What qualities make someone super?
This term we will decide the qualities needed to be a superhero
and consider whether we could actually be superheroes ourselves, in our everyday lives.
Our topic focus is history and we'll be travelling back in time to discover famous people who changed the world in some way, as well as overcoming barriers to success. We'll check off their superhero qualities and, hopefully, add them to a special class set of Superhero Top Trump Cards.
Then, travelling back to the present day, we'll look our own qualities and how we can use them, as well as thinking about people around us who have superhero qualities. Excitingly, we'll each pick one of these people to invite to a very special superhero award ceremony at the end of term.
Art is linked to our topic and will involve printing and bright colours - we'll let you know when we're ready to exhibit them.
English - writing
The writing style we are working on this term is narrative. The children will create their own superhero, complete with problem and solution, to write an exciting adventure story. We will be working on creating a dramatic introduction, some time words and phrases to move the story along, and lots of action-packed verbs and noun phrases to help readers imagine the scenes.
English - reading
Understanding what we read becomes very important as we move towards SATs in Term 5. We will be working on our skills of understanding written questions about a range of texts and answering them by reading and locating the relevant information. You can help your child with this by hearing them read as often as possible (to build fluency and stamina needed to complete the tests) and talking with them/asking questions about texts they read or that you share).
Maths will begin with multiplication and division, with an ongoing focus on number fluency (speedy recall of number bonds, mental addition and subtraction and times tables). Please make full use of Numbots and Times Tables Rockstars, which all the children have log-ins for. Both are great for developing quick mental recall. Please encourage children to challenge themselves and support them to keep going if they find it tough at first.
Useful maths vocabulary to understand this term includes knowing that 'times' is the same as 'groups/sets of' and knowing that multiplication is commutative (2 x 4 = 4 x 2) but division is not (4 ÷ 2 cannot become 2 ÷ 4). Arrays are pictures that show sets of items in lines and columns; for example an egg box shows 3x2 (or 2x3) eggs. Looking around us, it's fun to spot that arrays are everywhere.
In PE we will be developing balls skills of throwing, catching and shooting and enjoying using them in games.
PE is every Monday. Please ensure your child has PE kit in school each week.
FAIRYTALE STEM WEEK
Later this term, all of the OPEN schools are sharing a special STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) week called 'OPEN a Book', during which our maths, science, D&T, English and other subjects will all be based around four fairy tales. The four tales are Rapunzel, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Princess and the Pea.
Last but not least...
An ENORMOUS thank you to everyone who sponsored a child
and/or bought our Polar Bear biscuits in the last week of Term 3.
Your support meant that we raised a phenomenal total that has enabled us to adopt polar bears
AND various other endangered animals that they will now choose.
We'll keep you posted on our Year 2 adoptions in newsletters this term.
What are more precious - humans or other animals?
Who's land is it anyway?
Welcome to Term 3. Before we go any further, can I just say a HUGE thank you for encouraging the children to be in school as much as possible last term; Our attendance was amazing! It honestly made a big difference to how confident the children felt about their learning, not having to catch up and work without information that they'd missed. They all made good progress, despite it being a very 'disturbed' term with play rehearsals, pantomimes and cinema trips, among other distractions!
We had fun though and I hope you enjoyed the play and could see how hard the children had worked on it. We were very proud at how they learned their lines and worked as a team, with everyone acting and singing even when they weren't center-stage. They all earned Class Dojo points for 'making a positive contribution to their community'.
We ARE doing Forest School this term. Your child has received a letter from Mr Jones with a handy 'fridge reminder' of the dates they will need their kit. Term 3 at Forest School can be very cold and wet so please ensure they have warm, waterproof clothes and wellies. As the saying goes...There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
It's great that so many parents have accepted our invitation to join the Owls Class Dojo page. It's a good way to find out when your child has been awarded Amethyst Learning points during the term and what for. I'll also message you with class information, and sometimes to share photos or information about something we've done, or to celebrate successes that your child has had, such as moving up a reading book band.
Christmas Play DVDs
As long as the recording has gone well, we will be offering Christmas Play DVDs for sale shortly after the start of Term 3. We'll let you know asap - Please check parentpay, class noticeboards and Class Dojo for information.
What we'll be learning:
Excitingly, this term we are using our new 'dilemma-based' curriculum for the first time, with BIG Questions for the children to problem-solve. At the top of this page you'll see our two main questions for this term. They'll be woven into narratives that develop Year 2 geography, PHSE, science knowledge and skills as the story unfolds.
