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Margaret Wix Primary School

Emperors (Year 2)

Our class is called Emperors.  We are taught by Mrs Tott and supported by Miss Shepherd.

 

PE Days

Emperors will have PE on a Tuesday and a Friday. Children will need to wear their PE kit to school on this day and will remain in them all day. They will not need uniform to change into.  Please ensure your child has the correct PE kit so they can participate successfully. 

 

Library Slot

Your child will get an opportunity to visit the school library on Thursday afternoon. Here they will have the chance to borrow a book that they are interested in: a book they will read for pleasure. These books will go home and returned by our next library slot. 

 

Home Learning

Every week each child will bring home their home learning book containing a couple of questions about what the children learnt last week and some new learning from this week. This will be handed out every Friday and should be returned the following Wednesday. Please note, home learning should not take more than 30 minutes. If your child is struggling with this, please make a note for us in their home learning book. 

Give Me Ten - Children are expected to read for at least ten minutes every day and should record this in their reading record. Children should bring their reading record to school every day. We hope to see lots of children becoming Reading Champions this year! 

Maths Magicians - There are a number of key mathematical facts that children should know and remember. These are, of course, taught in school but it is essential that children practise them at home too. You can find out which facts your child is currently working on by checking their maths record book. This is also where you should record their daily practice. Children's maths record books should be brought to school every day. Children will be quizzed on their maths facts every Friday. As they progress through the different stages of facts, children have the opportunity to earn rewards and work towards becoming Maths Magicians!

Numbots/TTRS - Number bonds and times tables are a vital part of mathematical knowledge and understanding. It is crucial that your child practises these skills when they can at home by logging onto the Numbots/Times Table Rockstars website.

Handwriting - Using www.letterjoin.co.uk, your child can practise their handwriting at home. There are desktop and tablet login details that can be found by clicking on the writing star at the top of the page.

 

 

Spring 2 (March 2024)

 

The weather is gradually warming up and I can’t believe how close we are to the end of the year! It has been another half term full of learning and fun – let’s have a look at everything we have been getting up to.  

 

In English, our focus has been on expanding sentences with conjunctions and crafting multi-clause sentences. We have been emphasizing the importance of using capital letters, full stops, or maybe even a well-chosen exclamation mark. To kick off the term, we delved into some instruction writing based on the story 'How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth' by Michelle Robinson. This extra-long unit included lots of drama, freeze frames, following different types of instructions, before finally writing our own, explaining how to wash an animal of our choice. Additionally, the children used their imagination to write their own short stories inspired by the tale ‘SuperJoe does not do cuddles’.

 

Our mathematical explorations began with the concept of ‘Doubling and Halving.’ Our budding mathematicians have enthusiastically delved into the realm of doubling, starting with single-digit numbers and gradually progressing to doubling two-digit numbers. The children have fearlessly embraced division, starting with sharing and grouping equally. We have also dived into the fascinating world of fractions, focusing on halves, quarters and thirds within the context of shapes and quantities. The children understand that fractions are splitting something into equal parts. They made some excellent bar models to help with their working out too! All the children have made such an improvement in their Maths Magicians quizzes on Friday, with most of us reaching Stage 4 already! Keep up the practice at home!

 

The class have shown further curiosity in our science lessons as we reach the end of the first half of the longer unit called ‘animals including humans’. We have looked at animal offspring and the different life cycles of different types of animals including frog, butterfly and human. The children have particularly enjoyed spotting some tadpoles in our little pond in school. We will keep checking on them as they progress to the next stage of their development. The children spent some time researching about survival, including how long different animals can last without food and water. We then looked at what different animals eat and can now explain the meaning of carnivore, herbivore and omnivore. In the final week we then took part in an experiment to see how different exercises effected our heart rate. Also, we all had great fun looking at a range of animals when Mrs Jeffries brought in some of her animals including a giant snail, millipede and tortoise. We even got to touch them!

In our historical explorations this half-term, we have set our sights on answering the intriguing question, "Why was Charles sent to prison?" We have delved into a range of historical evidence, discovering the life and times of Britain during the First World War. The children have been fascinated by the difference in technology and methods of communication – we learnt all about Morse code and deciphering other coded messages. We also heard how important animals were during the war and that they held a vital role. We even wrote a touching dedication to all the horses who served.

