Spring Term 1 2023

Welcome back Year 2! We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and had a nice break with your families. We are ready to take on new challenges this half term with our new topic – Visit Yorkshire!. We have lots of exciting things planned for you and we hope you enjoy our learning journey this half term.

Collective Worship

In worship this week, we have been learning about Pope Benedict XVI who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve. On the day of his funeral, we had a whole school assembly with reflections, prayers, reading and songs to remember this inspirational Christian. Miss Milivojevic taught us lots of interesting facts about him, and reminisced about how she took a group of pupils from St Joseph’s school back in 2010 to see Pope Benedict when he visited England. We watched real footage of the event in Twickenham and Miss Milivojevic shared fondly of how this experience impacted on her.

Miss Milovojevic taught us many key messages from the Bible that Pope Benedict XVI shared during his time as Pope and how he put this into practice. We then listened to readings from Corinthians, Ephesians, Isaiah and Proverbs. We gave thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI.

Our school song ‘Siyahamba’ came as a result of this visit which is the first time that Miss Milivojevic heard it when a choir performed to Pope Benedict. We enjoyed singing the song together and finished with prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. May he rest in peace.

This week our theme in Collective Worship has been Epiphany. The feast of the kingsOn Friday we visited Church for Mass focused on Epiphany. Father Andrew explained more about the Epiphany and asked some children to re-tell the story, acting as shepherds and kings.


Our topic this half-term is ‘The Good News’. This topic is designed to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the joy that Jesus brings and to reflect on how we can bring joy to others. Over the half term, children will learn that Jesus brings the good news of God’s love through his miracles and so turns sadness into joy. We started off by reflecting as a class on what good news can be.

We loved learning to sing a new song to help us understand God’s news, called ‘Have you Heard the Good News’. See if you would like to sing along to it at home too!

We have loved learning three Bible stories which teach us how Jesus brings good news. First, we learnt about the miracle of Jarius’ daughter and then the Healing of the Ten Lepers and Feeding of the Five Thousand. Children were challenged to talk about these stories, using their new vocabulary. We then reflected on what these stories taught us.

ten lepers speaking mat


In English this half-term we will begin our learning journey by exploring fairy tales and alternative fairy tales. We started  off by collating our existing knowledge of fairy tales thinking about characters, settings and other elements  such as story language that make fairy tales so popular and easily recognisable . Many Year 2’s were able to draw on their existing prior knowledge and name their favourite fairy tale suggesting reasons why that was their favourite. We came up with a list of fairy tale features.

Our class text this half term is illustrated and retold by our focus author, Rachel Isadora. We are going to explore several of her books this half term which retell well known fairy tales  in an alternative way. We have started looking at The Princess and The Pea and began comparing Rachel’s retelling to a more traditional version. The children drew their comparisons and similarities thinking about the setting, story plot and characters.

Year 2’s have thoroughly enjoyed becoming authors this term and innovating their own versions of ‘The Princess and the Pea’. Instead of a challenge involving a pea they have chosen another item/object or animal beginning with the letter ‘p’. Year 2’s loved planning their innovated stories and sharing their challenges that the princess had to complete to prove herself a true and worthy princess. Using some TALK-WRITE strategies, they shared their ideas remembering to talk like a writer using their best story language and  word worthy vocabulary choices. They have worked hard to develop their stamina for writing at length and to include include writing with excellent adjectives and the grammatical features that we have studied. Some of our story titles include:

  • ‘The Princess and the Pineapple’.
  • ‘The Princess and the Puma’
  • ‘The Princess and the Pizza’
  • ‘The Princess and the Porcupine ‘

Following on from our story writing, Year 2’s looked at a poem written by our focus poet this half term, A.A Milne. The children were impressed to hear that he was also the author of Winnie the Pooh! Year 2’s focused on his poem ‘If I were king’ and pulled out different language devices including the rhyme and repetition of the poem. They then answered some comprehension questions to show a deeper understanding of what they had read and went on to share their own opinions and ideas of what they would do if they were to become royalty


We have continued our maths learning journey by from last half term looking and investigating 2D and 3D shapes. We have used Venn diagrams and Carroll Diagrams to sort and group 2D shapes thinking about  similar properties  such as number of vertices or  sides.

This week we have began to investigate the properties of 3D shapes thinking about their comparing their properties including: number of faces, vertices and edges. We have been enjoying some practical and active learning to explore, sort and compare the shapes.

We have continued our maths learning journey to now look at multiplication. Year 2’s have been practising making equal groups to be able to read multiplication calculations as ‘groups of’ and ‘lots of’. They have expressed their ‘equal groups of’ as repeated additions but soon found it was much more efficient to write a multiplication calculation. For example we now know that: 3 equal groups of 5  is  the same as 5+5+5= 15  and 3×5=15. 


This half-term in Science we are exploring Staying Healthy. We have been applying what we have learnt in PE and PHSE to develop our understanding of what it means to have healthy body and how we do it!

We have started by looking at food and children were very confident talking about healthy and unhealthy food. We developed this by learning about different food groups, and sorting foods into their different categories. This developed our identifying and classifying working scientifically skill which we used so much in last term’s unit of Living Things and their Habitats!