Our maths focus at the start of the term continues to be addition and subtraction of 2-digit and 1-digit numbers, two 2-digit numbers (within and across 10s), three 1-digit numbers, halves and doubles. We'll be learning to become more efficient calculators (using number pair knowledge, 10s and 1s) and learning new methods of calculating. We'll also be learning to solve number problems with missing numbers and in various word problem contexts.
Keep practicing Times Tables with (or without)TT Rock Stars. We are also going to offer My Maths again - as soon as I can get everyone logged on!
English will begin with non-fiction and our focus will be learning the features of non-chronological (information) reports, such as title, headings, labels, captions and short factual sentences, and using them to write our own fact sheets. Later in the term we'll be learning to write informative, interesting diary entries.
Our Class book will be 'The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark' by Jill Tomlinson. If your child tells you they are enjoying this story, check out the rest of the series such as 'The Otter who wanted to know' and 'The Aardvark who wasn't sure'. My daughter loved them all!
Geography focus: know the seven continents and surrounding seas; Recognise differing temperatures and physical geographical features of locations around the world; begin to draw maps featuring physical features; begin to use a key and directional vocabulary.
Science focus: Identify features of animals and links to their habitat. Identify the needs of animals in a habitat and plants/animals that support it.
PSHE: Understanding differences between people
RE: Muslim prayer.
Computing: Programming to give directions.
Here we are already in Term 2.
We hope you had a good half term and thank you for sending the children
back to us looking smart and ready for action.
Owls are not doing Forest School this term. However, wellies are always useful as our garden area gets very muddy at this time of year, so feel free to send them in but please name them! It's our turn for Forest School again in Term 3 and 5.
By the end of Week 1 we hope to get scripts out to everyone with highlighted words for anyone with a speaking part and all the song words as well. Costume requirements will also be sent out. Please ask if you have any concerns.
If your child has a speaking part in the play, it is really important they practise at home as well as at school. With my own children we used to get them to stand at the top of the stairs and shout the words down to us to practise volume!
When tickets are available we will let you know on Parentpay, Class Dojo, letter and on class noticeboards. There will be a limit on the number of tickets for each family, to make sure we are being fair. But as in previous years, we'll let you know if there are spare tickets.
This term in English we began with a recount of a memorable part of our holidays and the children have got off to a good start. Next we are focussing on descriptive writing, using adjectives and verbs to describe fireworks. Later in the term we hope to put our poetry skills to good use to write poems as gifts for people in the wider community.
Thank you to everyone for making such an effort to hear your children read to you regularly at home. I know we keep saying it, but giving them the extra reading hours is the best way for them to gain fluency and stamina. This is so important if they are to achieve their potential in Year 2 and beyond; reading affects every lesson they have.
It has also been proved that reading and talking about books is the best way for children to develop vocabulary, and that a good vocabulary has a positive effect on behaviour
as well as success in life at school and in later life.
We are just starting to look at addition and subtraction for Year 2. Knowing number bonds to 10 (10/0, 9/1 etc) fluently will be one of our first targets. We will also be looking at representing sums in different ways with cherry and bar models and word problems. We'll also be exploring how making links between number bonds can help us calculate; For example knowing 7 + 3 = 10 can help work out 70 + 30 = 100, or 17 + 3 is 20. New words for this year are 'commute' (3+4 4+3) and inverse (+ and -).
National Times Tables tests are a new addition to Year 4 and we are starting early to give children the best chance possible to know their tables by the time they get to Yr 4. All Owls have been given a TT Rockstars login to practise times tables and I've set their levels. Please ask me if you haven't found the login in your child's book bag. Children who have logged in have found it great fun.
This is still on Monday afternoons, so please bring PE kit in. The best thing is to leave it in school for the whole half term so that it is one less thing to remember. Our PE schedule this term is likely to be disrupted by Christmas play practise but we will make up for it whenever we can and in future terms.
We are lucky enough to be going to the cinema to see The Grinch AND to a pantomime this term (Oh yes we are!).
The cinema trip gets back in time for lunch BUT on panto day (Tuesday 26th November) ALL children will need a packed lunch to eat when we get back. If you want your child to have a school packed lunch, please tick this on the panto permission form and/or let the office know.
We also have lots of fun Christmas activities planned near the end of term,
though we will try to keep classroom time as calm as possible to make sure they don't burn out before the big day!
