“When one teaches, two learn.” Robert Heinlein
Welcome to Year 2
Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)
Year 2 Curriculum Newsletters
Find out what we are learning about each half term by reading the newsletters:
Welcome back to all the children in Year 2. I hope you all had a fantastic summer holiday. We have lots to learn this year and it’s guaranteed to be exciting so let’s get started!
When the Poet Came
This week a local poet came into class to read some of his poems to us. The children had a great time listening and getting involved with some of the actions. After, the children were asked to rhyme different words that the poet gave to them. It was a really fun experience and I hope the children are feeling inspired to write their own poetry!
CAFOD came to visit us in class to talk about what they do to help others who are less fortunate than us. The children were asked to complete a backpack activity where they could only pack 6 items to take with them. The children had to really think about and discuss what was essential to take and it showed the children just how difficult it must be for other children around the world who need to leave their homes. The children showed empathy and thought for people less fortunate than them and it really helped them to appreciate what they have.
Ashfield Nursing Home
We have been on a trip to visit the residents of Ashfield Nursing Home this week. The children had a great time chatting to the residents and gave them all a gift of a book! We then all sang songs together. It was a lovely time spent together and we will definitely be visiting again soon.
Our topic this half term is Chosen People. To begin this topic, the children were discussing what made them special. We were exploring the fact that we are all special because we are all gifts from God. The children came up with some lovely ideas for what made them special. After this, we looked at the similarities and differences between us. This was to show the children that we are all unique and special, but we all share common values e.g. we are all in Gods Family.
The children have been looking at how they can help others in God’s world. The children were given the task of suggesting 5 ways to help the people that we love in our lives. The children were able to identify lots of different ways to help people in our world e.g. being kind, doing the dishes and playing with someone who is on their own. We were able to discuss how to help people who were less fortunate than us and link this to the backpacks we sent last year to help the charity CAFOD.
We have been looking at Abraham’s story in RE and the trust he placed in God to make the journey to a new land. The children were re-telling the story in their own words and reflecting on how Abraham would have felt being asked to make this journey, leaving everything behind, to a new land. We were able to reflect on the word trust and what this means. As well as this, we were able to talk about people in our lives that we trust and love.
We have been learning about Daniel and the Lion’s Den in RE. The children were fantastic at retelling the story through drama and working together as a team. After that, the children were exploring Daniel’s feelings and considering how he would have felt when he was made to stop praying to God and how he would have felt when he was thrown into the lion’s den.
Take a look at some of our Collective Worship time in the classroom. It is a time for the children to come together, sharing an opportunity to listen to the word of the Lord. During the school day, we always ensure we give the children an opportunity to progress on their faith journey.
Here is our new collective worship resources box. In here we keep all of the resources needed for our collective worship. Our prayer leader for the week will look in the box daily to find suitable resources for the daily worship.
This month it is the month of the Rosary and the children have been using the prayer table and our time in collective worship to write prayers and reflect on Mary’s importance and say thanks to her for her gifts and ask for her guidance.
We have been straight back into the swing of things in English this week. We started the week with writing recounts of our favourite activities in the holidays. It sounds like the children went on lots of different adventures and they were excited to share these with myself and with each other.
After this, we began looking at contracted forms of words. We began by matching the contractions to the correct words, before applying these into some sentences. It was brilliant to see that the children were beginning to apply this skill into other subjects such as Geography and RE.
We received a letter this week from an explorer! The children were really excited to hear what the letter said and it was from someone who has been exploring America for the past 10 years. She was really looking forward to reading the children’s responses to her letter and to hopefully answer some of their questions. To write a brilliant letter, we began learning about how to structure a formal letter and what’s best to include. Once we had the skills, we were ready to write to the explorer and now we eagerly await her reply!
We have had a fantastic time in English recently. We have been putting ourselves in the position of an explorer and writing diary entries for our expeditions! It has truly been some of the children’s best work to date and they have really started to take to the standard of work in Year 2. I am continually made proud of the children and thank God daily for having them as a class.
Our learning in maths has been super busy this week! Our topic this term is number. To begin, we recapped our numbers from 0-100 before moving on to counting in 2s, 5s, 3s and 10s. The children took part in an exciting, practical game which required speed and team work. They had to work together to order the numbers in the correct sequence by finding them in the hall and bringing them back to their team. First team to complete the sequence in the correct order was the winner.
After this, we looked at number bonds to 100. The children had to match the numbers together to add to 100.
Place value has been our theme in maths this week! We have been focusing all week on numbers in the number system. The children have been looking at the value of different numbers up to 100 and identify the tens and units in these numbers. They had to build numbers using multi-link and numicon and finally had to use symbols to represent if a number was greater than or less than each other.
The children have been learning all about estimating. We have been estimating steps to places, how many sweets in a jar and where a number will go on a number line. The children have then been applying this knowledge to objects in the classroom, such as estimating how many books are in the book corner, or how many pencils are in the pot.
Our topic in Science is materials. The children have been exploring the physical properties of different materials. They were asked to predict what they thought they material might feel like before finding out the answer and seeing if their predictions were correct.
We have been investigating this week if we can change the shape of solid materials. The children were given a variety of solid materials to explore and see if they could squash, twist, bend or stretch the materials. Some of the objects included a metal spoon, an elastic band and a rubber. After the investigation, the children had to write up their findings.
In topic this week, we have been learning some new skills in Geography. The children were using atlases to find where Amelia Earhart was from. We also looked at the maps to find where the UK was in the world and where the capital cities were in the UK. The children were using the contents page in order to find the information they needed.
After this, the children used the iPads to research Earhart and find some facts about her.
The children have been looking at the 7 continents during Geography. This has equipped the children with the knowledge we need to fly around and explore the world with Amelia Earhart!
