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Sycamore Class (Year 2)

Welcome to year 2!

 

We have been so impressed with how quickly the children have settled into life in year 2. They have blown us away with their work ethics and maturity and it has been a real joy getting to know each and every one of them.

We really enjoyed hearing about your summer adventures and seeing how the spades had been creatively completed. Each child seemed very proud of their work, and they all seemed to have super summers.

Our topic this term is Funny Bones and we will be completing lots of fun and exciting activities. We will be looking closely at the books written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. In Literacy we will be re-writing some of their stories as well as trying to write our own. We will be learning about how the skeleton words and what we need to survive. We have some exciting visits from some people whose job it is to keep us healthy and we hope we will find out lots of new facts as well as impressing them with what we know.

We are really looking forward to getting stuck into year 2 and we have a jam packed year ahead.

 

Picture 1

Summer term

 

The summer term has been jam packed with lots of exciting things! It’s hard to believe that we only have 1 week left. The year has flown by.

We started summer term learning about the topic ‘Iceberg Ahead’ where we looked at the Titanic. We thought about what life would be like on the ship. The classes were made into first, second and third class dining rooms and we thought about the differences between the classes. We all decided we would prefer to be in first class as they were allowed on the lifeboats first. In literacy we wrote diary entries pretending we were on the ship. Our highlight of the topic was our trip to the Titanic museum. We were able to have a go at steering the ship and saw lots of exciting artefacts.

The next half of the summer term we have been learning about the topic ‘Wish you were here’. We have been looking at the differences between holidays now and in the past. We had a beach day where we got to take part in beach activities such as volleyball, building a sandcastle and water play. We also looked at artefacts from the past and now. We were all very confused about what the old Walkman was. Year 2 also got to visit the scout hut. We got to climb the climbing wall and we were all very brave. We also got to cook sausages and marshmallows which were very yummy.

We hope you all have a lovely relaxing break, and we wish all the children all the best for year 3.

Spring 2

 

This half term Year 2 continued with the topic Traditional Tales.

 

We have been focusing on plants in particular, linked to Jack and the Beanstalk. We looked at the process of how plants grow and what is needed to help them grow.  This topic linked really well with Science Week when the children created their own 'magic beanstalks'. They also had to take care of a cress plant and decide the best place for it to continue to grow. They were then responsible for watering and taking care of their plant in order for it to survive. The children have loved comparing their plants and have been very surprised with the results. 

 

In computing children have been working in small groups to produce animation films, also based on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Working in groups the children had to plan, design and create films using a simple app on the i-pads. They have loved watching them back and were able to identify what went well and what they would improve on next time. They have also been learning about technology in our lives and e-safety.

 

In literacy we have had a big focus on the Ghanaian traditional tale ‘Anansi and the Yam Hills’. The children thoroughly immersed themselves in the story before producing a newspaper article about the events.
 

Our geographical enquiry this half term has been ‘Where do traditional tales come from?’. We have investigated the origin of a range of tales by gathering evidence from the stories, hypothesizing and explaining our thoughts.


Year 2 have been working hard to use more formal methods in maths. They have been learning to use partitioning for addition and subtraction on a number line. They have also been looking at finding change, direction and recapping fractions.

 

The knowledge the children gained about traditional tales over this last term enabled them to hold a ‘Traditional Tales Tea Party’ in celebration of the end of the topic. This was a fantastic event where children invited an adult of their choice to visit for the morning. Children designed and wrote some beautiful invitations. They used descriptive language including alliteration to persuade their adults to visit! The children also made sandwiches and decorated cakes and biscuits for their guests (and themselves!) to enjoy. 

 

In Summer 1 our topic will be ‘Iceberg Ahead’. We will be looking at the voyage of the Titanic and comparing it with modern cruise ships. We will also be looking at the different passengers on board with our historical enquiry being ‘Why did people want to travel on the Titanic?’

Spring 1

This half term we have started looking at traditional tales. We have looked at a variety stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the three bears and the three little pigs. Some of us knew all the stories, and some of us heard them for the first time.

In history we have thinking about what makes a traditional tale traditional. We have been thinking about how we could make these stories modern and what they would look like if they were written today. We carried out a variety of activities to help with our research which all led to us creating a final modern traditional tale.

In art we have been thinking about to mix colours to make different colours. We then thought about the different ways we could make green and brown. We looked at the artist ‘James Brownes’ fairytale art and used our mixing knowledge to create our own pictures.

In science we have been thinking about the food animals eat. We looked at how some animals are prey and some are predators. We then created our own food chains and thought about which animal eats which.

Next half term we will be continuing the topic ‘Traditional tales’. We will be looking at the geography of the tales and thinking about where they come from. We will also be hosting a Traditional tale tea party!

Autumn 2

 

Autumn 2 in Year 2 has been very busy. We have been doing the topic ‘Fire, Fire’ and the children seem to have really enjoyed learning about the Great Fire of London. We all thoroughly enjoyed recreating our own Pudding Lane and watching Mr Quilter setting it all on fire! At the beginning of the topic, we were lucky enough to take part in a Treehouse Theatre workshop. The children were able to join in with a re-enactment of the events of the Great Fire. Later in the topic, we had some visitors, firemen from our local station! We talked and learned about fire safety and the children learnt a song to help them to keep safe too. We thought about the difference between firemen’s roles now and those people’s roles in the past. We also got to look in a real fire truck and even used their water hose!

 

We also practised for our nativity which was ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ The children worked so hard to learn their lines, adding expression to interest the audience. Some children learnt some cracking dance routines too. All the children persevered with learning all the songs and delivered excellent performances. All staff were very proud!

