Autumn Term 2 2022

Welcome back! We hope you had a fantastic half term holiday and are all ready for this fun-filled half term! This half term the focus for much of our learning is around the historical theme The Great Fire of London. The children have already begun to utilise their Geography skills from last half term to make links and enquire, compare and contrast what London was like in 1666 compared to the present day.

Collective Worship

This week in Collective Worship, we have been continuing looking at the virtue- prayerfulness. During collective worship each day we have reflected on why we pray, who we pray to and what we say when we pray. We joined together in prayer and collective worship with year 1 to observe the Holy Day of Obligation on November 1st, All Saints Day. We reflected on and spent some time thinking about how we can honour the Saints.

We looked again at Pope Francis’ ‘Five Finger Prayer’ to think about all the different people who we could pray for. The children shared that they wanted to pray for:

-Their families

-People who are unwell

-The homeless

-People who are struggling to have enough food to eat.


Children built on their links from RE this term and their understanding of God as a Trinity by asking His Holy Spirit to comfort and bring peace to those people fighting wars. We have really enjoyed decorating our prayer table with poppies prayers to help us remember all those who have died in war. On Friday at 11am we took part in a 2 minute silence to remember those who have lost their lives and thought of those who have fought for our country and continue to do so today.

Virtue to live by- Generosity

Our new virtue to live to by for the next few weeks is generosity. We are inspired in worship together to reflect on what this means and how we can be disciples of Jesus. We know we are living out this virtue if we notice others in need, think of others before ourselves, feely give with no reward and we’re willing to make a sacrifice for others. We learnt a new song in worship linked to here to listen to the song


Our new unit of learning is Mysteries and we started by thinking about the meaning of the word mystery and that some things about the world are a mystery that make us wonder how or why. Children were able to  recalling all the mysterious elements of the bible stories we had read last half-term.

This week’s learning was all about the Trinity. We started by thinking about ourselves as three things; members of Year 2 sisters/brothers/daughters/sons, tennis/footballers/ballet dancers etc. We then talked to our talking partners about who God is and shared our ideas.

We then thought about how we address God, “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. We looked at and discussed various illustrations of the Trinity before drawing and describing our own.

This week we have been looking at the story of the annunciation reflecting on what the Angel Gabriel said to Mary and Joseph. Year 2’s enjoyed a practical hot seating activity where the children were able to work collaboratively and take it in turns to be Mary or the angel to ask and answer questions about the Annunciation.

We used our reading and comprehension skills to read about the Annunciation and also spent time looking at pieces of art that depict the annunciation  to consolidate further our learning of this key event. The children were able to look for similarities and differences when comparing the artwork and were able to rank them in order of their own preferences!

To deepen our understanding  we used roleplay and hot seating. Year 2 used great questioning skills to enquire further about how Mary felt after she had been visited by Angel Gabriel and what the news was  that was send from God.

Reading- We love to read!

Our reading area topic table  has been updated to reflect our new science and history topics for this half term: The Great Fire of London and in science we are learning about materials. Children can come and select a topic focused book during our reading sessions and free reading time. They particularly enjoy finding out facts to share with the class as well as reading around their subjects and reading for pleasure.

Our new focus author for this half term is Jeff Brown author of the Flat Stanley series. Year 2’s are really enjoying listening to The Flat Stanley stories during our shared reading time and have begun to learn some interesting facts about the life of the author including where his inspiration for Flat Stanley came from.  Ask us to find out the answer!

We also have new books on our crosscurricular reading table to support our history learning  about ‘The Great Fire Of London’. During our reading sessions children has access to these valuable books and are enjoying learning many new facts. Each Friday Year 2 have been enjoying their visits to the school library where they are able to select a library book of their choice to take home and share for reading pleasure.  During our library visits we are learning about how books are sorted, grouped and organised to make it easier to find them.


Year 2 have started Autumn 2 looking at our new class book- Vlad and The Great Fire. We are spending some time getting to know the main characters in the book- Vlad the flea and Boxton the rat. We have also been learning some new vocabulary from the story.

This week we have practiced our dictionary skills to find the meanings of the words: embers, inferno, collapse, ash and smouldering to name a few.

Year 2 also had a first response to the story sharing their connections that they could make and things that puzzled them so far in  their ‘tell me grids’. Lots of year 2’s have been able to make links with their previous learning about London which they are now able to draw upon during our new topic.

We have  revisited the 4 different types of sentences  that we looked at last half term and Year 2 were brilliant at recalling and recognising the different types of punctuation needed for exclamations, questions, commands and statements. Using our class text- Vlad and The Great Fire, the children were able to look for different sentence types before making their own in role as some of the characters from the book. Year 2’s had fun imagining what it would be like as the bakers maid, Boxton, Samuel Pepys and Vlad  at different points in the story. They have made links with their current learning and also used their history chronology skills to order  and describe the events thinking about the days and dates to help them to sequence.