We have started our journey of flying with Earhart! The children could identify the UK on a world map and a non-European country (Kenya). They were then able to join the 2 countries together to show the distance Earhart would have to travel to reach Kenya. Afterwards, the children researched Kenya and found out some interesting facts e.g. Kenya is known for its excellence in sports.
We have been looking at physical and human geography and what the differences are. The children worked in groups to separate the different types and then wrote definitions for the terminology.
In PSHE this half term, we have been creating our new class rules, establishing friendships and managing our behaviour/feelings at school. In addition to this, we have looked at what makes a good friend. We started by listing qualities that we believe make a good friend. After this, the children explored how to deal with difficult situations that might occur when we play with our friends and how to resolve these. The children were excellent at creating some drama to show their ideas and were very open to sharing how they feel they would resolve this situation. Finally, we looked at what is needed to have a healthy diet and what is a healthy food group. The children were excellent at sorting the different foods into healthy and not healthy. We even extended our learning by categorising foods into fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other groups. Super work Year 2!
We have been looking at the aeroplane Amelia Earhart made when she was exploring. To help the children to understand how difficult it must have been for Earhart to make her own transport, the children were given the opportunity to cut their own wood using a saw. The children were fantastic at using the tools safely and following instructions.
We have been recapping our knowledge of coding and scratch from Year 1 in ICT. The children were able to give the characters instructions and get it to move independently.
The children were able to clap rhythms and copy Miss Mac. Afterwards, the children were asked to identify the beat of popular songs by clapping along. The children noticed that the tempo of the beat changes in different songs and can also change in the same songs.
The children love PE. This week they have been taking part in some team games. They have enjoyed working with their friends and refreshing some skills such as catching, co-ordination and team work.
In PE with Miss Mac, we will be looking at Athletics. This week we have been looking at sprinting techniques and setting our baseline times so that we can check if they have improved at the end of our topic. The children were really keen to race me at the end and to their disappointment, they are not quite fast enough yet! I’m sure with a little more practice, they will be speeding past me!
This week we have had a focus on long distance running. We began by watching Mo Farah complete the 5000m in the London 2012 Olympics. From watching this, we were able to learn the techniques needed to complete the run and all about pace.
In PE with Mr Cooper, we have been looking at movement skills. The children have been looking at moving in different ways such as hopping, skipping and running. The children demonstrated excellent listening and movement skills.
Welcome back after a hopefully fun filled half term break. This half term is going to be a busy one with plenty of fun including the nativity!
Stage Coach Workshop
We have been very lucky this week and had the company Stage Coach come in and do some work with us! The children took part in a Christmas workshop where they were involved in some acting and dancing. We were also playing some drama games. The children all had to work in groups to come up with a short Christmas dance. We all had a great time and I hope the children will consider going to Stage Coach rehearsals outside of school!
Our topic this half term is Mysteries. We have started our topic by exploring what a mystery is and the difference between a mystery and a puzzle. The children were asked to think of things that they wonder about God, Earth and Heaven. The children had some excellent ideas and understood that mysteries are things that can never be solved.
We have been looking at the story of the Annunciation in RE. We had a visit from Mary who the children were able to hot seat to ask her questions about the good news and how she was feeling. The children were then able to create diary entries from Mary’s perspective using their feelings and their 5 senses to describe what they could see, feel and hear whilst the angel was visiting.
We have become poets in Year 2! The children have been reading and unpicking a variety of poems, looking at the language and the writer’s techniques. We have focused on rhyme, suffixes and rhythm. We even chose to read a poem about Remembrance Day when we were asked to share our collective worship with the school in Golden Book. Make sure to check back soon to read all about the children’s poems that they will be writing.
We have been writing letters to the Queen in English. The children were thinking about different questions they might like to ask and information they want to tell her. We made sure it was our very best handwriting because after all, it is going to royalty!
To link with our class theme for this half term, we have started looking at the book The Queen’s Hat. We started off our learning by predicting what the text might be about, just from looking at the front cover. The children had some very creative ideas,ranging from the dog took the hat to play frisbee to a robber stole the hat and the Queen’s guards searched all over London to find it! After this, we looked at the story and started to learn some actions to go alongside it to be able to re-tell the whole story with confidence.
We have been looking at adding on tens to numbers as well as different methods of adding such as using objects, fingers, number lines and column addition. The children worked very hard on their adding skills and took each challenge in their stride! We will be looking at the 4 operations this half term.
We have been taking a Burn2Learn approach in maths recently and have been using and applying our knowledge of multiplication in a practical way. The children had to work together in teams to work out the answer to Miss Mac’s questions, before going into the hall and finding the answer on the floor. They then had to race back to their group and the first back to their group with the correct answer was the winner.
This week has been all about dividing. We have looked at sharing into different amounts, rapid recall of division facts and even took a Burn2Learn approach to our learning. The children worked hard using the variety of methods we have looked at, particularly at the sharing method which is useful for our visual learners.
We have been looking at recognising and describing the properties of 2D and 3D shapes. The children had to identifying the vertices, faces and edges of shapes as well as recognise them in a group. The children worked with the physical objects to work out their properties.
Our topic this half term is Animals, including Humans. We kick started our learning with a labelling activity where the children had to label the parts of the human body. We also found a really fun song all about the human body which the children loved and kept singing all day long!
We have had a focus on what animals and humans need to survive. We found out the 5 basic needs for survival and even found out some facts about the need in our survival. Once we had researched and discussed the 5 basic needs, the children created posters to present their findings and describe the needs.
Our topic this half term is Kings and Queens. The children will be learning all about the royal family through Art, Music, History and English. We have made our own royal crowns in art which we designed using patterns.
We have been researching the Queen and the history of her life during our History lessons. The children were given a variety of questions for them to take and find out the answers using the iPads for research. The children worked in pairs to retrieve the information and write it down in their books.