Autumn term 1

 

The children have quickly settled into life in year two and we have had a very exciting term. They seem to of really enjoyed our Funny Bones topic. We have looked at a variety of the Funny Bones stories and used these to inspire our writing in Literacy. In science we then looked at the bones in our body and the importance of a skeleton. We thought hard about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and had a visit from Subway to look at a balanced diet.  In Geography we helped Big skeleton think about what continent he would like to visit and where he could go near the equator. Also in art we made skeleton collages and sketched and painted pieces of fruit. We have really enjoyed all our Funny Bones activities.

Next term our topic will be ‘Fire, Fire’ where we will be learning about the Great Fire of London.

Welcome back Sycamore!

 

We have had a brilliant start to year 2 and have enjoyed hearing all about the crayons summer adventures! We have been really impressed with the way that the children have settled into their new classes. They have been working really hard as a class team and have been getting to grips with the new expectations.

Our topic this term is ‘Funny Bones’ and we will be completing lots of fun and exciting activities. We will be looking closely at the books written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. In literacy we will have a go at re-telling the stories as well as trying to write our own! We will also be looking into how the skeleton works and what job the bones have in our body. As a class we will be thinking about the importance of being healthy and how to be fit and active.

Keep your eyes peeled for our class newsletter that will be coming out soon for more information on the exciting things that we have planned for your children this term

Summer term

This term our topic has been Wish You Were Here.

 

We started Summer 1 with a historical enquiry into why people wanted to travel on the Titanic. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the ship and really got into role when writing their diary entries in literacy. They produced fantastic 2 week projects when researching an aspect of the historical event. As part of our science/ DT healthy eating focus we had an exciting visit from Subway! The children carried out a project all week where they had to create a low fat sandwich. They were very surprised with how much fat certain items had in them. They were taught the correct way to make a Subway sandwich and how to wrap them safely so that they could take them home.

 

Summer 2 has seen more of a geographical focus with our enquiry being ‘Why do people visit Bournemouth beach?’ The children have learnt about the activities on offer at the seaside and how they have changed over time. We had a themed beach day as part of this and the children were allowed to dress in beach style clothing. They created beach hut collages, discussed and explored historical artefacts from the seaside through time, built sandcastles and engaged in water play.

In Summer 2 we have also had outdoor week. The children took part in numerous outdoor activities and had a trip to the Scout Hut. At the Scout Hut, the class was divided into two groups to complete two different activities, they then swapped. One group took part in some outdoor cooking on an open fire, whilst the other had a go at the climbing wall. All children had a go at the wall and showed brilliant perseverance, each time beating their personal best.

 

The children have had a fantastic year and are now looking forward to the learning opportunities and exciting events which lie ahead in Year 3.

Spring 2 in Sycamore 

 

This term Year 2 continued with the topic Traditional Tales. We have been focusing on plants in particular this term, linked to Jack and the Beanstalk. We looked at the process of how plants grow and what is needed to help them grow.  This topic linked really well with Science Week where the children creating their own 'magic beanstalk'. They had to decide where the best place to grow their bean was. They then were responsible for watering and taking care of their plant in order for it to grow. The children have loved comparing their plants and have been very surprised with the results. 


Year 2 have also been looking at Alice in Wonderland, preparing for our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This was a fantastic event where children invited their grandparents to visit for the morning. Children designed and wrote some beautiful invitations. They used descriptive language including alliteration to persuade their grandparents to visit! The children also made sandwiches and decorated cakes and biscuits for their grandparents (and themselves!) to enjoy. 


Children have been working in small groups to produce animation films in I.T., based on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Working in groups the children had to plan, design and create films using a simple app on the i-pads. They have loved watching them back and were able to identify what went well and what they would improve on next time. Watching animation clips from Disney and Wallace and Gromit were great sources of understanding. 


Year 2 have been working hard to understand multiplication and division this term, using arrays, grouping and sharing to solve unknown answers. Keep practising these, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s to recognise these patterns. We have also been looking at reading the time, Keep practicing this at home!


In Summer 1 our topic is ‘Wish You Were Here’. We will be looking at the voyage of the titanic and comparing it with cruises now a days. We will also be looking at different places to live and how they are different to where we live. 

Spring term 1

 

 

Year 2 started the Spring term with the topic Traditional Tales. Throughout the term we have focused on a variety of traditional tales including Hansel and Gretel, The Gingerbread Man and Little Red Riding Hood. Children have enjoyed learning a variety of skills linked to these stories. This has included designing our own gingerbread house and writing descriptive stories about the woods in Little Red riding Hood. Year two have also been creating a persuasive letter to Hansel and Gretel’s father in order for him to come and save them. They thought about the interesting vocabulary they could use to try and encourage him to come.

 

In Science children enjoyed trying to help the characters from the traditional tales. They used their knowledge of materials to plan a waterproof coat for the gingerbread man so that he wouldn’t get wet in the rain. Year 2 had to think about what materials may make keep him dry and which may let the rain in. They enjoyed thinking about creative ways that they could keep him protected. Year 2 have also been helping Little Red Riding hood clear up the materials she found in the woods. She needed these to be sorted into natural and man-made and Year 2 used helped her to do this.

 

In Maths the children have using their number bond facts in their addition and subtraction calculations. They have been looking at the place value of each number to help them with this. The children are becoming a lot quicker at answering these questions and have really impressed us!

 

In Spring 2 we will continue to focus on Traditional Tales where we will understand the life cycle of bean plants, linked to Jack and the Beanstalk. We will also be looking forward to Science Week on 12th March before preparing for our Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. We can’t wait!

Autumn 2

 

Year 2 had a busy Autumn continuing the term with the theme of Funnybones. Children designed their own Funnybones towns, developing their knowledge of 2D shape. Creating these Funnybones towns in a team helped children to develop an adventure story that their scatty or funny character would go on.