This week we have been looking at the effect exercise has on the human body. We read around our science subject to find out more in our reading session. We found that during exercise, blood carries oxygen to parts of the body that need it and that is why our hearts beat faster. We investigated ways we could check our heart rate and pulse and how exercise is important for our heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Working scientifically, Year 2’s wanted to investigate which exercises would change our bodies the most. We recorded what happened to our bodies after 1 minute of doing press ups, star jumps and jogging on the spot. To make it a fair test we made sure that we had rest breaks in-between each different exercise which was strictly timed for 1 minute. The children made their predictions and then set to work exercising and recording their results.

our results included:

  • My heart rate became faster.
  • My body feels warmer, I am sweating!
  • I feel thirstier.
  • My breathing was slower and more regular but now it is faster.
  • My muscles ache and I feel tired!

We made links with some of our RSE learning, ‘clean and healthy’ to continue to learn about ways we can look after our bodies and maintain a healthy life style. We enlisted the help of a well known character from the stories ‘Dirty Bertie’  to start to think about how to maintain good personal hygiene. Dirty Bertie needed our advice because he had some unsavoury bad habits including; not washing his hands or himself. The children played his game and helped him to make a new promise about keeping better hygiene. Year 2’s also investigated handwashing and the importance of using soap and the effect it has on germs which in our investigation was glitter! They observed how the glitter was quickly repelled by adding the soap to a bowl of water.

Live Simply Eco Project

Year 2 had an exciting Design and Technology workshop with Mrs. Phillips on our whole school Live Simply eco project. To help our local environment, we were tasked with creating some mini beast habitat boxes ensuring that our local school environment would have suitable habitats for a range of minibeasts to call their home. The children first began to think and consider why insects are so important to our environment. They then applied some of their previous science learning about habitats and thought about what features insects would need to have in a habitat box to be attracted to live there and survive. Year 2 were great at thinking about the four R’s when scavenging and collecting their materials to fill their boxes to Reduce, Refuse, Reuse and Recycle. They collected an abundance of found materials from home, outside and even on their way to school!

After designing their boxes, they had to then assemble the insides. They carefully considered the placement of materials that would suit different minibeasts. Mrs. Phillips supported the construction of the frame, and we applied our measuring, sawing and drilling skills under adult supervision. The children showed fantastic teamwork, concentration, and resilience to complete their habitat boxes and finally they thoroughly enjoyed selecting just the right spot outside for them to be placed in the school grounds.


We have begun our Art journey for this half term by starting to research our focus artist Paul Klee. Year 2’s were able to draw some good comparisons and similarities from their previous key artist study of Frida Kahlo, who was alive during some of the same period of time. We started by using our Geography skills to find where Klee was from (Switzerland and Germany). The children were great at remembering which continent to look at to find both countries. When finding out about Paul Klee, year 2’s were able to dive into some of Klee’s paintings and share what they saw and how his works of art made them feel using an emoji scale .Year 2’s were particularly excited to see an extract of one of Klee’s sketchbooks which showed a colour wheel representing both primary and secondary colours.

To find out more about Paul Klee’s subjects that were of great interest to him watch the interactive book below:

We started to investigate more about Klee’s use of colour in his work and began to practise our own colour mixing skills to show the primary and secondary colours to make our own colour wheels. Looking at some more of Klee’s paintings we learnt about cool and warm colours, how these can make you feel or what they can remind you of in nature and the world around us.  We saw how cool and warm colours can be placed purposely together in works of art. We began to explore this in our own sketchbooks to gain a deeper understanding before sketching our own castle shape outlines. 

Year 2’s also applied their maths measuring skills when using a ruler  to accurately draw straight outlines of the castle shapes that we wanted to include in our own final piece paintings. After practising drawing some shapes to form different castle outlines we were ready to apply our mixing  and brush skills to paint our final castle pieces. 


As we always do, we started our ICT learning this half-term with an online safety lesson. Year 2’s furthered their understanding learning more about how to become safe and responsible digital citizens by only sharing personal information with people they trust and keeping their computers safe. They recapped the importance of seeking guidance from a trusted adult when they feel unsafe or uneasy online and using our school STOP, BLOCK and TELL message. We watched a clip showing Hector and his friends learning about their personal information—what it is, who should it be shared with and how can it be used. Watch this episode again following the link below:

The children made a great start to their Keynote projects and remembered quickly some of their learning from year 1. They had to also be resilient learners and to work collaboratively in order to decide which slide layouts worked the best to display the information that they wanted on each slide. Year 2’s are linking their Geography learning and creating a ‘Visit Yorkshire’ presentation using Keynote. They are been self selecting slide layouts, inserting pictures, changing the font and adding text boxes to reflect the many facts about Yorkshire that they have been acquiring.

Safer Internet Day

On Safer Internet Day, we revisited our message: Stop! Block! Tell and we looked again at if the children could remember what ‘personal information’ was. We looked at  different scenario cards and when faced with anything they were unsure of the children were confident to deploy this message! Year 2’s thought of the people who they could ask for help if they came across something that made them feel unsure, worried or  have a ‘funny’ feeling in their tummy.


