Years 1 & 2
Year 2 is a jam-packed year of exciting learning, trips and performances.
We work hard to build upon our love of learning and grow to become more independent and resilient in all that we do. Expectations are high; we take our 5 core values very seriously because we understand just how crucial they are to achieving lifelong success. We also understand how important it is to take risks in our learning; nothing ventured, nothing gained!
A Year 2 school day runs similarly to that of Year 1. Our day begins at 9:00am but children are encouraged to join us from 8:50am and jump straight into their ‘Early Morning Challenge’. Children are collected by their grown-ups in the infant playground when the school day finishes at 3:25pm.
The structure of Year 2 builds upon the fantastic foundations embedded by our EYFS and Year 1 staff as the children continue their learning journey at Towers. Children are encouraged to take on further responsibilities around the school – some of these responsibilities include: School Councillor, Book Monitor, Play Leader, House Captain and Sports Ambassador. This is all part of helping our children to take responsibility for themselves, others and their environment.
Year 2 children take part in daily focused Reading, Writing and Mathematics lessons which touch on a wide range of subjects, interests and skills.
Here at Towers the children participate in a 30 minute daily guided reading session with their teacher.
The children work in small groups to read a text chosen by the teacher; the text is often challenging and enables the opportunity for them to develop the use of different strategies to work out new words, with the comfort and support of the class teacher. Teachers then engage children in discussion about what they have read and explore new, complex vocabulary. Whilst teachers are working with a specific group, other children may be participating in a range of “reading” activities such as phonic games, comprehension activities, independent reading and grammatical tasks related to their English lessons that week. The aim of guided reading is to support all children to become enthusiastic independent readers.
Phonics, Spelling and Grammar
Our school uses Letters and Sounds, the DfE programme, for teaching phonics.
Phonics is taught discretely in Year 2 in short purposeful 15 minute sessions and referred to during other reading and writing opportunities. In phonics, our children work up to phase six where the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers. Children who require extra support with their phonics are given additional sessions throughout the week in small groups to improve their ability.
Every Monday our children are given a group of spellings from a core set of words that we believe all year 2 children should be able to spell. They are then tested on these spellings the following Monday.
Each week our Year 2 children will also have a grammatical focus. This might be to investigate a specific piece of punctuation, word type or writing feature. Children will have the opportunity to practise this new skill in their guided reading sessions and teachers will plan writing and reading opportunities to deepen this skill throughout the week in their English lessons.
We have a ‘chunked learning’ approach to teaching writing in Year 2.
This means that we teach a specific style of writing over the course of a series of lessons. We investigate it, practise it, edit/up-level it before doing an independent piece of writing where children are expected to apply their learning.
We use a wide range of teaching methods during English lessons, but the most important element of all of them is ‘oral rehearsal’ – this means giving children the opportunity to practise what they want to write by saying it out loud before they commit it to paper in their book. Children need to be given the opportunity to organise their thoughts into coherent sentences, and talking through their ideas is the best way for them to do this. Lessons are structured to ensure that children are given opportunities to verbalise what they want to write before being expected to actually write it down. We believe that children should THINK it, SAY it, WRITE it, CHECK it to help ensure the best writing possible. We also love to give our children a purpose for writing – we’ve written letters to the Prime Minister, stories for our Reception children and even had a hand at creating our own school newsletter that was sent home to all of our Towers families.
In year 2 mathematics lessons we focus on 3 main things:
1. We learn basic number facts so we can work quickly and accurately.
2. We learn how to explain our thinking and understanding.
3. We learn how to solve problems.
We believe that we can all be good at Maths and know that it’s okay to make mistakes as this is how we learn. Our teachers help our children to learn that it is important to understand why answers are correct and to prove that we understand new mathematical learning. Our lessons are as practical as possible to ensure our maths learning is fun and hands-on. We use lots of resources and images to help us learn and deepen our understanding.
We are proud of our engaging topics which guide our curriculum implementation. These include Space: The Final Frontier, The Secret Garden and Sail Away. Within our topics children study a variety of curriculum areas including; Science, Art, Design and Technology, Music, History, Geography and computing in a way that is stimulating, challenging and has real impact. We also take part in P.E. twice a week. Not a moment is wasted – there is always lots to discover and learn and lots of fun to be had along the way!
Year 2 Curriculum Forecast