Year 2 have started this half-term focusing on addition and subtraction. We revisited our learning from the previous half-term about using number facts to check answers. In this active Burn2Learn lesson, children were challenged to answer written questions and to use their fluency to shout out a related fact. Children then had to work collaboratively in pairs to make number bonds to 20 and in small groups to partition numbers up to 20.

This week we have been using our knowledge of number bonds for 10 to make 100! Year 2 quickly saw this connection and were soon using their multiples of 10 to make 100 very speedily. In our active Burn2learn year 2 had to run, hop and jump to the corresponding multiple of 10 to make 100.  They had to ‘visit’ and collect each multiple around the playground to write their facts.

Over the past few weeks Year 2 have been working hard on developing new strategies to approach adding and subtracting numbers. They have made links to their year 1 maths by making accurate jumps forwards, to add and backwards, to subtract, using structured number lines. Year 2’s were ready to move their maths learning on and began to link their number bond fluency and their partitioning skills to help them to make larger jumps on a number line on or back to reach the nearest 10 first. At first they did not find this new method too easy but after some perseverance and determination they soon were able to see the link and began drawing their own number lines to show their jumps.

Our next step with our maths was to be able to see the relationship and pattern when adding and subtracting tens. We have been learning to count on and back in steps of 10 from any starting number. Year 2’s noticed the pattern on a hundred square that the ones stay the same and the tens part of the number goes up or decreases by one 10 each time. We can start counting from any number now for example; 3 ,13, 23, 33,43, 53, 63…. or 106, 96, 86, 76, 56,46 and hear this pattern. We have now started to learn to make jumps of 10 and 1 to add and subtract two 2-digit numbers using unstructured number lines. Well done Year 2 your are being very resilient learners when tackling these new strategies.


Children made links to their prior learning from Year 1 and were able to recall the names of many different materials. We looked at the words ‘property and properties’ and linked our current English work on adjectives to describe different materials using their properties. The children were able to understand that these are adjectives and could use their senses to explore and find many different objects around class to fit the property label cards. They enjoyed their scavenger hunt and then went on to group and sort the objects that they found using their properties.

After the exploration of materials we  continued to develop our investigative, working scientifically skills. Children were given a problem from fire fighter Sam that needed their help. Year 2’s had to plan, predict, investigate and report back to Sam with which material they thought would be a good choice to fix a hose.

Year 2’s were active, resilient scientists and worked collaboratively to test each of the materials in water. They needed much resilience to try to turn each material where possible into a tube shape, similar to a hose because they wanted to observe what would happen when water was poured through it. They practised ‘working scientifically’ using their skills to predict, observe and record what they saw happen to each material.

After investigating children returned to their original predictions and decided on their choice of materials to repair the hose. The children carefully considered that a hose should not: get too hot to touch, absorb any water, disintegrate or be rigid. 


During Anti-bullying week, Year 2 found out more about cyberbullying and how to tackle cyberbullying to keep safe online. They were able to identify many technological devices that they use at home and school:

  • Tablets
  • mobile phones
  • cameras
  • laptops
  • computer consoles

They took part in an interactive cyberbullying quiz where they worked collaboratively as a class team to show thumbs up for true, thumbs down for false for each question presented to them. When looking at different scenarios problems, children were quick to recall their  Stop! Block! Tell! message that they have learnt in order to stay safe online.

This week, through our computing we have made links with our current history learning about The Great Fire of London. After revisiting our internet safety rules, year 2’s were shown how to use a search engine safely to access a Great Fire of London game. Children were able to navigate the website and different pages by exploring and using their historical questioning and enquiry skills, They had to help the character ‘Tom’, an eyewitness to select the accurate historical sources. Working collaboratively, year 2’s were great at applying their chronology skills and sharing their reasoning behind their decision making. Click here to continue playing this game at home:The Great Fire of London game  

Design & Technology

We began our new DT project on construction by looking at some of the vocabulary we would need to become familiar with as designers and technologists this included the words: construction. prototype, product, design, evaluate and design features  During our project we will follow the plan, do, review approach at each stage of our DT project journey.  We started off enquiring and looking into our project brief: To design and make a Christmas decoration for a family member. During this project, children will have the chance to explore how existing decorations have been constructed  and learn how to recreate some of these design features using different tools and practising and developing new skills techniques. Children will design, make and evaluate their very own Christmas decorations.

We began our learning journey by evaluating existing products. We had a close look at a range of Christmas decorations and the children really enjoyed looking and reflecting on the use of materials and design features that they saw. They sketched, labelled features and discussed their preferences in design and how each decoration had been ‘constructed’.



