Autumn Term 2 2021

CAFOD workshop

We were very lucky this week to be visited by CAFOD and hear about CAFODs very important work. We loved meeting the different animal characters who taught us CAFOD values. Year 2 were particularly excited to spot the different continents the animals came from, which used their geography learning in our current All Around the World.The children shared their ideas about how they could live out these values. We also recalled our science learning from last half term about caring for the world and climate change by thinking about stewardship, and ways we can look after the world by recycling and reducing pollutants. Children then created lovely posters of their chosen way to make the world a better place. Finally, we learnt about some of the amazing people who CAFOD support around the world.

Disability Awareness Week

This week, Leeds Diocese has celebrated Disability Week. At St Josephs, we understand that we are all different but we are all the same. We know we are made in God’s image and to celebrate our differences as well as all the ways in which we are the same. Year 2 have loved learning Makaton sign language over the past few weeks, learning to answer the register and introduce themselves using sign. Today, we talked about why we are learning Makaton and who uses Makaton. The children identified that Makaton helps people communicate in different ways. This might be people who are deaf, struggle to speak or have learning difficulties or learning differences. We are very excited to have started a Makaton Advent Calendar! Each day we are going to learn a new sign, a word related to advent. So far, we have learnt ‘hope‘, ‘bell‘ and ‘pray‘. This advent calendar has been produced by the signing church, and we are very lucky to have a monthly Makaton service at our local parish of St Josephs. Please speak to Miss Corr if you would like more information!

Inspiring You

Year 2 have loved their work on Inspiring You this week! We started by exploring some stereotypes and misconceptions about what boys and girls like. We started this learning by sorting activities into boy activities and girl activities. This prompted lots of interesting discussion about the differences between boys and girls dislikes! We felt this was important preteaching for thinking about our futures so that both boys and girls feel they can do anything they want to when they are older! We then explored a range of different jobs. Children worked collaboratively in groups to make a list of different jobs in different fields. This activity was a great way to expand children’s horizons and make them think about jobs which are similar to each other. All this morning work helped to prepare us for the afternoon where children were challenged to think about their dreams for their future. Children drew pictures and wrote explanations of their future jobs, including the key skills they would need to master.

Dogs Trust visit

Year 2 were so excited to be visited by the Dogs Trust. We had a wonderful session learning about all the important work they do. The children were encouraged to reflect on their experiences of dogs as dog owners and show their knowledge of dog breeds. Then we listened to the story of Bruno, an abandoned dog who had been tied to a fence. Luckily, he was rescued by the dog trust. We heard all about how the Dogs Trust care for their dogs; vet visits, identichips, baths, kennels and then being adopted by this family. We learnt about the process of adopting dogs and how families are checked to make sure they can care for their dogs. We loved hearing the happy ending of Bruno’s story; he lives with a lovely family now! There was time at the end for questions. We feel so lucky to have had this visit, thank you Dogs Trust.

Martial Arts Visit

Year 2 were so lucky to be visited by two Martial Arts experts. They really inspired us by talking about their passion and the skills they have developed to be successful: respectful, persevering and determined. We loved seeing the special equipment, including a large wooden sword! We also learnt different instructions for start and stop in Japanese.

Collective Worship

This week in Collective Worship, we have been writing our new candle prayer. Year 2 really impressed with their thoughtful ideas which demonstrate their understanding of our school Catholic motto, Live Simply. We particularly need to thank Matilda, Bella, Hugo and Ben for helping us craft this prayer.

“We like our world. Please help us to look after it. Bless all the people, animals and plants in the world and we will bless you. Amen.”

Our statement this week is “I know what to do if someone gets hurt.” Year 2 are already excellent at looking after each other and using First Aid when necessary. We talked about the importance of speaking up when things happen and always telling a grown-up if they are not sure.

Year 2 have demonstrated maturity and sensitivity this week when reflecting on our statement “I understand the importance of peace”. It was an opportunity for us to learn more about current events in the world and to recognise how lucky we are. Children demonstrated their understanding of God as a Trinity by asking His Holy Spirit to comfort and bring peace to those people fighting wars. We really enjoyed decorating our altar with poppies to help us remember all those who have died in war.


We have started the very special time of Advent, where we prepare to celebrate Christmas, Jesus’ birth and all the good news that brings us. Year 2 helped to create a beautiful Christmas altar and this year our advent calendar is a Makaton calendar, where we will learn to sign one advent word a day. Please ask your child at home to show you their word of the day!