Our RE lessons this term have centred on Islam. We have been delving into the themes of community and belonging, with a special focus on understanding the significance of mosques. The children have explored the different features within the mosque, their significance, and why many Muslims visit there. We then contemplated whether this experience provides many Muslims with a profound sense of belonging. It was lovely to hear about how we can all find a feeling of belonging in different areas of our lives, whether that be as part of a religion, a social group or family.

 

The class have continued to receive specialist music lessons from the talented Mr. Mitchell. Their passion for music has flourished under his guidance.

 

This term in art, we have been creating a beautiful piece of art, which was displayed in our own art exhibition. The school had the theme of sea turtles and pollution, which linked beautifully to a lovely and meaningful book, ‘Little Turtle and the Sea: A story of survival in our polluted oceans’. The children made a collage style picture of their turtle, using dots to show the movement of the creature in the water. In DT the children then practised their embroidery skills by learning how to use a running stitch to make a small pouch.

 

The children have been enjoying energetic and active PE sessions taught by Mr. Milbourn on Tuesdays and Mrs. Tott on Fridays. I have enjoyed seeing them immerse themselves in the joy of movement and exercise, particularly in our teambuilding lessons where problem solving and teamwork is the key to success. I have seen so many of the children be beautifully inclusive of their classmates and develop their communication skills.

 

In PSHE, our focus for this half-term has been on "Relationships." The children have engaged in meaningful discussions about the value of family and the importance of nurturing positive relationships. We have also explored friendship dynamics, conflict resolution through positive problem-solving techniques, and the meaning of trust and appreciation.

 

In computing, the children have embarked on an exciting journey of using technology to create music. They have been exploring how different rhythms and patterns make us feel, and have even crafted their own digital melodies. It has been fun listening to music such as Holst’s Planets to get an idea of how music can create an image or a feeling. We then had a go ourselves, making music to suit an animal, with an elephant piece being low pitch and slow tempo, to a mouse being high pitch and quick tempo.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for your continued support and have a wonderful half term!

 

Best wishes,

Mrs Tott

 

Spring 2 (March 2024)

 

Well happy holidays everyone and I hope you are all excited for the coming break. The children in Emperors have continued to impress me with their learning and have made some good progress this term. I have noticed they have really matured lately and their friendships and kindness towards each other is continuing to develop and blossom. Let’s see all the fabulous learning they have done this half term…

 

In English, to kick off the term, we did a touch of cross-curricular writing linked to our science unit by making a set of instructions on how to grow a sunflower. Then we had World Book Week where the children read 'Here We Are' by Oliver Jeffers. We made art about our world and wrote notes on how to take care of it for the next generation. We all enjoyed this class book and the children engaged with the text beautifully, which proved in their well thought out writing. We then delved into the captivating world of "Julian is a Mermaid" by Jessica Love, a beautifully illustrated and inclusive story. We have been working on emphasizing the importance of using capital letters, full stops, or maybe even a well-chosen exclamation mark.

 

In maths, we have spent quite a bit of time on written methods for addition and subtraction. This is a good method for those slightly larger numbers that we cannot use mental strategies for (e.g. 34 + 27). The children learnt the importance of breaking two digit numbers into tens and ones before adding or subtraction each column (always starting with the ones). They explored this with base-10 equipment first before presenting it pictorially. This led them nicely into writing it in number format. We had to revisit the process and importance of regrouping when it came to adding two numbers that take us higher than 10. After this, we then did a spot of problem solving, becoming familiar with the language of problems and how we can find an unknown amount. We recapped our understanding of part whole models in the form of cherry models and bar model to help us identify what calculation was needed to solve the problem.

 

Our science topic for the whole of the term was plants, and it proved to be an exciting and educational journey. The children explored how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants, while investigating the necessary requirements for plants to flourish. We even had the opportunity to grow our own plants, observing and documenting the entire process. As part of an experiment, we placed cress seeds in different conditions, ranging from water and no water to light and no light, as well as soil and no soil. The results were quite intriguing, especially when examining the plant that grew in the absence of light and appeared yellow! Additionally, our tomato and pepper plants are progressing exceptionally well.

