Welcome to Spring 2 2023!
Welcome back to Spring 2! This half term much of our learning is focused around our history focused topic and we will be learning all about the lives of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.
Credits: Mary Seacole Trust and National Portrait Gallery, London.
This is a very special time of the year as we enter into the season of Lent. We hope you all enjoyed a delicious Shrove Tuesday! We had a very special Ash Wednesday in school together on Wednesday with Farther Andrew where we observed the beginning of Lent. In class we have also watched a Liturgy from the Mark 10 Mission which you can also watch together at home here:
The children then linked this back to their own learning and applied this to their faith and all wrote Lenten promises. We were very proud of the children, who thought carefully about how they could give something up for Lent or share something with others. Lots of the Lenten promises were about helping at home and taking time to read or share with their siblings. We have decorated our prayer table with our Lenten promises making a promise chain.
This half term we are going to to be finding out more about The Mass. We have started off our learning by trying to order and sequence the parts of Mass. We explored important words that we hear during Mass and the religious objects that we see inside church.
We recalled the church etiquette that we observe each time we attend mass at church and are looking forward to putting it into practise when we attend Mass on Wednesday at St Josephs Church.
Year 2’s have been learning about the gifts given during the offertory at Mass and what they represent. Some children have been able to build on their own personal experiences of helping during this part of Mass at church and could recall how special it felt to be given the responsibility of presenting the offertory. The children have been able to make connections between what Jesus did and said during The Last Supper and what Father Andrew says and does at Mass. We also looked more closely at the Word of God and some of the readings that are used during Mass.
We have played several games to put into practise our key vocabulary to check that we could name, recognise and describe some of the other objects that we would see in church and during Mass.
As we prepare for the end of Lent and the celebration of Easter, Year 2’s created Easter cards to share with our families. We were able to apply our recent art skills when selecting a mixture of warm and cool coloured chalks and oil pastels to carefully colour around a cross template.
Our focus text this half term is George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, which links with our topic of Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale.
So far we have really enjoyed listening to and retelling chapters from this story, particularly our hot seating lessons which helped us to choose appropriate adjectives to describe the main characters, George and George’s grandma!
Year 2 have shown resilience in their work using thesauruses to find the very best adjective to describe both the characters. We have also looked at how Dahl has used similes to add further humorous description to the main characters allowing the reader to visual and imagine what they were like. We used a zone of relevance to sift and sort only the very best adjectives which improved our vocabulary choices when describing George Cranky.
The children are getting much better at using a range of conjunctions in their sentences (when, so, because, but, if) in order to give reasons why they think grandma and George behave in a particular. way They put their reading skills to good use skimming and searching to find evidence from the text to support their ideas.
World Book Day 2023
As part of our World Book Day celebrations, we had a virtual silly stories workshop and author visit from author, Serena Patel. Serena shared with us why she wanted to become an author, what inspires her to write and how we can become authors too! Serena gave us the starter to a story and working collaboratively with a partner from year 1, we had to continue it. We worked in pairs to draw or write the next part of the story. Many of our ideas were very silly indeed!
As part of our continued drive to ensure every child becomes a lifelong reader, we also had visit from Jane from Reading Eggs. The children were inspired to continue to use Reading Eggs at home. The children were shown how to access the virtual book library, make book reviews and collect stickers to create a special reading journal.
We had a very busy World Book Day and enjoyed dressing up as our favourite book characters, becoming illustrators led by Rob Biddulph, doing a book scavenger hunt, a library quiz, guess the celebrity masked readers and sharing a book with year 5’s in our class. We certainly had a fantastic day! I have also been enjoying the book recommendations from the children when learning more about them as readers and the types of books that they are enjoying reading.
In Maths, we have been continuing our maths learning on multiplication and division. We have started off by dividing by 2 and sharing into 2 groups to find half of amounts and numbers. The children were quick to make the connection between finding half and dividing by 2 . We continued to consolidate our learning further using practical manipulatives to share equally and fairly in to 2 groups, before moving on to pictorial methods. Some children then extended their learning even further by using their place value learning to find half of a two digit number by looking at the tens and ones.
We have continued to look at strategies to use when dividing including grouping and sharing equally into groups. The children have showed great team work and problem solving skills when applying their strategies to be able to solve a range of different problems. We have now begun to see the connection between multiplication and division and how we can build a fact family using the inverse.
World Maths Day
We are looking forward to celebrating World Maths Day 2023 this week! Where we we will learn about the careers that we might need maths for such as a computer games designer, animator or doctor, demonstrating our drive for lifelong learning. All of our lessons will have a maths twist! including our PE lesson with Mrs Powell and our history lesson where we will build a timeline.