Children have also researched the Fire of London. They loved acting some of these scenes out which they then used to write a diary entry as if they were Samuel Pepys or another person from that time. Children used lots of descriptive vocabulary to explain what they saw and how they felt. When the children had finished their diary entries, they shared their work with each other over a hot chocolate and biscuit in the style of a 17th century coffee house. They also built their own Pudding Lane and then set it alight to recreate the Great Fire of London of 1666. As the fire started to rip through the houses, London burned before their eyes! They discussed the reasons as to why the fire spread so quickly and the measures that King Charles II took to save a fire like that from ever happening again.

Towards the end of term we were extremely busy practising for our Christmas play A Midwife Crisis! The children worked so hard to learn their lines, adding expression to interest the audience. Some children learnt dance routines too. There were certainly some tricky songs to learn, with quite a few having rounds in them, however they persevered and delivered an excellent performance. All staff were very proud!

 

Autumn 1

 

Year 2 have been settling in really well this week. They seem to have adjusted to year 2 life very quickly. We have started our topic Funny bones. The children seem really excited about the topic and eagerly discussed what they would like to learn.  In the next few weeks we will be looking closely at the human body. We will be naming parts of the skeleton and understanding how we move. We will also be looking at healthy eating and how exercise is a key part to this. We will then be creating exercise plans and looking at how our heart rate changes when we complete certain exercises.

Summer 2 in Sycamore Class

 

Year 2 enjoyed our new topic Wish You Were Here. This focuses on travel and different destinations around the world. Year 2 enjoyed learning their oceans and continents so they could plan a route for Phileas Fogg to travel around the world. Children began to use their sewing skills to produce decorative hot air balloons. They have taken real care to improve their running stitch and lots of children can now thread their own needle! Continuing to focus on Geography, Year 2 made comparisons about rural and urban environments, both around the world and within our local environment. The classes split to go on two different walks around the local area. During the walks we saw lots of physical and human features. We saw the local river, fields and even the local incinerator! Definitely a human feature of our local landscape! Children really enjoyed making these observations. We then used this information to help us create rural and urban collages. These were based on the book Window by Jeannie Baker. The term finished with Under the Sea Art Week where we participated in a variety of art activities to learn new skills.  We thought umbrellyfish were the best feature of the week!

 

Next term we will continue with our topic Wish You Were Here. We will look forward to a beach day as well as outdoor week where we will be doing lots of activities with the Scouts.

Spring 2 in Beech Class

 

This term Year 2 continued with the topic Traditional Tales. We have been focusing on plants in particular this term, linked to Jack and the Beanstalk. Children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about lifecycles of both plants and animals; we have used the school pond to monitor the changes from frogspawn to tadpoles and watched Year R’s eggs hatch into tiny chicks! Children have planted their own seeds in order to write explanation texts. They are certainly very confident at explaining these processes and have even gone away to find out more information at home, producing some fantastic posters as part of their home learning! This topic linked really well with Science Week where children continued to investigate plants by dissecting daffodils. It was a great way for children to understand the different parts of a plant and begin to understand what each part is used for. Children were also able to identify how different types of seeds germinate, and using the school grounds went out to identify these whilst also looking for other signs of Spring. 


The latter part of the term focused on Alice in Wonderland, preparing for our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This was a fantastic event where children invited their grandparents to visit for the morning. Children designed and wrote some beautiful invitations. They used descriptive language including alliteration to persuade their grandparents to visit! Within Maths children had to read and record scales, comparing the weights of different ingredients before applying these skills to making cakes, biscuits and sandwiches ready for the tea party. 


Children have been working in small groups to produce animation films in I.T., based on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Working in groups the children had to plan, design and create films using a simple app on the i-pads. They have loved watching them back and were able to identify what went well and what they would improve on next time. Watching animation clips from Disney and Wallace and Gromit were great sources of understanding …watch this space for the finished articles!


This term ended by focusing on the story of Where the Wild Things Are. After designing and creating their own Wild Thing, children then wrote some great descriptions, warning us about their appearance and character. Be ware! 


Year 2 have been working hard to understand multiplication and division this term, using arrays, grouping and sharing to solve unknown answers. Keep practising these, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s to recognise these patterns. Where in the home might you see these patterns in counting? Clue…tick tock! 


In Summer 1 our topic is ‘Wish You Were Here’. We will be focusing on reading and recording time; what can you do in 1 minute? Challenge a friend! We will be learning more about the world around us, comparing where we live to a non-EU country, investigating similarities and differences. In Science we will be investigating floating and sinking linked to the Titanic. Which materials do you think will float and why?

 

Spring 1 in Beech Class

 

Year 2 started the Spring term with the topic Traditional Tales. Throughout the term we have focused on a variety of traditional tales including Hansel and Gretel, The Gingerbread Man and Little Red Riding Hood. Children have enjoyed learning a variety of skills linked to these stories. This has included learning mapping skills using I.T. and Beebots to help Little Red Riding Hood get safely through the woods, and writing a persuasive letter to Hansel and Gretel’s father in order for him to come and save them. Year 2 also interviewed characters from the tale of The Gingerbread Man. They found out how the sly fox felt about trying to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river before eating him up! Children then used these quotes to write newspaper reports about the events that took place.

 

In Science children enjoyed learning about how animals adapt to their surroundings. They investigated how different animals adapt to their environment before inventing their own creature to live in our woodlands here at Great Binfields! Some chose sharp claws for hunting whilst others chose soft fur to keep them warm. They were certainly very creative! Children have also learnt about healthy eating by designing a healthy cereal bar full of fruit and seeds. Children researched the different food groups that were in their cereal bars before making them. Children also investigated the properties of packaging and which materials would be most suitable to keep their cereal bar dry and fresh.

 

In Maths children used money to cost up the cereal bar ingredients before finding out how to give change. Children really enjoyed their home learning tasks about money and it was great to hear some children went to the shops or played shops at home in order to practise these skills.