We have looked at the timeline of Kings and Queens of England from the very beginning to the end. We started off our learning with a fun song from Horrible Histories which the children enjoy singing along too. Afterwards, we created our timelines in groups to show how long they reigned for and when they were around.
We have been making flags during art to continue our Kings and Queens topic. The children had to design their own country flags and create their own rules if they were King or Queen of their own country.
We then moved on to creating our own flags using different paint. The children were set the task of designing their own flag and then carefully colouring their design in using paint.
We were very lucky to have Catholic Care come in and do a workshop with us in class. The topic was ‘Gender Stereotypes’ and the children had to discuss and think about gender roles in school, home and in the work place. The children were each given a job and they had to consider whether this job was a man, women or anyone’s job. The children’s thoughts were really interesting and they were all very respectful of each other’s opinions.
In PE with Miss Mac, our topic is dance. We have been looking at timing, rhythm and group work. The children created some great dance pieces in time with the music and finished off with a signature pose!
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year! We are all looking forward to starting school again in 2019 and kick starting the year with a jungle theme.
Show and Share
We have had our show and share in year 2! The topic of our show and share was reading to give the parents an insight into the activities we do in class daily and into what SATs look like in KS1. The parents and children really enjoyed learning together and spending time together learning. Thank you so much to everyone that came along to take part in either of the sessions, your support is always valued!
For filling our pom pom jar for great behaviour and for being the winning class for house points, the children were rewarded with a much deserved reward! The children chose to have a toy afternoon where each of them brought in a toy from home to play with. The children brought all sorts including dolls, teddies, card games and board games. We all had a lot of fun and well done again Year 2!
For the next 2 weeks, we will be having Anti-Bullying fortnight in school. The theme of the 2 weeks is to Choose Respect and we have taken part in a variety of activities. The children have been participating in art, drama, music, English, PSHE and debate style activities for us to really deepen our understanding of the topic and for us to demonstrate just how respectful we are in Year 2.
In art, we have created a paper of chain of each of us in the class, each of designed differently to recognise that we are all different, all equal. We have been looking at different scenarios to act out in PSHE so that the audience can provide feedback for these to help resolve the situation. The children gave excellent advice to each other. We have created friendship poems in English in the style of an acrostic poem. The children were excellent at choosing appropriate suffixes to add to their poems to describe a good quality of a friend.
Take a look at our class collective worship table. Each week we have a new theme which we reflect upon during our whole school and class collective worships.
Our topic this half term is The Good News. This focuses on the good news Jesus brings to us and how he brings joy into the world by his kindness and the help he gives to all. We began our topic by looking at the Bible story of Jesus bringing Jarius’ daughter back to life and how Jesus can turn sadness into joy. The children all took on a role to perform the story to develop their knowledge of the story. It was the best role play I have ever seen the children engage in and the children really got into the characters and thought about the message it shares with us.
We have looked at the story of the 10 Lepers in RE. We began by re-telling the story in groups and in our books before writing a thank you card to Jesus for his kindness. The children were able to identify the meaning of the story and re-tell it with confidence.
Our next Bible story we are focusing on is the Feeding of the 5000 where one boy’s lunch is used by Jesus to feed 5000 people! We began our learning by listening to the story and re-telling it so that we can really get to grips with it and deepen our faith in Jesus and his miracles. Once we had cracked the story, we moved on too asking the boy questions about his day and what he saw. The children asked some fantastic questions which really showed a deep understanding of the boys day, thoughts and feelings. It also lead the children to really think deeply about their faith and using Jesus as a role model.
We have been bringing all of our topic together this week and been reflecting on the messages Jesus has been teaching us through the stories of the Bible. We focused on the feeding of the 5000, the Good Samaritan, Jarius’ Daughter and Noah’s Ark to reflect on the messages and to apply what Jesus is teaching us to modern life. The children had fantastic ideas about using Jesus’ teachings and the morals of each of the stories.
We have had an incredible start to the year with our writing this half term! Our theme this half term is instructions for looking after a jungle animal and this weeks focus has been on developing our descriptive skills and building these ready to make the best instructions we can! We have been looking at expanded noun phrases, similes, adjectives and using the 5 senses to create character descriptions. I enjoyed reading their character descriptions so much and some even lead to the children visiting Miss Milivojevic to celebrate their fantastic work.
We have had a big focus on handwriting with 1 or 2 children gaining their pen licenses this week! Let’s keep working towards these so we can all achieve these this year!
We are still working towards writing our amazing instructions for looking after a jungle animal. We have been looking at subordinating and coordinating conjunctions and have taken a Burn2Learn approach to our learning. We have been looking at using some of these words to create our sentences.
Our writing is truly taking off in 2019! We have been focusing on verbs and adverbs and applying these to our jungle animal instructions. We began focusing on these through a Burn2Learn style to learning before using and applying these in sentences. At the end of the week, we wrote our first drafts to the introduction to our instructions and the children were fantastic at using and applying all of the skills we have been looking at such as expanded noun phrases, verbs, adverbs and similes. Mrs Lowe and I have been blown away and can’t wait to see the final products!
Our instructions are finished! We spent lots and lots of time preparing for writing our instructions, focusing on our introductions, equipment and method for looking after jungle animals. We began by learning about time connectives and took to our B2L approach to secure our learning. Afterwards, it was time to get to the job! The children have written some fantastic instructions for looking after a variety of animals such as cheetahs, toucans and wolves. We then edited and improved our work to make sure it was to a brilliant standard. We invited our parents in at the end of the day to see our instructions and they were blown away by the standard! In Year 2 we have made a little book of instructions for our working wall so now everyone will know how to look after a jungle animal!
This week we have focused on multiplication and how to answer different questions relating to this. We have focused on arrays, rapid recall and the commutative law. The children have been practising these skills during our KIRF time in the week where they are really using and applying their knowledge of the times tables to answer questions.
