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Autumn 1 - Wriggle and Crawl

Wriggle and Crawl


Over this term our topic will explore minibeasts in detail.  We will be looking at how to identify them and group them by key features.  We will also look at food chains and where animals get their energy from.  Building on prior learning we will expand knowledge of life cycles by looking at that of a bee.  We will also explore how minibeasts protect themselves from predators.  Our computing work is linked to our topic creating and debugging simple programs, using BeeBots.

Week 7  12-16th October



We have continued with our addition and subtraction topic. We started off the week by exploring and sharing how many ways we could make a number, for example 4= 3 + 1, 4= 1 + 3, 2 + 2 = 4 and 0 + 4 = 4. We also worked on our fluency for various number bonds. We moved on by using our related facts to solve addition and subtraction questions and used part-whole models to show this clearly. We learnt that if we know 8 + 2 = 10, we know that 80 + 20 = 100. We used Base 10 to support our understanding of this new learning. On Thursday the focus was to secure our knowledge of adding and subtracting ones and we paid close attention to the pattern that occurred when doing so. We will be ending our week by finding 10 More and 10 Less than a given number and focus on the importance of the tens digit. We will learn that only the tens digit changes while the ones digit remains the same. We will use a 100 square to support our understanding. Next week we will learn how to add and subtract 10s alongside how to add by making 10. 



This week the children have applied the skills that they learnt over the last two weeks to create their own, independently written non-chronological report all about bees. As a class, we recapped what they had learnt before beginning their non-chronological report. In the report children discussed the different jobs each bee has in a hive, how bees make honey, why they are important and also wrote down some fun facts. Ask your child about what they know about bees as I am sure that they would be delighted to share their knowledge with you! The children have really enjoyed finding out all about honey bees over the last couple of weeks. To finish off the week, the children learnt about three different types of sentences. They looked at what a statement, command and a question was and wrote down their own examples. Next week we will be moving on and looking at the features of a diary entry so that we can write our own, but from the perspective of a character from a new story which we will begin reading on Monday.



At the beginning of this week we received an email from Dr Fran who is a chief scientist at Cornerstones Education. She asked if we could prepare a new online resource for schools all about the life cycles of different minibeasts and that she would love a high quality animation to show this. We decided that we wanted to create a Stop Motion animation that showed the lifecycle of a moth. We used plasticine to show the different stages; an egg, a caterpillar, a cocoon and an adult moth. We used an app on the iPad called ‘Stop Motion’ and took pictures of each stage to create our animation. We are very excited to share the animations that we have created with the rest of Year 2 on Friday afternoon. Next week we will finish off our Wriggle and Crawl topic  by creating a bee finger puppet with a real focus on various different joining techniques. 


Still image for this video


Still image for this video

Week 6 5th-8th October



This week we have started our new unit of work with a focus on addition and subtraction.  We have used bar models to help us explore fact families within 20.  We have also looked at the relationship between addition and subtraction.  Building upon this we then looked at inverse operations, to help to check calculations.  On Thursday the focus was comparing number sentences, we used multilink to represent number sentences that we then compared.  We also used the multilink to support comparing similar calculations using greater than, less than and equal to symbols.  We will be revisiting this again later in the term.  Next week we will be working on our number bond fluency and exploring the relationship between number bonds to 10 and number bonds to 100 before exploring 10 more and 10 less. 



This week the children have been working hard to apply all the skills and knowledge that they have gained during our focus on 'Moth' to write their own non-chronological report about moths.  Over the past few weeks we have seen opinions of moths change.  The true story of the peppered moth has really captured the interest of the children, they are knowledgeable about the effects of pollution and are keen to include this in their report writing.  The children have tackled some adventurous vocabulary over the past few weeks and were encouraged to include this in their final reports.  This week the final report writing has been taking place.  The children had to think carefully about their presentation and using the feedback from their planning work to write perfect sentences.  Next week the children will be applying these skills when they write a non-chronological report about bees.



