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Saturn – Year 2

Miss Taylor and Mrs Shorthouse (Class Teachers)

Mrs Best, Mrs Ward, Mrs Talley and Mrs Weston (Support Staff)

Summer 2019

In Year 2 this term, we have been going on a journey ‘down under’ to do lots of learning on our topic Australia.

We spent a lovely afternoon with parents and carers to create our own material weaving of the Australian landscape. We used earth colours found in the Australian environment and embellished our beautiful creations with animal silhouettes.  

Continuing our learning journey of the Australian landscape, we have been learning more about the geographical features of Australia and how the country is different to ours. We began by finding where Australia is located in relation to the UK. Did you know that if you began your journey in London and dug right through the centre of the earth you’d pop out in the Pacific Ocean just off New Zealand? We then went on to discover how Australia’s states and territories make up the vast continent.  We described the many varied landscapes to make comparisons with the UK and undertook some cross curricular writing to create our own imaginative setting descriptions of the Great Barrier Reef.

We are all very interested in Australian animals and in English have been reading and writing a range of creation myths in the style of dreamtime stories and Tinga Tinga tales. We learned how to use speech verbs and adverbs to show how characters felt at different points in the story. This term we have been focusing on applying all the Key Stage 1 punctuation and proof reading our work.

In English we have been also been reading the text ‘Monsters: An Owner’s Guide by Jonathan Emmett’, to inspire our writing. We used expanded noun phrases and conjunctions to write detailed clues to lead our friends to the monster we chose. We then began writing our own owner’s guide and explored using different suffixes like -ment (enjoyment) and -est (cutest) to develop our writing. 

This term’s history has focused on finding out about significant individuals in the history of flight and their pioneering journeys. We pieced together historical clues to find out what they did and why they became famous. We focused on the life of Amy Johnson to learn about her historic flight to Australia.

In Science, we have been comparing animals based on what they look like and where they live. We looked at how animals adapt to their habitat and why they might live in a particular place. We loved looking at micro habitats in the wildlife area and designed and built bug hotels to hang there. In our computing lessons we used digital technology to organise and represent the data we had collected, recording it using graphing packages. 

The children have been very excited by their music learning this term as they sang a number of traditional Australian songs. More recently, they have been busy preparing for the KS1 festival and spent a fun afternoon singing songs with 150 children from local schools.

In P.E. this term, we have been lucky enough to enjoy the expertise of a sports coach specialising in cricket. This has given us an amazing opportunity to learn the rules of cricket and we have loved every moment

Spring 2019

London’s Burning

This term got off to a roaring start when we had the opportunity for some great hands on learning. Through a combination of role play and practical activities we took on the role of workers in a Fire of London workshop. We were transported back to the streets of Stuart London and as we carried our trades, we started to learn about the events of the Great Fire.

Back in class and with our enthusiasm sparked, we found out more about the key features of Stuart London. We wrote a factual description and created images of Tudor buildings using a restricted palette. Using sources that were significant in explaining what happened, we were inspired to write our own diary account of the fire as part of our cross curricular writing.

Here’s what else we have been learning this term…..

In art, we used the work of Van Gogh as inspiration for our work. We created our own fire paintings in the style of this artist. We developed ideas and techniques in using colour, pattern, texture and line.

In computing, we used Scratch Junior to learn the basics of programming.  We had great fun painting our own Fire of London background and creating algorithms to control our sprite. We learned to debug these programs when something went wrong. We also talked about e-safety and how to stay safe online, creating our own comic strips.

In Design and Technology, Saturn class worked really hard to think about what would make a successful bread roll and which flavour combinations would work well together. They made, shaped, baked and ate their delicious rolls. Once they had evaluated their bread, they had the opportunity to write their own recipe using imperative verbs and time openers.

In R.E. we learned about the different ways of giving thanks to God. We explored artefacts from different religions and how they are used in prayer and worship.  All of this work was enhanced by our visit to All Saints Church where the children learned about what Christians do in church. We took part in a treasure hunt identifying the signs, symbols and artefacts used in daily worship.

The children, parents and grandparents had a wonderful afternoon sharing and learning together in the classroom. They created Tudor houses which we joined together to make their own Tudor Street. We have also enjoyed sharing and listening to each other’s home learning projects. It has been wonderful to share in the children’s passion for our topic learning.

In other areas of the curriculum: in science we learned about health and growth; had fun singing rounds in music and in P.E. created short dance movements inspired by the Fire of London.

What an exciting and varied learning journey we have taken this term!

Autumn 2018

Towers and Tiaras

What a fantastic start to Autumn!

The children have adapted well to the new expectations and routines and we are delighted with the way in which they have settled in. They are already busy and hard at work!

In maths we have been reviewing a range of concepts and calculation strategies covered in Year 1, using the numbers to 20. We began by estimating numbers on an empty number track and it has been great listening to each other’s reasoning language to explain number positions. The skill of regrouping (partitioning) numbers to support calculation over ten has been practised, and we enjoyed using manipulatives and working collaboratively together to model our calculations.

We are also enjoying our new English unit which is based on the book ‘Voices in the Park’ by Anthony Browne. We have shared our own experiences of trips out and about, recording the activities we enjoy using commas in lists. We have used past tense verbs to help us write our own personal recount of a park trip. We have built on our understanding of great sentence openers to sequence our ideas and adjectives to describe a setting. You can help with your child’s understanding by drawing attention to these features during reading.

In science we will be finding out about materials. We will sort materials and use material properties to compare their suitability for different uses. We are really looking forward to devising an experiment to determine the best material with which to make a waterproof crown and we are excited to get investigating.

In topic we will be delving into the lives and times of some famous queens of England. These are the some of the ideas we have so far:

Some kings and queens live in castles.

They meet other important people.

They give out special awards.

Henry VIII was very greedy.

They send letters to people when they reach 100.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of England.

We will be exploring what life was like and the changes that occurred during each queen’s reign. We are looking forward to our class trip to Chiltern Open Air Museum to learn more about life during different eras.

What a busy half term it has been!

We have been really impressed with all the home work projects that the children have brought in this term.  The work was both detailed and informative and the children have loved sharing their work with the rest of the class.

As part of our work on traditional tales, the Year 2 children have been busy creating hand puppets in Design and Technology. Before creating their own puppets, the children learned how to sew seams using different types of stitches and found out which stitch would make the strongest seam. Then, having spent a whole morning making their puppets, the afternoon was spent learning how to bring their puppets to life. The children created movements and voices for their puppets and took turns to present their own stories to the rest of the class.

In P.E. we have really enjoyed learning new hockey skills, and are beginning to play real matches. We have been practising our dribbling skills, learning to use all the space on the playground and perfecting our aiming and passing skills.

A highlight of the term, has been our infant nativity, and what a magnificent production the children produced for us! The children really showed off their performing skills. They had learned their lines and the direction on stage perfectly, sang the songs beautifully and remembered all the actions. We couldn’t be more proud of all the children!

Alongside performing, the children have also enjoyed learning about other winter festivals! We had a visit from All Saints Church to find out ‘Why Christmas matters to Christians’. The children learned about why Christians give gifts at Christmas and thought about their own invisible gift to the world. Then whilst learning about another winter festival, Hanukkah, the children have had lots of fun making their own Menorah.

Finally, we made and ate, gingerbread biscuits. They were very popular and tasty. We kept watch but happily none ran away!