During one of our lessons, we took part in a B2L approach of learning where there were a selection of numbers around the classroom. The children needed to think of as many ways to make these numbers by multiplying whilst working in their teams. The children had a set amount of times to see how many multiplications they could make for each number.
We are looking at fractions this week. In year 2, we need to be able to find, recognise and name fractions of 1/2, 1/4, 3/4, 1/3 and 2/4. We have started our learning by playing a game of dominoes where the children need to match the fraction to the fraction name.
We are continuing our fractions focus and moving on to equivalent fractions such as 1/2 and 2/4. To begin we recapped fractions of numbers, shapes and amounts. After this, we looked at equivalent fractions and finished off with word problems and problem solving tasks to solidify our learning. The children have been working really hard with recognising fractions and have shown real progress in their understanding.
Our topic this half term is Animals and their habitats.Within this topic we will be looking at what animals need in their habitats, how each of their habitats vary and the food chain.
We began with looking at the food chain and how each living thing depends on each other. We looked at the producers, prey and predators in food chains together before the children started to create their own to demonstrate their knowledge.
We have been out into the woods to look at the badgers habitat. The children went out with their clipboards and looked at the surroundings of the badgers habitat and what the habitat has to offer the badger to make it so habitable. The children really enjoyed exploring the woods and I hope we can return in the near future for some more learning.
After our visit to the woods, we have been looking at different habitats and the variety of animals that live in these. We took an English approach and practiced our commas in a list to write about these different animals that live in the same habitat e.g. animals that live in the jungle are tigers, toucans, monkeys and snakes. The children worked in teams to put the animals into the correct habitats before moving on to their independent writing.
The children have produced their own fact files about different jungle animals. We began by researching and finding information out about different jungle animals so that we had the correct information for our fact files. We looked into what these animals eat, drink, live and what countries they usually live in. After this, we focused on writing our fact files with subheadings, commas in lists and finishing it off with a detailed picture of the animal.
Our Science learning journey for this half term finished with looking at what is alive, dead and never been alive. We looked at what made something alive, what may no longer be alive and what has never been living. Once we had finished looking at the definitions, we began our practical learning of looking around the school for these categories. The children had to look around school for these 3 different categories and when they found them, they had to put them into the correct row in their table.
Our topic this half term is The Jungle. We are looking at this through a variety of different subjects such as Geography, DT, Music and PE.
In music, we have been looking at how to create a jungle atmosphere using body percussion. The children really enjoyed working in groups to try and create the atmosphere of a busy jungle by creating sounds of the animals, weather and nature.
The children have been exploring different instruments and using these to create animal noises and jungle atmospheres. The children were each given an opportunity to play the instruments and try and make a noise of the jungle.
We have been looking at creating atmospheres by building sounds to make the atmosphere of the jungle. To do this, we used the instruments to make different animal noises e.g. a drum for elephants running, a shaker to create the noise of a rattlesnake. Once we had made our individual noises, we built them up together to create one noisy jungle!
We have been looking at the human and physical features of the jungle and comparing this to Wetherby. The children looked at ariel photographs to look at the features of the jungle. The children used their maths skills to catergorise these into a table.
We have looked at compass directions and learning about north, east, south and west! The children really loved the song we sang together at the beginning of the lesson. Afterwards, we pretended to help each other reach our friends by giving directions. The children were able to follow directions and use these on a grid to find different points. It was brilliant to use the mnemonic ‘Never Eat Soggy Wellies’ for the children to remember the order of the directions and they loved it!
We have been on a hunt for human and physical geography around school. We began our search outdoors looking all around the playground and field for what we have made and what is natural. Afterwards, we looked all around the inside of our school (including Miss Millivojevic’s office) for physical features and human features. We managed to find so many features and kept track of these by using our maths skills and making a tally chart.
In DT, we are building up our skills to design, build and produce our own jungle masks. This week, we have been focusing on different colours of different jungle animals. The children created mood boards of their favourite animal patterns/colours and explained why they might consider this for their animal masks.
After looking at colours, we focused on the different materials we can use to add detail to our mask e.g. fur. The children used resources in the classroom to choose some materials e.g. fur on coats. The children took clipboards around the school to look at different materials before adding to their mood board. The children have now got their final plans together and are ready to go with their jungle masks!
We have made our jungle masks! We really enjoyed designing and producing our jungle animals. The children used a variety of materials and techniques to make their masks and were able to use their plans to make them.
We have been using our computing slot to practice our research skills. Of course we have been researching jungle animals! The children have been applying their computing skills to typing, using the mouse and researching on the internet about the animals habitats, diet and countries. We have loved looking at the different information and images, we will be applying this research in English and Science.
Safer Internet Day
On Tuesday 5th February it was Safer Internet Day. With the children, we looked at the great things we can do with the internet, but also some of the dangers of the internet. We looked through a story together about a young boy on an online game. We had to help make the right decisions when it came to keeping safe on the internet and it was brilliant to hear so many good suggestions for keeping safe. Being safe on the internet is really important and i’m glad this is recognised by the children.
Our focus for PSHE this half term is friendships and how to deal with difficult situations that may arise in these. We will be learning tools for dealing with things we find tricky in friendships and strategies to resolve these issues. As well as this, it is Anti-Bullying week within this half term so we will be looking at this too.
We have been looking at what makes a good friend and what we wouldn’t want in a friend. The children came up with some brilliant suggestions for good qualities and what they can do for their friends if they are sad or hurt. We discussed our best friends and all came to the conclusion that we were great friends in Year 2!
In PE with Miss Mac, we are having a jungle focus in gymnastics. We began with a focus on how different jungle animals might travel around the space. The children were put into groups to explore how different jungle animals may move and to build a short routing using balances, travelling and actions. The children then shared feedback for each other and shared improvements they could make.
