This week in Year 2, we’ve started learning our times tables. We’ve been focusing on 10s, 5s and 2s. The children have enjoyed using manipulatives to show me what they know.
When times are hard… use base ten!
Help at home by practising counting forwards and backwards in 10s, 5s and 2s. Login details for Times Tables Rock Stars accompany this week’s homework – use this in regular short bursts to consolidate times tables knowledge.
We are very lucky at St James’ to have an expansive collection of books to enjoy. Every term, we receive several boxes of brilliant books from Leeds School Library Service. They are all carefully selected to support our curriculum.
In Year 2, we took the time to explore some of the non-fiction books that link to our current science unit – Living Things and Their Habitats.
In our reading skills sessions, we learnt how non-fiction books are structured in different ways. We learnt how to use the contents and index pages to navigate non-fiction books efficiently.
The children enjoyed using their new skills to learn more about the natural world. I was stunned by some of the facts the children shared with me. The oldest tree in the world is nearly 5,000 years old!
Help at home by exploring non-fiction books with your child. Can you use the contents and index pages to navigate to the information you’re looking for?
Safer Internet Day
Yesterday was Safer Internet Day. We had a jam-packed day of learning, all centred around staying safe on the internet. Here’s what we learnt…
I know that some things online may not be true.
An adventurous little chick goes exploring in the farmer’s house. Soon she discovers that the farmer’s computer is wonderful fun. She buys a frilly blouse, some bees and a motorbike. The farmer is very surprised when they arrive. Chick clicks away and a diamond watch, hundreds of handbags and squillions of shoes arrive at the farm. But she’s feeling rather lonely, so decides to find an online friend. Chick uploads her photo and spots a chicken just like her. After lots of chatting, they arrange to meet in the wood. But Chick’s new friend is really a hungry fox…
- Check who’s posted the information.
- Check the website. Is it a reliable source like the BBC?
- Check another website. Can we find the same information elsewhere online?
If you’re still not sure, speak to a trusted adult.
I know that I shouldn’t share personal information online.
- first and last name
- home address
Keeping something private means only sharing it with a few people you know and trust.
I know that people should treat others respectfully online.
The children enjoyed exploring and discussing ‘Troll Speaks’ in our reading lesson. It links to our Living and Learning statement for this week and was a fantastic platform for discussion around treating others respectfully online.
“It’s not safe to message strangers even if you think it’s funny.”
“It might be a joke to you, but it could hurt someone else’s feelings.”
“Always be kind to people. It’s never ok to be nasty.”
I know that we should have a balance between being online and offline.
We had a great discussion around all the ways in which the internet is amazing. It seems like you could live your whole life on the internet. The children identified some issues with spending too much time online:
- sore eyes from too much screen time
- not enough exercise
- harder to sleep
- don’t spend enough time with family
- harder to concentrate at school
Help at home by discussing the day’s learning with your child.
- What are the benefits of the internet?
- Do you have any internet safety ‘rules’ specific to your household?
- Are there any negative side-effects of spending too much time online?
- What is the balance between online and offline in your household?
- How do you seek help if something worries you online?
Give Rugby a Try
For the past 3 weeks, we’ve been really lucky to have Josh and Tom from the Leeds Rhinos Foundation visiting St James’ for our PE sessions.
The children have enjoyed learning the basics of rugby, putting their passing and try-scoring skills to the test.
This Thursday (08.02.24), the Leeds Rhinos Foundation are hosting a free rugby taster session in Wetherby. The session is open to children in Year 1 & 2, no matter their ability or experience. Sign up here.
Science – Plants (light and dark)
As we donned our science hats to start 2024, we turned our attention to plants and their requirements to survive and thrive.
Our enquiry question has been:
Do plants grow healthier in the light or dark?
The children have planned a comparative fair test to observe the results for themselves. They have made their predictions and are looking forward to seeing what happens!
We have chosen to plant cucumber seeds (the fantasy of a fruitful harvest proved irresistible) and will keep 2 plants in the sun and 2 plants in the cupboard. This morning, we gathered our equipment and – one (cu)cumbersome bag of compost and a few plant pots later – planted our seeds.
The children will be observing the plants and recording their progress… watch this space!
Help at home by discussing the investigation with your child:
- What was their prediction?
