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.
Pupils from Year 1 all the way up to Year 6 led our Harvest Festival today. During the lead up to our Harvest Festival in school, the Mini Vinnies collected food items and monetary donations to offer to the less fortunate through our local SVP Centre (St Vincent de Paul). We enjoyed a Harvest celebration full of readings, prayer, song and dance where parents and visitors also joined us too. During this time, we thanked God for all of the wonderful things he gives us each day and also kept those less fortunate than us in our prayers.
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.
Over the course of the half term we have also looked at other key figures in the bible and how and why they were chosen by God, including stories of Daniel and the lion’s den and Moses.
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.
At the end of the half term we continued our work on Australia by writing postcards from The Great Barrier Reef. This worked really well alongside our geography work and, because we had learned so much in a cross-curricular way, we were able to tell our reader lots of amazing and fascinating facts about this beautiful part of the world.
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.
This week we have moved our learning on to start looking at addition. We began this new topic by looking at part-whole models to help us see how numbers can be split into tens and ones. we could then visually see that 16, for example, can be split into 10 and 6, therefore realising that 10 + 6 = 16.
To link to our times tables knowledge to our addition, we have also been looking at repeated addition and its link to multiplication. Firstly, we need to make sure our 3 x tables are up to scratch, so we make sure one of our Burn 2 Learn sessions each week is singing and dancing along to songs on the big screen!
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.
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.
We used our clay print inspirations and the work we have studied about William Morris to help us create our very own wallpaper designs. We used the nature theme that we had been inspired by and gave our work a title, just like William Morris liked to do. Here are some of our wallpaper designs:
This half term we are learning all about databases. We are going to learn about the importance of being able to use the internet to find out information and that the databases that do this for us are extremely useful. We can find out information at our finger tips and this is how life is in the 21st century, but it is important for the children to understand that it hasn’t always been this way and that internet search engines were not always readily available or available at all!
After learning about databases, we have now started to create our own apps! We have loved using the Keynote app on our ipads to be able to tell people all about our beautiful world. We have used our learning from geography and English to create our app and provide information about different countries in our the world. In producing these apps we have learned how to add effects to the text and pictures in our app. We have learned the importance of making a home button to be able to return to the start to then be able to explore the app further.
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. We have learnt so many questions about where we live and can now say: how many continents there are, the continent which we live on and the country, county and town we reside. We did learned this by studying maps and globes and looking at Google Maps online, which we loved (especially seeing our beautiful world from the International Space Station). We have also looked at the landmass and populations of countries around the world and compared them, using our maths skills to helps. Did you know that Russia is the biggest landmass and China has the biggest population?
We have continued our work on the beautiful world by focusing on Australia and finding lots of fascinating facts put about this amazing place. We particularly focused on The Great Barrier Reef and we loved learning all about the wonderful creatures that call this beautiful place their home.
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!
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.
We have made excellent progress in our gymnastic skills this half term. We can now perform forward rolls, log rolls and tuck rolls. We can not only carry these out individually but also create a sequence of movements using these skills, with a partner. We really helped and supported each other in performing these rolls to the best of our ability. We worked towards creating a sequence of movements as a performance to show our peers. We performed fantastically well and were also able to give constructive feedback to our friends about their performances.
In the final week of term we were very lucky to have a visit from a company who carries out dance workshops in school. The focus of our dance workshop was The Jungle Book, which linked to our topic of the beautiful world. Our dance teacher was fantastic and showed us how to move to music in different ways, individually, in pairs and as a whole class. Over the course of the morning we built up our skills to create one whole class performance to music. It was amazing!
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.
Our Class Councillors have done a fabulous job so far by representing Year 2 and making sure we have a voice to make the changes that we want in school and to also celebrate the things that we love so much about it. We have really enjoyed learning about democracy and understanding what this term means. We have learned all about how our country is run by our government and how the members of the government are elected in the same way that our representatives were chosen. The rule of law is important to all of us and we linked this to making our new class rules and reminding ourselves of the school rules and the importance of having them.
Also this half term we have learning about the true meaning of friendship. We have talked about what makes a good friend, how we can help each other and how life is so much better if we are kind and considerate to all that we meet.