In Science, we are learning about living things – animals and their young and life cycles. We started off by trying to sort and match adult animals to their offspring. The children were great at drawing on their prior learning and could easily identify similar features and also the names of the different animal groups from year 1. Through discussion we looked at offspring that looked totally different to their adults such as caterpillars and butterflies, chicks and hens, tadpoles and frogs. The children applied their working scientifically skills to sort and classify where the animals came from and the different ways in which they could be categorised and grouped.
Today in science we looked at some different animal lifecycles and the stages an animal will go through in its life. The children had to sort and decide where to place the different stages on their life cycles. We used the following clip to kick start our discussion. Click here to see the science clip
We have also been looking at the human life cycle and linked to our RSHE learning we have been thinking about the different stages of human life, how humans change and who helps to care for us a different stages in our lives. Year 2’s looked closely at the changes that they have gone through already from when they were babies, toddlers and now children. They children had great fun trying to guess who was who from their baby photographs. Through discussion they were able to identify things that they can do now, that they were not able to do when they were younger and things that have changed about themselves and things that have stayed the same.
Year 2’s have also been working scientifically in order to investigate: if children who are older have a larger handspan? We set to work comparing our birth months and applying our maths learning in order to measure our handspans in cm’s. We continued our investigation further and wanted to find out that if you have a larger handspan would it mean that you can hold the most cubes in your hands? For this part of the investigation we recorded our results making a graph to showing the number of cubes held and the width of different handspans. Through discussion we were able to draw conclusions from our fantastic investigative skills.
British Science Week 2023 – making connections
Year 2’s were lucky to take part in some exciting events planned to celebrate British Science week in school. We had a STEM Lego workshop. Using this years theme of Connections, we had to think of different ways that we can connect with people and then make them out of Lego. Year 2’s were great at working collaboratively in teams to make Lego boats, lorries, cars, phones, tablets and planes! We had so much fun during this workshop whilst practising a whole host of teambuilding and practical STEM based skills.
Year 2’s were also lucky to have visited the year 3/4 science fayre and took part in lots of fun and practical experiments. Thank you to Year 3 and 4 for designing such fantastic and hands on investigations and science games for us to try. We enjoyed trying out each and every one of them and also winning some prizes!
This term we will be combining our class English text, George’s Marvellous Medicine with our computing learning to practise our processing and communication skills down in the computer suite. We started our sessions, like always by recapping our internet safety rules. Year 2’s are now experts in recalling our STOP, BLOCK and TELL message and continue to learn more about how to keep safe online.
Year 2’s are becoming independent and resilient learners when logging on independently to the school computers. Once logged on, we used Roald Dahl’s poem ‘The Cook up’ to practise our typing skills and develop our confidence around using the keyboard and mouse.
The children worked collaboratively and practised selecting their typed text to edit the font, changing both the colour and size. This was tricky and year 2’s had to be resilient learners to navigate the keyboard functions as well as controlling the mouse. It was a wonderful opportunity to further develop our fine motor control skills especially when trying to control the curser arrow and when right clicking and dragging over the text in order to select it and make changes.
In History, we are learning about the lives of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole and the significant impact that these women had to the history of nursing. We kick started our historical enquiry by finding out about the Crimean war. We had to use our Geography knowledge to find out where in the world the Crimea was and which countries were at war. Through role-play we imagined and re-enacted what it would have been like as soldiers to be fighting on two opposing sides. Looking into paintings and illustrations the children were quick to make comparisons to a modern battlefield as they could see that the soldiers were dressed very differently and were using different weapons.
Using photographs and a range of different sources year 2’s began to research and learn about conditions in hospitals during the Crimean war. They began to compare how patients were treated then and now in hospitals today. They were interested to hear an extract from war dairy to show conditions in a hospital in Scutari and use an interactive hospital hotspots game revealing key facts about the improvements Florence Nightingale made to hospitals.
They then went on to apply some of their maths skills and prior learning of chronology to order and compare some key events that took place in Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale’s lives. Using a Venn diagram and working collaboratively really help to compare and contrast both people.
The children used their prior learning of other historical events that they had learnt about this year to help them to order chronologically and consider what ‘in living memory’ meant. The more facts that they leant about each nurse meant it became a lot easier to compare and contrast their roles and the changes that they made both during and after the war. Year 2’s had some really important discussions about race and equality as many children expressed how unfair they felt it was that Mary Seacole was not allowed to help and be sponsored by the government in the same way that Florence Nightingale was. They felt she did not have the same recognition after the war for all the help she offered.