Can I just say thank you for being amazing at making sure the children are in school, on time, looking great this term.
So far, we have had loads of days of full attendance and it has really helped everyone's learning, with no-one having to worry about missing information or having to catch up. Thank you again.
Welcome everyone, to Robin and Owl Classes!
We have an exciting year ahead.
Here is some information to get you started:
Moving on up:
Moving from mainly play-based learning in Year 1 to more formal lessons in Year 2 is a big step for the children and we try to make it as painless as possible.
Until Christmas, Year 2 will have two breaks each day - morning and afternoon. They will stay in the relative quiet of the Year 2 garden area and classrooms, rather than the main playground. Fruit will be provided, just as in Year 1, so they don’t need snacks from home. Please send them with a labelled water bottle each day.
When children arrive in the morning, please help them to become as independent as possible about hanging up their coat and bag and coming in to class. The children should come into the classroom by themselves and start their morning activity. Either the class teacher or teaching assistant will be available to take messages from you if needed. They should be in class by 8.40am, ready for the register.
If you'd like to talk with us at greater length, please ask and we will be happy to arrange to meet you after school.
Parents often ask us what they can do to help their children. The 3 most important things are:
Reading for success
All children will read to an adult in school regularly. They will also be reading with a partner each day in phonics for decoding, while Guided Reading activities will boost comprehension. However, nothing boosts a child's progress in reading more than reading to a grown up at home.
Book bands: We use Oxford Reading Tree scheme books are colour coded into reading bands. Children progress through the colours as they show that they can both read and understand the texts. Each time they move up a band we’ll write it in their Reading Record. You can choose the books together from our reading trolley in the cloakroom area. Please stick to the correct reading band and put books back into the correct box.
English spelling is sometimes tricky. But, good spelling makes a good first impression so many times in adult life, whether you're applying for a job, writing a report or even just emailing.
In primary school, good spelling is still an important part of Key Stage 2 SATs. Feeling confident about spelling can also boost children’s writing to a higher level, encouraging them to use more adventurous, exciting vocabulary.
To help W children get to grips with the many rules of spelling, we use the Read Write Inc. spelling programme from Year 2-6, with at least three 15-minute sessions a week and regular assessments.
Year 2 children begin the spelling programme when they have finished learning Phonics. Children learn different things at different rates, so some children will begin immediately, while others will continue with phonics at first. We assess regularly to ensure children are in the right group for success.
Common Exception (Tricky) words are those that don't follow the rules. There is a national list for each year group to learn. To help Year 2 children learn these, they will receive spellings as homework from Christmas onwards.
How you can help your child fast-track to fantastic spelling:
Finally, thank you so much for your support this year.
We are really looking forward to working with your children and you.
Mrs Dixon, Mrs Jarman, Mrs Stirling and Miss Mace
Our first topic
This term our topic is called ‘One World’. It is a whole school topic. Year 1 and 2 will keep the focus on our local world; looking mostly at Didcot and the surrounding areas, but also think about our effect on the world through our choices, such as recycling and litter.
In Maths this term we will be concentrating on ‘Place Value’ and begin looking at ‘Addition and Subtraction’.
When learning about Place Value we will learn to:
In ‘Addition and Subtraction’ we will learn to:
Our writing focus this term will be super sentences. We will learn how to:
We’ll apply our knowledge to:
Write sentences of different types linked to our text and topic.
Please ensure your child has a full PE kit in school at all times as not having the correct clothes can cause distress. We recommend leaving PE kit on their peg until half-term, especially as our topic will include lots of physical activities.
Full kit for autumn and winter includes white or house-colour t-shirt, PE shorts, jogging bottoms, plimsolls and/or trainers. A sweatshirt will be useful for colder days. Please label everything! PE will be on Monday afternoons.
Owls children will have Forest School in Terms 1, 3 and 5 this year. To give children the best Forest School experiences possible, half the class will go each week. A letter will go out this week to tell you which weeks your child is doing Forest School and remind you of the kit that will keep them safe and warm as Autumn draws in.
Year 2 children have the opportunity to learn swimming at The Wave for a number of sessions. This will take place in the summer terms. To reassure you, the children are assessed in the first session and ability grouped to make sure they can progress in their own time and the class teacher will be in the pool with them. The focus of the sessions is gaining water confidence, whether that's standing in the pool or swimming strokes.