Wild Things have come to Year 2!

This term our learning is all about wild things, that’s animals and humans! We have already started thinking about how all animals have babies, some which look like themselves and some that look entirely different. Creating our own new animals caused lots of laughter  in class as elephant trunks were added to fish bodies and zebra legs. The children invented new names for their creatures, being reminded that we actually needed to be able to pronounce them using our phonics! 

 

In English we wrote descriptions for our creatures, discovering how much better our writing sounded with a few adjectives added. This led to us learning how to describe actions using adverbs. The children are enjoying thinking of new adverbs to add to our collection and many are now using them in their work too.

After spending a number of weeks practising our multiplication and division, we are now exploring how we can use our knowledge to work out fractions. The initial few lessons used pizzas as an example of how to share into equal parts but the children complained that it made them too hungry so we moved quickly on to sharing groups of counters into halves, quarters and thirds. The children have really impressed us with how they have understood and applied their mathematical knowledge.

 

Another new exciting piece of learning this term is that we are all able to recite the seven continents of the world and locate them on a map. We have used a very catchy tune to help us, the children are often heard humming it during lessons and on their way around the school. If you haven’t heard it then be sure to ask a friendly Year 2 to sing it for you!

We have also been learning to sew – a skill which most of the children are mastering well… a few knots are of course inevitable. We cannot wait to finish our fabric bookmarks and proudly use them when we are reading for pleasure in class. Before beginning sewing or designing our bookmarks, the children had to explore how to make different types of stitches. Look how well they did!

Fire and water

How busy Year 2 have been since our last blog and I have discovered that our class love learning about history!

Last term we had great fun learning about the Great Fire of London and thoroughly enjoyed researching, designing and making our Tudor house models. Each model was made unique by the maker’s choice of design, materials and techniques. Some boxes were wrapped, others turned inside out. We painted, stuck and drew to add the beams, roofs and other details, learning from each other as we worked.

The highlight of the topic was a trip to the Kent Firefighting Museum where we explored how fighting fires has changed through history.

This term we have been learning about another key event and figure in history, the heroine – Grace Darling. After learning about her life as a child growing up in a remote lighthouse, we were then impressed by her courage as she helped to rescue stranded sailors during a storm at night, and rowing a small boat for the first time. We developed our interest in Grace’s life and boats by visiting The Historic Dockyard at Chatham where we climbed aboard ships, explored a submarine, made rope and participated in a drama workshop.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of our topic about the sea, we learnt to use water colour paints and investigated how we could use different brushes, brush strokes and use wax and salt to create lines, movement and texture. Our final artwork is proudly displayed outside our classroom and we have received may compliments about it. We have even wondered about turning them into greetings cards just like the artist, Graham Thew has and who we used as our initial inspiration.

   

As the end of this term approaches, we are keenly looking forward to performing our nativity show and have certainly earned a Christmas holiday.

Home Sweet Home

I am pleased to say that my new class of eager Year 2’s are settling in well and already impressing me with their manners, hard work and learning. During our first few days together we discussed how we would like our class to be and all agreed that we wanted it to be fair and for us all to feel happy, as well as be able to learn well. We wrote a class charter and all promised to try our best to stick to it. It would have been helpful for it to be a bit shorter and therefore easier to remember but the children insisted that every point was important!

We have jumped straight into our first term’s topic about homes and the materials.

Spotting materials around school helped us to think about what different materials are good at and why different materials are used for particular jobs.

Once we knew a bit more about materials, we learnt about collage and how to make street scene pictures, choosing patterned papers that would look good as different parts of buildings. It was really exciting to see how far our collage street would stretch once joined together – some had to be put on the display boards in our cloakroom too!

Soon we will be starting our project about The Great Fire of London and designing and making models of Tudor houses. Thank you to all parents who hunted through kitchen cupboards to empty out suitably sized cardboard boxes. We now have a small mountain of cardboard that the children will enjoy sorting through to select their chosen building shape – no more to be sent in now, please!

We have one more swimming lesson next week, Tuesday 1st October, after that the children will be doing PE in school. Please make sure that kits are returned to school at the beginning of each week.

