Dear Parents /Carers,
The new school year is here and we are very much looking forward to meeting our new classes and welcoming the children back to school; we hope you had a great summer and are well-rested.
We have a very exciting curriculum in Year 2 this year. This letter outlines the topics that Year 2 will learn about this half term.
This half-term, we will be reading some exciting new books. Welcome (by Barroux) and Rain Before Rainbows (by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield) are powerful, beautifully illustrated books with positive messages that will offer opportunities for rich discussion on your children's return to school. Using On Sudden Hill (a wonderful picture book by Linda Sarah and Benji Davis that examines friendship), children will write their own narratives. Following that, children will read The Proudest Blue (by Olympic medal-winning fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali and Hatem Aly): this visually-striking book features two sisters’ rites of passage (first day at school and first day of wearing hijab) and an important message about being proud of who you are, a theme children will explore in writing a letter about what makes them proud of themselves. Later in the half-term, children will write a diary entry and information text about the Great Fire of London.
Children will be learning about numbers within 100. They will learn to compare and order them as well as understand the value of each digit in a two-digit number. The children will then learn to add and subtract two digit numbers using different methods, including the column method. They will apply this knowledge to word problems.
Science – Who would choose a home like this?
We have a very exciting science topic this half term. Year 2 will be learning about habitats, what living things need to survive and what makes habitats suitable for different living things. Children will explore a range of habitats and microhabitats in local outdoor areas and will design and make their own ‘bug hotel’ to support the survival of minibeasts.
History – How do we know about The Great Fire of London?
Children will learn about the Great Fire of London in history. Children will learn to develop historical question skills as well as exploring and discussing historical sources, considering how these help us learn about events from the Great Fire. Children will be able to order events from the fire as well as identifying reasons for it spreading so quickly. Finally, children will look at the architecture that followed the fire during the rebuilding of London.
RE – Islam – beliefs and lifestyle
Children will find out about various religious stories, including The Story of Bilal, stories of Mohammed as well as The Thirsty Dog and The Crying Camel, understanding their significance. As well as these they will find out why the Qur’an is important to Muslims. They will learn about some of the religious beliefs and teachings, including celebrations.
PSHCE – Understanding our feelings
This term, the PSCHE theme is ‘understanding our feelings’. A range of feelings (e.g. happy, sad, brave, afraid, angry, calm, generous, selfish) will be explored through storybooks, poetry, role play and discussion activities. We will be developing children’s language to describe different feelings, how an emotion may feel in our bodies and how our feelings can link to our actions.
The children will also have a weekly Circle Time session. This is a structured class discussion, which helps children to understand and support each other.
Music – music and accompaniments
This term Year 2 children will be exploring music and accompaniments. The children will learn to
sing songs softly in unison, rounds and to compose simple ostinato patterns. They will use drone, bass & rhythm patterns to play simple rhythmic accompaniment and to compose ostinato patterns.
Art – Exploring Joan Miro
In art this half term, Year 2 children will be drawing dream-like characters from their imagination inspired by the artist Joan Miro. Children will use watercolours and collage and will explore how a background can change the mood of a picture.
Indoor PE lessons
The class will be split into two groups of up to 15 children for their Indoor PE lessons with lessons being 30 minutes each due to hall space and distancing requirements. They will have an opportunity to explore and promote their physical fitness and wellbeing through movement-based games, dance and yoga. In addition, over the term children will have an opportunity to create, devise and compose movement in response to classroom curriculum based topics and given stimuli such as music, visuals and text. Children will be encouraged and taught to share and develop the language to feedback and comment with an emphasis on team building, problem solving, communication, decision-making and actively encouraging peer learning.
Outdoor PE lessons
Children will begin to learn about personal space and how to travel safely following instructions. This will be achieved through a variety of fun and age related activities with story and action themes such as ‘Their bodies’, The jungle, animals, colours and much more. Children will experience athletic training, obstacle courses, yoga, movement to music, mindfulness & wellbeing.
Through interval training, athletics and circuits, we will also introduce the idea of setting personal goals and improving personal bests.
In French, Year 2 children will learn a range of classroom instructions and learn to recognise the days of the week when spoken in sequence. In addition, children will learn to understand some colours and understand numbers up to 20 by reading the French story: Le loup qui voulait changer de couleur.
Computing – Digital Art
Year 2 children will be using Book Creator to explore and create digital art. The children will be introduced to the digital palette, an exploration of digital tools, backgrounds, cut and layer, shape, use of lines and colours to create art.
English (spag.com) and maths (mathletics.com) homework will both be set on Wednesdays and should be completed by Monday. Mathletics will be set every week and English will be set every other week. Homework will first be set on the16th September; a letter will be sent home with login details and instructions.
Children will also be given a list of spellings in their reading record each week. They should practise spelling these words at home using a range of strategies (as shown in the Reading Record). They will then be tested on these spellings through dictations in class.
Every pupil will be given a new Reading Record. In the Reading Record, the children can record and complete their reading homework as well as using it to record their independent reading both at home and at school. We will note your child’s reading targets for that half term in the record and comment on their reading and comprehension skills every two weeks. We recommend that all children spend at least 20 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence. We will also write specific notes to parents should the need arise.
Children will need to bring their Reading Record with them every day. Please sign the record each week, as this is an essential form of parent/teacher communication and to show that your child has practised their spellings and that you have seen the reading homework.
Healthy Eating at Playtime
Children will be provided with a snack at breaktime. This will be a piece of fresh or dried fruit or vegetable. Please note that this will begin on Tuesday 8th September. We encourage children to bring a small, labeled bottle of water to drink in the classroom that is separate to the drink they may have in their lunch box.
Communication between home and school
It is important for your child’s safety that the school has two accurate contact numbers in case of an emergency but also for us to be able to contact you and discuss what is happening in school. Please can you check that home and any mobile contact numbers that have been sent into school are correct and up to date.
We will work in close partnership with families to ensure your child’s time at school is successful – if you have any queries concerning your child’s education or welfare please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher on the playground or through the office and we will be glad to discuss any queries with you.
We look forward to meeting you all if we haven’t done so already, and to welcoming your children back to school next week!
The Year 2 Team
Sarah Peach (2P) Polly Marwick (2M) Hayley Williams-Macpherson (2W) Sam Bevan (2B)
(Year 2 Leader)
(Assistant Head – KS1)