We have been focusing on balance in PE. The children were given pictures of a variety of balances for them to practice in their 3s. They were given the challenge of sequencing 3 balances together and likening them to different jungle animals. Each group performed back to each other their routines. At the end, we had a balance competition to see who could stand on their leg for the longest. Some children lasted a very long time!
In PE with Mr Cooper (our PE partner coach), the children were focusing on balancing and how there are many ways to do this. The children engaged in a variety of games to work on their balancing skills such as rock, paper, scissors balance! The children listened fantastically and really gave their full effort. I wonder if we have done enough to beat the other classes this week and be PE class of the week?
We had so much fun with Mr Cooper in PE this week! We were practicing turning actions into dance moves and what better way to do this than to use the James Bond soundtrack and move like spies. We began our learning with moving to the music and what we thought it would look like before turning the actions into a routine in groups by adding dance moves such as slides, levels, turns and leaps.
The children have been focusing on the terminology ‘canon’ this week. They were asked by Mr Cooper to come up with a dance routine using the technique of canon. The children were excellent at using previous dance moves that they had practiced before and choreographing there own dances.
We have been using the apparatus in PE! We have been learning all about travelling along different apparatus and how to land safely from apparatus too when jumping. The children were fantastic at moving safely and travelling in different ways along different apparatus.
Welcome back to school after what felt like a super speedy half term! This half term is jam packed full of learning, laughter and exciting opportunities to broaden the children’s horizons and continue to develop their love of learning.
We have been very lucky in FS and KS1 to have 2 children come over from the South of France to come and share their experiences of French school and to help us learn some basic French phrases and songs. The children were here to visit relatives of children who attend St Joseph’s. The children were given the opportunity to ask questions and play games with the children, Ted (7) and Honey (4). Thank you so much for coming and sharing your experiences with us and for teaching us new games and songs in French, the children really enjoyed themselves!
The Secret Garden performance
In line with our half term themes in each class of gardens, we were very lucky to watch a live performance of ‘The Secret Garden.’ The children loved the performance and were really engaged with it!
World Book Day
We have all been celebrating World Book Day 2019 and to make it even more exciting, it has been a garden theme this year to keep in line with our topic! The children came in some fantastic costumes and it was wonderful to see all the effort they put in with their costumes. This day encourages a love of reading and different characters so is lovely to celebrate each year.
Cheerleading taster session
Today we had a Leeds Rhino cheerleading coach in to work with the children. We learnt some drills, jumps, runs and routines that they do at Leeds Rhinos! The children absolutely loved having the pom poms and shaking them in their routines! They did a wonderful job and really worked hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few children have come home and asked if they can join a cheerleading squad, I know I was inspired!
Take a look at our class collective worship table. Each week we have a new theme which we reflect upon during our whole school and class collective worships.
Our topic this half term is The Mass. We began our learning with discussing what Mass means to us and what we think about during Mass. The children all reflected on the meaning and its importance to us as individuals. Some children said it makes them think of clouds, peace and love. We then drew pictures of what Mass means to us and drew some of the symbols of Mass. Once we had drawn these, we wrote about the importance of these symbols and what they mean to us.
To continue or Mass topic, we then looked at the Last Supper and how this was the first time Jesus stood and discussed the bread and wine as his body and blood. We discussed the significance of this story and Jesus sharing himself with the Disciples. We then took part in role play activities to demonstrate our knowledge of this story.
In English our focus for this half term is the story ‘The Curious Garden.’ We began our topic by predicting the events of the book by looking at the front cover and the name. After this, we looked at what the story was about and had a guided reading focus to reading and understanding the text. With writing, we have been focusing on apostrophes for possession and contractions. We looked at examples of these in the story and created our own sentences with these types of words in them. We then practiced our sentences by looking at different sentences openers and applying these to sentences about The Curious Garden. All of this work will be building up to us writing our own stories about somewhere curious we will go on adventures too!
The children were searching for the different contractions to use in sentences. They had to find the word Miss Mac shouted out and then add the apostrophe in the correct place.
We have been creating character descriptions for the main character Liam this week in our class story ‘The Curious Garden.’ In the build up to this piece of writing, we have focused on different sentence starters and connectives, adjectives, expanded noun phrases and using our previous learning of apostrophes to create wonderful character description. Another pen license was even awarded this week from this piece of work! Will there be anymore before the Easter holidays?
The time has come for us to finally write our alternative endings for the story ‘The Curious Garden.’ Before we started, we had a final blast of punctuation we have learnt and did this through Burn 2 Learn. The children had to find in the classroom a full stop, question mark, exclamation mark, comma and apostrophe and think of a sentence using one of these punctuation marks. Once we had cracked this, we began to write our alternative endings and they have been absolutely phenomenal! I am so proud of their work and I know they are too.
Money, Money, Money!
We are focusing on money in maths. We began our learning journey by identifying different coins and notes so that we know their worth when it comes to adding money. Once we had cracked this, we moved on to finding different amounts of money using a variety of coins. The children took part in a Burn To Learn approach to learning. They were all put into groups and given an amount of money to find. They then had to work as a team to find the different coins to make their particular amount. Some children come suggest 2 or 3 ways to make the different amounts!
We have been looking at buying items and getting changed. This is to continue or money theme in maths. The children were invited to go to Mrs Lowe’s shop! She had lots of lovely items for sale and they had to take their money and see what they could afford to buy and what they would like! The problem was, Mrs Lowe just can’t seem to understand how change works! The children had to work with the shopkeeper to make sure they received the right change.
We are being curious about animals and humans in science. We began our learning by conducting an experiment about exercise and the heart rate. We first looked at where we can find our pulse and the importance of exercise and the impact this has on our heart rate. After we found our heart rates, we then counted the beats per minute and recorded these in a table of results. Afterwards, we went in groups outside to take part in the Daily Mile to raise our heart rates. Once we finished our exercise, the children then had to count their heart beats for a minute and record this down. After 3 minutes, we did our final check to see if our heart rates had slowed down. The children noticed that their heart rates increased a lot during exercise and started to slow again after 3 minutes. The children looked at their results and compared with each other.
