Off to a Sunny start!

It has been lovely to welcome the children back to school this week with such a wonderfully sunny week – what a treat. Mrs Holland, who has returned from Maternity leave, has been enjoying getting to know class 2 this week too.

We all got to enjoy the sunshine on Wednesday morning when we lined the Vine to cheer on Lizzie Yarnold for her amazing double gold medal triumph, at the recent Winter Olympics! Well done Lizzie. Following a class assembly on our theme this term – responsibility, the children discussed Lizzie’s successes and the responsibility she faced in representing her nation. It was wonderful for the children to then be able to cheer Lizzie as she passed us on the parade bus.

This term is such a busy and important term for Year 2, and the children are trying their best to showcase their wonderful learning in all lessons. In Maths this week we have been learning to tell the time. This has been challenging for many of the children but we have been impressed with their perseverance! We have been busy using our class clock and the children have been making their own to help them to tell the time with more accuracy.

 

It would be really helpful if you could all help your children to practise telling the time at home. To be at the expected standard for Maths in Year 2, children need to be able to tell the time to 15 minute intervals: O’clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to.
To be at greater depth within the expected standard, children are expected to tell the time in 5 minute intervals.

In English, we are just about to start looking at a new Roald Dahl book, which will be a surprise for the children. It will produce some lively discussions and debates in class and help the children to develop their persuasive writing skills! We look forward to sharing it with you shortly.

Our topic continues to be plants and growing along with a local areas study. Mrs Holland has been able to enjoy this lovely weather too, taking the class outside to observe plant growth around the school grounds.

It looks set to be a really busy term, we are busy preparing the children to get ready for what I’d prefer to call a; ‘special challenge quiz’  AKA  ‘SATS’. So please do keep practising telling the time, counting forwards and backwards in 2s, 5s and 10s from any number and playing any fun mental maths games. BUT the most important thing for the class is to work hard whilst they are at school and relax and enjoy themselves when they are not! so please make the most of this lovely weather we are having!

 

Mud, Glorious Mud!

Year 2 showed great stamina earlier this week when they rose to the sport relief challenge (along with the rest of St John’s), to walk over 5 miles! Their spirits were high as they waded through the mud and enjoyed the beauty of Knole Park. Well done Year 2!

 

In class this term we have been looking at signs of spring and working on the topic of plants and growing. The children have enjoyed learning about the parts of a plant and the job that they do to keep the plant healthy and strong. They’ve become young scientists and carried out an investigation into how flowers ‘draw up’ water. There was great interest among the class to see how carnation flowers and celery leaves were able to take on the colour of the water they were put in. We had lovely blue flowers and red leaves!

The children then went on to plant their own sunflower seeds to see what conditions are needed to grow a healthy plant. We will be watching these closely over the coming weeks!

 

In addition to our work on plants we have been thinking carefully about the Easter Story and the importance of Holy week to Christians. The children have been able to make links with Symbols of Easter and the parts of the Easter Story that they remind Christians of. This week we have used Drama and created freeze frames to portray the key days of Holy Week; Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter day. Can you guess which day the children are showing in each of these pictures?

  

We will continue by thinking about why Easter is an important celebration to Christians and have started preparing for our Easter service at Church.

 

It has been a pleasure to get to know Class 2 more this half-term and I look forward to having lots of fun learning opportunities with them next term.

 

 

Snow snow snow

What a lot of snow! We can’t help but include the chilly weather in our homework this week! Please choose which activity you would like to take on from the list below, unleash your creative flare and enjoy!

  • Write a book review of you favourite wintry story. How would you describe the main character? Who would you share this book with? Describe your favourite part of the story and explain why you would recommend reading it. If you are struggling to think of a snowy story, why not write a review of the story we shared in class last week?-  ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson.
  • Re-make your favourite wintry story, or invent your own snowy tale, as a comic strip  or a mini-movie. Will a snowman come to life and what adventures might he go on? Or will a polar bear find a mysterious object beneath the water when he goes fishing? As the author and creator, you decide!

Alongside the homework, it would be lovely if you could bring in photographs of how you have been spending your snow-days for us to share together in class. Whether you have been out on the sledge or staying cosy inside helping with baking or sipping hot chocolate!

We can’t wait to hear your snowy-news!

 

 

The great fire and bird-week!

Last term ended with a BANG! After working on creating our model buildings to re-create the houses of Pudding Lane, we finally burnt them down in a one-off spectacular! Fortunately, we had ex-fire-fighter, Dave, on hand to help contain the fire. This was especially important as our re-enactment of the fire reflected the windy conditions of 2nd September 1666, helping the fire to spread more quickly!

