Welcome to Elephant Class
with Mrs Delorie
I do hope everyone has enjoyed the wonderful summer break and that you have all had quality time with your children. I look forward to hearing about all the exciting and/or relaxing things they have been enjoying during their holidays.
I am excited to be back in Year 2, a year group in which I have many years of experience. The curriculum has changed a little and we now have Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Statutory Assessment Tests towards the end of the year. I will have a meeting later on in the year to inform you about SATs but for now let’s enjoy the Autumn term and our new topic – The Big Chill. This is a fabulous topic about the race to the South Pole in Antarctica. We start gently, learning about the Arctic and Antartica – what is it, where is it, who lives there? Then in Term 2 we really get into the story of Scott’s epic adventure and the highs and lows of his quest. If any parents have any special knowledge about the story, the place or knowledge of living in an extremely cold place, please do come in and share this with the children. We will have a stunning starter in week 3, once we have researched the topic a little. The children can dress up as explorers and we will go on an hunt to find artefacts around the school grounds, weather allowing. I have linked PSHME to the topic and we will explore weather and climate change.
In SPAG we will start by learning about nouns as the name of things around us – n for noun, n for naming word. We will look at different types of sentences – statements, questions and commands. We will continue to focus on a sentence being a group of words that make sense and tell us a complete thought or idea which must begin with a capital letter (so the reader knows where it begins) and must end with a full stop (so the reader knows where it ends). It would be really useful if you could discuss this with your child, and when reading, ask them to point out where the sentence begins – how do they know? Model for them what happens when we start a sentence – our voice goes up and sounds higher – and what happens at the end – our voice goes down or gets lower. Model starting a sentence half way through and going beyond the full stop – what happens? It doesn’t make sense. Try to ensure your child is using the correct present or past tense when talking and model the correct use e.g. catch/caught, tell/told, go/went – we often form the past tense by adding ‘ed’ to the end of words but some are irregular, like sit/sat. It is very common for children to say, ‘I goed to the park’ and quite logical, but it is important that they can use the correct tense when writing by the end of Year 2.
In RE we will be learning about the creation and considering who made the world. Learning will be led by exploring pictures and through discussion.
In Science we will learn about Animals and Humans and what all animals need in order to survive, and life cycles.
Maths starts with place value – knowing the value of each digit in 2 and 3 digit numbers, ordering and comparing numbers and counting in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. We then move on to addition and subtraction. The key thing that pupils in Year 2 need in order to progress is number bonds. Bonds are the number facts to make each number. For 5, for example, they need to know 5 + 0 = 5, 4 + 1 = 5, 3 + 2 = 5, 2 + 3 = 5, 4 + 1 = 5 and 0 + 5 = 5. Recall of these facts needs to be immediate so if there is any delay in the answer, these need to be practised every day in the bath, on the way to school, during breakfast. This is called ‘overlearning’ and is best done in short but extremely repetitive sessions at least twice a day. They then need to recall the related subtraction facts: 5 – 0 = 5 (they often find this one hard – show them five fingers, tell them to take none of the them away, how many are left?), 5 -4 = 1, 5 – 3 = 2, 5 – 3 = 2, 5 – 4 = 1 and 5 – 5 = 0. They need to know all number bonds with immediate recall to make 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. After that, they need to be able to use and apply these facts to find 22 + 3 – if they know 2 + 3 = 5, they can easily see why 22 + 3 = 25, or 25 – 4 = 21 because they know with immediate recall, that 5 – 4 = 1. Then 23 + 22.
In music we will learn about tempo, starting by physically marching, walking and plodding to different beats, then moving onto recognising them in notation form and learning the formal terms of crotchet, quaver and minim. In PE will continue to notice different tempos and beats in our Dance unit of work, and pupils will be learning game’s skills with Premier Sport.
I hope this outlines for you an overview of this term’s learning to enable you to best support your child with his or her learning. If you have any questions, concerns or worries, please do come and see me and we will always be able to respond and work together to ensure your child is doing his or her best and is happy at school.
A final note about routines and behaviour:
Following the rules allows all pupils the freedom to relax, to learn and to have fun. Our school behaviour policy is fair, consistent and applies to all pupils.. The default setting is a green card, and positive praise. I have lots of rewards: raffle tickets for super behaviour, kindness, being helpful or being ‘on-task’, which go into a whole class draw on Friday and four pupils receive a small prize; a star chart for super effort with work and a two prizes each half term; house points; Upstart Crow – a small bird who notices spectacular sentences, phrases or word choices, which then get printed off and put up on display in addition to lots of positive praise, plus regular celebrations of effort with work. None of these rewards are associated with levels of achievement, but with effort and personal bests. There is an elephant which goes home with each child from the class so every child has a turn.
Routines are important for children and I have morning work for all pupils so that we have a quiet start to the morning, enabling me to get the register and lunch register taken before assembly. I play Mozart for a set length of time to ensure that pupils know exactly how long they have to complete the learning intention and the date – this also ensures a quick and focused settling down period when starting tasks. I carefully select pupils to sit together and adapt and regularly change seating plans according to the children’s needs. In addition, we work individually, in groups and in mixed ability pairs at different times.
I hope this wealth of information is useful! I will hand out many useful items at our parents’ meeting, including the time table, and look forward to seeing you then.