Year 2 Blog
Welcome to the blog for our Alban, Morpurgo, and Ryder class children.
Just to let you know our new blogs are almost here! They are just being finalised and we will be ready to share some exciting updates later on next week.
One of the key changes is the ability for you to ‘follow’ your class blog. This means you will be sent an automatic message each time a new blog is posted, keeping you up-to-date with everything happening in school.
Look out for more information next week.
This half-term has truly flown by!
We started this term getting to know each other and reflecting on what we had been doing in the holidays. The children shared with us all their interesting and exciting adventures.
After that we focused on this term’s theme which was ‘On the Farm’. The children talked about what they already knew and we followed this by finding out what the children wanted to explore. In order for them to find out more, they used selected websites and videos about farming and worked on their note taking skills to record information. We brought in a variety of vegetables for them to investigate and they then developed their observational sketching, remembering to use backwards and forwards motion with a soft pencil grip. In Geography the children have been developing their map skills, studying farm maps and then producing their own maps with keys. We have been sequencing pictures showing the way in which the milking process has developed over the years.
In maths, we have had a strong focus on place value. Children have been using the Dienes apparatus to partition two-digit numbers and are applying this knowledge to add two 2-digit numbers. They are beginning to become experts on this and you may like to see if they can show you their skills when you are out and about.
Another area in which have become experts, is in the features of traditional tales, particularly focusing on the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’. We got creative and made story boxes of the setting and followed this up by making puppets of the characters in order to role play the story. Children rounded up this learning by writing their own version of the story, by changing the vegetable and characters.
In science we have been looking at plants, observing their different parts and carrying out experiments to understand the life cycle of a plant. Children planted beans and placed them in different conditions, predicting which would grow and then recording the results. We observed the features of different seeds and how these helped seeds to disperse in different ways, ensuring the continuation of the cycle.
Next half term we are looking forward to learning about different celebrations. We wish you a relaxed half term and look forward to welcoming the children back in November.
The Year 2 team
Herts Balance and Ride with Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School
This summer we joined forces with Phil from Herts Balance and Ride to launch a new initiative funded by our Sports Premium budget (with no cost to parents) to teach our Year 1 and 2 children the life skill of balancing and riding a bike.
Why learn to ride a bike?
- Our Physical Education curriculum must ‘provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness’ National Curriculum 2013
- Develop strength, coordination, balance and stamina
- Increase fitness levels and learn habits to encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Contribute to a sustainable environment
- Take on a new challenge
- Have fun!
After 6 days of working with Phil over the course of 4 weeks, working with a total of 63 children in KS1, here are the results:
By the end of their final session 84% of children were riding, 14% had transitioned to gliding on a pedal bike and 1 child was balancing, very close to transitioning to a pedal bike.
Here’s what the parents thought –
‘Absolutely fantastic…. she loved every minute and I cannot believe she could independently ride a bike in under an hour. She has been on lots of bike rides since learning her new skill.’
‘My 6 year old daughter is thrilled to be actually riding a bike properly now and is always asking to go out for family bike rides.’
‘I cannot commend this experience enough…she enjoyed it so much and made extremely fast progress and is now confident bike riding. We very much hope you will continue this initiative for when our son joins the school in Sept 2019. Congratulations to Phil and his team and well done BH school in being so innovative…’
‘He had shown no interest in learning to ride a bike before (happy to just sit in my child’s bike seat) and was a bit nervous. He was so proud that he has learnt to ride and I am amazed he has done this in such a short amount of time. He is now asking for a bike, which I am keen to get him so that we can practice together. I’m so grateful he has had this opportunity. Phil had a lovely gentle manner with the children which I think is so important’
‘It was really helpful for her to have the practise on a balance bike and she’s already asked us to take her stabilisers off so she can practise gliding on her bike this weekend. A great school initiative, thanks very much indeed.’
‘A massive thank you to the school and Phil for organising the bike lessons…He’s definitely shown more interest in riding in the garden and his confidence has grown since the lessons. Thanks again to you and all the staff who coordinated the bike training and a super thank you to Phil who has taught the kids so incredibly well. I know many parents who were equally amazed at how well their kids can now ride a bike.’
‘My daughter was unable to ride without stabilisers before the course. She could use a balance bike, but was nowhere near riding for herself. She is quite small and last summer she just wasn’t physically strong enough to get going despite our efforts. We knew that it was time to get her going this year, but could see it being difficult because she wasn’t confident on the bike and also has 2 bigger, stronger sisters who are physically streets ahead of her which sometimes can make her unconfident in her own ability. At the end of the 2 bike sessions, she was riding independently, although still a bit wobbly and not that confidently. However, she has taken every opportunity since the course to be outside on her bike and she’s now really cracked it and is enjoying cycling. It has been brilliant for her to be able to learn with her own peers and to get going so quickly. She can now join her sisters when they are out of their bikes without feeling like she’s missing out and we are looking forward to finally going out together as a family this summer. Many thanks for giving her this opportunity.’
