Class Information
Year 2

​Year Two is the second and final year in Key Stage One – a year in which growing independence and mastery of basic skills allows children to begin to take control of their own learning and to make some choices about presentation, materials and equipment.  

We aim to build on work begun in Year One to develop self-belief, confidence and independence in all aspects of school life. This is a very important year for your child, when key skills in English and Mathematics need to be consolidated, and good working habits embedded – vital requirements in order to cope well with the demands of Key Stage Two (Years Three to Six).

It is also a time when the children are encouraged to undertake greater responsibility – Year Two are the oldest children in Key Stage One, and therefore take on the main roles in our Christmas Production.  Year Two are also encouraged to lead the younger children, showing a good example at playtime and during lunch in the hall.

There are many opportunities to take on roles of responsibility, such as ringing the bell, reading in Key Stage 1 assembly or taking messages around the school.

The Curriculum 

2014 saw the introduction of the Government's revised Primary Curriculum - an unprecedented amount of changes were made to every subject area, and our year group long term curriculum maps were completely redrawn . The new maps are on the school website under 'Curriculum' located in 'About our School'.

Expectations for learning in each year group have been significantly raised, especially in English and Mathematics; new rigorous national tests in Reading Comprehension, Grammar and Spelling and Mathematics (with a separate Arithmetic paper) began for both Year 2 and Year 6 last summer.

Our current Year Two are the first to have studied the new curriculum since starting in Year One, and should benefit from this uninterrupted study.

English:

Our continued aim is to steadily build up each child’s confidence in the four components of English: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Our new 'Treasure House' resources fulfill all required 2014 objectives in an engaging and stimulating way, with structured units in writing composition, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar.

This term we will look at story structure within both Fairy Tales and Traditional Tales, studying this through reading comprehension and writing composition; factual recounts and instructional texts, and study a range of simple poetry formats.

Learning texts orally and exploring these through drama, hot seating and role play will provide sound models for writing within each unit of work.

SPaG (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) has now taken on a heightened importance in KS1 and is tested in a separate paper at the end of Year 2.

Key activities this year will include vocabulary definitions and extension; exploring all key grammatical terms and uses eg a knowledge of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs ; past and present tense use; sentence construction and basic punctuation skills (knowledge of how capital letters, full stops, ?, ! are used). The children are required to demonstrate knowledge on sentence types and their differing punctuation.

Weekly practice at home is essential if children are to master KS1 spelling lists and keywords (an extra list of 'tricky words' has now been published and will be given out to Year 2 parents). Half termly spelling assessments will combine knowledge of keywords and application of  spelling rules.

Regular phonic lessons will continue to further extend skills in blending sounds for reading and especially segmenting sounds for effective spelling. Children will be grouped to enable all children to receive precise ‘next step’ teaching according to assessment results – this will be reviewed half termly.

Group and individual English activities will give opportunities for the children to practise skills introduced during shared work. Recorded activities will be suitably differentiated to meet individual needs and work levels.

Reading:

Each day in school, one group will work intensively with the class teacher in developing reading skills – this is known as Guided Reading, and will be noted in your child’s Home School Book. Skills needed for KS1 tests in reading comprehension will be regularly taught and applied.

Individual reading will of course continue – please remember to sign and comment in your child’s Home School Book each week. Our school policy is that books can only be changed once parents have verified home reading. We check Home School Books for comments each morning.

A weekly comment from your child should be encouraged (sticker usually given!!) Nightly reading is essential for maximum progress this year.

As your child becomes more fluent, introduce silent reading for one or two sessions a week – ask questions about the story, characters etc afterwards to check understanding, define words etc – all vital comprehension skills.

Children should also now extend and widen their reading out of school eg by reading library books, comics and their own books. A list of recommended titles and authors for each age group is currently being compiled.

I would be very grateful if parents could regularly note the 'wider reading' being done by their child - this evidence is now needed as part of end of KS1 reading assessment, and useful for county moderation.

I will continue to assess reading skills to see when children need to move up to new book bands, and will note any changes in the Home/School Book. Please remember that there is an increased variety of texts as children move through the levels. For Orange level and beyond, a bookmark is useful - please name!

Spelling:

Spellings will be sent home each Monday with a ‘test’ on the following Friday. The most effective method for spellings is to learn a few each night using the ‘look, cover, write, check’ strategy.

Children are grouped using assessment data ( on keywords; an unseen word test and phonetic application) – this will be reviewed half termly.

The quantity of spellings sent home was recently realigned across the school in the light of recent assessment data and in order to meet the requirements of the national spelling tests for Years 2 and 6.

Children in Year 2 may like to apply their spelling skills in using weekly words in sentences; find definitions of words given using a dictionary etc.

Please also continue to work regularly on both reading and spelling words from the Key Stage One lists – these are found at the front of the Home School Book. Mastering these words is essential if children are to develop the foundations for good reading and spelling as they move up through the school. We will continue to assess progress in both the reading and spelling of keywords each half term during Year Two.

Handwriting:

Legible and well-formed handwriting is a key Year Two target! Correct letter formation is essential if children are to join their writing accurately. We are currently working on consistent  letter size, spacing and positioning writing correctly upon a line.

Stand behind your child when they are writing to see which letters they are forming incorrectly!! Incorrect pencil grip should be addressed with the use of a ‘triangular’ grip and daily modelling/practice.