 

In geography, we have been asking the question ‘why does it matter where my food comes from?’ The children have been so engaged in finding out all about where we get our food and the processes some need to go throw to get from farm to fork. We now understand why Devon has so many dairy farms and why we have to rely on other countries to send us fruit like bananas. We understand the meaning of Free Range and why we should to shop locally where possible. Next term, the children will be able to bring this learning together as we go to visit our local fruit and veg traders in a local  market.

 

Our RE lessons this term has been all about Easter. We have revisited the Easter Story and heard about the different days in Holy Week. We were lucky enough to have a visit from Canon Will Gibbs who was able answer some of our questions about Easter and explained the Easter Story in more exciting detail. We have also learnt about the different Christian symbols for Easter and how there is link between the resurrection of Jesus and the signs of new life in spring. It is always lovely to have the children, regardless of their faith, find links between religions and non-religious practises, images and ideas. We have learnt a lot from each other. 

 

The children have made some stunning artwork with Mrs Campbell-Pugh this half term! They have been working with clay working on their model skills by making pinch pots and decorative tiles.

 

In PE on Wednesday, we have been perfecting how to jump with excellent technique. The children have been demonstrating how to use their legs to help propel them into the air and land safely. They continue to strengthen their bodies and maintain balance during this. They really enjoyed the shark and mud monster games, which added a bit of competition to their jumping.

 

Our PSHE unit, Healthy Me, has allowed us to understand even more about just how important healthy diet, exercise and hygiene is to keep our bodies healthy. We have looked at stress and how this can have a negative effect on our health and what we can do to stay calm. These lessons have been great at allowing the children to see the important link between physical and mental health as well.

 

Finally computing. This half term we have been learning about pictograms. We have seen what they are, how to read them, how to make them, and how to do all this digitally on a special programme. The children designed their own pictograms, gathered their own evidence and allowed others to read and interpret it.

 

I hope you all enjoy the next two weeks off. Please can I remind you to keep on reading with your children and encouraging them to practise any Maths Magicians areas they have struggled with this term. I promise, keeping this little and often will really benefit their learning in school.  If you have any questions or worries about anything, please let me know so I can support in any way I can.

 

Many thanks for all your support!

 

King Regards,

Mrs Tott

Spring 1 (February 2024)

 

Well, blink and you’ll miss it! That’s what this half term has felt like. But although it has been short, it has been absolutely jam packed full of learning and exciting activities.

 

In our English lessons, the children have done a whole range of writing activities to go along with the story How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. We spent plenty of time reading and enjoying the book at first, getting comfortable with retelling the story. The children made some brilliant freeze frame poses to show all the different emotions that the boy shows during the course of the book and then put this into a storyboard. Their sentences continue to improve as we practised using conjunctions before writing an extended book review. Finally, they spent some time thinking about where the story could go next, with the children writing a part two, describing an adventure the boy went on with his star.

 

In maths, the children have been doing a lot of work on the part whole. This area of maths applies to many other areas which is why is so important to get right. The children were able to make part whole models (bar and cherry) using a range of apparatus including Cuisenaire rods. We then moved on to using these models to find missing numbers in questions, and even explored the inverse of addition and subtraction. Also we learnt that addition is commutative and that we can add numbers in any order but still get the same total. And most recently, we started to apply and use this understanding of the part whole to work with money. We have also started to learn the process of the formal written method for addition.  

 

This term, our scientific curiosity led us into the realm of plants. We have been uncovering the mysteries of how seeds and bulbs transform into mature plants, and will soon be investigating the essential ingredients for a plant's healthy growth. To bring the learning to life, we have just embarked on a hands-on adventure of growing our own plants, closely observing and documenting their growth process. We are looking forward to our trip to Batchwood Woods, where we will able to identify various plants and living things, as well as take part in a seed hunt.