We started our music learning journey this half term by collecting the names of different percussion instruments before exploring and describing how they make their sounds. We also thought about where we may have seen, heard or come across these instruments. Year 2’s suggested some great ideas sharing their own personal experiences:
- Sound effects on TV or films.
- Songs I have heard.
- At a show or in the theatre.
- In an orchestra.
The children then explored practically some different instruments that needed a beater, could be shaken, strummed, banged, scrapped, blown or plucked. The children found that some instruments could make their sounds in several different ways.
We have continued our music learning to think more about how to group instruments. Building on our recent exploration of different instruments year 2’s were quick to decide how they could be sorted. and made groups of instruments that you could blow, bang or strum etc. Today we introduced the terms tuned and untuned. We found out that, tuned percussion can play a range of notes at different pitches, for example the glockenspiel, or xylophone. Untuned percussion mostly only have one pitch or sound, e.g. bongo drums, cymbals, drum kit, guiro, or triangle. The children had a go at sorting images of different instruments. This was tricky at first and we had to listen very carefully to a recording of each before applying their new learning about tuned and untuned instruments to be able to sort and distinguish between them.
Year 2’s started off making responses to music through dance. We listened to different styles of music and the children had to move and use their bodies to respond to the changing speed and beat of each song. We had great fun trying to keep up with Greece’s famous dance, the Sirtaki where we needed a mixture of very fast and slow steps!
We have also been developing co-ordination and balance through a range of different games. In one game we used a partner to pretend to be a mirror and had to copy every move, balance and action that our partners made.
We also tried to use our coordination and balance with different equipment and whilst trying to complete shuttle runs and races. The children tried many methods including stretching different parts of their bodies out to improve their steadiness.
Year 2 were very lucky to have a skipping workshop led by Katie to prepare them for a very exciting skipping competition in the summer term! We learnt lots of different skipping techniques and all the children showed real resilience and perseverance! Katie was so impressed with everyone and said she had never before been able to teach as many skills in one lesson! This was in part due to Year 2’s brilliant listening and respectful behaviour. It was especially lovely to see the children cheering each other on when it was getting tricky! Remember to practice your skipping as much as you can at home so we are ready for the competition!
We have also been revising and extending our learning in French. This half term we have been learning to read and say the French names for some popular toys. We have been practising our best French pronunciation using games and interactive clips.
We moved our French learning on to learn the names in French for some musical instruments. After lots of practise orally to perfect our pronunciation we then looked at being able to recognise and read the names before trying to write them. We were even able to link our music learning to be able to state if they were tuned or untuned!
Year 2’s have worked very hard with their French learning this half term to learn about toys and instruments in many practical ways. We will continue to practise this new vocabulary to ensure that it can be recalled and has stuck.
Year 2’s started off this half term by recapping our British values and have used the acronym Dr Tim to help us to remember them all!
Our focus British value for this half term has been have been Tolerance and Mutual respect. Through our discussion, the children showed an already good understanding of what mutual respect meant to them, in their lives and as part of our school.
Year 2’s could easily recognise and identify that ‘Respect’ is part of our school TRUST school rules and were able to apply their understanding through discussion considering the following questions:
When is it easy to show respect?’
‘When is it harder to show respect?’
‘What do you need to do to show respect?’
‘Do you have to earn respect?
As a class we used the phrases ‘treat others how we’d like to be treated ourselves. and ‘RESPECT others and they will RESPECT you! We then went on to make of own acrostic poems using the acronym RESPECT.
During our RSHE lessons about Boys and girls and families, Year 2 started to consider that everybody needs to be cared for but in different ways at different times of their lives. They linked their current science learning to discuss what kind of help people might need at each stage of the human life -cycle. They have also been learning about the differences between Girls and boys and thought how both boys and girls have been created by God to be both similar and different. They shared their similarities and differences and discussed what makes them special and unique.
Dogs Trust Visit
Year 2 were so excited to be visited by Dogs Trust Leeds. 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 how to care and interact with a pet dog or dogs they may come across in everyday life. We heard all about how the Dogs Trust care for their dogs with vet visits, identichips, baths and kennels. Year 2’s then revised remembering the 5 ‘happy dog’ rules with actions, which were:
- When a dog is sleeping we leave them alone.
- When a dog is eating we leave them alone.
- Be quiet around dogs or whisper.
- Dogs don’t like hugs they like gentle strokes.
- If a dog takes your toy, tell a grownup.