Spring Term 1 2022
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 – Kings and Queens and Castles. We have lots of exciting things planed for you and we hope you enjoy our learning journey this half term.
We continue to celebrate Christmas with our beautiful white Collective Worship altar. This week, our statement is ‘I can listen to what you say. I know that I am listening to you’. We talked about who we must listen to our; God, our teachers and coaches, our parents and families, and our friends. Children demonstrated their excellent listening attitudes; looking at the speaker, sitting politely and responding to what they say. The class had lots of questions about how to know when God talks to them and we discussed the kinds of things God might say to us or ask us to do.
This week we have reflected on our statement of the week, Simple things can make us happy. We started by listing all the simple things we enjoy: playing in the garden, sunshine, cuddles, hugs, smiles from our friends. We spent a day noticing particular attention to these little, simple things which make us happy and reflected how focussing on them helped us to have better days! We have also really enjoyed listening to the song, ‘I like the flowers’ all about simple pleasures and had lots of fun singing it!
This week we have been exploring communities we belong in. The children shared all the different places they belong and then reflected on how this belonging makes us feel. We know we are all special and part of God’s family and some of us have even had a special celebration (Baptism or Christening) to celebrate this!
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 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.
In RE this week, we are have been deepening our learning about Lent. We have thought about our Lenten promises in terms of improving our relationships; with ourselves, with others and with God. We applied our Science learning about ways to stay healthy to think about how to look after ourselves, and we used our polysyllabic reading skills to read different Lenten promises. We worked collaboratively to think about how each Lenten promise would bring us closer to ourselves, others and God i.e. through fasting, giving or praying.
In English this half-term we are exploring fairy tales and alternative fairy tales, linked to our Kings, Queens and Castles History topic. We started by collating our knowledge of fairy tales and worked in groups to sequence familiar fairy stories. We then fed back to the class to determine shared narratives and features.
As part of our Culture Week learning, Year 2 used Google Earth to explore where different fairy tales come from across the world. Children applied their geography skills and knowledge of different continents to identify countries on the map. We focused on Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Alladin and learnt about the influence of their country and culture on the story. Children then recorded this learning by writing sentences.
Our KIRFs this half-term focus on finding factions. We started by finding fractions of lengths and shapes!
This half-term we have worked really hard on multiplication and division.We used a Burn2Learn lesson to bring grouping to life! We played a game on the playground which the children are familiar with from PE where they need to get in groups of different numbers. We talked about how we didn’t know how many groups we would make, we only knew how many to have in each group. After the children had got into groups, we counted the number of groups and the number sentence was modelled. We played this game using different numbers of children: 25,28 and 30. And we tried getting into groups of 3,2,4 and 5. We then returned to the classroom and were challenged to make different sized groups of counters. Children worked together to record this on their whiteboards.
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 half-term’s unit of Living Things and their Habitats!
We have also been learning about the importance of good hygiene! We are all experts at washing our hands to keep safe but we wanted to design an experiment to find out how effective soap really was! The children designed an experiment using glitter and stopwatches to see how quickly we could wash all the glitter off with and without soap. We then wrote up their experiment like real scientists, using the data to help us write a finding.
In our final lesson of the half-term, we used our Science skills to enhance our DT project! Children have created carriages for royal Sylvanians (thank you to Megan and Matilda who shared their sylvanians with us) to travel in! We applied our materials learning from last half-term to test out what we would build our castle path from, using different material ramps. We made predictions and tested each material twice to make it a fair test!
The children used their senses and tasting skills, developed in taste testing in Foundation Stage 2, to try and work out what they were eating. We then used our Scientific identifying skills to find the liquorice plant and work out what part of the plant we eat.
Our DT project this half-term is to make a carriage for a Sylvanian prince or princess! We started by exploring traditional carriage designs and describing their key features.
After spending a lesson designing and labeling our carriages with appropriate materials. Today, we started the making process.
Our first very important learning objective was to measure to the nearest cm, making a hole for our wheels and ensuring it was straight so the wheels worked!
In our final DT lesson of the half-term, children evaluated their carriages. They compared their carriages to the real life examples they were inspired by and their own designs to see how successfully they had carried out their ideas. Working in pairs, children were able to identify strengths and next steps for their carriages and everyone was very proud of their beautiful and functional end products!
As we always do, we started our ICT learning this half-term with an online safety lesson. We are looking forward to developing our learning even further on Internet Safety Day on the 8th February.
Our Computing learning this half-term is all about databases.
We used a BBC bitesize video to explore the three main functions of databases:to search, select and store information. We practiced interpreting the databases in the videos, answering simple questions to show we could read the rows and columns. We used the maps to find places which use databases, including hospitals, libraries and schools!
We explored databases further by playing a game of Top Trumps! We realised that this game showed us mini databases; facts well-organised into different categories. We had a go recording the information from our Top Trump cards into simple row-only databases at our tables.
By the end of the lesson, children were able to explain what databases were and give some examples.
Year 2 have started using Numbers to create databases with their favourite Top Trump endangered animals. Children have learnt key vocabulary such as heading, column and row. They practiced using their databases to find out the top trumps with their friends!
In French this half-term, we have worked hard to develop our vocabulary. We have linked our French learning to other areas of the curriculum, including Music and History. In Music, we have learnt the song ‘Pagans and Pageantry’ and today children learnt the names of the instruments to describe the piece of music. If you would like to practice at home, try using this video to help you!