 

The children have loved our history topic this half term which was 1960’s toys. We all enjoyed jumping back to the sixties and looking at some popular events, people and items from the time. We even enjoyed listen to a spot of the Beatles while we learnt, just to really get a feel for it! As we looked at many toys from the decade, we spotted a few that were quite familiar. Toys like Barbie, LEGO and Monopoly are still popular today. However, the children have been able to identify how some changes have occurred over time, namely the development of technology and the ability to make ‘Smart’ toys which connect to the internet or interact with the player. Then finally, to round off the unit, we all thoroughly enjoyed our zoom call with a lady who was born in the sixties. She told us all about what her childhood was like during this time, and they each asked a great question to further their learning.

 

Our RE unit this half term had us looking at Muslim prayer. We looked at the use of prayer mats and the meaning of Wudu. We also looked at the different poses many Muslims perform during prayer and the meaning that they each have. However, and most importantly, we understood how this shows real commitment in the lives of many Muslims, and looked at how we can show commitment in our lives to achieve our goals. It was a real treat to have a parent come in to talk to us about how prayer fits in with her life and other important and interesting facts about Islam.

 

Our computing lessons continue to be enjoyed by many and this half term the children have been looking at algorithms. We now know that algorithms are sets of clear instructions given in a specific order. In order to explore this, the children programmed beebots to follow a simple set of instructions.

 

Our PSHE topic this half term across the school has been ‘Dreams and Goals’ thinking about what we want to aim for in life and how we can help ourselves and each other to succeed. We have celebrated diversity within the classroom and around the school by introducing our new inspiring sports star, Alex Scott. We have had a number of whole school events this half term including celebrating NSPCC Number Day, Safer Internet Day and Child Mental Health Week.

 

PE with me on a Wednesday has continued to be great fun! The children have been learning how to put together and perform a sequence of gymnastic movements within zigzag patterns. They have been building on what they learnt last term, using their champion movements and positions.

 

This term’s art with Mrs Campbell-Pugh has been looking at developing their printing skills through positive and negative prints including over lapping colours and layering. The children have used classroom objects, Styrofoam, shells and slab relief blocks to create their prints. We have been focusing on using only our primary colours and using specific vocabulary. We looked at the work of Andy Warhol and Louise Nevelson to inspire our masterpieces.

 

At the end of the half term, the children designed and made some excellent Ferris wheels as part of DT. We looked at the shapes and design of different wheels and how they require an axel to work. We then had to choose appropriate materials to build out of, considering properties like strong, stable and rigid for the frame. Each wheel had to include pods to carry 8-10 people, and they needed to be free hanging. The children showed great resilience against challenges like cutting thick card board and the end results are brilliant. Check out the pictures!

 

Please remember I am always on the door to answer any questions you might have. Also all helpful documents about the class are available in the class page on the school website.

 

I hope you all have a rest full half term and see you soon!

 

King Regards,

Mrs Tott

Autumn 2 (December 2023)

 

Another term down and I can’t believe how fast time is flying! The children continue to impress me with their growing resilience and maturity towards each and every lesson.

 

In our English lessons, we have worked hard on understanding different types of sentences including statements and questions, and what punctuation is needed with them. We explored the traditional tale of Rapunzel, comparing older and newer versions of the story. Also we enhanced our use of adjectives and played around with expanded noun phrases to describe a more resourceful character of Rapunzel. We then moved onto a poetry unit where we listened to, studied, wrote and performed different types of list poems. This allowed us to practise using commas in lists and enhance our use of adjectives further. Thank you to the parents who were able to join us for the Wondrous Writing session – it was a joy to have so many of you there! Towards the end of this term we then wrote a lovely letter from a penguin in Antarctica to a polar bear in the Arctic. This was a cross-curricular piece to bring in all the children have learnt in their geography unit on biomes.

 

In maths the children have been continuing to practise their number skills including understanding equal and unequal, greater than (>), less than (<) and understanding that the equals symbol (=) means ‘the same as’. We explored different measurements of length, mass and capacity using a range of equipment and tackled a number of mental strategies to help make calculations easier and more efficient in our heads. We continue to deepen our understanding of place value and number bonds so please encourage your child to use Numbots at home when they can. Math Magicians has been going very well and the children are making some good progress in practising important Year 2 skills. Please continue to support your child when practising their current stage at home so they are in with a chance of earning prizes and joining Miss Abbott at the end of each term for a maths party!

