It was lovely to have Seahorses back after the Easter break, which by the sounds of it they all enjoyed. The children have shown fantastic enthusiasm at being back which is great to see and they have hit the ground running by having a busy first week back.
Phonics - le or el?
This week in phonics we have been focussing on the tricky "l" ending of words. With a few exceptions of "al" and "il", most l endings finish with le or el but which one is it? The children did lots of activities this week such as "best bet" and mental spelling to help them work it out.
English - Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain
This week we started our new writing journey by looking at a traditional African cumulative rhyming tale. The children were very interested by this as there were a lot of new words that they hadn't come across before and so had to investigate meanings of words such as "drought", "belated", and "migrated". The children very quickly recognised the rhyming and build on style of the tale and so we then looked at the main character of the story - Ki-pat. As none of our children have ever been African Herdsman before it was important for them to understand what life is like for a Kapitian herdsman, so the children looked at a crucial point in the story and then used freeze frames to become Ki-pat and try to understand how he might have been feeling and what he might be thinking. This led to the children writing some fantastically descriptive and empathetic sentences as Ki-pat.
Maths - Word problems
This week the children have been detectives to pull out the maths information needed to solve word problems. Not only did they manage to locate the numbers needed they were also able to work out which operation - adding or taking away - was needed to solve the problems as well.
Music - Africa
This half term we are focussing on traditional African music and its varying forms around the continent. This week we looked at how music is used as part of storry telling traditional tales. We listened to Usifu Jalloh tell the story of the princess and the tortoise to see first hand how music and vocal sounds are used to enhance the story telling. The children then explored using their own voices to create different sounds they thought would represent different emotions.
Geography - Do all rural villages look the same?
As the start of our geography topic this term, the children were faced with this question. The children looked through photos of rural villages from all around the world to look for similarities and differences and deciding on what makes a rural village a rural village.
Computing - Robot algorithms
This week the children started to learn about algorithms and how they are used to make things do what we want them to do. The children took it in turns to be programmers and robots and learnt the importance of giving clear instructions.
PE - pilates
This half term in PE the children will be learning how to strengthen their inner core through pilates. This week we focussed on 4 positions and used these to help tell a tale about exploring a scary house.
As we have entered the month of May, our Year 2's have to sit their SATS. As we all know the last two years have been unprecedented and we are amazed at how resilient your children have been on dealing with all of the changes and still thriving. We love being able to teach your children and seeing them grow. Everyday we remind them about how each and everyone of them is unique and brilliant. Whilst your children have to take these tests we are making sure that they are still having an exciting and fun curriculum happening around it and that they are happy despite having to sit these papers. There is a poem that I wanted to share which captures how we feel about our Year 2 children.
Geography - Africa and the United Kingdom
This week we wanted the children to study and compare photos taken from around Africa and the UK. There was a huge misconception that Africa was just made up of small villages of mud houses, plains and deserts. However after seeing photos of Cairo, Cape Town and Uganda's capital city Kampala the children started to realise that Africa has vibrant cities that are very similar to cities in the UK. As well as this, the children also learnt that there are poor areas in the UK as well as in Africa.
Art - African printing patterns
This week we introduced the children to two famous African artists Olayanka Burney-Nicol and John Muafangejo who used the printing technique and repeating patterns to create pieces of art. Having learnt last week about the main colours used in traditional African art, the children were given the challenge of creating their own mini piece of art using repeating patterns. They did a fantastic job!
Science - Waterproof materials
This week in science we tested the waterproof properties of different material to see which material would be most suitable to make a waterproof coat. The children set up fair tests to see how dry teddy bears could be kept when sat underneath different material shelters and the same amount of water was poured over them. The children then recorded their results and rated which material would be best suited to be used for a waterproof coat.
Maths - Multiplication and division
This week the children developed their multiplication and division knowledge by solving missing number and word problems. The children were able complete the inverse operation to solve the missing number problems and use a variety of methods including using practical equipment to solve the word prolems.