‘Our son recently undertook the learning to ride program…he never showed any interest to learn previously despite previous attempts …he learnt on the course the balance bike then second day he could actually ride unsupported (we offered [him] an extra incentive that when he progressed we would get him a bike). We bought him a bike 2 days later…now he is on it every day…he even sits on the bike on the terrace waiting for us to take him out !! He is getting more confident with every session….and will look for a bike myself so that we can go out together.’
‘We were amazed that after just one lesson he could confidently ride a bike without stabilizers. He was so proud of himself after the first lesson and demonstrated his skills around our close and proudly told the neighbours and also random strangers that we met that week that he could ride his bike without stabilizers! After the second session with Phil he had increased in confidence even more and it was great to see him cycling fast and confidently around the playground.
The window walling project has begun! Each KS1 class is ‘evicted’ for a day – Alban and Morpurgo have spent the last two days learning outdoors – whilst Nick and his team remove the old windows and external doors and replace them with brand new ones!
Take a look at Morpurgo’s makeover…
From the £1,400 spent by parents at our Book Fair in April we raised just over £800 in rewards to be spent on books for school. Here are the new books we’ve received this week. Due to the extremely tight budget this has been a huge help to us and has enabled us to update and replenish books in the library, in classrooms and to support our 1:1 Readit2 programme.
A huge thank you for your support – we are incredibly lucky!
Year 2 have been enjoying our Art Enrichment days this week.
Over the last two days, the children have been introduced to some old and new drawing vocabulary, sketching techniques and illustrators.
We started by making our own personalised sketch books to collect our artwork in. We learnt some new mark-making techniques, including cross-hatching and stippling (dots). We were fortunate to have two artists visit us, demonstrating their calligraphy and sketching skills.
Our classes looked closely at the illustrations in several of Anthony Browne’s books and recreated these in their sketch books.
We really enjoyed showcasing our sketching during Open Classrooms this morning, thanks to all the parents who came in to share our learning.
Our Learning Hero Duck has been busy! Over the Christmas holidays and on the first day back at school delivered tricky maths challenges to each class!
Challenges involved making patterns, sharing and finding combinations that add to make a number. Year 2 solved magic boxes, Mitchell class went outside to solve the problem of getting from one end of the field to the other without letting their feet touch the floor! Churchill class made an estimation station where one child filled a bowl with dinosaurs and another child had to guess how many there were!
The Happy Puzzle company also came to visit and gave the children lots of puzzles to solve as a team in our school hall!
The children were encouraged to talk about the problems they encountered and find ways of overcoming these together (even when they were really tricky!)
Here are some quotes from the children following two fantastic days of being expert problem solvers just like Duck:
“We had to do teamwork and not give up like duck when solving the puzzles.” – Juliette
“I’m going to do a Duck challenge.” – James N
“It keeps going on and on. You can even put it in a circle and it’s still a pattern” – Anna taking part in a pattern challenge
“It gets harder and harder but I really like hard stuff.” – Maxime
“I like that it’s hard and it’s a challenge.” – Jojo
“I just like that we get to do tricky challenges.” – Sam
“You get to make puzzles.” – Kerr
“This one is the heavy one because there is rocks inside… Or maybe playdough.” – Grace
“Because you get to build a tower and this one is getting trickier and trickier!” – Aaryan
Last week I met twelve very proud and excited children from Year 1 and Year 2. The new School Councillors met me in my office and received their new badge. They introduced themselves to the other members of the group and told everyone something they really like doing.
Alban Class – Ella and William
Morpurgo Class – Lilybelle and Casper
Ryder Class – Caitlin and Freddie
Mitchell Class – Ava and Oula
Churchill Class – Alex and Rosie
Spencer Class – Charlotte and William
The rest of our first meeting was spent choosing new signs for our playground. I was particularly impressed with the reasons they gave for the choices they made:
“We should have this one because it will help us learn” – Number bond flowers
“The little children will like this one” – Seasons
“We should have this one because it will keep us healthy” – Football scoring game
Look out for the new boards which should arrive in school before half term.
No less than three times in one week!
We have been treated to three fabulous performances of the Year 2 play this week. In a change to the traditional Leavers Assembly the whole cohort worked together to tell the story of Eddie, a penguin who goes on a mission to save the world from global warming! The change of plan came about when the children were asked what they wanted to do for their Leavers Assembly they talked about how much they had enjoyed the Christmas production, singing, acting and playing instruments. After checking with teachers and parents it was a done deal and the decision was made.
Audiences were wowed by confident performers who sung, danced and narrated their story to a very high standard. We were so proud of the way the children introduced their characters, played their instruments, worked together and so obviously enjoyed themselves every time they got on the stage.
Feedback from parents was great, they told us how proud they felt of how far the children had come since they first performed with us in their Christmas play back in 2014. They also said: “It was good to go out on a high!” the performance was “Uplifting” and “A good opportunity for the children to show what they can do.” There were lots of comments about how well the children worked together and helped and supported each other.
A big round of applause for our professional performers who did not let a technical hitch with the music or a costume malfunction spoil the show. A big thank you to staff who directed the play, made costumes, sets and programmes, led the dancers and musicians and encouraged our children to do their very best!