Keeping in line with our curious topic and healthy lifestyle theme, we have been looking at healthy diets. We started our learning by looking at the healthy eating plate and identifying the different food groups and examples of these. We then looked at how much of each food group humans should eat for a healthy diet and the importance and place for all of these foods in our diet. The children then applied their mathematical knowledge of statistics and science knowledge of food groups to produce a tally chart to ask the children in the class about their favourite food from each food group e.g chicken, pasta, tomatoes etc. When they had collected their results, they put them into a bar chart to compare the most and least favourite in year 2.
We have been focusing on the importance of hygiene in year 2. We have been looking at how to keep our hands, body and teeth clean and how important it is to ensure we have the skills to look after ourselves. The children have been producing leaflets to explain the importance of hygiene, how to keep clean and what might happen if hygiene is not maintained. We used our English skills to produce brilliant leaflets that would be fit for any NHS waiting room!
What a week it has been! The children have absolutely loved science week. We completed experiments, write ups and were even able to visit the science fair ran by Year 3 and 5. Our experiment was about putting mentos into coke bottles to watch it explode! The children absolutely loved observing the experiment and predicting what might happen next. We then wrote up all about the experiment, including an equipment list, method and what we would do differently.
At the science fair the children participated in a variety of different experiments made by the pupils of year 3 and year 5. It was so much fun to see the different experiments and engage in a variety of different science topics such as physics, chemistry and biology. I know this has excited the children for when they get to run the science fair in the future!
Our topic this half term is ‘I am curious’ and this links with the Titanic and The Curious Garden book.
In History, we are being curious about the Titanic ship and what happened at this time. We began our learning with asking questions initially, using our curiosity to consider things such as “why did they say the Titanic was unsinkable and then it sunk?” or “Why wasn’t the captain paying attention?” We then moved on to hearing all about what happened on the night that the ship sank. We then focused on a timeline of events where the children needed to put the events in date and time order by reading and understanding chronology. Once the children had put them in order, they then had to read the information about each important event that night.
In music, we are focusing on timbre, pitch and rhythm. To start our topic, we listened to the Titanic theme tune for the film. Whilst listening, we discussed these different features in music and practiced recognising the changes in these aspects of music. The children clapped the rhythms and raised their hand when they heard a change of pitch or timbre.
We began looking at changes in pitch in music. We started off by discussing what this means and using our voices to change the pitch from low to high. Afterwards, we listened to the Titanic theme tune and indicated when the pitch changed with our thumbs. We put our thumbs up when the pitch went higher and our thumbs down when the pitch went lower. Once we had mastered this, we looked at other songs to identify the change in pitch.
In art we have been looking at drawing real life flowers. The children had to look at a vase of flowers on the table and draw exactly what they could see. The children chose the correct colours and even had to include the background to the flower so everyone’s artwork was different! After this, we focused on dot work in art. We looked at a famous painting by Monet of a vase full of sunflowers and copied the outline. To add extra detail, we spent some time adding dot work to the petals of the flower. The children worked hard and put their maximum effort in to add this beautiful detail and it certainly paid off!
In computing, we are focusing on Scratch on the ipads. We have been practicing algorithms for the characters. Our focus has been too create a scene of a garden using different characters and backgrounds. Once we had chosen, we then practiced the instructions of making the characters move across the screen at different speeds, depending on the character. We then looked at making characters shrink or grow e.g. a fairy in the garden needs to shrink to be smaller than a gardener.
In PE with Miss Mac, we are having a football focus this half term! We began by looking at the basic skills needed to play football such as dribbling, shooting, tackling, passing and sportsmanship. Each week we will focus on each skill and sportsmanship will be looked at throughout our learning. We started off by looking at dribbling and the children were taught the skills to be able to do this effectively. A course was set up for the children for them to practice their skills. Some of the children were so good at it I asked them to dribble with their weaker foot!
We have been practicing shooting in PE. First, the children discussed the techniques and top tips for shooting. Afterwards, each child had a turn at taking a penalty, focusing on accuracy, power and positioning of the ball when making contact with our feet. When we had practiced this, we moved onto some mini games where the children played 5 a side football, using their learnt skills and applying them to real life game situations.
In Mr Cooper’s PE lessons, the children have been working on the different skills needed to play a rounders. They used the different resources and completed different drills to practice these skills. The children worked in teams and discussed tactics they may need to win a game of rounders e.g. positioning of ball, power and a routine of who to pass to when fielding are all useful when playing.
On Monday 29th April, we went on a school trip to Ledston Woods to participate in some outdoor learning. The children had such a fantastic day learning all about the woods and different parts of it. We started in the classroom where we looked at different types of trees and animals you can find in the woods before heading outside and learning all about the structure of the inside of a tree.
Afterwards, we went into the woods and completed a scavenger hunt where the children were set the task of finding things that were shiny, rough, alive, green etc. The children completed this activity in pairs. When we had finished this, we reached an excellent spot to try den building. This was certainly a highlight for many of the class and they loved explaining what they had made and the different parts of their creation (I particularly liked the kitchen extension on one of the dens!) We had an excellent day and it was lovely to see some of the children realise a talent they had in building dens!
Thank you so much to our parent helpers for joining us on our trip and helping out!
We had a lovely morning because we were joined by the OneDay creative company for a pirate workshop! The children were turned into pirates for the morning and did so in style, wearing eye patches and giving their best ‘ARRRR.’ We became part of a pirate story where we went on a quest to find the hidden treasure. We learnt all about the different parts of a ship and the names for these. We then moved on to battle a mean pirate to find the treasure. The children absolutely loved the workshop and will apply their learning in a variety of subjects linked to our topic in the coming weeks.