 

The term finished with Biography Week. Year 2 focused on Roald Dahl. We found out about the different characters in Roald Dahl’s stories before writing biographies for these characters. Which is your favourite character and why? The children created some beautiful dream jars using a variety of watercolour painting techniques. It was lovely to see how engaged they were with the task, thinking carefully about the piece of work they were producing.

 

In Spring 2 we will continue to focus on Traditional Tales where we will understand the lifecycle of bean plants, linked to Jack and the Beanstalk. We will also be looking forward to Science Week on 13th March before preparing for our Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. We can’t wait!

 

Autumn 2 in Beech Class

 

Year 2 had a busy Autumn continuing the term with the theme of Funnybones. Children designed their own Funnybones towns, developing their knowledge of 2D and 3D shapes. We also enjoyed time out in the woods to find and create these shapes. Creating these Funnybones towns in a team helped children to develop an adventure story that their scatty or funny character would go on.

 

Children have also researched the Fire of London. They loved acting some of these scenes out which they then used to write a diary entry as if they were Samuel Pepys or another person from that time. They found it very funny to think Samuel Pepys buried his cheese in order to keep it safe. Children used lots of descriptive vocabulary to explain what they saw and how they felt. We then learnt to read and write time in quarter hour intervals, having to order the events of the Fire of London.

 

In Guided Reading we have focused a lot on non-fiction texts this term, understanding the structural features we find in a non-fiction text. Can you remember what must be included? This has really helped children to write a non-chronological report about Louis Braille. This has been particularly interesting for children because of our visual impairment unit here at Great Binfields.

 

Towards the end of term we were extremely busy practising for our Christmas play Super Star! The children worked so hard to learn their lines, adding expression to interest the audience. Some children learnt dance routines too. There were certainly some tricky songs to learn, with quite a few having rounds in them, however they persevered and delivered an excellent performance. All staff were very proud!

 

In preparation for Christmas children used a variety of Art skills to create gifts for their parents. Children designed Christmas cards using batik (wax resist on fabric, which is then painted over in order to see the original wax design). Children also created calendars using 'inchies'. These are small squares of fabric which were then linked to the four seasons. Children completed sewing, sticking, and collage with both paper and fabric for these. They really did look beautiful; I hope parents enjoyed seeing the different skills their children have used recently. We were certainly impressed with the dedication and concentration children took in order to produce some challenging artwork. 

 

In Spring we are looking forward to our new topic Traditional Tales. We will certainly have lots more exciting adventures in store, designing our own healthy cereal bars and growing our very own beanstalks…I wonder which tale this could be linked to?

Autumn in Beech Class

 

Year 2 have started the year with the topic Funnybones. We have really enjoyed learning about their bodies, naming parts of their skeleton and understanding how we move. We have worked hard to create exercise plans as part of Science and Literacy. We investigated the changes on our heart rate when completing different types of exercises such as running, star jumps and skipping. Our exercise routines had to include a warm up, main exercise and a cool down. We wrote these instructions making sure we included features of instruction writing, such as temporal conjunctions, imperative verbs and adverbs. We then taught the Year 1 classes our routines to try and get their hearts pumping!

 

This term we also wrote fruit poems before sketching these fruit using pencil and charcoal techniques in Art. Have a look around our classroom for some examples.

 

During this term we have learnt about World Peace Day and Friendship Week. As a class we thought carefully about what peace means to us as well as what makes a good friend. The children had some thoughtful ideas which we will be able to reflect on throughout the year, helping us to continue to grow into supportive, caring children.

 

In Maths we have focused a lot on numbers and the number system, specifically place value and understanding the value of each digit in a 2-digit number. This is so important to get to grips with as it really helps when learning our times tables and problem solving, looking for number patterns. We have transferred these skills to reading and recording measuring lengths and comparing numbers using < > symbols. We have been into the woods to find and create 2D shapes in the natural environment. We will continue to learn our shapes in Autumn 2 so keep practising those shape names, remembering the differences between 2D and 3D shapes!

 

In Autumn 2 the Fire Service will be visiting us to help us learn about how to keep safe. We will also be starting to practise our Christmas play! We will continue learning about our topic Funnybones, learning about Louis Braille. We will also learn about the Fire of London, something we know Year 2 LOVED learning about last year! Keep checking for photos of what we have been up to!  

Autumn 1 in Beech Class

 

This term our topic is Funnybones. During this topic we will be learning about what we need to stay healthy, including different types of food and exercise. So far children have got to know about the human skeleton; we have been impressed how much they can remember about this from their learning in Year 1. We have also begun to write some Funnybones setting descriptions where they have used adjectives to describe the journey. 

 

This term we will be creating a healthy plate of food, sorting food into their groups to make sure we created a balanced, healthy diet. We will also be busy designing a fitness activity for other children to use so they can keep fit and healthy. We will be writing instructions so anyone can follow these fantastic activities! 

 

In Maths we will be working hard on addition and subtraction, partitioning numbers into their tens and units and getting to know numbers and the number system. These skills will be particularly useful when we begin to measure and find the difference between the height and length of ourselves. 

 

Over the coming weeks we will have the Harvest Festival to look forward to, before revisiting some of the Funnybones stories so that we can write our own descriptive adventures. We will also be learning about 2D and 3D shape; I wonder what we will create from this? Keep your eyes peeled for more information!

Summer 1 in Beech Class

 

This term Year 2 started their topic ‘Wish You Were Here’. This has focused on travelling around the world, developing our Geography skills. Children began to investigate continents and oceans, thinking about where Phileas Fogg travelled! Year 2 thought about the different methods of travel. In Maths we focussed on reading time and the length of time certain journeys took. Children enjoyed reading analogue clocks and this is something they can continue to practise every day. Children were also able to make comparisons between urban and rural areas. We used maps to research our local area and make comparisons with London. Children then used this information to create collages of different scenes. We linked this to the picture book ‘Window’ by Jeannie Baker.

