Spring Term 1 2024

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

This week our theme in Collective Worship has been the Epiphany. The feast of the kingsOn Tuesday we had our Epiphany Mass at school. Father Andrew explained more about the Epiphany and through the Word of God we celebrated the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. During the feast which marks the end of Christmas, the Epiphany  celebrates how a star led  the Three kings  to visit the baby Jesus after he had been born. ‘Epiphany’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘to reveal’, as it is when the baby Jesus was ‘revealed’ to the world.

Photo credit: Getty images on the BBC.

 

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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 and shared a piece of good news that we had with each other.

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.

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!

ten lepers speaking mat

English

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 worked on orally rehearsing their new stories with a partner first.

 

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 parachute’
  • ‘The Princess and the pizza’
  • ‘The Princess and the  penguin’

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

Maths

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

This week we have began our learning in maths to focus on money. We started by trying to name and order UK coins and notes to gain familiarity with their appearance and value. We have been applying our counting steps of 2’s, 5’s and 10’s to help to calculate a handful of coins to find a total amount. Year 2’s have loved playing the money games below to further develop their knowledge of money.

https://www.topmarks.co.uk/money/coins-game

Science

This half-term in Science we are exploring Living things and their habitats. We started off our Science learning by researching a significant scientist and author connected to our learning. We researched the life of Jane Carson and her significant research that she undertook about the effects of pollution to both the oceans and land with the use of pesticides. It provoked a great discussion about ways we can look after our world and the creatures in it. 

We began to look at life processes to help us to categorise and classify if something is living, non-living or once alive. Once we were confident to use this vocabulary we began to investigate working scientifically to find things to fit these different categorises. We remembered the life processes using the acronym MRS GREN to help us to decide which category they would be in. For example: we thought ‘does it move?, reproduce? breathe? or excrete waste?!’

We took our Science learning outside to investigate living/non-living and once alive to record what we could find in our school environment. 

 

Art

We have begun our Art journey for this half term by starting to research our focus artist David Hockney. We started by using our Geography skills to find where in Yorkshire David Hockney was born. The children were impressed to be able to make links with their current Geography learning and hear that David Hockney is actually from Yorkshire!  When finding out about Hockney year 2’s were able to dive into some of his paintings and share what they saw and how his recent landscapes made them feel  .Year 2’s were particularly excited to see how Hockney, as a living artist, has used Ipads to create some of his Art. We took a look at some of his landscapes which are displayed in Salts Mill, Bradford. 

 

We started to investigate more about Hockney’s use of colour in his landscapes 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 Hockney’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 Wetherby landscapes. Year 2’s looked at views of Wetherby and tried out using the Ipad, just like David Hockney to create some Art. We were inspired to create their own landscape paintings and started to plan what they wanted to include in their own final piece paintings. After practising sketching some shapes to form Wetherby Bridge outlines we were ready to apply our mixing and brush skills to paint our final painted pieces.

We stopped to have a review gallery to give each other some top tips of what we could add or enhance to make our paintings even better. Year 2’s were brilliantly reflective and loved to share with their friends what made their paintings stand out or what they could focus on as a next step before completing them. We celebrated our amazing completed paintings by holding our own class gallery. 

 

 

Computing

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 then furthered our understanding about why there are age restrictions when using computer games and Apps and why there is guidance around their suitability for an intended audience.

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.

French

In French this half-term, we are continuing to work hard  to develop our vocabulary. We started our learning by recapping the days of the week that we learnt in year 1.

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

Geography

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.

 We started learning about the varied landscapes of Yorkshire and the places that attract visitors from all over the world. To help to get a better understanding about human and physical features we began to compare 2 differing towns- Wetherby and Scarborough. Year 2’s loved sharing their existing knowledge about these 2 places and were able to sort photographs and recognise familiar features. We also made our own compasses and used maps to practise giving directions of locations to our partners. We could apply this directional knowledge to our map reading skills to locate other coastal towns along the Yorkshire coastline near to Scarborough.

 

We enjoyed learning about the attractions in Scarborough and which were physical or human geographical features. We again applied our compass directions to look at the location of Scarborough castle and other local castles in Yorkshire with York as a centre location.

 

 

 

Music

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

We practised playing the repeated phrases using different percussion instruments then took turns to be a conductor in charge of changing the speed (tempo) and dynamics (how loud to play the instrument).

 

PE

Year 2’s are working on their gymnastic skills this half term in PE. Today they have been working on developing their co-ordination and balance using their core body strength to hold balances showing ‘strength’. They showed some great collaborative skills when joining their balances together with a partner.

This week Year 2’s have been developing their gymnastic skills even further by exploring 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.

School’s National Football Week

On the 5th February we celebrated National Football Week with a Year 1 and Year 2 football tournament! A huge thank you to Mrs Powell for organising this event for KS1 who were all excellent and supportive team members, showing lots of resilience and some super footballing skills too. 

PSHE

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.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

We celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week with an assembly led by the School Council members. They shared the acronym  DR RAMPS to help us to learn more about  the protected characteristics and how we can remember what these are. We found out that these characteristics should never be used to discriminate against somebody else . A huge thank you to School council for being brave and sharing with us a memorable dance and catchy song to help to remember what the characteristics are.

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.

Safer Internet Day

The 6th February 2024 was also safer internet day and as part of Mental Health Week, we consolidated  further ways and how we can keep safe online using different scenarios to help characters to stay safe and to STOP, BLOCK and TELL. Year 2’s were great at giving advice when considering the different dilemmas  Mo and Jaz faced.