Autumn Term 2 2023
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.
This week in Collective Worship, we have been looking at the virtue hope. We know we are living out this virtue if we believe and trust that God will not give up on us, we are positive about the future or if we don’t give up on ourselves and keep doing our best. During our collective worships. Year 2’s reflected on what hope means to them and the hope that they have and feel currently in different aspects of their lives. Year 2’s were able to share some of their own examples:
“I feel hope that God will help people who need it.”
“I hope that there can be peace with everyone in the world”.
“When I have hope about something I feel that I will get better and can can achieve my goals”.
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. During worship, 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. We used our virtue of hope to make our own prayers to think of peace and hope for the future.
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.
This week we have begun to look at symbols of Christmas and in particular advent. We explored what advent means and ways in which we count down and look forward to Jesus’s birth. We recapped our year 1 learning and looked at the meaning behind each of the candles on the advent wreath and when they are lit in December. Year 2’s labelled their own advent wreaths before contributing to a whole class one.
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 cross–curricular 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.
Over the past few weeks Year 2 have been working hard on developing new strategies to approach adding and subtracting numbers. We revisited some of our work on place value as a first step to be able to learn to jump to the nearest 10 and exchange 10 ones for a 10 when adding and subtracting. Year 2’s worked practically with concrete apparatus (Base 10) first in order to secure these concepts before recording pictorially.
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.
To link our Science learning to our History learning year 2’s took part in an outdoor workshop led by Alfresco Learning. The children were able to explore the materials that were used to build typical1666 houses. They learned the process of making their own wattle and daub walls by weaving sticks and creating very messy daub to infill in between the holes and sticks. The children got stuck in to the messy but fun workshop showing super collaborative skills to form their walls. They had to show some good perseverance and determination in order for the sticks to stay in to the hard ground successfully enough for them to weave around.
In the outdoor classroom year 2’s were then set a material challenge. Working scientifically, they had to decide which would be the best material to make Thomas Farriner a new bakery which would be waterproof and strong enough to house: a door, windows and his bakery oven. Year 2’s enjoyed exploring and testing the materials including foil, stone and clay before deciding upon their final designs to make. We had so much fun in this very practical hands on workshop.
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:
- mobile phones
- 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.
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’.
After we had the chance to explore how existing decorations have been constructed we started to learn how to recreate some of these design features using different tools and practising and developing new skills techniques. We linked our Science learning and considered the properties of wood and which tools would be suitable to create a hole for the decoration to be hung. Year 2’s were very sensible and followed our safety rules when practising using the hammer, handheld drill and pins.
Our completed Christmas decorations showed off our DT skills that we developed during this project. Year 2’s were extremely proud of their outcome and completed products. During their evaluations they shared and reflected upon some of the tricky, new skills and problems they faced. Many children however, wanted to try and design another one!
Year 2’s have already begun to look at their history enquiry centred around The Great Fire of London, exploring 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. During our first history session, Year 2’s where given the portrait of Sir Christopher Wren and in an active history learning session they had to collect as many different clues about the man in the portrait to find out about his connection to The Great Fire of London.
To gain a better sense of chronology, it was important for the children to have a deep understanding of when in history 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’s applied their mathematical, geographical and map reading skills during history today. Working collaboratively they had to use compass directions and co-ordinates to find out where the Great Fire of London spread to. Year 2’s were quick to identify some familiar London landmarks from their previous Geography learning but were shocked to discover how much of London was destroyed during the fire.
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. 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 have also 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.
Today year 2’s were developing their ball skills further to dribble and make passes under control using their feet! They practised dribbling around obstacles first and trying out both feet to make passes to a partner when stationary and when on the move. They then applied their skills to a short 5 aside football game. Super team work and turn taking was seen in addition to some very skilled and eager footballers in the making!
We have continued our French learning journey this term and made further links with our learning from Year 1. The children have particularly enjoyed looking and exploring French dictionaries in the classroom to practise and develop their French vocabulary even further. They have enjoyed spotting familiar vocabulary from their learning of animals, numbers and colours by finding these within the dictionaries.
This half term we have been looking at colours! The children were very good at recalling the 3 primary colours from their year 1 learning (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 in various classroom games.
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”. Children designed their own socks to celebrate their individuality and differences. 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.
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. We looked at the protected characteristic, disability and children watched clips of real life role models who were able to share their experiences of having a disability which may sometimes be hidden. The children were also able to gain a better understanding of what fairness and equality are as we discussed scenarios where disabled people might be treated differently and what we can do to make sure this does not happen..
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.
Year 2’s were lucky to have a visit from Leeds road safety team this week. Kerry asked the children ways that they keep safe when being a passenger in a vehicle. They also had a refresher and were able to recall the GREEN CROSS CODE about how to safely cross roads. With all of the top tips ready, Kerry then took groups of children to practise crossing a local road safely following the code. Year 2’s were excellent in being able to apply their knowledge to make sensible and safe choices.
During our PSHE lessons this term we have been thinking of ways that we can keep our bodies healthy. Today we focused on oral health and discussed ways we can look after our teeth. With the help of ‘Super Tooth’ we came up with some top tips that we can put into practise at home.