Children have developed their sewing skills this term in order to create a hot air balloon on hessian. They look fantastic on display. We noticed how much care and attention children took to develop their running stitch and by the end of the week lots of children could even thread their own needles…a success!

Children loved researching the Titanic this term. They thought carefully about what it was like on the Titanic and had to create a piece of drama linked to whether they were in first or third class. Children then wrote a series of diary entries about the tragic event. We were impressed with how many children wanted to continue to research the Titanic at home! Well done!

This term we have also had a whole school Art Week and what a busy week it was! Children learnt a multiple of skills including weaving, applique, collage and painting. Children rotated around different classes in order to develop these skills. At the end of the week the classrooms were filled with all of their hard work. It was lovely to see some children really shine through this week; we were impressed with how hard they worked.

Children began to investigate materials as part of a 2-week homework project. They designed a boat which needed to float across the school pond. Some children investigated different materials, thinking carefully about which one worked best, holding their toy so it was kept safe and dry. Children could explain why their boat floated however there are a few shipwrecks now at the bottom of the pond…oh dear! They loved investigating this though.

Next term children will continue to look at forces linked to floating and sinking. We also have Olympics Week and Outdoor Week to look forward to! During these weeks there will be lots of topical learning including writing and researching the Olympics, making observational drawings in the woods and even being able to go on a climbing wall, with thanks to the local Scouts. What a busy end of year we have in store!

Spring 2 in Beech Class

 

 

This Spring term Year 2 enjoyed a visit to Tesco as part of the Tesco Food for Fuel project. Children found out what countries were participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics. They then had to find fruit and vegetables from these countries. Children toured the shop thinking about the different types of foods that give us energy and keep us fit and healthy. This linked well with our traditional tale Jack and the Beanstalk, understanding where food comes from. In Literacy we explained the lifecycle of a bean plant and then investigated what conditions were best for a bean seed to grow in. It was interesting to find out that even seeds that were stored in a cold fridge still grew, although they did not look as green and healthy as those placed in the bright sun. We monitored our seeds carefully and enjoyed looking after them so we could take them home and continue to help them grow. In ICT children used the App Lego Movie Maker to create a stop-motion animation of Jack and the Beanstalk. Working in small groups children had to plan, create and produce their film before editing it to improve the finer details. Keep an eye out for some of these appearing on the website soon!

 

As part of our topic Traditional Tales, we planned to have a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as we were reading the story of Alice in Wonderland. We wrote invitations to our grandparents or other family members explaining what they could expect to find at our tea party. We then designed our own board games and decorations and used our knowledge of counting, measuring, doubling and dividing to make delicious cakes and sandwiches for everyone to try. As part of their homework children designed ‘Mad Hats’; they put in a fantastic amount of effort which looked superb all together on the day. The morning was a great success and we had brilliant feedback from our guests.

 

In Maths we then used Smarties to help us understand how to collect data and create a graph. At the tea party we collected some data, which we also hope to use to create a graph, investigating which games, and cakes were guest’s favourites.

 

Alongside this we had Basingstoke Rugby Club in to deliver sessions to our year 2’s. Coach Cooper was impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and skills. We learnt how to score a try, tag someone, pass the ball backwards and work as a team. We then put everything we had learnt throughout the half term into game situations. It was really fun and we Miss Grainger will be making sure lots of the children join the school rugby club next year.

 

Other exciting visitors included Vicky Ellis who came in to tell us all about the Easter Story and Palm Sunday. A big thankyou to Vicky as we always enjoy these sessions.

 

This Summer term our topic is Wish You Were Here. We will be taking a tour around the world, just like Phileas Fogg did in 1873. We will be finding out about different methods of travel and linking this to reading the time. Children will be researching and creating winders and cranks to help pull their boats out of the sea. This will also link to some knowledge of forces, preventing their boats from sinking! In Maths we will focus on measure, specifically capacity, and rotations clockwise and anti-clockwise so have a chat about these at home! 

 

Spring 1 in Beech Class

 

Year 2 has been learning about Traditional Tales this term. We have enjoyed learning about Hansel and Gretel and the Gingerbread Man especially, reading both traditional and alternative versions.

 

We created and then carefully described a setting for the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel, imagining that the wicked witch had captured us! We then had to write a letter home to persuade Father to come and save us! Using our woodlands and school setting we created maps of the immediate area, which we then used to help us plan a route around the school. As part of MSSC Day on Communication, we created tracking symbols around the school grounds using sticks and stones. Groups of children then had to test them by following them so they could find the other group!

 

When learning about The Gingerbread Man we had a surprise visitor come to class… Mr Fox! We couldn’t believe it! We were able to ask him lots of questions, which helped us then write a news report about the events of the Gingerbread Man escaping.

As part of our awareness of healthy eating, we revisited what a balanced diet looked like before designing and creating a healthy cereal bar. We tested different ingredients then chose dried fruits and seeds to add to our cereal bars, making them individual but interesting to others. We had to design packaging and cost up the ingredients to ensure we could afford to spend our money and buy what we needed. We have worked hard on using money this term to add, find totals and give change. We have had to solve some problems involving money too!

 

The term ended with Outdoor Literacy Week, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Luckily the weather was kind to us so we managed to do loads of learning outdoors; this helped us create a Wild Thing, based on our book Where the Wild Things Are. We designed Wild Things using computers but we also sketched designs, which helped us then create a 3D sculpture using clay. We gathered materials from the woods and used these to print patterns within our clay; we found small pinecones were great for creating a scaly, fish-like texture.

 

This term we look forward to continuing with the theme Traditional Tales where we will be growing plants, linked to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We will be looking at the story of Alice in Wonderland and even hosting our very own tea party! Look out for some wild and wonderfully mad hats!

Autumn 2 in Beech Class

 

The second Autumn half term started with a bang! We were learning about Guy Fawkes and so we had our very own fireworks! We really enjoyed learning about the Gunpowder Plot and watched fireworks to help us use onomatopoeias to create descriptive poems.