In French this half-term, we are continuing to work hard  to develop our vocabulary. We will be starting our learning by recapping the primary and secondary colours that we learnt last term  in an active Burn2learn and the days of the week from their previous year 1 learning.

We have been learning new French vocabulary for the months of the year. Year 2’s took time to practise the correct pronunciation of the 12 months and found quickly that they were able to identify which month their birthdays were in. We have begun to order the months and match them to the English words. We have been using this clip to help us with our French pronunciation.

We played some team games to match vocabulary and practise our pronunciation of the months of the year. One of our favourite games was snakes and ladders which helped us to remember the new vocabulary and to practise our best French pronunciation


Our topic this term is Visit Yorkshire. To begin this Geography focused topic, Year 2’s have been busy this week recapping their previous learning about the UK and which counties make up the UK. Year 2’s took part in an active scavenger hunt to think about the many features that make up the UK. Hidden around the classroom children worked in partners to find and collect as many different features as they could to make a list. They worked hard and found 15 in total including, coasts, farms, countryside, mountains, towns, cities, villages, factories to name a few!

Our next activity was to find out more about these features and to understand the geographical vocabulary that would be important to describing the UK. Children worked in teams and used their excellent reading skills to match the pictures of the features to a definition. They then went on to look for some of these features using an atlas.

Class Trip to Pontefract Castle

 We started learning about Pontefract Castle and the location of other local castles in Yorkshire before our trip. We used sources and maps to find the castles to learn why they had been built there. Each of the castles we looked at had differing locations and appearances as they were constructed at different periods in time. We found out that castles were built for defence, to defend important places, land, money or people. We looked closely at Pontefract castle to learn facts about the castle’s history and its location, starting with it’s building in 1070!

When we arrived we had a wonderful session from museum staff, who were in role as Mistress Hope and Mistress Faith for the entire day! The children started with a tour to learn more about the history of the castle. Then we were set to work straight away as servants, who would be preparing the castle for a  very important visit! The children were transported back to Tudor times and as servants had 4 different jobs to help with in order to get the castle ready. These tasks included: Taking the food down to the castle cellar (which we loved to hear was actually at one point the castle dungeon), writing out a menu using a quill and ink, sorting objects in to those suitable for a royal visit and those which were not and making some herbal medicines in case the visitors got sick. The children got fully immersed in each activity and really enjoyed being servants for the day! Please see some photographs below to see what we got up to! We had the best day ever visiting Pontefract Castle. An enormous thanks to our parent helpers who were able to join us on our trip today, it was really great to have you with us. The children were, as ever, brilliantly behaved  and built on all their classroom learning.



Our learning this half-term has begun by learning to play repeated rhythmic phrases on tuned instruments. Year 2’s  have absolutely loved playing the chime bars! They worked in partners improvising a repeated phrase for their partner to repeat. The children got so good at this they then went on to scribe their repeated phrases using the notes on the chime bars. They allowed a great discussion and recap about pitch and how the pitch changed with each note.

We have learnt to play a simple melody linked to our castle Geography theme, from the BBC teach song ‘Pagans and Pageantry’ and even had a go transcribing our music using different symbols to represent pitch! We started off by listening and learning the  song as it has verses for both King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. We were able to identify the slow – quick – quick rhythm and found out that this was inspired by the Pavan dance rhythm.

Click here to listen to the song


Year 2’s have been working on developing their throwing, catching and co-ordination skills this week in a series of different games and whilst using different types and sizes of balls.

They have also been working on the team building and collaborative skills. In one game they had to work as part of a team and communicate effectively to be able to drop islands on the floor to enable their team to reach the other side of the hall.

In another game year 2’s used giant noodles with a partner to pick up and carry different sized balls to cones without dropping them. This was tricky and needed a lot of team work. patience and perseverance!

Year 2’s have also been practising their gymnastic skills. They have been able to explore moving in, on, around and under different pieces of apparatus. They demonstrated their agility, coordination and balance when combining different ways of traveling and jumping from the apparatus to make up their own sequence . Year 2’s worked extremely safely and  listened well learning how to put the apparatus away safely too.


Year 2  have been exploring the British value:  Rule of Law this half term . They started of thinking about why we have rules and imagined what life would be like if there were no rules to follow! Year 2’s were great at linking their previous learning on Democracy and understood the need for people to be treated fairly. This took us to look again at one of our school mottos: We are all the same, but we are different. The children demonstrated their understanding of this by designing a poster to reflect different groups of people and the differences and similarities that we may share with each other.

In our RSE lessons we have been thinking about families and special people. During our sessions we have discussed the many different types of families that there are. We have looked at what our families provide us with: love, safety, a home, care. Children were able to identify the special people that made up their families and also consider their wider ‘family’ and the importance of being close to and trusting special people and telling them if something is troubling them.

During Children’s Mental Health Week, year 2’s found out more about what mental health means and ways and strategies that can help promote having positive and good mental health. We considered who we could talk to if we needed help with our mental health and what poor mental health could look like.  Throughout the week we enjoyed trying out different mindfulness activities  that could promote time to think, express our thoughts and feelings and relax.