Mini suitcase workshop
We have been very lucky in Year 2! We have had Zoe come in and work with us and show us how to make our own mini leather suitcases! This has linked with our previous half term topic of being curious as Zoe has been showing us how to make fabric appear from the suitcase as if by magic!
To start the workshop, Zoe showed us what she does for a job. She makes all sorts of props and resources and runs workshops for people to come and learn how to make different objects, such as the leather mini suitcase! Zoe brought in so many exciting props and resources she uses for her job and showed us videos and images of props in action. I’m sure a few of the children felt inspired and are now considering a job in theatre, designing and making props and backdrops!
After seeing all of the amazing props, we were given the task of making our own mini leather suitcases. The children took a cross curricular approach to our learning and made nets to make cuboids for the outside of our suitcases. As well as this, we had a focus on DT looking at different ways to join materials and choosing the right materials for purpose. The children worked really hard to make their suitcases and they look fantastic! The children are excited to show how the magic works when they pull the fabric through the suitcases, parents watch out for these magicians!
Meet our new Planet Protectors in class! These children were nominated by the class to ensure we, as a class, are doing our bit for the environment and turning off lights when they’re not needed, turning the IWB off when it is finished with and making sure we are choosing to recycle and turning taps off to reduce water waste!
Our Planet Protectors have already been to work, picking litter up in the school grounds to help the environment. They worked with the other planet protectors from the other years to make sure the job was done to a great standard! Great job team.
Take a look at our class collective worship table. Each week we have a new theme which we reflect upon during our whole school and class collective worships.
Our topic for Summer 1 is Eastertide. We began our learning by hearing the story of when Mary went to visit Jesus’ body in the tomb and the shock she felt when she saw he was no longer there and had risen. The children were asked to act out the story, focusing on the expression and feelings of different characters.
We then moved on to focusing on the Holy Spirit and the importance of it in our lives. The children created spider diagrams of all of the different symbols and ideas they can think of that make them think of the Holy Spirit.
It’s a Pirate’s Life!
We are having a pirate focus in Year 2 this half term! We have been writing letters to a pirate who is currently sailing around the world , exploring the different countries in the world and looking after the crew on the ship. The children discussed different things they think about the pirate, considering what he might look like, behave like and where he might be from. The children wrote to the pirate to explain their reasons for writing to him and any questions they might have for him about his adventures! During our learning and letter writing, we focused on subordinating and coordinating conjunctions and conveying ideas sentence by sentence. We can’t wait for our response!
We have received a letter from a pirate! He told us about where he was in the world and what he gets up to on his travels. The only problem we had was, we didn’t know what the pirate looked like or was like as a person! Therefore, we had to infer and predict what this pirate was like, based on the language in the letter. We could instantly tell he wasn’t very nice because he called children annoying! We could also tell he was boastful and unkind to his crew mates. After this, we created our own pirates. We began by drawing our pirates so we could get a good picture of what we want to write about before the children wrote about their interesting and unusual pirates. Here are a few of them!
We have been writing our own pirate stories this week! I know how much the children love to become authors and write down all of their wonderful ideas and they never disappoint. We had ideas ranging from pirates in portals, the children being pirates and even me being caught by pirates and the children having to save me. The children planned their ideas out carefully, then they wrote their excellent stories before finishing their learning journey by editing and improving their work.
We have had our pirate theme linked with every topic! Summer 1 term has been kick started with learning about position, direction and movement. We have focused on creating and reading pirate maps, using the language of quarter, half, three quarter and full time as well as clockwise/anti-clockwise. The children made some excellent pirate maps and helped the pirates find the hidden treasure!
We are recapping time in maths and looking at quarter past/to, half past, O’clock and even every 5 minutes! We have looked at this practically and written. The children are working really hard with this life long skill and applying it in their everyday lives. The children are loving the challenge I keep setting them at different points in the day where we have to freeze and someone must tell the time at any point! I wonder who will be next to be chosen?
We have been learning all about shapes in Year 2! Miss Frost has been in this week to help us recap our learning and identify properties of 2D and 3D shapes. We took a Burn2Learn approach to our learning and the children had to move around the classroom with their post it notes to label the different 2D and 3D shapes with the correct properties. After this, we looked at the similarities and differences between some shapes and noticed plenty of these! Well done Year 2!
In Science, we are focusing on different sources of light and sound, as well as electricity and where it comes from. We have started our learning journey by focusing on different light sources, whether they are natural or manufactured and then seeing what light can travel through. We have been learning about the 3 different categories of materials (opaque, translucent and transparent) and the children were asked to look around the classroom and find examples of these. I wonder how many light sources the children can find whilst they are at home?
We have been investigating different sound sources in science. We began by predicting and considering what different sounds we might hear indoors and outdoors, and whether these are natural or man made noises. The children wrote their predictions down and then went and searched around. They recorded their data in a table ready to produce a write up about their investigation in the near future.
Our topic this half term is Pirates! We are loving the cross curricular approach to learning we are taking and the children are starting to apply different skills to every subject!
In music, we are learning a song all about a pirates life! The children are loving learning the lyrics and finding the rhythm of the song. We are going to be adding instruments and splitting into different groups to layer the sounds.
We have continued our song ‘We are the Pirates’ and the children have been layering the song by adding instruments to it! The children began their learning with recapping the lyrics and identifying the beat before choosing instruments to play that will go well with the pitch of the song. The children then practiced in a group before performing with the song, keeping the beat and timing of the music.
To kick start our DT, we have been very lucky to have had a visitor come in and make leather bags with the children. In the bag, we have made something extra special and something magic happens! The little bags look like treasure chests and the children were keen to make sure they made their bags practical and sturdy ready to put their treasure in from home.