 

The next few weeks continued with a historical theme as we moved on to the Great Fire of London. We used drama to understand how different people would have felt during the Great Fire. This helped us to write a diary entry, just like Samuel Pepys did, in order to record events during the fire. We thought carefully about what we might see, hear and feel before writing our diaries onto old paper we had made. We then spent the morning going back in time to a coffee house, sharing our diaries with other locals who were affected by the fire. We drank hot chocolate and ate biscuits, paying a penny to sit and share these events with others. It was a great morning!

 

During this week we spent a whole day learning about the Great Fire, plotting the fire’s course onto a modern map, designing and then making a Tudor house and creating a timeline of events to name but a few activities. It was a great day that really took us back in time! We learnt about reading the time in quarter intervals and ordering longer events that took place.

 

Returning to our topic of Funnybones, we researched Louis Braille to understand the history of braille and what it is like to have a visual impairment. This was a great topic to research because of having a VI unit at our school. There were so many resources to research and it gave us more awareness of others. Mrs Stout, the VI Manager, came to talk to us and show us some resources people with visual impairments use. We carefully researched this topic in order to create non-chronological posters. We read non-chronological books in our Guided Reading sessions, which helped us to understand how to structure a piece of writing.

 

Christmas then took hold! Key Stage 1 worked hard to produce their play Baubles. There was lots of singing practice and learning lines, which helped to create a great show which was thoroughly enjoyed by parents and children alike.

 

In Spring term we are looking forward to learning about Traditional Tales. We will be writing alternative tales, newspaper reports and explanation texts. We will also be learning about measure and money and we might even be growing some of our very own plants. I wonder which traditional tale that might link to...?

Autumn in Beech Class

 

Year 2 has enjoyed their Funnybones topic this term. They have enjoyed learning about their bodies and how to keep healthy. Within Literacy, children have written instructions about how to stay healthy by creating a fitness routine. Children had to research the effects different exercises have on your body and how they make you feel. In groups they then created a short sequence of instructions before using i-pads to record them so they could be shared with other children. This was a great way for children to think about instructional language and the need to add clear details so others would understand how to follow their instructions.

 

Children have also created their own Funnybones characters and stories. Children had to think carefully about the type of character they wanted to create, from being scatty to cool to happy. They then used this character to write a story; poor dog skeleton had fallen apart so each character had to walk through the dark, dark town finding his bones! Children had been learning about the properties of 2D shapes in Maths so used this knowledge to create a Funnybones town. There were great conversations had about what shapes could be used for the different buildings. Have a look at the maps below to see what they created!

 

Year 2 was very excited to receive their sketching books in Art. These are new to Year 2 and will go up with them every year; it will be a great opportunity to see how they have developed their skills over the years. Already children were able to see their skills developing when using pencil and charcoal sketching techniques. Children had to draw fruit, looking carefully at the detail and how this could be achieved through pencil control, light and dark and smudging effects. We talked about the idea of Austin’s Butterfly ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZo2PIhnmNY ) and how we can always improve on our first attempts. Children critiqued each other’s work, giving comments about what they liked and how they thought the work could be improved. This was a great way to develop children’s understanding that it is helpful to have support from your peers whilst it is also good to want to improve on what you have already achieved.

 

 

Next term we look forward to learning about Guy Fawkes and the Fire of London and how disease affected people during this time. We will also learn about the history of Louis Braille, particularly relevant to us at Great Binfields because of our visual impairement unit. Christmas will then be here before we know it! Keep watching for up-to-date information about the Christmas play and how we are getting on!

 

 

Autumn 1 in Beech Class 2015

 

We have had a great start to Year 2 this Autumn term. Our current topic is Funnybones. During this topic we will be learning about what we need to stay healthy, including different types of food and exercise. So far we have created a healthy plate of food, sorting food into their groups to make sure we created a balanced, healthy diet. We have also been busy designing a fitness activity for other children to use so they can keep fit and healthy. We will be writing instructions so anyone can follow these fantastic activities! We have designed our own Funnybones characters, thinking about how are skeletons are designed. 

 

In Maths we have been working hard on addition and subtraction, partitioning numbers into their tens and units. These skills will be particularly useful when we begin to measure and find the difference between the height and length of ourselves.

 

Over the next few weeks we have the Harvest Festival to look forward to, before revisiting some of the Funnybones stories so that we can write our own descriptive adventures. We will also be learning about 2D and 3D shape; I wonder what we will create from this? Keep your eyes peeled for more information!

What Beech Class will look forward to this Summer Term

 

This term Beech Class will be learning about Kings, Queens and Castles. We will be looking at both historical and more recent fairy tales involving royalty as well as true historical figures, nationally and more locally. We will be looking at digital media artists and how they use this to create a piece of art to help us create our own! In ICT we will begin to program, understanding how to input instructions in order to create a simple game. 

 

Spring 2 in Beech Class

 

Beech Class have continued to enjoy learning about Toys this term. Children began the term by learning about poetry. We researched the poet Michael Rosen, investigating the structure of poetry and how rhyme is used. We then created a poem based on ‘Our Toy Box’. Next, children had to choose a toy to describe and then put this description into a riddle. They used adjectives, similes and verbs to give clues to help readers guess the toy they were talking about.

 

In DT, Beech Class had to work in small groups to design, plan and create a robot out of junk. Imaginations were very important in this task; robots included rocket backpacks and special buttons to help them complete their tasks. Children thought carefully about the materials they were going to use and what its job was in the robots design.

 

In PE Beech Class continued the robot theme, working in mixed groups to create a robot dance. Children had to include 3 choreographic devices; a canon, unison and levels. Children thought carefully to work as a team to include these key features whilst also putting their own ‘robot stamp’ on their dance. Through their weekly Music lessons children were very aware of keeping in time to the music and how to listen for the beat.