This week the children have been finding out about the lifecycle of a bee and also a bee's journey.  The children created algorithms to program a BeeBot to travel from it's hive to a number of different coloured flowers, just as a real bee would.  This lesson revisited skills gained in earlier computing lessons and applied them to programming a piece of ICT equipment, rather than giving instructions to friends.

During the week the children have also explored camouflage and protection, looking at how minibeasts look or behave to defend themselves.  Linking our topic work to our English focus the children designed a moth and had to decide if their design was camouflage or mimicry.  Next week we will be creating animations of the lifecycle of a moth, combining recently acquired knowledge and new ICT skills.


Google Classroom

We are putting daily lessons on the Year Two Google Classroom.  This can be used by pupils who are absent from school and also as some additional home learning.  Some children are bringing in work that they have done at home that is linked to our topic and we are celebrating this in school. As an additional home learning challenge we would love to see any models that are made at home of insects.  The children know that insects have three main parts to their bodies called the head, thorax and abdomen.  These models can be created out of Lego, playdough, craft materials or anything else that can be used imaginatively.  Rather than bringing these models into school please post a picture on the Year Two Google Classroom.  Your child will have received an invite to join this area.  Remember to log in with your child's code, it can be found in the back of their reading journal.


Week 5- 28th September- 2nd October


We started off this week by discussing what we wanted to find out about moths. We researched these questions on the iPad and found out lots of interesting facts and  took notes about moths. After this, we organised the information that we had collected into separate groups and came up with some suitable subheadings. We decided that we were going to discuss what moths eat, where they live and what a Peppered Moth was.  We started writing up our notes into our plan for our non-chronological report. 



In Maths this week we revisited how to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. We noticed that when counting in twos we always have either 0,2,4,6 or 8 ones and they are all even numbers. We also noticed that when counting in tens all the numbers have the same ones digit (0) but the ten digit goes up by 1 for each new number. On Thursday, we learnt the three times tables which was slightly more challenging but we really enjoyed it!

Next week we will begin to look at fact families and addition and subtraction bonds to 20.



This week we have been learning all about honey bees and why they are important. We know that a honey bee is an insect because it has three main parts: head, thorax and abdomen. The children thought carefully about why it is important that we keep honey bees alive and created their own poster to show this. We now know that honey bees are the world's most important pollinators of food crops.

We had an exciting workshop on Tuesday afternoon. Many thanks to Maisie and her family for bringing in some honey and doing pre-recorded video that showed us their bee hive. Maisie showed us her protective suit which she wears to handle the honey bees. After finding out about how bees make honey, we tasted five different kinds and they were very yummy!

Next week we will be finding out how a minibeast’s appearance can help it avoid being eaten. We will also be finding out about the life cycle of a bee.



Week 4  - 21st-25th September


This week we have been looking closely at some vocabularly that is introduced on the first pages of the book 'Moth' by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egneus.  The children looked at definitions for the the following words:






After exploring the meaning of these words the children made some predictions about the text before we read the story in full.  After all the work that they have done about moths over the previous week they were eager to find out what happens in the story.  The writing that they did about their likes and dislikes showed that they had really thought about the story and applied their knowledge of pollution and the human impact on the environment.  As we have delved more into this book many children have changed their initial opinions about moths.

Next week we will be working towards producing a information sheet about moths.  We have already started to look at animal information sheets to identify the features that will need to be included.



We are continuing to work on number, with a focus on place value.  This week we have used place value charts and developed our understanding of comparing both numbers and objects.  The children have been exposed to a variety of models and images that help them to deepen their understanding.  

Next week we will be ordering objects and numbers.  We will also revisit counting in 2s, 5s, 10s and 3s.




This week we have explored food chains and sorted animals into herbivore, omnivore and carnivore groups.  We have also looked at the anatomy of a insect by making models of an ant, ensuring that each model has a head, thorax and abdomen.  The children thought carefully about where they should place the legs and used their DT skills to make decisions about how to fix the legs to the model.

