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.
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’.
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 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.
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!
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 a 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.
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.
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 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.
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’.
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.