 

In Maths children received a note to say some toys had escaped from a museum! Some footprints had been found so the children used these as clues to help find out more about who they belonged to – the toys, or the ‘thing’ that took them! Children had to use their problem solving skills for this task, using standard and non-standard measuring skills. From small group discussions Beech Class found out they needed to measure their own footprints and use this information to find out more about how tall the ‘thing’ was. Children not only had to problem solve using measurements including metres, centimetres and millimetres, they also needed to think about addition and multiplication, recognising there was a pattern… you will have to ask us more though if you want to find out the secret method!

 

In Science we learnt about seasons and weather changes. This tied in well with the recent solar eclipse. I was impressed with how much Beech Class already knew about how seasons and how sunlight changes according to where you are in the world. Children had some very sensible discussions about this and were keen to find out more so investigated with a globe and torches to understand day and night and the strength of the sun. Children then worked together to create season posters, using i-pads and books to research their season. As a team they then created a stained glass window to depict the four-seasons. Have a look at our windows to see how we did it.

 

Beech Class loved having their Grandparents to visit for the afternoon! It was fantastic to see such a positive attendance. Children made cakes, drinks and sandwiches for our visitors, which they could then enjoy whilst playing a variety of games. Grandparents helped their grandchildren and friends understand the games they played as children. Children learnt some of the rules to Chess, had great fun playing Tiddlywinks and had to have real concentration and focus when playing Jacks. There were lots of smiles and laughter throughout the afternoon and even though not all grandparents could make it children still joined in with others. One of the favourite toys was Blow Football; the children loved it so much they wanted to carry on playing even after the grandparents had left! It was also interesting to see one grandparent bring in her memories from own childhood, including a school reading book, cats cradle and some pictures of when she was a child. This was a great talking point and something we could think about for future events so experiences and memories can be shared.

 

The whole school visited Christchurch for an Easter Service. This linked well to our final week learning about Easter and Palm Sunday specifically. Beech Class were grateful to Tesco Chineham for providing the class with hot cross buns and the spices that go into making these. We watched a video clip about the history or hot cross buns before describing these different spices; some spices were certainly more liked than others!

 

The term ended with a toy talk from Mr Cushing, the old head teacher of Great Binfields. Mr Cushing brought in an array of old toys and explained how the materials toys are made with has changed lots over hundreds of years, however one thing that has not changed, which everybody needs when playing with a toy was… an imagination! A lot of children remembered this and wrote about it in their recount writing. It was great to see how much children remembered from the talk and Beech Class were grateful to Mr Cushing for leaving some of these toys with us so we could look at them more closely. This really helped us in writing some super recounts with lots of description and detail. 

Spring in Beech Class

 

We have had a busy toy-filled term in Beech Class! At the beginning of the term we took the local bus to town to go and visit the Bear Factory and find out how the bears there are made. We were lucky enough to create our own class bear; we were allowed to choose which bear we would have, what sound he would make and even the clothes he was allowed to wear! We also had to fill him with love and kindness so he knows he will be well looked after. Beech Bear now takes it in turns to go home with a child from the class every couple of days. The children then write about his adventures and add photos to the book so everyone else can see what he has been up to. Wow, has Beech Bear been on some adventures already! I wonder what he will get up to this term?

 

As part of our toy topic, we read the story ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and adapted this to write a playscript ‘The Day the Toys Quit’. Children thought carefully about why their toys were fed up and wanted to leave, they then had to solve the problem so the toys felt happy again. Children had to understand the features of a playscript; they became very confident on this. Guided Reading sessions investigating playscripts also helped to support and develop this understanding. There was real humour in the plays, thinking carefully about describing the scenes and giving clear stage directions. Children could then work in small groups to practise acting these out, developing expression within their reading.

 

Beech Class have also enjoyed investigating old and new toys. As part of their homework children spoke to family members, including parents and grandparents to find out more about the games they played when they were younger compared to the games the children play today. Whilst some games had stayed the same they recognised the difference in how toys are now made from different materials with a lot of them being electronic. Children enjoyed playing old games including dominoes, pick-up sticks and tiddlywinks. Once they understood the rules of the game the children then had to write their own instructions so other people could play.

 

As part of our topic Beech Class learnt about Louis Braille; this is particularly relevant at Great Binfields due to having the VI unit. Children enjoyed understanding how braille was designed. Everyone then had a go at using the braille machines in order to write messages. We learnt that each letter is made by using up to 6 dots in different patterns. We were then allowed to go into the dark room to investigate how our senses can be used in different ways. Playing with different VI toys and then designing our own toy made us think carefully about using touch, sound and smell so that these toys are accessible for all children to use.

 

We also had a mixed Year 1 and Year 2 Science Day investigating materials. Working in small groups, children had to complete a variety of activities to find out about materials, fix toys using the appropriate materials and also design a bed for a teddy so that it was comfortable. Children had to work as a group to share their ideas and problem solve. In the afternoon they were then put into two teams where they had to compete to create a bear; one team had only man-made materials whilst the other only had natural materials. This really made children think about how products are created and what resources the earth provides.

 

In Maths children have worked hard on their problem-solving skills. The mass of toys was compared using < > = symbols. Children then had to create their own questions estimating mass and finding out the actual measurement of a toy in grams or kilograms. Both balance and measuring scales were used to challenge children by reading in number patterns, linked to counting in 2s, 5s and 10s.

 

In our final week we celebrated Book and Film Week as a whole school. Beech Class focused on Peter Pan, writing some fantastic adventure stories. Children were using a variety of descriptive language including adjectives, similes and alliteration. Some children were also keen to use ellipses (...) after finding out about them during Guided Reading, giving their stories further pace and interest! It was great to see children wanting to challenge themselves in this way. Children investigated world maps, finding out about continents and oceans. They had to put the map back together again after Captain Hook had torn it apart!