Before Bonfire Night, Year 2 today explored Guy Fawkes and his local connection  to York. During a Guided Reading session, children researched and began answering questions to written comprehension questions. They then went on to write their own fact files about him, practicing different ways to start their facts in interesting ways. Year 2’s found out why bonfire night is celebrated due to its historical context and further developed their historical enquiry skills. They learnt and recited the famous poem Remember, Remember the 5th November and could explain what Guy Fawkes’ treason and plot was. We also enjoyed watching some fireworks in celebration of our new learning!

This linked to the beginning of our history topic, The Great Fire of London, where the children have already begun their research using the range of books in the classroom. Some children have shared their experiences of visiting London and linked their recent learning about London landmarks to be able to locate the Monument statue.

To begin our work on chronology, it was important for the children to have a deep understanding of when in history Guy Fawkes was alive and when The Great Fire of London happened. We set off to investigate how many hundreds of year ago 1666 was and paid a visit to the school  time line to help us. Year 2’s were really interested to take a walk back in time and walk along the timeline, looking at the growing numbers in the dates. It was wonderful that they made links with their own previous learning and were able to spot the significant historical individuals (Amelia Earhart and Captain Cook)  that they had studied in Year 1. They were also pleased to see King Charles III at the end of the timeline taking us back to the present day. Back in the class they applied  their new chronology skills and made their own timelines. Some children extended their learning even further by estimating how long ago each event was. Well done Year 2, you were true historians today and showed so much inquisitiveness.


Year 2 have been making links with their History learning and have been introduced to the Baroque style of music that was played at the time of The Great Fire of London. We started off our music lesson by listening carefully and appraising some pieces of music. We found out what a composer is and the typical instruments that would have been used in 1666. These included the harpsichord, viola, violin, cello, flute and  trumpet.

Year 2’s could recognise and name many of these instruments and were able to compare and contrast the names of instruments that are still often used in orchestras today.  Some of us enjoyed the Baroque music so much that it made us want to dance!

Listen to and enjoy some of the thematic Baroque style music that we have been enjoying in class:  Baroque music

Year 2’s have listened and learnt the song ‘Fire, Fire Everywhere’ and could hear the urgency and siren sound being played in the notes of the chorus. They explored some percussion instruments to replicate the pulse and beat by playing along at the same time as the music. Click to listen to the song  


Year 2 have made a great start to their first couple of P.E lessons this half term and have enjoyed practising their balance, co-ordination and travelling skills whilst using a range of  equipment. They are lucky to be working with one of the Leeds Rhinos coaches for one of their P.E sessions each Monday developing their P.E skills with a specialist.

Year 2’s worked on their throwing and catching skills today practising chest passes, bounce passes and how to hold their hands ready to receive a ball passed to them. They applied their passing skills in a variety of games which followed a final team invasion game. 

Year 2’s thoroughly enjoyed applying some of their maths skills during their P.E session this week. Children had to use their number knowledge to identify if a number was odd or even and travel to different sides of the playground using a range of exercises. With 2 rolls of a dice they then went on to add 2 numbers together to recall their number bonds for 10 and 20 moving in different directions depending on the number that they needed. For their final active games Year 2’s enjoyed a Christmassy theme working in relay teams to build ‘snowmen’ from PE equipment  and collect ‘presents’ from the ‘elves’ in the fasted time.

MFL (French)

Year 2 revised and made links to their existing knowledge of  numbers 1-10 from year 1 and will continue to build on this throughout the term  by learning to recognise and say numbers up to 20. We began our French learning today reviewing our learning with a very catchy number song.

For our next task, Mrs Lowe shouted the French number name out and we had to make it on our number fan.

As a active Burn2learn task today we visited each piece of Numicon hidden around the classroom and practised saying the number out loud in French. They then worked collaboratively with a partner and a set of Numicon  to keep practising their French. Year 2’s are getting really good at their counting in French and have started to recognise the vocabulary written down too!

Year 2’s deepened their learning of French numbers by being able to recognise written vocabulary in a game of BINGO! They worked with a partner to listen carefully to each number announced in French and covered their boards if it matched. 

We have continued  our French learning  journey this term and made further links with our learning from Year 1. Children were very good at recalling the 3 primary colours  (rouge, jaune and bleu) and will build on this to learn the secondary colours (vert, violet and orange) when the primary colours are mixed together. Today they enjoyed making their own French vocabulary rainbows and practised orally rehearsing and pronouncing the names of each of the colours.


Visit from the Mayor of Wetherby

On Monday 7th November, we had a visit from the Mayor of Wetherby, Neil, who came to talk to us in school about his role as Mayor, how he became the Mayor and the important things he does to support the town of Wetherby through the town council. Mayor Neil talked to us about he became the Mayor and told the children that he was elected and appointed Mayor during the pandemic which meant he was brought in as Mayor over zoom, and his wife had to place his chains on him, instead of having this done during a ceremony with the council. The Mayor talked to us about democracy and inclusion in the local community. He shared that he is passionate about making a difference and shared that he knows that the children at St Joseph’s are also passionate about making a difference too. The children asked lots of thoughtful questions and were extremely interested. Some questions they asked were:

  • What do you like best about your role?
  • What does your role involve?
  • How much do you get paid for this very important job?