Our new unit of learning is Mysteries and we started by recalling all the mysterious elements of the bible stories we had read last half-term. We learnt to wonder about our faith and will continue this skill this 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 on a flipchart.

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.

As we enter Advent and prepare for Christmas, Year 2 spent some time reflecting on the symbols of Christmas. We started by compiling a list of Christmas symbols. Children then worked in groups to match Christmas symbols to their meaning. This reading activity was a good way for children to explore the origin of different symbols and to feedback their learning to their peers. Year 2 were then challenged to reflect on which symbols were most important to them and reminded them of the true meaning of Christmas; Christ’s birth. Most children drew the symbols in order of importance in their books, and some children cut and stuck symbols to develop their fine motor skills. Children then used sentence starters, ‘the most important symbol is…’, ‘the least important symbol is…’ to explain their reflections. We then wrote our sentences in our books next to our pictures to demonstrate our understanding.



We have revamped our reading corner to help us focus on our key skill of the half-term: retrieval. We are going to be like Rex the Retriever and practice finding information in texts. Our reading corner is organised so that children can identify different text types, use their phonics in their reading and even start reading chapter books with their newly made book marks! Children are going to be in charge of keeping track of their retrieval progress as part of our reading challenge and be rewarded with house points!

We also have new books in our crosscurricular reading corner to support our new Geography topic learning ‘All Around the World‘.


Year 2 started Autumn 2 by recalling our learning about diary entries and writing a diary entry about Halloween! We revised what proper nouns are and remembered to use capital letters when writing them!

We then started our new key text, ‘Where The Wild Things Are‘ by Maurice Sendak.

We have loved reading this story and describing the detailed pictures by writing lists. This week we have been sequencing the story using pictures in groups to help prepare us for our letter writing. We are going to be Max and write a letter home to Mum to tell her all about our adventure!

Year 2 have loved creating freeze frames to show the beginning, middle and end of the story to support their retelling in the first person. Take a look at our excellent acting skills!

Year 2 have worked really hard these week adding detail to their descriptions using expanded noun phrases. We started by visualizing what might happen to our bedroom. Max’s bedroom turns into a forest but we thought ours might turn into outer space or the ocean or a hot desert! We illustrated our bedroom to help give us lots of ideas for our writing!

Year 2 have been working so hard to add even more detail and interesting vocabulary to their writing! This week, we have learnt what adverbs are, and we started by consolidating our knowledge of verbs. Children had lots of fun commanding verbs to one another, recalling our knowledge of different types of sentences from last half-term. We showed Miss Corr just how much we had learnt by uplevelling her boring sentences with expanded noun phrases and adverbs!




Year 2 have started this half-term focusing on addition and subtraction. We revised our learning from the previous half-term about using number facts to check answers; we had learnt this in a Burn2Learn lesson so now children were challenged to answer written questions independently.

We have started being more independent in our maths work by marking our own work and correcting mistakes. We have found addressing our misconceptions in the lessons helps us learn faster!

We have shown lots of resilience adding and subtracting 2 digit from 1 digit numbers, using our knowledge of number bonds to 10. This is tricky but uses our skills working in part-part-whole models and numberlines!

We loved our active, Tagtiv8 lesson this week in Maths! We consolidated our knowledge of odd and even numbers up to 100. Children were challenged to explain, using their understanding of place value, how they knew which numbers were even and which were odd. Children then had to work in pairs to make number bonds to 20 and in small groups to partition numbers up to 20. We have been working on partitioning numbers to support addition so this was an active way of improving their fluency with breaking numbers up. Finally, we explored making human numberlines to support our subtraction. This tested children’s ordinal understanding of number and practiced their jump counting, which we have identified as being less secure. Some children are counting the numbers rather than jumps so it was an opportunity to consolidate this skill.

Year 2 have started to learn about addition crossing 10. We have used our understanding of place value to make tens and draw base ten to help us.Some children worked with concrete resources to physically make the tens stick. This was a visual way to explore crossing 10s in addition. Children then had a go representing this pictorially in their books.





Today in our Science learning we saw the impact and relevance of our classroom learning in the real world! Year 2 watched a video about the COP 26 conference which shared some of the key issues and explored some climate- saving ideas, including more environmentally-friendly material swaps. We recalled our previous History/Science cross-curricular learning all about how materials of objects have changed over time. This encouraged us to think about what materials we could change now to save the planet! We decided to write a letter to Boris Johnson, our PM, to share our learning and ideas with him! We will edit our letters with our purple polishign pen and then share them with you!