 

Beech Class also had to support each other to solve a treasure map of Neverland. Through answering money word problems children had to apply their previous knowledge of coins and counting in certain patterns. Some worked as a team to clear their map of questions, finding totals and giving change. They had to think carefully about which calculation they needed to use in order to solve the problem. RUCSAC helped to support this. If you aren’t sure what RUCSAC means why not ask your child, as they should be using this regularly to support their solving of word problems!

 

Next term Beech Class will continue to learn about toys. We have our Grandparents Day to look forward to where we will be sharing games with them so we can teach them new games and they can teach us some from their childhood too. We will be designing our own robots out of junk, researching 3D artists for inspiration. As we head into Spring Beech Class will look more at the weather and what is changing around us. Keep watching to find out what we get up to next!

 

Autumn 2 in Beech Class

 

We have had an action packed term over the past 7 weeks. It all began with learning about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot. In Literacy we wrote descriptive firework poems, using onomatopoeias to describe the noises fireworks make. We then used pastels to create silhouette firework pictures as if there were a crowd of people watching a firework display. Have a look at the pictures below to see our fantastic display.

 

We were also lucky enough to have Miller’s Ark Farm to visit. Years 1 and 2 were able to meet the animals and find out more about them, what they produce and how to care for them. Did you know that the feathers underneath geese wings are used in our pillows and duvets? We learnt some very interesting facts but the funniest part of the day was when one of the pigs tried to escape across the field! We thought that was hilarious! We have written thank you letters to the farmers to recount what our favourite part of the day was and have asked them to come again.

 

We also visited our local library to understand how books are sorted, where to find them and how to get a book out. If children did not have a library card they were able to sign up and get a book out straight away. Beech Class really enjoyed visiting the library so they could read a variety of books and complete activities linked to familiar stories.

 

As part of our topic on food, farms and festivals we compared what farming is like here in the UK and what it is like in Africa. We found some similarities such as we both look after cows but we also found quite a few differences. As part of our homework we had to research a farm and create a piece of work to inform others about farming. Whilst some of us made farms to explain how cows are looked after or where grain comes from, others designed posters and information sheets to share their research. There were a great variety of farms including telling us how avocadoes are grown and how cocoa is produced.

 

In Maths we investigated what the most popular fruit was as part of the Key Stage 1 free fruit programme. Children researched this by asking children from Year R, 1 and 2 about their favourite fruit. They then created their own data before inputting it onto a graph. We found bananas were the most popular whilst carrots were the least popular.

 

Year 2 have also researched the Hindu festival of Diwali. We used the school library and class i-pads to find out about the story of Rama and Sita before investigating rangoli patterns and other information on how Diwali is celebrated. We then made clay diva pots and painted them in rangoli style patterns. These made beautiful Christmas presents for Mums and Dads! Beech Class really enjoyed this activity and loved sharing it with Years 5 and 6.

 

Next term we have another fun-filled, action packed time ahead with our topic 'Toys'. We will be looking at different illustrators, writing instructions for games and writing our very own play scripts!

A Fantastic Farming Homework

Beech Class have worked hard on their recent farming homework finding out where our food comes from. The children had to research any type of farm and produce a piece of work in any format they wished. Whilst a lot of children designed their own farm other children researched and produced information sheets about a type of farm or animal you might find there. I loved the way children interpreted this homework and consequently had some fantastic results. Did you know about all the different types of eggs you can buy, from caged to free range? We certainly do now! We also learnt where avocadoes are grown, how bread is made and how important cocoa is in the production of delicious chocolate! We shared our farms with the rest of the class, producing a great opportunity to ask lots of questions and find out more about the different farms.

 

Have a look at some of the photos to see how hard the children worked. A gold spot was given to the class because the children put such a great effort into this work. I hope Beech Class enjoyed researching and making their farms just as much as I did looking at them! We have certainly enjoyed having them on display throughout the classroom and in the front entrance for all to see.

Welcome to Autumn in Beech Class

 

What a busy term we have had starting Year 2! This term our topic is Food, Farms and Festivals. We have been learning about what we need to stay healthy, including different types of food and exercise. We have created a healthy plate of food, sorting food into their groups to make sure we created a balanced, healthy diet. As part of this, we tasted breads from around the world. First we had to find out where they came from before using an atlas to locate the countries. We also had to write instructions for making bread, which we then had to follow to make sure we made our own bread correctly.

 

We have also read stories such as Rosie’s Walk and Little Red Hen and then written diaries pretending we were the main characters. This has helped our descriptive writing, making us more aware of when to use adjectives, similes or adverbs to describe how something happened. We loved sharing each other’s work within the class.

 

We were lucky enough to take part in a ‘Design a Scarecrow’ competition at Winchester Cathedral. We worked as a team to design and dress the scarecrow. We then visited Winchester Cathedral to see our scarecrows in situ; we were very proud of them! We also had a tour of the Cathedral, learning more about the building and the enormous stained glass windows. We also took time to choose part of the Cathedral to sketch. Whilst some children drew the windows, others looked at the fine details within the wooden carvings around the altar. Back at school we wrote a persuasive advert to encourage other children to visit Winchester Cathedral. We then had great fun recording these on the class i-pads. Why not watch our adverts and see if you can be persuaded to visit!

 

As part of our topic we also took a visit to our local Tesco store where we had a challenge of finding out where our food comes from. We learnt how foods really do come from all over the world just to get to our plates! We were then able to have a food tasting of breads and cheeses before getting to look at and hold different types of fish.

 

We have done lots of measuring this term, finding out about length and weight. We were able to compare our scarecrow with the size of other scarecrows and we have used the weighing scales to order food. We have also used our weighing skills in the children’s kitchen during regular cookery classes; one of our favourite parts of the week!

 

 

 

 


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