We have new arrivals in Year 2.  Many thanks to Belle and her family for giving us some eight week old Giant African Land Snails to keep in our classrooms.  We will be getting to know our new pets over the next few weeks, watching them grow and learning to take responsibility for looking after them.

Next week we will be looking at bees and why they are important.  We will also be tasting honey and one of our year 2 children will be telling us about their very own beehive at home.

Week 3 14th-18th September


This week the children have been introduced to to a new book that links with our topic focus.  Everyone has been expressing their thoughts and opinions based on their first impressions of an image from the book of a moth.  Over the next few weeks we will continue our in depth study of this book: unpicking the language in the text, developing opinions and exploring environmental impact. 

This week we used the moth as a stimulus to create expanded noun phrases, using adjectives that had been gathered about the moth.  The children also used conjunctions to to create sentences comparing butterflies to moths.



This week we are continuing our work on Place Value, now working with numbers to one hundred.  We have been working on reading and writing numbers to 100 in numerals and words.  We will need to continue to practise writing numbers as words over the next few weeks.  The children have experienced representing numbers in a variety of ways, using images and maths equipment.  We have also worked on counting groups of ten and using arrays to help us.

Next week we will be using place value charts and comparing objects and numbers to 100.




We had an afternoon this week that introduced algorithms.  The children practised applying positional language commands by becoming human BeeBots (small programmable floor robots).  The children were challenged to give command instructions to a peer, who had to follow the positional command correctly.  This was explored outside on grids and was enjoyed by everyone.  The children listened carefully to each other and supported when mistakes were made.  We will continue to develop this learning as we move to programming the BeeBots.


This week we have also carried out an investigation to find out where snails live.  It was very hard to find any snails to begin with and the children decided that snails don't like warm and dry weather.  We marked the snails that we found in the hope of finding them the following day, the children had predicted they would go back to the area where we had originally found them, however having marked over twenty snails we were unable to find any.  The snails had not returned to their previous home.

Week 2 7-11th September  

It has been a busy week, with the children settling into their new timetables.  They have been working hard to remember prior learning and building on this with with new knowledge too.



This week we have used the book 'Here We Are' by Oliver Jeffers to think about the world and the impact we have, this has been a whole school focus.  We used elements of the book each day to complete sentence starters that were then used to create an acrostic poem about Earth.  Throughout the week the children worked hard to remember the essential elements to write perfect sentences.  We will continue to reinforce this over the next few weeks.  

Next week we will begin using a new book that will be central to our English lessons. Our focus for the week will be on forming opinions and presenting an argument.  The children will be writing expanded noun phrases and using conjunctions to describe and compare.



For our first week looking at place value the children revisited working with numbers within 50, to ensure that they are secure with this before moving on to working with numbers up to 100 over the next few weeks.  The children have worked on recognising numbers in numerals and words, counting forwards and backwards and also exploring that two digit numbers can have tens and often some ones.  Over the week problems have been solved practically using equipment and answering a variety of questions, ensuring variance and an opportunity to reason.



This week the focus has been on habitats and survival.  The children revisited our Forest School area, this time identifying microhabitats.  The children have also thought about what humans need to survive and then applied this to what a minibeast needs to survive.  Geographic skills were used to look at and compare aerial photographs and maps.  The children practised their skills by adding a key to a map and then sketched their own map of the key places they found minibeasts on our bug hunt.




Week 1 3-4th September


The children have written an informal letter to the staff member in their who has not moved with them from year one.  The children were reminded about the key features of a perfect sentence.  We thought about what you can write in an informal letter.



The children were challenged with solving a 100 square jigsaw, using their knowledge of ordering numbers and patterns in numbers.  We will be looking at this in more detail over the coming weeks/



The children have been introduced to the topic.  They know that an invertebrate does not have a backbone and minibeasts are invertebrates.  

On a bug hunt in the school grounds a wide range of bugs were found in a range of habitats.  The children handled the bugs carefully and we have discovered that there is a wealth of wildlife living on our school grounds.  Next week we will be making maps of our route and looking in more depth at habitats.