Year 2 have started their new unit of learning, about Living Things and their Environment. Year 2 used active learning to identify things which are living, dead and never alive on our school field. Children were challenged to explain their ideas and came up with an impressive range of ideas, including the Jesus statue! Children could identify that other children were alive and find other living things! We identified that the brown leaves were dead and the wooden bench was dead, because it was once a tree. We spotted that Miss Corr’s ipad, our coats and shoes, and the paving stones were never alive! Children then used their spotting skills to find pictures of things and classify them as living, dead and never alive. When we came back into the classroom, we devised actions for living, dead and never alive to make it more memorable and we explored a range of examples.

Year 2 showed a good knowledge of microhabitats in their baseline assessment for the unit so we decided to use our working scientifically skills to investigate this further. The children worked together to choose 2 different habitats to explore; the field and the bug hotel in the playground. We decided to use magnifying glasses to help us identify and classify. Children chose to use tally marks to record what they had found. We talked about why certain creatures enjoy different microhabitats, for example, woodlouse under tree stumps and logs. Children were able to describe these microhabitats: ‘dark’, ‘moist’, ‘warmer’. We recorded our results like real scientists!


Year 2 consolidated this term’s learning about different habitats. The children worked in groups to spot features of different habitats and label them. Children then worked creatively in groups to create habitat dioramas. Children chose which habitat to create and were challenged to make the physical features as well as animals and plants that live in the habitat.


Year 2 have worked this term on developing their control on iPads. They have loved learning to use the Sketches App.

LO: to demonstrate good finger control on an iPad.

Children talked about all the different ways they use their fine motor skills on technology. They talked about different games and Apps they use which demand good control. We then introduced them to Sketches app to apply their Art learning about different qualities of line. 

Children had a go using different line styles to show different thicknesses and make different shapes. We then had a go drawing each other’s eyebrows, so we looked closely at different qualities of line.

LO: to demonstrate improved control by drawing facial features.

In our next two lessons, we spent time drawing on Sketches. This was a wonderful opportunity to further develop our drawing skills as well as develop our fine motor control. Children were challenged to use a range of the Apps functions including changing line thickness, shape and colour. Have a look at our wonderful results!





In Art today, we practiced the skill of looking closely. We explored each other’s facial features carefully. We practiced drawing without looking at the page, and only looking at the feature to try and make it as accurate as possible. Next week, we will explore different lines to add detail to our sketches.

We developed our understanding of line today by exploring eyes. We talked about how to get thicker and darker lines, using pressure, and how little lines can represent colours and shapes.




Heritage Week

We started our Heritage Week celebrations by sharing our home learning about our heritage and family trees. Year 2 demonstrated their excellent speaking and listening skills and we all learnt a lot about each other! This was a super start to our new Geography topic, All Around the World and we began learning about the 7 continents. The children loved learning the names of the 7 continents in an active way by singing a song about the location, size and some key facts about each continent. Children were then challenged to use their fine motor skills and create a world map jigsaw. We found this tricky but persevered and showed we are resilient learners! We finished off Heritage Week in our dance lesson, learning to play some African drum rhythms and some traditional dance moves!


Following Bonfire Night, Year 2 today explored Guy Fawkes. This linked to their previous topic, the Great Fire of London, where children had learnt how gunpowder was used to pull down houses and stop the spread of the fire. Year 2 used sources to learn about Guy Fawkes, who was born in York, to further develop their historical working skills.

Year 2 also consolidated their understanding of fire safety, as we hosted our own Fire of London on the playground! We loved singing our London’s Burning song in English and French as the fire grew! Children worked very sensibly to create their model London and investigate the impact of distance on the spread of the fire. We have recorded this learning in our Science books and found that fire gaps really do make a difference to how quickly the fire can spread!

Some children learnt even more about Guy Fawkes during Guided Reading, answering questions to a written comprehension.

Year 2 have loved learning a song to help them remember the 7 continents: see if they will sing it you!

We showed we were resilient learners by creating a tricky continent jigsaw. Children used their fine motor skills to carefull cut out each continent, helping them to learn it’s shape, before arranging on the globe. They then labelled their maps and coloured each continent to help make it memorable! Finally, children used compass points to describe the location of a continent. Each guided reading group had explored a continent in a text so this was an opportunity to apply their learning.




Year 2 have been practicing songs for their Nativity Hosanna Rock!  If you would like to practice at home, check out the songs on Youtube!