 

The class have shown even more curiosity in our science lessons as we bring our unit on materials to an end. We have been able to complete a couple of investigations including which material would be best suited for a house for the 3 Little Pigs and which material would make the best sleeping bag for Humpty Dumpty. The children have explored the different properties of different materials and learnt the meaning of words such as ‘flexible’, ‘waterproof’ and ‘transparent’.

 

The children have loved our geography topic this half term, which was biomes, as it linked so beautifully with our previous science topic of habitats. We started by looking at Antarctica, learning interesting facts like how it is the coldest, windiest and driest place in the world. We now know the difference between a country and a continent and that different parts of the world have different climates. We compared places like Antarctica and the Sahara Desert and how animals like penguins and camels are suited to these environments. And as previously mentioned, the children’s letters from a penguin to a polar bear were excellent.

 

Our RE unit this half term had us looking at why Christians believe God gave Jesus to the world. We have looked at how most Christians prepare for Christmas and discussed what advent means. We also looked into the belief that Jesus was sent to save the world to teach people love, kindness and forgiveness. The children then thought about how they show love to the world. We also had a lovely trip to St Albans Cathedral to round off our learning.

 

Our computing lessons continue to be enjoyed by many and this half term the children have been looking at photography. We started by making sure we knew the basics on how to physically take a photo on an iPad and a digital camera, and the differences between the two devices. We also remembered the importance of asking permission before taking any photos of another person. Our photography skills really improved as we experimented with framing, choosing between landscape and portrait, and finding the perfect lighting.

 

Our PSHE topic this half term across the school has been ‘Celebrating Difference’ and it is always a pleasure to sit down with the children and share what makes us different and how this makes us special. We have had a number of whole school events this half term including Anti-Bullying Week. This important campaign reminded children of the importance of speaking out when we experience or see something that is wrong, even if that means standing up to our friends. The children got to to part in Now Press Play, which is an amazing immersive experience where the children listen to a shared audio story requiring audience participation. It really made them feel like they were there. It was also wonderful to see the children explore possible careers in our Aspirations Day in November. Thank you to all who volunteers who shared their passion for their career with our school!

 

PE with me on a Friday has continued to be great fun! The children have been learning how to put together and perform a sequence of dance moves while in the role of an explorer. They have used their bodies to express the determination, curiosity and fear of an explorer trekking through the jungle. We even took the chance to move like different jungle animals, including panthers, cobras and parrots. With Mr Tate on a Tuesday, the class have been playing the more competitive game of tag rugby, learning the important skill of agility.

 

This term’s art with Mrs Campbell-Pugh started with mixing different tones of paint by adding white. They linked this to autumn and Halloween by mixing the colour orange to paint a multi-tonal pumpkin by adding small amounts of white for each segment and ensuring we used the new vocabulary of 'tone' when discussing the new colours we mixed. They then moved onto textiles within art by recapping how to thread a needle and complete a running stitch to decorate Christmas decorations. Building on these skills the children designed their own fabric pouch in DT, cut the pieces they needed out of felt, used a stitch of their choice to attach the three sides of the pouch and then decorate their pouches. I wonder what precious things they will store in their handmade pouches.

 

Please remember I am always on the door to answer any questions you might have. Also all helpful documents about the class are available in the class page on the school website.

 

I hope you all have a magical Christmas break, however you choose to celebrate, and I look forward to seeing the class in the new year!

 

King Regards,

Mrs Tott

Autumn 1 (October 2023)

 

I can’t quite believe it has been half a term already! I can honestly say it feels like I have known Emperors Class for years and I could not be more proud of how well they have settled. It has been a busy half term, jam-packed with new routines and learning, and the children have taken it all in their stride. Their resilience is growing day by day, as is their ability to take initiative in their own learning. I am excited to see just how much we can achieve this year!

 

It is quite clear that many of the children in Emperors Class love to read, which is such a wonderful passion to have, as it opens so many doors. In our English lessons we have worked hard on our sentences, learning what a conjunction is and how to use them to extend out sentences. We have studied lovely books like Monsters: An Owner’s Guide and Dogger. We have written wonderful long pieces of writing about our class butterfly – the children loved hearing about the rather gruesome facts about what Emperors butterflied like to eat!