After burning down the houses of Pudding Lane, we enjoyed an interactive history workshop where we dressed up in the different roles of key figures of the time. We enjoyed Arthur playing the role of Samuel Pepys and Rafan playing the part of King Charles II. Every child in the class had some part to play in our engaging workshop. We thoroughly enjoyed finishing off our history topic in this way!

The final week before half-term saw us enjoy bird-week, where we took part in lots of different bird-related activities across the whole school. We kept tallies of birds we had seen when bird-watching outside, and transferred this data onto our own bar charts. We also drew around our hands to create colourful parrots, where we practised counting in fives as we added longer and longer tails to our stunning creations!

Putting the cherry on the cake, we were lucky enough to enjoy a visitor from Eagle Heights share his knowledge of birds with us. We even saw these glorious birds fly and swoop across our school hall!

Next week will be my last week and I would just like to say a huge thank you to all of the children and parents in Year 2 for being so fantastic to work with. I will be sad to leave such a lovely team and class, but I know that the children will thrive under the care of Mrs Woodhouse and Mrs Quirk.

Wishing all of you the very, very best and much love!

Miss Prendergast.

Fires and Fractions!

Busy bees that we are, we have been linking DT, art, history and english in learning about our topic of the term- ‘The Great Fire of London’.  Now that we have finished making our houses on Pudding Lane, we are ready and excited to burn them (safely!) next week on the school  playground. We are also looking forward to an outside company visiting us to lead an interactive workshop for Class 2, (again next week), to round-off our learning on this topic.

 

We tried to imagine what it might have been like to witness the fire firsthand, writing our own eye-witness accounts.

In maths, the start of the term saw us explore symmetry and shape. We enjoyed playing games such a shape bingo and creating our own symmetrical patterns using the peg boards.

 

We have now moved onto understanding fractions. Combining fractions with our love of food has certainly helped us to be even more passionate mathematicians!

Our maths learning journey so far has begin with what a ‘fraction’ means, through to finding fractions of different 2D shapes and fractions of a set of objects.

 

All of our practical work will help us to better understand how to find a fraction of a number next week.

 

 

Happy new year and thank you!

Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you for all of your lovely Christmas gifts. I have been well and truly spoilt rotten, with lots of goodies to keep me calm and relaxed in the last trimester! As a few of you know, my partner and I were finding out the gender of our baby on Christmas day and I’m pleased to reveal that the prediction from the scan is that it will be a baby girl. Very exciting! This term Class Two will have the luxury of two teachers, as I will be working alongside Mrs Woodhouse for part of the week. I know that she is looking forward to meeting the children and getting to know them a little better for when she takes over from me in March.

In english, we will be sharing a new text this term called, ‘The Princess and the White Bear King’. Please try to avoid reading this text at home if you can, as it is always lovely to discover the text with a fresh pair of eyes together in class.

In maths, we will be consolidating our understanding of number from previous terms, but also moving on to learning about symmetry, shapes and fractions. We hope to make this as engaging as possible, with the use of chocolate bars and pizza boxes to aid us in our investigating and reasoning!

In history we have introduced our new topic of ‘The Great Fire of London’. We shall be combining this with art and design technology, by creating our own houses, recreating Pudding Lane with its wooden houses. Once we have admired our model houses, we intend to set them alight and watch as they catch fire, making the connection with the fire of 1666 that spread so quickly through London. Obviously, we would do this under the watchful supervision of Dave (our caretaker and on-site ex-firefighter). His skills certainly come in handy for such projects as this! In an effort to make this plan a reality, could children please bring in any cardboard boxes that might be left over from Christmas, of similar size to a shoe or cereal box. Thank you.

As a friendly reminder, spelling tests will commence as normal, starting on Monday 8th January. The first set to be tested on will be Set One of the new spelling booklet for Term 2; beginning ‘spied’, ‘spying’, ‘copied’ and so on…

Thank you again for your on-going support and cooperation.

Happy new year to you all!

Scooters, arrays and apostrophes!

So far this term, we have been lucky enough to enjoy a scooter workshop where we learnt about the importance of wearing the right safety gear, and also had the opportunity to watch the professional perform stunts and tricks on his own scooter. We were left feeling inspired! Of course, we were excited to join in the fun by playing team games on our scooters as well.

In maths, we have been learning about the relationship between repeated addition and multiplication. Lots of practical activities with real life objects, cubes and counters have helped us to see and truly understand what multiplication means.

In class, we learn multiplication in this way:

The arrangement of cubes below shows 2 made 5 times, represented in a number sentence as 2 x 5 = 10.

Using the same 10 cubes, we were able to rearrange them to create a new number sentence, 5 made 2 times, represented in a number sentence as 5 x 2 = 10.

We have slowly but surely taken away the cubes to represent this pictorially, drawing arrays.

