This term, we began a new text in English “The Princess and the White Bear King”. Drawing on a combination of three folk tales from Northern Europe, this beautiful and complex picture book tells a dark adventure story that explores some powerful ideas and themes.
Far away in the distant north, a beautiful princess has a strange encounter with a great white bear who takes her to live in his castle. When she fails to pay attention to a warning and breaks a promise she has made, disaster strikes. The princess then sets out on an impossible journey, which takes her east of the sun and west of the moon in the hope that she might redeem herself and break the spell.
We have incorporated art into our English lessons by creating crown’s for the princess, and mapping her journey across the wintery landscape. We have also written in role as the princess in diary entries, written persuasive letters to the king and will be rewriting this lovely folk tale in our own words.
In Mathematics we have been adding and subtract any 2 two-digit numbers using an efficient strategy, explaining our method verbally, in pictures or using apparatus (e.g. 48 + 35; 72 – 17).
We have also shown that we can recall all number bonds to and within 10 and use these to reason with and calculate bonds to and within 20, recognising other associated additive relationships (e.g. If 7 + 3 = 10 then 17 + 3 = 20; if 7 – 3 = 4 then 17 – 3 = 14; leading to if 14 + 3 = 17, then 3 + 14 = 17, 17 – 14 = 3 and 17 – 3 = 14).
We explored calculation walls, putting 3 numbers in the wall and then adding adjacent pairs of bricks to find the number for the brick below. Can you believe we found different ways to use the same 3 numbers and found that this sometimes changed the top number and sometimes did not?
We were then given partially completed walls and asked to find all the possibilities for the missing numbers. How can you find the first missing brick?
Recently we have been recalling multiplication and division facts for 2, 5 and 10 and using them to solve simple problems, demonstrating an understanding of commutativity. This was a practical exercise using a set number of cubes, e.g. 12 is 6 lots of 2, 2 lots of 6 is 12. We were given a set of numbers and then asked to write 4 number sentences using those numbers.
Some of us recalled and used multiplication and division facts for 2, 5 and 10 and made deductions outside known multiplication facts. We used our knowledge of multiplication facts and associated number patterns to rule out options, and identify a suitable answer for each of the 3 given multiplications. For the division, we recognised that a multiplication we knew, 4 x 10 = 40, could help us solve the problem. We then applied this knowledge to identify that 80 pupils put into groups of 4 would be 20 groups.
Our topic in RE for Spring 1 is “The Lord’s Prayer”. We have looked at the Lord’s Prayer, section by section, and have discussed the relevance of each part of this well-known Christian prayer. We have discussed the importance of the prayer in the lives of the world’s Christian population. In addition, we have explored the role that prayer has to play in the lives of people of all faiths and have composed our own prayers to add to our class Prayer Areas.
This half term, Year 2 have become historians researching the Great Fire of London! This famous fire, which significantly affected the lives of the people of London in 1666, has ignited our love for exploring the past! We have tracked the Great Fire’s journey through the city of London by looking at maps from the past and present, and have identified several key events, which meant that the great fire burnt for 4 days! We have linked our history topic tour indoor PE topic of dance, by choreographing our own Great Fire of London dances!
This half term, our science topic is “Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy soul.” In this topic, we are learning about human’s basic needs and how these needs can be met in a healthy and sustainable way. We have investigated our own dietary habits and discussed ways in which we can keep our bodies healthy, from diet and exercise to hygiene and sun safety. We know that being healthy also means keeping our minds healthy. We have discussed ways that we can keep our thinking healthy and positive, as well as coming up with ideas to keep our brains active and strong!
Design and Technology
We have been using our knowledge of Great Fire of London to produce a class wall-hanging. Each of us have been designing and making one 15cm panel. We had to think about the product being designed and, as a class, decided on a design criteria that:
- Each panel must represent a scene from GFL
- Must use different materials
- Materials must be attached securely
- Must look attractive
We learnt how to thread needles and carry out a simple running stitch on binca. We investigated sewing through felt and other materials plus explored other stitches – back stitch and blanket stitch.
