“When one teaches, two learn.” Robert Heinlein
Welcome to Year 2
Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)
Autumn Term 1 2019
Welcome back to a new school year, we hope you had a fabulous Summer. The children have come back to school looking smart and eager to learn and ready to face the responsibilities of Year 2. Our topic this half term is ‘Our Beautiful World’ and we have had a great start to this fantastic topic, as you will see below in each of the subject areas. It is of vital importance that the topic is a thread that sews through all areas of our learning, to place everything we learn into context for the children. Already we have studied maps, globes and researched different countries around the world, not just in Geography, but in English and Science too. Knowing where we belong in the world is so important for the children to see the bigger picture. Therefore, the children have been asked everyday: How many continents are there in the world? Which continent do we live in? Which country are we part of? What is our country called? What is our county called? Which city do you live within? Which town do you live in? Try this at home and see just how much they know already! By the end of this half term the children are going to know so many interesting facts about the world in which they live, so watch this space to see how we go about learning those facts…..
Our prayer table is an integral part of our classroom; a place were we can reflect and gather our thoughts. We begin our day with our Collective Worship, focusing on the statement of the week; a thought for our class to think about and reflect on together. The children love to write their own prayers for us to use in class and these are thoughts that we place on our prayer tree. We will celebrate many saints days this year, but in particular our class saint- Saint Stephen.
In RE this half term our focus is on ‘Chosen People’, thinking about how and why people have been chosen by God. We have started this topic by thinking about why we were chosen to be part of God’s family and celebrating the skills and talents that God has gifted us. This linked really nicely to our Collective Worship focus this week too- ‘I can say one good thing about myself’.
We have been writing our own prayers to thank God for giving us the skills that make us special and unique. We shall add these to our prayer table to use as part of our collective worship. We have learned how to structure prayers and the importance of thank God as well as asking him for support or to seek advice.
This week we have been learning about the story of Abraham and how he was chosen by God. We discussed how Abraham had to have faith and trust in God and we tried to understand that sacrifices can be worthwhile if we have faith.
Our English this half term is based around our exciting topic of ‘Our Beautiful World’ and we are loving learning all about our wonderful world and the countries within it. We started our half term by talking about places we have visited, both at home in our own country and in countries around the world; the children loved sharing their adventures. We then moved on to researching facts about countries in different continents, using the key vocabulary all the time so the children can instantly recall continent and country facts at their finger tips. We used our class Kids Lonely Planet book to research facts, as well as using our ipads to find out fascinating information. We will use this information to create our own fact files. Did you know that the population of China is 1.4 billion!?
This week we are continuing to link our English work to our topic by writing letters from Australia. We have had to imagine we are visiting Sydney as part of our around the world trip and writing home to tell our friends and family all about our experiences. In our imagination we have climbed the dizzying heights of Sydney Harbour Bridge, we have listened to beautiful music in the halls of the Sydney Opera House and we have seen the most amazing animals at Sydney Zoo. Australia, unfortunately, is a little too far for a school trip so we have had to experience Sydney through the first hand experience of Mrs Talbot and Rufus and also by exploring the city through Google search and Google maps.
During maths this half term we are focusing on place value and number. We have started this topic by thinking about different ways numbers can be represented. When we think of a number we may think of it written as a numeral, for example, 38, however it can be written in so many different ways. Our investigating has lead us to finding many ways to do this.
We have continued our work on number this week by focusing on the ‘more than’, ‘less than’ and ‘equals to’ signs to compare numbers. We had great fun creating numbers using Base Ten equipment and then finding an example where our sign would fit to create a number sentence.
Our KIRF focus this half term is on times tables. By the end of Year 2, the children need to be able to recite their 2, 3, 5 and 10 x tables to x12. We are beginning by recapping 2, 5 and 10 x table for instant recall and reverse division facts. We will then move on to counting in 3s, which will lead us to being able to recall 3 x table facts instantly.
Science is all about ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’ which is a great link to our topic work about our world. We have started looking at animals around the world and the habitats that they live in and how they adapt to their environment. It was hard work, but great fun trying to match the animals to their continent, and with team work and perseverance we succeeded!
After this we looked closely at animals and how they adapt to their environment and the clever ways their bodies are made. From the thick fur of polar bears to keep them warm to the dark circles around the eyes of meerkats to protect them from the sun-we discovered all sorts of amazing facts.
This week we looked at local habitats around our school environment and we were amazed by some of the creatures we found. There were the usual suspects that you would expect to see, such as worms and woodlice, but have you heard of a Asian Lady Beetle before? We hadn’t, but were very excited to find many on the leaves of trees around our school field. We thought it was a member of the ladybird family, but needed to use a special app when we returned to class to find out exactly what it was.
After collating all our information, we used this data to create tables and graphs to find out the answers to questions such as: Which creature did we find the most of? Which creature did we find the least of? How many more ladybirds did we find than beetles? We used our maths skills very well.
We are absolutely loving our topic work about our beautiful world. We have learned so much already and cannot wait to find out lots of interesting facts about the world in which we live.
This half term we are learning the art of printing! We have begun by looking at the famous printer William Morris and the grand designs he made with his wallpaper prints. Who knows it may inspire the children to help with home decor! We will soon be moving onto the techniques of printing and how William Morris achieved his styles. We will also look at animal prints to link nicely to our topic work.
We have had great fun creating our own repeating patterns using printing tools. We looked at the colour and style of William Morris’ work again and tried to replicate it in our own unique way. There were some brilliant results and we were really proud of ourselves.
To appreciate how printing was carried out a long time ago, we attempted to make our own printing devices using clay. After having a leaf and feather hunt around the grounds of the school we brought them back into class to use with our clay. We manipulated the clay to create a flat piece and then pressed the leaves and feathers onto the clay to create a print. This took some time and patience, but the results are fantastic. We will look forward to painting these when they are dry.
As well as learning new games skills with Mr Cooper from PE partnership, we will be developing and mastering our gymnastics skills. This will involve learning to perform different types of rolls as well as sequencing them to create a performance.
What better way to begin learning about democracy than holding our very own votes in class. In our first week of term we elected our class council and, in keeping with our country’s tradition, we held a vote and visited the polling station with our ballot form. I am pleased to inform you that our Class Councillors for Year 2 are…..Shelby and Rufus. Congratulations to them, they are very excited about representing our class and working hard to give our class a voice.
This half term we are learning all about databases. We are going to be creating human databases and looking at Top Trump cards to begin to grasp an idea of collating information.
This week in music we have been appreciating different tastes in music. We started by describing our own preferences and listening to examples of them; we have an eclectic taste in Year 2, which is fantastic!