Year Two Class Highlights
During Michaelmas Term’s English lessons Year Two pupils were busy writing a story about an annoying sibling. To be successful, our budding authors needed to ensure their stories had an opening, a build-up, a problem and a resolution. They also had to incorporate some dialogue to show what their characters were feeling. Another requirement was that Special Phrases and Power Words should be included in their own writing. There certainly was a lot to think about but our children rose to the challenge and their efforts were reward in a special ‘Story Corner’ display in their classroom. Mums and Dads really enjoyed reading these stories at a Share your Work session!
Year Two children also had great fun getting 'hands on' whilst estimating how many objects were in six different bowls. Items included pasta, 1p coins, magic maize, buttons, counters and cubes. The children went on to find out how close their estimate was by working with a partner to sort these objects into groups of ten to work out the total for each bowl. They enjoyed learning about symmetrical shapes and patterns. They worked together as a class to sort paper shapes in to a Venn diagram using hoops and the criteria 'Symmetrical' and 'Triangles'. The children soon figured out that the hoops needed to be overlapped for the shapes that met both of these criteria. They practised using mirrors to find a line of symmetry and painted symmetrical butterflies.
Fun warm-up games such as 'Pass the braid' and 'Space Eaters' were played in sports lessons, which helped the children to be aware of space and others around them. The children practised their bouncing, catching and throwing skills using bean bags and balls. A particular favourite section of these lessons was to decide upon their rules and ways to score points when making up their own games in a small group. Year Two pupils explored how to travel around the Hall during their Gymnastics lessons. Initially they used just their feet to skip, hop, jump, gallop and run. Then they moved on to using both their hands and feet. The children thought about changing speed and making different parts of their body the highest whilst travelling too.
The seaside was the focus for Year Two History and Geography lessons. The children were fascinated to learn about piers, hokey pokeys, Punch and Judy Shows and bathing machines as they travelled back to the 1900s. They also enjoyed looking at how swimming costume designs and ways of travelling to the seaside has changed over time. The children learnt about the physical features of a typical British seaside including cliffs, boulders and mudslides. They also discussed beach safety and the role of the RNLI. They used an atlas to compile a list of inland and coastal towns and cities.
During their first few weeks back after Christmas, the children learnt about how to improve their writing by using conjunctions such as 'and' or 'but'. Other Grammar work included nouns, adjectives, past tense verbs and adverbs. Fairy tales were the main focus of their writing and the children were thrilled to be able write a new one of their very own. They were able to include typical phrases such as ‘Long, long ago’ and ‘….. they lived happily ever after!’ The children were encouraged to use plenty of interesting adjectives to describe their characters and the setting. Another writing lesson involved creating a witch or giant. The children wrote a profile of their chosen character and drew a picture to match. They needed to include some detail about the characters appearance and personality. Once again their writing was so good, a new classroom display was created. This also provided an opportunity for them to see how their handwriting has improved too!
In their Maths lessons the children used their knowledge of place value to make and partition 2-digit numbers. They quickly understood the idea of rounding to the nearest multiple of 10 with this little rhyme: ‘If the unit number is four or less give it a rest but if it’s five or more go next door.’ They practised telling the time on both analogue and digital clocks to the nearest quarter of an hour and now enjoy being able to use the classroom clock for themselves! The children particularly enjoyed linking food with learning about fractions. They looked at how a pizza can divided in to halves and quarters. The children also practised recalling their doubles and halves and found that some were easier to remember than others. A new strategy was learnt when dealing with larger numbers was to half the tens, half the ones column and then adding them back together. This was a much quick mental calculation than counting and dividing groups of cubes!
In Science they explored the properties of everyday materials and several new scientific terms were introduced including brittle, rigid, transparent and opaque. In another lesson the children quickly grouped items into their correct material groups - wood, metal, glass, plastic, cotton and wool. They built on this by discussing where these materials come from and how they are made. Our budding Scientists then discovered they could make another sort of natural and man-made materials. It was certainly a hands-on activity for everybody. Their favourite investigation was testing the strength of materials such as tissue, tinfoil and sponge. They made predictions about which would be the easiest to tear, recorded their findings in a table and explained what they found out.
The children began their new Geography topic entitled 'Let's go on Safari' by discussing what transport or equipment might be needed for such a trip and how it is different to visiting the zoo! The children made quick work of identifying all seven continents and five oceans on a world map that were cleverly hidden behind post-it notes. They then focused in on Africa to locate Kenya and it neighbouring countries.
Intrepid explorers Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong were the focus of the History topic in Year Two recently. The children learnt about how different life in the 1400s compared to today – it was a bit of a shock to learn there would be no internet or television, let alone central heating or cars! The children were interested to know why Columbus, an Italian, could only raise funds for his voyage from the King of Spain! They learnt about how he was only 14 when he joined the crew of a merchant ship and taught himself Maths, Geography and Astronomy. They also explored the impact of Columbus’s voyages and what he brought back to Europe. The children learnt about the events surrounding the first landing on the moon. They considered how the astronauts might have felt during the Apollo 11 mission. They also thought about the ways in which space exploration has had an impact on our lives today.
All in all, Year Two have been extremely busy over the last two terms. They are getting ready to move up to Key Stage Two but first of all they are looking forward to all that Trinity Term has to offer them as they embark upon their last portion of time in Key Stage One.
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