teacher’ to answer comprehension questions where we have sequenced and located key words and phrases from to help us to answer questions.
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.
To help support our Geography focused topic this term we have been diving into a range of fiction and non-fiction books looking at the features of both and how to tell them apart. We have been been sorting our own books in our classroom reading corner and exploring if all non-fiction books do have a contents page, glossary and index page.
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 play number games.
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.
We 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 compare numbers or amounts.
Year 2 have been working really hard on their KIRFs practicing counting forwards and backwards in 1s, 2s, 2s, 5s, 10s. We have also begun counting in steps of 3.The children have been using sorting multiples in various games looking for patterns and using coins and numicon pieces to help them to learn the different counting sequences.
Our Science unit this half-term is animals and their habitats. We started by looking at the vocabulary: Living, Non- living and once alive and began to discuss ways that we could sort and classify things around us in our classroom using these terms. We came up with a sorting checklist to help us to decide how to sort and classify. For example: can it move?, does it breathe?, does it come from something that was once alive?, does it use its senses? Year 2’s went outside to look for things in our environment that we could add to our groups. We were lucky and found; that the grass had just been cut so we discussed that the grass could be both living but once it was cut, we could group it as ‘once living’, we found a cat roaming around, some feathers on the ground which came from living birds and many insects which were very much still living!
We have continued our Science learning journey by finding out about microhabitats. Year 2’s have been working scientifically outside to investigate different microhabitats. We looked around the school grounds and found- hedgerows, areas of longer grass, shaded areas under trees, piles of leaf litter. We made observations and recorded our findings in a table where we were able to count and identify some of the animals and plants in each microhabitat.
This week were have been researching how animals are adapted to be able to survive in certain habitats. We have explored the physical features that some animals have which help them to to survive in extreme temperatures, camouflage themselves from predators, or travel on ice or sand. Year 2’s were fascinated to find out more about the worlds amazing animals.
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 set up a review gallery to evaluate our self-portraits before their completion. This was an important step and year 2’s were able to reflect on what they found was successful and stood out to them in their friends work which then helped them to see any improvements that they could make to their own portraits. Some suggestions included: ‘making bolder lines to show patterns in the background’, ‘ Ensure there are no unfinished un-sketched l sections without colour in the background. ‘Follow the lines carefully to trace over the top of the pencil using the black pen’. ‘I like the size that you have sketched your face on the page’.
After listening to our evaluations in the review gallery we were ready to complete our final pieces. I think year 2’s have really developed their sketching skills and knowledge of line during this project and in their backgrounds they have added their own ‘favourite and important things’ alongside leaves, flowers and hints of nature inspired by Frida Kahlo. Year 2 should be very proud of their completed self portraits which will be proudly displayed in our classroom for all to see. Here are some of their finished pieces:
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.
Year 2 have made a great start to their unit of computing work on programming . They have been able to develop their year 1 skills further when using Scratch to program algorithms and design code to make a ‘sprite’ to move, change direction, jump and even talk! As well as writing code to program, like all great computer programmers, when executing their code, they are using their skills of prediction and debugging along the way to solve any errors that may occur.
Geography and History
Year 2 began their Geography learning thinking about the names and places in the world that they have travelled to. We collated quite a list of places both near and far! Next, we tried to locate them developing our atlas skills and finally we sorted them into places in the UK and not in the UK. We then went on to think about how the world it split up into continents. We have loved learning a song to help remember the 7 names.
Children were given a challenge and used their fine motor skills to carefully cut out each continent, helping them to learn it’s shape, before arranging on the globe They worked together in a group using atlases and a globe to try and piece together where each continent piece should go before labelling each with a name. We were careful to try to remember our new Bee Zone target- names of places (proper nouns) need to start with capital letter
We have also been using our historical skills to find out about an explorer from the past who lived over 700 years ago. Year 2 were keen to find our more about Ibn Battuta and set off around the classroom to collect as many facts as they could find to begin their research. They have been fascinated to be able to track the routes through different countries and continents that Battuta visited during his journeys. They have also been able to draw on their prior year 1 learning to compare the differences and similarities between Captain Cook and Ibn Battuta as both were significant historical explorers from the past.
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 from around the world that we already knew before moving our learning on to greetings in French.
With a little help from a feathered friend, we have been learning to greet people and say how we are feeling.
Year 2 loved exploring and listening to different pieces of music from around the world. To link with our Geography theme, Year 2’s were given extracts of music 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 which are often linked to cultural traditions.
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. Year 2’s went on to design and make their own rain makers. Children selected what they wanted their rain maker to contain and sound like using a range of beads, pulses, rice and pasta. They then worked in groups collaboratively to compose and perform a short sequence of music using their rain makers. Each of their individual groups rainforest compositions sounded unique and we could just imagine that we were in the middle of a rain storm in a rainforest.
In our PE lessons, we are working on developing our co-ordination, agility and mastery of movement through a range of multi skills lessons. We have started the term developing our ball skills by trying to control a ball using different parts of our feet to dribble. start, stop and change direction.
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 ‘rats and rabbits’.
We have also been developing our balance and knowledge of points of contact. In one game we had to make the starting initial of our names. Some letters were harder to make than others!
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’.
Dyslexia Awareness Week
This week we had a whole school assembly for Dyslexia Awareness Week to understand what dyslexia is and to explore what it is like to have dyslexia. In school we celebrate that we are all the same but we are all different and children were very understanding when exploring different things that dyslexic people might find tricky as well as the many other things that they can be really good and successful at. We looked at some famous people that have dyslexia and celebrated their talents and achievements. In class we looked at some scenario cards where the children were quick to think of ways that they would offer help. support or kindness towards their friends if they were ever finding something difficult.