We also expanded our conversational French by learning to respond differently to the question ça va? We practiced asking and answering the question ‘how are you?’ in French and then recorded our responses in our French books to develop our French writing.
Our topic this term is Kings, Queens and Castles. We have started by learning about Pontefract Castle, in preparation for our class trip. We used sources to learn facts about the castle’s history, starting with it’s building in 1070! Please do visit the castle’s website so your child can show you how much they have learnt about it! There’s fun videos to watch too! https://www.pontefractcastle.co.uk/
We had the best day ever visiting Pontefract Castle. An enormous thanks to Rose’s, Ethan’s and Jeson’s mums for all their help with our trip today, it was really great to have you with us. The children were, as ever, beautifully behaved and remembered and built on all their classroom learning! Please see some photographs below to see what we got up to!
When we arrived we had a wonderful session from museum staff, learning more about the history of the castle. We also listened to a special story which illuminated the life of a boy who lived in the castle called William.
We then had a carousel of fun, arts and crafts and performance activities; making crowns, making heraldic shields and dressing up as William and his castle friends!
After our packed lunches, we got a chance to play on the kings and queens themed playground! It was loads of fun!
In the afternoon, we explored the castle including its herb garden and lots of the information boards. We recorded our learning and had lots of fun trying out different activities such as our medieval knight names and unmuddling the dungeon wall message! We loved visiting the old chapel, kitchens and bedrooms but most enjoyed going down into the dungeon! Year 2 were so brave and learnt so much history about what happened down there, all those years ago!
We started our Music learning this half-term in Culture Week! We had so much fun listening to music from across the world, applying our Geography knowledge from last half-term of the seven continents. We used maps to identify where the music originated and practiced using our musical vocabulary to describe each piece. We then recorded our musical preferences, writing the name of the country and traditional music genre as well as drawing pictures to describe how the music felt to us. Why not take a listen at home and see which genres your family likes best!
Our learning this half-term has focussed on learning to play melodies on tuned instruments and we have absolutely loved playing the xylophones! We have learnt to play a simple melody linked to our History learning about Kings and Queens, from the BBC teach song ‘Pagans and Pageantry’. and even had a go transcribing our music using different symbols to present pitch!
This half-term we have been developing our balance and jumping skills!
In the next lesson, we took this skill outside and practiced our different types of jumping, from 1 to two feet, from two feet to two feet etc. We used our positive, resilient PE mindset to create a jumping competition and compare our lengths of jumps to our friends (applying our Maths knowledge!)
Year 2 explored the concept of democracy. We watched a video to learn the history of democracy in England and watched some examples of important historical votes.
We carried out a formative group assessment to check children’s developing understanding of democracy. We then thought about times we use democracy at school; to vote for different class roles and responsibilities, to vote for class representatives, to choose special rewards and activities etc. The follow-up activity was an opportunity to think about the values and key features of democracy as
the children engaged in a vote. Together, they made a ballot box and secretly voted for their favourite school dinner of the week. This was an excellent opportunity for children to practice spelling their days of the week words, a key skill from Year 1. Children worked in groups to write a list of rules for voting, and they included only vote once, don’t write your name and don’t ask anyone what they voted for.
We used the story of The Hueys in the New Jumper by Oliver Jeffries to explore rules in a different society, before exploring our own. We read the beginning of the story and discussed what the Hueys are like; do they live like us? What rules do they have? What can they not do that we can do? We found out that there are things Hueys do not have choice about because they do not have individual liberty.
We used the story to imagine how the children would feel if their individual liberty was taken away. We encouraged children to speak in full sentences and together, we wrote a list of things we have individual liberty or choice about.
The follow up task was an opportunity to assess children’s understanding of individual liberty and find examples. Children split an A4 paper in half. On the top half, children drew a picture of the Hueys and labelled with things they don’t have individual liberty about. On bottom half, children drew a picture of themselves and their families and labelled with things they have individual liberty about.
Children’s Mental Health Week
We started this very important week by recording what we thought mental health was, and then on the second side of our flipchart we could record our learning from the week!
In English this week, we explored Michael Rosen’s poem ‘I am angry!’ We absolutely loved watching the author perform his poem and it really helped us with our expressive poetry reading!
We had a go writing our own feelings poem, demonstrating our wide vocabulary about emotions and celebrating feeling our feelings!
In Science, this developed our learning about ways to stay healthy by thinking about what keeps our minds healthy. We used our working scientifically skills to explore the effects of sleep and exercise on our bodies and minds!
In our first PHSE lesson, we learnt about positive thinking. We talked as a class about times when things go wrong and how we can respond, either by moaning/complaining or by trying to look on the bright side. The children did a fantastic job finding the silver lining in different scenarios and created beautiful silver-lined clouds with their ideas.
In our second PHSE lesson, we explored the story of Enzo’s Egg, a book which talks about our safe spaces and how people can help when we are feeling sad. Children used this story to think of their own safe space and in a circle time we talked about the importance of sharing our feelings.
Finally, we finished the week by applying our learning from this and thinking personally about what helps each one of us to maintain good mental health. We reflected how different people like and need different things. We shared our ideas as a class and then children were given time to complete a mindfulness activity. Some children wanted to colour carefully and quietly, some children wanted to make it into a present to give someone else, and other children just wanted to have fun with it! But everybody enjoyed having some choice and time to chat to their friends before the half-term holiday.