We are using our counting skills to count the beat and working on adding dynamics and expression to our singing!

We can’t wait to perform it for you all!




Year 2 have loved their unit of dance, especially as we have learnt dances from around the world linked to our Geography topic! This week, they were putting together all their dance skills from the past few weeks to choreograph their own routine to music! It was wonderful to see the children dancing together, listening to one another’s ideas and performing to their audience.

Sponsored Run

Year 2 have been simply AMAZING today in their sponsored run. They were challenged to complete as many laps as possible on the school field in 20 minutes to raise money. Every child really challenged themselves, showed amazing resilience, fitness and great team spirit as they encouraged each other! Mrs Powell, Miss Corr and Mrs Harris couldn’t be more proud of them! Take a look at how we go on! Some children ran as many as 18 laps!!!! But every child did their very best, which is all we ask for at St Josephs!


We started our PHSE learning this half-term by thinking about the effect of exercise. We wanted to find out what parts of our bodies exercise changed, so we record our heart, muscles and brain before and after exercise. Year 2 know that they are always encouraged to be active learners, and today we understood more about how that helps our learning.

Anti-Bullying Week

This week we have been celebrating Anti-Bullying week. In Collective Worship, we have been celebrating this year’s Anti-Bullying theme of One Kind Word.

With Mrs Frost, we discussed how words come out and cannot go back in. We illustrated this with a scrunched piece of paper which, when unravelled, was still very marked by what had happened. Just like we are, when people say unkind words.

Instead, we made a list of kind words on our flipchart which you can see below.

Our kind act this week is for FS2 and we have written ‘you are …….’ messages using our favourite One Kind Word. Some of us have written jokes on the back to make them laugh too!

We have also talked about our Anti-Bullying policy of STOP– several times on purpose. And our linked online safety police- STOP, BLOCK, TELL.

On Thursday this week, we spent a whole afternoon exploring CyberBullying.

Our first activity was designed to ensure we all knew what bullying looks like and that bullying can happen in different ways. All children were given a post-it note and asked to write down an example of bullying. We then collated these together on our flipchart and organised them into similar types of bullying; physical and emotional/hurting our feelings. None of the children wrote examples of cyber-bullying so we revisited Miss Mili’s AntiBullying Assembly from the week before to remember what and where cyber-bullying happens.

After this discussion, we played a game of corners. There was an ‘always’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘never’ statement and children moved accordingly. This active learning activity was a great way to promote discussion and for children to explain their understanding.

‘Bullying is wrong’

‘Bullying online (cyber bullying) is not as bad as bullying in real life’

‘Bullying online can only happen with people you know’

‘People who bully online are the same people who push in the playground’.

Finally, children worked in groups on a diamond activity, where they were challenge to prioritise ‘stop’, ‘block’, ‘tell’, ‘share your feelings’, and ‘play another game’ as solutions to online-bullying. Again, this provoked lots of discussion and gave children opportunities to think about what was the most important to keeping safe.

To demonstrate their learning and new understanding, children created cyberbullying posters. These posters will be displayed in our classroom to remind us all how to stay safe online from cyber-bullying.

Roles and Responsibilities

LO: to understand the roles and responsibilities we have in school and why they are important.

Year 2 discussed the responsibilities we have now we are in Year 2. We talked about how we are the oldest children in Key Stage 1 so need to model expected behaviour in the lunch hall and in the playground. We talked about what this behaviour looked like: showing manners, showing respect, helping adults, looking after one another, making sure everyone is included, making sure everyone is using equipment safely and following our school rules.

We then talked about the responsibilities we have in the classroom and how it is a shared space; it doesn’t belong to Miss Corr or Mrs Harris, we are all custodians and need to share the responsibility. Children talked about how they can take responsibility for their own belongings: jumpers, pencil cases, coats etc. and shared belongings like school books and classroom equipment.

We talked about the fairest way to share out this responsibility and have created posters to display children’s halftermly roles. We talked about how these roles are important but that everyone has responsibility for their own behaviour and it is all about team work.


MFL (French)

LO: To say simple sentences in French

Year 2 revised their knowledge of French fruit names, using picture cards to help them. We have a shop in our classroom to practice using money in Maths and today our shop became a French fruit shop! Children practiced asking for fruits in French in the shop.

LO: to label items in French.

Children played a matching game where they were labeling items of fruit with their names in French!

LO: to write simple sentences in French.

Children worked hard to apply their English writing skills, including list writing with commas, in French! Check out our amazing writing!