In Computing during the Spring term we have been using computer programmers using Scratch Jr in the IPads. We understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. We can also use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
Ask us about how to use different end blocks, including repeat forever; change the size of characters to grow or shrink; hide and show characters with an instruction block; program two or more characters with instructions at the same time we are really good at this!
Year 2 Caterpillars
Caterpillars class have started the year with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. They have impressed their teacher with their perseverance, willingness to learn and ‘have a go’ mind sets. Our learning days are fast paced and full of new and exciting information and skills. So far, we have been practising our handwriting and spellings every day and we are seeing lots of improvement.
Our focus story in English was “Where the Wild things are” and we explored this story through drama and Talk for Write. As a result, we collected lots of interesting vocabulary, which we then used to produce our own versions of the book. We have also looked at Traditional stories.
In Mathematics we have been looking at number. We have used partitioning to help us solve problems and are now using number lines to help us.
In Gymnastics we have been practising our forward rolls and can now roll whilst holding a hoop which is called rhythmic gymnastics. Our teacher was particularly impressed with the way we persevered and kept on rolling even though it was tricky! We are devising, performing and improving our own gymnastics routine.
Year 2 Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers have made a fantastic start to Year Two, really impressing their teacher with their positive attitude to learning. The children talked about the things that enable us to be good learners and came up with the following ideas; we persevere, we help each other, we share learning, we learn from our mistakes, we ‘give it a go’, we try our best, we ‘go step by step’ and we listen well.
Great progress has already been made in the key skills that children have been practising every day. Lots of Grasshoppers are proud of their handwriting progress, including using diagonal joins for the first time. Children are working hard to learn new spelling rules, and spelling ‘common exception words’ which are words that don’t follow normal spelling rules. We have read some enjoyable stories together and have practised looking for clues that the author has written to help us make predictions about what might happen next. Children say they have really enjoyed our Little Red Riding Hood ‘Talk for Write’.
In mathematics we have been practising partitioning numbers using Dienes (base ten equipment) and counting in different steps, to help us use coins. We are learning mathematical skills such as estimating, counting by grouping and finding missing numbers in sequences by identifying patterns.
In Religious Education we have begun building a Bible Timeline. We have also been practising using maps to see where we live in the world and find other places important to us. Our geography learning has also led us to think about the different types of weather people experience around the world.
The class also benefitted from gymnastics coaching from our visiting coach. Not everybody was feeling confident performing forward rolls at the start of our sessions but by the end, everybody was able to contribute to some great team gymnastics including making human pyramids! This came about because everyone demonstrated our new school value, resilience, and kept working hard even though some of the gymnastic moves were a challenge!
A favourite topic for the half term has been Maurice Sendak’s storybook ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ Children became familiar with the story, acting out scenes and working together to choose interesting vocabulary to re-tell the story. Some fantastic pieces of descriptive writing were produced and some of these can be found displayed on the Year Two corridor board.
Another highlight of the half term was the art lessons. Children have learned to use stencils and clay printing techniques to make some interesting and creative prints.
Year 2 Pondskaters
What a fantastic start to Year 2 we have had in Pondskaters class! We are really enjoying the challenges and new learning opportunities, particularly learning to join our handwriting! We are growing more resilient and independent every day, persevering with our learning and not giving up even when we find things tricky.
In our English learning, we have been doing lots of amazing work around traditional tales. We loved making up actions for “Talk for Write” with our teacher and love to join in with “noisy punctuation”. Do you know what that is? Year 2 can show you if you ask us kindly! We have also been thinking carefully about the vocabulary choices we make so we can entice the reader. On our “dress up as a character from a movie or story” day, lots of us dressed up as wonderful fairy-tale characters like princesses and knights from our learning in class. We had so much fun and even had the chance to roleplay as our characters!
We are learning to become artists by learning all about printing. We have experimented with positive and negative stencil prints as well as relief and direct printing.
The children have enjoyed our new learning in RE and are now experts on the Jewish Festival “Rosh Hashanah”. Do ask us to tell you about it!
Also, we have been focusing on our school value “Being Thankful”. We have helped make a beautiful display about things and people we are thankful for and are trying our best to show this school value this half term in all we do.