Year 2 – Kestrels and Hawks
In Year 2, the children continue to consolidate and build upon their learning experiences from Reception to Year 1. They become increasingly independent in their learning through a broad range of activities on offer.
Year 2 is a fantastic year for the children at Holme Grange. It is a busy year, full of exciting lessons and activities. Children continue to develop their linguistic confidence and knowledge of sounds with fun, exciting games. The children also spend time reading together and enjoying books and they have the opportunity to read aloud to an adult individually.
During the week there is lots of time for stories; the children get involved in the story through the use of drama tools, through reading, children develop their imagination and ideas for their own writing, which is why great emphasis is placed upon the importance of reading.
The weekly ‘Big Write‘ is an exciting drive, by Y2 staff, to encourage a love of writing and to develop children’s stamina when working on written tasks. Every week teachers find an exciting way to stimulate children’s interest, either through the culmination of topic work related to a specific genre e.g. newspaper report, story, letter writing, or through an inspiring stand-alone stimulus. The children spend a great deal of time focusing on the mechanics of writing, so the aim of this ‘Big Write’ is to free children up from the anxieties attached to getting these things ‘right’ and allow them to enjoy putting their wonderfully creative ideas down on paper.
Big Write in Y2 includes elements such as dialogue, more complex punctuation, descriptive language and sentence structure. It provides a structure for writing which has been found to be very successful with all children and particularly boys. Its foundations are in oral work because children cannot write something if they cannot say it – ‘think it, say it, like it, write it’. The importance of developing a wide vocabulary cannot be underestimated at this young age and we see the difference it makes to the quality of what our young pupils can write.
Literacy and Maths is also taught in the mornings and these lessons are kept as practical as possible so the children acquire all the skills needed to be successful mathematicians and writers. It also means that they are able to use these skills across the other curriculum subjects making their learning more meaningful to them. In English, they are introduced to comprehension skills through a range of texts and have opportunities to develop their creative minds through a variety of genre.
Mathematics lessons build upon the children’s knowledge with a balance of practical and recorded activities. Opportunities to extend their knowledge and understanding of number through problem solving activities are regularly given.
Science is a subject that allows the children to investigate and test out ideas for themselves. We place a high value on children being given the opportunity to experiment, investigate and ask questions. We believe this is how they will learn best.
In Year 2, the children participate in a range of other subject areas to give them a broad and varied curriculum. These are P.S.H.E., R.E., Music, Drama, ICT, Art, DT and French. These subjects are regularly taught by either their class teacher or a subject specialist. Year 2 children have the opportunity to join weekly lunchtime clubs and after School activities. Humanities (History and Geography) is taught through a ‘topic’ based approach in Y2 by the form teacher and is something which motivates and inspires the children across the curriculum.
Sports Fixtures are organised to introduce children to the concept of competition.
In the summer term children are given the opportunity to camp overnight in the school grounds. The experiences offered to the children in Year 2 provide them with a wealth of learning experiences and development as an individual in preparation for their transition to Year 3, which is smooth and seamless.
The most important thing about Year 2 and Pre-Prep altogether is that children enjoy their learning and challenge themselves to succeed.