The children have discovered through their own investigations that we can swap the numbers around when multiplying, learning that we can multiply in any order to get the same total. Understanding that multiplication is commutative is an important aspect which we are trying to embed with the children in as many different ways as possible, using all sorts of objects and pictures.

Next week, we will be further exploring the relationship between multiplication and division.

  

In grammar, we have been thinking about apostrophes. In particular omissive apostrophes, where we use an apostrophe to show that a letter or letters are missing. We have a simple step-by-step strategy for turning two words into one using an apostrophe, which we call a contraction.

Step 1:

Write the two words. Below, Florence played the part of our ‘finger space’ perfectly.

Step 2:

Remove the fingers space and push the two words together.

Step 3: 

Scrunch up your missing letter (or sometimes missing letters) into an apostrophe.

‘do not = don’t’, as wonderfully demonstrated by the children themselves!

Lots of learning and lots more excitement to come with the Nativity just around the corner. Please can children try their best to learn their line(s) over the weekend, and please remember to bring your script to school everyday so that we can use them for rehearsals. Thank you!

Last, but certainly not least, we have a wonderful new addition to Class 2 in the form of Mrs Simpson who will be working alongside Mrs Truman as an additional teaching assistant. What a treat to have an extra pair of hands to help! She’s excited to get to know the children a little better and has enjoyed her first week at St. John’s.

 

 

 

A royal response

At the end of last term, we wrote letters containing lots of questions we wanted to ask the Queen, hoping that she might reply. We were overjoyed to discover royal post waiting for us in our classroom in the first week back at school! After sharing the letter written by her Lady-in-Waiting and after discussing the fact-sheets inside, we decided to proudly compile a display in readiness for our new history topic this term where we shall be looking more closely at the Queen.

Of course, we couldn’t have such a display without a life-size image of the icon herself.

 

In our writing across the curriculum, the children have dazzled me with their use of exciting vocabulary and super spelling!

It has been pleasing to see an increasing number of children winning stickers for improvement and even full marks in their weekly spelling tests. Very well done Class Two!

 

In maths we have been building on our understanding of number bonds to 10, to see how this can help us derive our number bonds to 20 and 100.

If we know that 6 + 4 = 10, then we know that 16 + 4 = 20 and we know that 60 + 40 = 100. We call this MAGIC MATHS in class, and we can spot number patterns more and more easily now. We are moving onto addition and subtraction, including considering their inverse relationship, but we are keen to further embed our ability to recall our number bonds facts, so please feel free to practise the pairs of numbers which add up to 10, 20 and 100 at home.

 

 

 

A warm welcome to Year 2

Welcome to Year 2! We have been busy bees already this term and I am so pleased with the children for taking on board our new class routines so readily and for making such a positive start to the year.

In maths we have been embedding our understanding of number. We have been comparing and partitioning different amounts to ensure that we know how many tens and ones there are in different 2 digit numbers and using this to reason why one number is bigger than another.

 

We have been using cubes, diennes, even crabs and snails on paper plates to explore how 2 digit numbers are made and what these amounts look like.

In English, we have been keen spellers and I can’t wait to award more spelling stickers soon to an ever-increasing number of children improving upon last week’s score or even gaining full marks in our weekly tests.

Identifying nouns and adjectives in texts, we are quickly becoming grammar detectives. I wonder if you can look out for these types of words in your reading at home as well?

In Science we have been exploring different materials, including a rather tasty lesson where we investigated whether a metal, plastic or wooden spoon would be best for eating ice-cream. Mmm… it took a few tastes for us to ultimately decide…

In Geography and Art we have been visiting different continents around the world. We have enjoyed a range of treats from playing African drums and forming a Chinese dragon, through to creating our own panda-masks.

What a busy term so far!

 

Happy half-term to all!

First and foremost, I’d like to say a huge well done to all of Class Two. They have worked particularly hard on their SATS this term and all of the children have performed well and  should be incredibly proud of themselves!

I’d also like to thank you, the parents and carers, for helping with homework and for your on-going support and cooperation as always. A further thank you to all of those who were able to attend the Year 2 Reading meeting today. Please do not worry if you were unable to make it. All leaflets and hand-outs will be sent home with homework tomorrow.

Please watch the video link below to get a feel for the pace at which children will hopefully be reading at in a month’s time to reach the ‘expected’ level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4c_DMS-3IE

Thankfully, as well as SATS, we have enjoyed some exciting learning opportunities this term. As well as a visiting science workshop ‘ZooLab’ and swimming at Walthamstow Hall, Year 2 visited a ‘mandir’ in Crawley to embed our understanding of our on-going topic- Hinduism.

 

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We enjoyed yoga, saris, dancing and ringing bells. We thoroughly enjoyed this different type of worship and marvelled at the detailed shrines.