I am really proud of how the children have risen to the challenge of learning their weekly spellings, returning completed homework on time and reading regularly at home. Your support is hugely appreciated and undoubtedly benefits your child’s learning.

Mrs Temp

Year 2 are egg-cited!

Last week we were incredibly excited to have a visit from Mrs Quirk. She brought with her a dozen eggs and a feathered friend! Our eggs are now nestled safe and warm in the incubator and also under Clara in her nest.

Clara has already decided that she had too many eggs to look after and has rolled one out from the nest and broken another. Hopefully the other four will stay snug and warm. Each day, we have taken it in turns to check on Clara and her eggs – feeding her, changing her water, scooping out her poo and quietly chatting to her. She seems very happy in her house by the pond.

In the classroom, we have been patiently crossing off the days – now only seven more to go until hatch day! We did a special test last week called ‘candling’ using a bright light, a blue tac nest and a cardboard box. It looked like three of our eggs had chicks growing inside them, we could hardly contain our excitement!

These two pictures show one of our eggs with no chick growing inside (the darker orange area is the yolk) and the other one has an air sack at the bottom indicating that a chick is growing in the darker area above. We are learning to to be great chicken experts!

Time to Shine

Habitats – all round us there are creatures living in all sorts of places and that is what Year 2 have been discovering this term. We began with a wonderful book called ‘The Bog Baby’ and even after reading the book, many of us are undecided whether we actually might find one if we look hard enough and in the right places! We took our very own squishy, blue bog babies around school to see whether we had any suitable habitats for them, damp and shady we decided were the best conditions for them to thrive.

The book and its beguiling characters inspired some fabulous instruction and story writing. It gave the children opportunity to show off all their writing skills that they have been developing this year – adjectives, adverbs, commas in a list and for possession, past and present tenses as well as their beautifully joined handwriting.

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The arrival of Term 5 in Year 2 is much anticipated (by Year 2 teachers anyway!). It is when the children have the opportunity to show off their learning in what we have called our ‘Time to Shine’ work, more widely known as SATs. The children are naturally unaware of the importance of these statutory assessments, but none the less they rose to the challenge and impressed me immensely. They showed kindness and respect towards each other: working quietly and without disruption. Their positive attitude towards every challenge showed the level of their resilience and determination to show what they could achieve. I could not be more proud of them.

We celebrated the completion of our assessments with a ‘Gruffalo Day’. We banned working in silence and on our own, preferring to have a hands on type of learning day. Story-telling and role-play of this much-loved story culminated in a whole class presentation, with character voices and much laughter. Additionally, we made ‘deep dark woods’ dioramas and watched the BBC animation of the story too.

We have almost reached the end of this (surprisingly short) term but have squeezed so much into it. I look forward to term 6 with mixed feelings, excitement for warmer weather, sports day and our summer production, but a little sadness that our time together is coming to a close. Let’s make it a term to remember!

Year 2 are growing!

This term began with a special treat for all the children in Classes R, 1 and 2 and followed on from our learning about animals last term. The Amazing Animals Workshop brought their rescue animals for us to meet and learn about. It was fabulous to see the children totally hands-on and involved, handling each animal with care and interest. We met familiar animals as well as some new ones… a pair of skinny-pigs, a temrec, a python, bearded dragons and a chameleon who liked to sit on our head! The children’s behaviour was impressive during such an exciting, and occasionally daunting, experience.

Living and Growing was the theme of our learning this term, and gave us opportunity to turn our classroom into rather a green house of growing. Our tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and broad beans germinated well and under the expert care of Miss Reynolds have continued to flourish into seedlings. The children were vigilant each day, letting us know when they needed watering or turning towards the light. Our experiment to find out what plants need in order to thrive had surprising results, the cress seeds outside in the cold barely germinated, however the cress seeds in the dark grew tall and pale, much to the children’s amazement!

We did all sorts of measuring over the past few weeks, learning about grams, kilograms, mililitres, litres, centimetres, metres and degrees celcius. The children’s favourite activity was undoubtably making magic potions. Our final potion had to measure exactly 500m… with one last splash of ‘fizz whizz’ completing the mixture, we were delighted to discover that magic really could happen! Ask someone in Year 2 to tell you what appeared!

 

Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.

 

Good Luck children!

 

Mrs Gillhouley