The children were shocked to learn that being a Mayor is a voluntary role meaning he doesn’t get paid anything for this very important role. In fact, the Mayor also has another job that he gets paid for where he works hard to keep children safe. The Mayor shared that he most enjoys going out in the community, especially visiting schools because he believes children are the future of our community. The Mayor shared that because of Covid, he wasn’t able to carry out his work in the local community, so his term has been extended for one year, which is very rare. The Mayor shared how pleased he was that he was able to do this and that his term will end shortly after the Coronation of the King, something that he is really looking forward to.

Our school councillors then had an opportunity to speak to him further, ask him any questions they had and even try on his Mayor chain. This visit supported our learning about the British Values, about democracy as the Mayor is voted for and elected, about Individual Liberty – having the freedom of choice and how the Mayor can support this in our town and so much more! It was an exciting morning to welcome such an important member of our local community into our school. Thank you to our Mayor of Wetherby for visiting St Joseph’s! We look forward to welcoming you back to our school in the future.

Dentist Visit

Last week we were lucky to have a visit in class from Mr Auld. He played a quiz with KS1 and was very impressed with the children’s existing knowledge and understanding of how to look after their teeth and the types of foods that can help to keep our teeth and mouths healthy. Mr Auld showed the children model teeth with cavities in them and demonstrated how to brush our teeth carefully and accurately.

Anti-bullying Week

This week in school it has been Anti-Bullying week. We kick started the week with odd socks day to emphasise our school saying of “We are all the same but we are all different”. We also had an Anti-Bullying assembly where we introduced the theme for this year which is “Reach out”. We explored what bullying is using STOP: Several Times on Purpose and emphasised the importance of telling others STOP: Start Telling Other People. We looked at different bulling scenarios both in person and online and explored what was happening and what could be done about it. We also explored Protected Characteristics, learning what they are that it means that it is against the law to discriminate against any of them.

In class through our PSHE lesson and circle time discussions we explored in more detail the different types of bullying and what these may look like. The children looked at different scenario cards and were excellent at offering advice  and spotting what the right thing to do was whilst always referring back to our school STOP message.

Protected Characteristics- Race

Year 2’s have been learning about the Protected Characteristics and our class focus characteristic was race. We started off by discussing what race meant and through discussion, the children were able to gain a deeper understanding of the terms: equality, nationality and ethnicity . We used the picture book ‘Mixed Me’ by Tiffany Catledge, to highlight how race is a celebration of differences in cultures, traditions and physical appearances. We referred back to our school saying “We are all the same but we are all different” and children reflected how boring the world would be if we were all exactly the same. The children explored different scenarios to gain a better understanding of what tolerance, fairness and equality are. Here are some of our posters that were created to reflect our learning.

Fire Safety

We were so lucky to have had a special visit from Wetherby fire service who bought our current learning about materials and The Great Fire of London to life. The children were able to learn about fire safety, what to do in a fire emergency and how to reach the emergency services confidently. Year 2’s thought of many questions that they wanted to ask them many of which they were able to answer by showing us their specialist fire fighting technology and equipment. We learned about STOP, DROP, ROLL if our clothes ever catch fire and practised! A big highlight of the visit was exploring the fire engine and seeing and hearing the blue flashing lights and siren in action!

Road Safety

Last week Year 2  had a great Road Safety workshop led by Wendy, who came and taught us about the importance of how to be safe around roads. Year 2s then had a very practical session in supervised small groups outside and put into practise their knowledge of how to cross roads safely in a controlled environmentYear 2 were extremely safe and sensible during this session and could think, look and listen before crossing safely.

Water Safety Workshop

Year 2’s have also enjoyed taking part in an online water safety workshop this week led by Yorkshire Water. Children were asked to draw on their experiences of visiting open spaces of water by naming some. They were quick to link our immediate locality to the River Wharfe in Wetherby and the potential dangers that the river could pose to them. Children also discussed visiting lakes, reservoirs and beaches. Children watched different scenario animations where they had to pause and give important safety advice. They then played a fun interactive quiz to check their understanding of how to read warning signs and what the different safety flags at a beach mean.

Year 2’s enjoyed a visit from Mr Robinson this week who came to talk to us about his job as a police officer. Mr Robinson described his many duties in his role and related to the children the importance of their key learning skills at school that enable him to carry out his job as an adult.  He reminded the children how to contact the police in emergencies and gave real life examples of when to put this into practice in order to stay safe. The children were also able to share their own experiences of the police and when they have been on hand to offer assistance and help.