When key printing skills have been mastered, children are then introduced to joined or cursive letter formation. Letter joins are taught in patterns so that initially writing will be part joined and part printed!

We follow the Nelson Handwriting scheme at St Francis – since introducing this we have seen a vast improvement in the quality and style of handwriting produced by children of all abilities. 

*Please discourage your child from trying to join their writing before they are taught this in school – bad habits being reinforced can cause major problems later and are very difficult to then correct.

Mathematics:

The children will continue to participate in daily Mathematics lessons. Our aim is to develop confidence and skills in both mental and written mathematics. The 2014 curriculum has seen the most changes being made to Mathematics , with many topics, such as fractions and < > inequality signs, being introduced earlier!

Our core Collins Mathematics scheme has been further updated with a wealth of resources to meet the revised curriculum and the needs/abilities of individual children. Structured units revise and consolidate skills each term.

We have also purchased and received training on the use of 'Numicon' equipment, which has been shown to be very effective in helping children to 'visualise' and quickly grasp key mathematical concepts and operations.

An important school focus continues to be that of problem solving  and investigational work – we will continue to relate mathematical concepts to ‘real life’ problems, helping the children to apply their knowledge and skills more effectively.

An interactive classroom display will give daily opportunities to work towards attaining set targets in this area.

*Mathletics homework will be set each Wednesday - all children are expected to complete two set units; class teachers check usage and scores as part of the marking and monitoring of homework and ongoing assessment of each child's progress.
If your child has completed their set units, 'Mathletics Live' provides a useful and fun way to apply skills against the clock!

Please also spend time at home in working on mental recall of + and = bonds, as these are vital skills for efficient calculating.

The children are now required to learn at least the x10,5 and 2 multiplication tables this year, and will then move on to division facts for these numbers.

Multiplication table homework will be sent home from October (w/c 10/10/16) – see Home School Book for details each week. The children will need to show that they are sound on saying and writing a table:  firstly in order, then quick x facts in random order, and lastly relating their x knowledge to word problems ( eg 3 aliens with 10 eyes each is 3x10 =30!) before moving on to the next x pattern.

Children who master the above multiplication patterns in Year Two will work to learn division facts for 10,5 and 2 before moving on to x3 and x4.

Children are now required to know x tables to 12x12 by the end of Year 4.

Other topics in Mathematics will include:

  • Fractions - finding 1/2, 1/4, 3/4, 1/3 of a shape or small number.
  • Money – embedding coin recognition; totalling and giving change; learning to use decimal notation to record amounts over a pound.
  • Measures – standard metric measures are fully introduced this year: estimating and measuring length using a metre stick or a centimeter ruler; learning to use the terms ‘m’ and ‘cm.’
  • Estimating and measuring weight using kilos and grams; using litres for capacity. *This work will be extended during Key Stage Two.
  • Time – Reading and making main clock times: o’clock, half past and quarter past/to. Counting in five minute intervals around the clock. Use of both analogue and digital clocks
  • Shape – naming, sorting and describing the features or properties of the main 2D and 3D shapes; introduction of line symmetry and right angles in shapes.
  • Data – collecting and representing information on sorting charts, pictograms, block graphs, tally charts; reporting back findings linked to data.

An informal ‘mental maths’ quiz will be a part of our Year 2 weekly timetable – mental maths questions form part of every lesson and assessment.

Homework

Homework in Year Two is sent home each Wednesday to be returned to school on the following Monday in the folder provided. This usually consists of two subject consolidation activities to complete.

Please ensure that your child completes set work carefully (pencil should be used) and remember to complete challenge questions added at the bottom of activities. They could also make up their own examples on the back!

One of our key Year Two focus areas is to develop care and pride in the presentation of all work done, and I would like children to colour illustrations within their homework and add a border pattern if shown.

*Stamps will be given for careful and accurate homework; extra stamps can be earned for adding extra examples, own sentences etc…!!

Key Stage One Assessments:

Children now work within Year Group bands, and will be assessed on expected knowledge and skills from the Year 2 learning programme. Assessments take place during May (no holidays should be booked within this month please), and I will speak to parents during Autumn and Spring consultation meetings about individual target areas in Reading, Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Writing and Mathematics.

Teacher assessment within these areas is ongoing and forms the basis of Year Two assessment, with formal ‘tests’ and ‘tasks’ also playing a part in the process. KS1 assessment provides a ‘marker’ of how your child is progressing and highlights ‘next step’ learning for Year 3.

Parents

I am available after school on most afternoons if parents wish to make an appointment or have a quick word – please do not hesitate to come in from time to time to see any work your child is especially proud of etc.

Parental help in the classroom is always greatly appreciated – please let me know if you can spare an hour or so now and again to support the children or, if preferred, help with classroom resources or administration!

Extra adult help makes a huge difference to the range and quality of learning activities that can be made available to the children.

The consistent home support which you have given your children since they started school has obviously been very effective – they are working hard, and listening carefully to ways in which to further improve their work.

They have coped well with the many new demands and routines introduced in Year Two, and are steadily developing their focus and listening – a key objective for this first term! I look forward, in partnership with you and your children, to a very busy, exciting and stimulating year ahead!

Thank you. 

Miss C. Webster

Class Teacher