 

In maths the children have been showing their curiosity by exploring the value of different numbers and amounts. We have used base-10 to show ten and more, learnt how to group in 10s and 5s, and started to order larger amounts from smallest to largest. The children have shown how well they can manipulate different resources including beadstrings and tens grids to help demonstrate their understanding. We have also started reasoning in maths lessons, being able to explain why and how we know what the answer is.

 

The class have shown further curiosity in our science lessons as we bring our unit on animals and their habits to a close with a mini beast hunt! The children loved taking out magnifying glasses and nets to see how many critters would could find lurking under logs and bushes. We reminded ourselves what all living things have/do (MRS NERG) so we could begin to understand the difference between living, dead and never been alive. We then studied a variety of different animals and how their have adapted to the environment they live in. We studied the different biomes we have around the world and realised that not all animals would be able to survive in each one.

 

This half term in history, we looked a range of interest history makers. We started the unit by looking at Guy Fawkes. Then we spent the rest of the time getting to know the actions of Malala Yousafzai, Margaret Thatcher, Hatshepsut, Marie Curie, Grace O’Malley and Elizabeth I. The children then learnt about all the significant things they did, some positive, and maybe some negative. They were able to share their thoughts on who they believe was the most important history maker and why. Towards the end of the half term we also enjoyed spending the morning with Amelia Earhart during a workshop. We learnt about five more people who made history for being famous explorers. 

 

Our RE unit this half term has been kindness, with the aim of asking the question ‘is it possible to be kind all of the time?’ As kindness is one of our learning powers and values, we have spent a lot of time looking at this and discussing when it can be difficult to be kind. However, through looking at Christian stories such as The Good Samaritan and The Paralysed Man, the class have learnt that we would always try our best to be kind to everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done. The children have approached this big questions well and are developing their reasoning skills in order to answer them deeply.

Our computing lessons have been enjoyed by many this half term and the children have managed to log in with their personal log in details. This has allowed them to access a shared document and save it to their own area. As a class we have looked at IT (Information Technology), what it means and what examples we can find in school and out in the world. The class can now identify different types of IT found in shops like ATMs, tills and chip & pin machines. They also learnt what the purpose of the barcode was and how scanners are used to read a bunch of information.

 

Our PSHE topic this half term across the school has been ‘Being Me in My World’ and it has been a pleasure to sit down with the children and discuss what makes them them. I have found these lessons a calming experience where the children feel comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas and know that they will be listened to by their peers. We have looked at worries and how we can help ourselves by going to our trusted five. We have also looked at rights and responsibilities and how our actions have consequences. We focused on Sir Mo Farah for Black History Month, learning about the amazing achievements he has accomplished and how he demonstrates all of our learning powers and values. We then did some lovely work on the importance of mental health and how to take care of our minds during Hello Yellow on the 10th October. And finally we celebrated Black History Month during October with focus on this year’s theme ‘Saluting Our Sisters’. The children loved reading about a range of different Black women through history which have achieved amazing things.

 

PE with me on a Friday has been great fun! The children have been learning how to link movements together smoothly. We have practised ‘champion’ positions, showing strength in our bodies, pointing toes and straightening arms. We have also used a range of apparatus (which the class have managed to arrange ever so safely) to allow the children to move in a range of different ways. By the end of the unit the children were linking jumps, balances and movements together fluidly. With Miss Benson the class have been playing a more competitive skill of dodging, learning how to successfully dodge on coming fire, while still aiming for their own opponent.

 

This term’s art with Miss Benson has been looking at moving monsters. The children loved every second of designing and creating monsters using levers, linkages and pivots.

 

It was lovely to meet and properly speak to so many of you at the parent consultations. Please remember that if you ever have any questions, I am more than happy to chat on the door or make an appointment for a proper meeting. Also, all helpful documents about the class are available in the class page on the school website.

 

Please remember that after half term, Emperor’s PE days are changing. It will now be Tuesday and Friday. Please ensure your child comes to school in the correct PE kit on these days.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful half term, and I look forward to seeing the class in a week.

 

Kind Regards,

Mrs Tott

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