Phonics - The au grapheme spelling
This week the children found out there were 11 ways of spelling the "au" sound. The children used a variety of methods including "best bet" to correctly solve how to spell different words. The children were very good at recognising words with the "ar" spelling after a "w", such as the word warm.
Computing - algorithms
Following on from last weeks lesson the children looked at how instructions are used to make computers do things. We discussed examples of these such as tv's, microwaves and mobile phones. This week the children tested out programming our Beebots and were set the challenge of getting the Beebots from a starting position to a chosen end by programming the correct series of instructions.
Music - body percussion
This week we joined African Beat to experience how body percussion is used in some African music and how different rhythms and tempos are used to create different effects. The children enjoyed chanting and using different parts of their bodies to create different rhythmic patterns.
Science - Materials and their heat properties
Following on from our investigations the week before on waterproofing properties, the children were set another challenge to perform a fair experiment to find out which material would be the best material to keep ourselves warm. The children had insulated cups with a variety of different materials in which hot water was then poured in. An initial reading using thermometers was taken and the children had to make a hypothesis on which material would keep the water the warmest using their knowledge of materials and their properties.
Geography - Queen Elizabeth Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park
This week the children learnt that Queen Elizabeth Park has a twin in Uganda called Queen Elizabeth National Park. The children examined photographs to find human and physical similarities and differences between the two parks and considered the different habitats and animals live in them. The children then went and explored our field to find similarities and differences to support their thinking.
Music - African percussion
This week the children combined their knowledge of vocal chanting, body percussion, percussion and story telling to host their own African story time. The children played percussion instruments to their own rhythms depending on their chants which included welcoming people to listen to the story "Djambo" and the key question to the story "who will be the leader."
Computing - making predictions
This week the children used their knowledge of algorithms to make predictions of where their Beebots would end up after setting up their own programs. If they were correct then they added in more instructions. If their initial prediction was wrong, they went back to the programmed instructions to work out what needed to be changed.
Phonics - Spelling with the suffixes "ness" and "ment"
This week the children learnt how some root words can be changed by the addition of either the suffixes ness or ment. The children remembered how root words ending in a y that was not part of an "oy" sound had to lose the "y" and replaced with an "i". The children were then set the challenge of matching root words with their suffixed partner whilst finding out the deliberately misspelt words.
Geography - Similarities between Uganda and the UK
This week the children were given a series of photos of the Ugandan capital city Kampala with Ugandan villages alongside London and local villages. The children had to find similarities and differences between the photos. Lots of the children were surprised how big Kampala was and that in quite a few Ugandan villages there were brick homes similar to our own.
Week 5 - The Queen's Platinum Jubilee
This week the children have been learning about the Queen's 70 year reign and preparing for our Jubilee party. The children made their own crowns and flags to wear and wave when we sang the National Anthem which we also learnt. The children looked fantastic all dressed up on Friday and the party was a fantastic way to end the half term.
Art - Printing like John Muafangejo
Amongst all of the Jubilee fun, the children also enjoyed exploring the work of African print artist John Muafangejo and using his printing technique to replicate some of his work. The children used polystyrene sheets to pinprick their favourite artwork before rolling paint over them and laying their art paper to press over it. The results were great.
PSHE - Road Safety
Following on from Walk to School week the children shared their knowledge and understanding of the green cross code and how and where to cross the road safely. We discussed the different types of pedestrian crossings and the hazards that we need to be aware of. The children then went out to identify the hazards they could see on Catherington Lane and locating the safest place to cross before showing all they could follow the Green Cross Code and crossing the road safely.
English - Persuasive Posters
This week in English the children used a film called Zahra, about a young girl tirelessly trying to keep a dying tree watered in the blazing sun by going back and forth to a water pump with scarcely any water in it, to explore a problem throughout the world of access to clean water. The children explored features of charitable posters from Water Aid to find out what persuasive techniques were used before planning and designing their own persuasive posters.
PE - Hoop Skills
This half term the children have been focusing on developing multiple skills and fitness through completing circuits. This week the children were using hoops to hula and spin to strengthen different parts of their bodies and investigate how different muscles and different parts of their bodies had to move.