- Why did they make that prediction?
- How have we made sure our investigation is fair?
- How often will be observe the plants?
- What will we measure?
A Trip Back in Time – Abbey House Museum
Last week, we had the privilege of spending the day at Abbey House Museum.
We spent the morning wandering through authentically recreated streets, exploring Victorian shops and houses. As we toured the museum, we considered how living standards have changed, particularly considering the similarities and differences in shopping then and now.
In the afternoon, the children learned about how household items have changed since the Victorian era. From personal hygiene and heating the home, to cleaning carpets and washing clothes – we were astounded by how much easier things are for us today!
Help at home by asking your child about our visit. How might life have been different as a child in the Victorian era?
Living and Learning: “I know what a drug is and that some drugs can be harmful.”
In Living and Learning, we have been learning about things that can go into (and onto) our bodies and how they might help or harm us. The children have shown fantastic knowledge of when and how to use medicines safely.
“You shouldn’t take tablets if you don’t know what they are.”
“Follow the instructions on the packet. You could ask an adult to help if you’re not sure.”
“Make sure it’s the right medicine for the type of poorly you are.”
We sorted some picture cards into ‘helpful’ and ‘harmful’ and were surprised to see how many products would fit into both categories:
- Hand sanitiser is helpful for cleaning our hands but is very harmful to put into your body.
- Sweet treats can be enjoyable in moderation but can lead to tummy ache and tooth decay if consumed in excess.
- Sun cream protects your skin from the sun but contains poisonous ingredients that mustn’t be ingested.
Help at Home
Discuss these scenarios with your child. What could the characters do to prevent danger?
A Belated Happy New Year…
We hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to 2024. Year 2 have returned to school ready to impress; super learning attitudes have been in plentiful supply and everyone has achieved!
We started our year with a moment of reflection, celebrating success and considering what we’d like to change. The children impressed me with their maturity and have shown patience and ambition as we’ve established new routines.
Reading and Writing
We have been practising our inference skills! We decided together that inference is:
“using clues to make a sensible guess about something we don’t know”
We used some inspiring illustrations to stimulate our discussions and had great fun interviewing one another in character. I (Mr Nash) had a bit too much fun playing the part of a baby owl!
“How do you feel about taking your first flight?”
We have been adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers, using base ten to show what we know.
We are biologists! To start this term, we’re investigating whether plants grow healthier in light or dark. We’ve observed plants and labelled their parts, working like scientists by asking questions.
We braved the chilly conditions to see what we could observe. The children found an array of plants. Some had fur or spikes – others had flowers. We even found a tennis ball covered in moss!
Help at Home
Daily reading with your child is key to developing fluency and stamina. Your child’s e-book (including chapter books) will be assigned on a Friday – if there are any problems using the app, please let me know.
Encourage your child to engage with a variety of texts – perhaps a child-friendly news article will generate a spirited debate!
Continue to use NumBots to consolidate number fluency. We have set a (conservative) weekly target of 20 minutes to start the year but recommend a little and often approach. If there are any barriers to accessing this resource, we can provide an alternative.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
We’ve had a busy week in Year 2. We’ve enjoyed making our calendars, Christmas hats and table runners for our Christmas dinner on Friday.
We enjoyed a visit from Santa, our Christmas party and playing some Christmas games.
We’d like to say huge thank you for all of your support this term. The children are working so hard both in school and at home.
We hope you all have an amazing Christmas break and enjoy lots of family time together. Thank you to everyone for our lovely Christmas things.
Mrs Palmer, Mr Nash, Mrs Bye and Mrs Walton.
English: Reading and Writing
In English, we have been enjoying reading the book Not Now Bernard by David McKee (This is a YouTube link. Top tip for watching YouTube with your child: go to the settings cog along the play bar and turn off autoplay – this avoids an inappropriate clip coming up automatically, and helps to discourage your child from passively watching clip after clip). From this, we have been looking at different pictures of monsters and thinking of nouns and adjectives to describe them.
We then designed our own monsters, thinking carefully about their key features. Look at some of our wonderful writing below:
Help at home:
Use the pictures and word mats below to think of some sentences to describe the monsters. Write some sentences about the monsters. Bring them into school to share with us.