In PE with Mr Cooper, we have been recapping our knowledge of catching. We have been practicing the different skills needed to catch and looking at the different ways such as the cup or the W catch. The children began the lesson by throwing the bean bag to themselves in the air before learning the techniques for the different styles of catching. Once they had mastered this recap, the children were set the challenge of seeing how many times they could catch the bean bag before it hits the floor! Some of the children managed 10 claps before they caught the bean bag!
To finish our learning, the children took it in turns to stand in the hoop to earn points. The more they caught from a friend, the more points they earned. It was lovely to have a PE lesson in the sunshine too!
The children continued learning some catching skills with Mr Cooper outside again. They are really starting to see the impact practicing can have on improving their skills and it is great to see them reflect on their PE learning journey.
With Miss Mac, we are learning a variety of different sports involving accuracy, throwing and catching. We began this topic with a game of benchball which the children absolutely adored! The children loved learning a new game and really took it in their stride. The first team to get all of their players on the bench together was the winner and the children were keen to work together as a team to get to the end. The children knew that to be good at this game they needed to accurately throw the ball to a team mate, catch using the different techniques Mr Cooper has taught us and use the space effectively to be free to pass too!
We have progressed from benchball to another indoor ball game…dodgeball! The children have absolutely loved playing dodgeball and learning the different techniques and tactics to play the game. The children were put into mixed teams and played a tournament of dodgeball. The winning team stayed on and the losing team went to the back of the line ready to go again when their turn is next. The children displayed great teamwork and perseverance during the game.
Race for Life
We have had a fantastic afternoon taking part in the Race for Life. The whole school community were provided with pink t-shirts to run in and it was a lovely time for us all to come together to raise money for such a fantastic cause that I know touches the hearts of many of us. FS and KS1 were up first where we ran for 15 minutes to complete our race! Afterwards, it was the turn of KS2 whilst we supported them! We had a really fun time and all came together in the true St Joseph’s spirit. Thank you so much to the parents and carers who came to support, you made all the difference!
Miss Mac’s brother visiting!
We had a great time when Miss Mac’s brother came to visit. The children were really excited to see him again and ask him questions about his job and get to know him some more. We even got some autographs from him. Thank you Craig for visiting us!
Our topic for Summer 2 is The Church is Born.
This half term we are focusing on Dinosaurs! We will be building up to writing a newspaper article for the strange egg we found in the playground this week. It all started when Miss Mac heard a strange roar when she came into school on Tuesday morning. As well as this, Mrs Lowe saw some green scales in the car park that morning. After some discussion, we noticed there was a clue in our classroom. We read this clue and it lead us to a different place with another clue. We started our hunt! In the end, we were lead outdoors and found a mysterious egg near the FS2 entrance. We were then making our predictions and sharing ideas about what it could be, why it might be there and who’s egg it might be.
On Friday, we received the news that the egg came from a Velociraptor and we were sent a picture of this animal. The children then had to choose well- chosen adjectives and expanded noun phrases to describe the dinosaur. We will keep you updated on the egg and we are keeping it very safe!
We have been keeping in line with our Fun, Food and Fitness week and to link with this, we have been looking at time. We have focused on estimating and using time to record us hopping, running, walking and skipping to certain places outside. The children were using the stopwatches to measure this. In addition to this learning, we then looked at word problems in relation to time e.g. Charlie starts a run at 12pm and finishes half an hour later. What time does he finish?
Multiplication has been our focus in maths recently and we have really been getting to grips with our rapid recall of the multiplication facts. The children took part in a Burn 2 Learn lesson to support their learning and worked fantastically in teams to reach the answers the quickest. We have also looked at arrays to support our learning of multiplication and completed an investigation to see how many different multiplication questions we could make using a certain amount of cubes. Excellent work Year 2!
As part of our Fun, Food and Fitness week, we have focused on exercise and the impact this has on different parts of our bodies. We have been looking at the different muscles in our body and been completing circuits to see which exercise works each muscle. The children needed to make their predictions before completing the investigation. The children worked hard and have learnt some of the tricky names such as quadriceps and abdominals.
We have been looking at movement this week and how different objects move along the same surface. A variety of objects were put on the carpet e.g. lego, a toy car and a teddy for the children to use force to move along. They then had to record how this object moved and suggest another surface that this particular object might move better along.
Our topic this half term is dinosaurs!
In History, we have began our learning by researching different dinosaurs and looking at the famous Mary Anning to start our knowledge for our topic. We have research and made a fact file about Anning and the children are excited to learn more about how she found fossils and the different dinosaurs and facts about them.
Our focus for computing this half term is to look at research. Our learning began by using the ipads and the computers to research the Brownlee Brother’s in Fun, Food and Fitness week and to make a presentation to support this. The children wrote their findings down and presented these clearly and with detail.
In art we have been making dinosaur collages using different materials to create different textures. The children used some inspiration from other art work to help them with their designs and they have managed to not only make a collage of a dinosaur, but the background and habitat that they think a dinosaur might have. The children chose their own materials, colours and dinosaur type.
In music, we are learning a variety of different dinosaur songs. This will help the children to learn skills in pitch, rhythm and timing. We began our learning with a song all about the T-rex and the children loved it. I wonder what the next dinosaur song will be?
In PE with Miss Mac, we are focusing on Rounders. To start, we have been practicing our hitting skills. We started this by using something with a bigger surface area, a tennis racket. The children had to practice holding the racket correctly and hitting it accurately to a partner. We finished with a competition where the children had to hit the ball to someone in their group and if they caught it, they got a point for their team. Well done to the Golden Eagle team who caught 5 of the balls!
With PE partner, the children have been focusing on the skill of jumping and when this can be applied to different sports. The children had a head to head challenge with a partner to see who could do the most jumps in a minute forwards and backwards and then sideways. Afterwards, the children had to travel around the space safely and jump safely when instructed.