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Whipsnade Zoo

What a way to spend a Wednesday! Year 2 had a wonderful time at the zoo this week. We were very lucky to start our day with an educational talk which wowed the children. First our senses were tricked by the marvels of camouflage and how it operates in our environment. The children were amazed by just how many stick insects can hide themselves in one very small area! We also had the pleasure of meeting Ebenezer who was a lovely friendly snake. She was happy to meet and greet and children and we took full advantage of the opportunity to say hello. We then spent some time touching, feeling and discussing a variety of exhibits. I have to say, the staff were most impressed with the insight and knowledge shown by the children. After lunch we explored the zoo on  our own steam. Our Kenya topic was brought to life by the many African animals we saw. The Giraffes evoked the most ooohs  and aahs and the very sweet baby hippo looked very content tucked in next to his mum.















Year Two go Coding Crazy!

Our journey into the world of computer coding continued today and we learned a few new tricks including designing our own backgrounds.

We found we could make objects and people disappear as well as move in different directions. Some of us found a slight flaw… it is very confusing if you assign a left movement to a right arrow! A quick reprogram soon sorted that out!

We were also very excited to think that we would be able to save our work to the school gallery and that we can view them from home. Some of the work is in progress or steps in a longer progress – we hope you enjoy taking a look here

Half Term Looming…

Half term may be just a week away but we will be very busy in Year Two for the next 5 days. As well as our Andy Warhol-style bird’s eye view pictures to finish off, we also have sunset colour washes to finish before we can add silhouettes to represent a town or village. Not to mention more maths, grammar and writing to complete along the way!

On Friday we went out to see our brothers, sisters and friends in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 run in the House Cross Country competition. It all looked great fun – tiring but satisfying to cross that finishing line! There was quite a lot of mud too which looked more appealing to some of us than others! We loved shouting for our house although we’re not sure who won overall.

On Wednesday we were very exciting as we tried our hands at a new area of the ICT curriculum – coding. There has been a lot about coding in the newspapers and on television recently and we thought it was great! We really enjoyed being computer programmers and our first task was makings a fish move to the left or right of the screen. It was our choice and we were in control. We’ll let you know how we get on as it gets more complicated!

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Times Tables Tips!

How have you been learning your times tables? There is no right or wrong way, whether you are working on your 2s, 5s, 10s or tricky 7s! Everyone learns in different ways. Some people find a song or rhyme helps them to remember – there are lots of times tables CDs for sale and there are songs on YouTube too. Other people find that simply learning them by rote is the best way for them. Writing them out may be the way that works best for you. There are also lots of apps and games available for tablets and computers. Some of the ones we like in Year Two are Squeebles Times Tables, Cloud Tables and Math Bingo. There are many more though, some free and some for a small charge.
Another way of learning and having fun is to play a game. One game that has been played in Mrs W’s house this weekend was Fairy Tables, a card game produced by Mathstraks Games. It was great fun and involves matching the multiples to the times table story but you can’t repeat the characters! It got a bit competitive between the 8 year old and the 14 year old and is not as girly as the packaging suggests as there are fire breathing dragons and handsome princes as well as princesses! Mathstraks Games are the brainchild of Lesley Higgin, a maths teacher who wanted to find a way of making maths more fun for her own children. (Maths fact – Mrs W went to primary and secondary school with Lesley’s sister!). There are other games called Mathical Creatures and Monster Maths which look fun and Mrs W plans to buy them soon to try out on her own unsuspecting children…

Warhol and Colour Washing

This afternoon Year 2 have had an afternoon full of art. We have carried on colouring in our bird’s eye view pictures, this time using oil pastels. Some of us needed to finish off the felt-tip pen versions and they are looking great! We are using colours to create pictures in the style of Andy Warhol, an American artist who was famous for his pop art. We have two more pictures to colour in two more art mediums. Take a look at the Tate Kids site for more information about Andy Warhol.

Some of us have also created a sunset colour wash ready for a silhouette picture of our own localities. We started with a pot of watered down yellow paint and, once we had used it for a couple of stripes at the top of the paper, we added a spoonful of red paint to create a graduating sunset effect. By the end of next week we will all have had a go.

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Speech and Drama Heats

Well, what a wonderful morning we had in Year 2! The children who took part did themselves proud! They were pretty nervous at the start but they all rooted and supported each other and had a great time. We were really impressed with the confidence, articulation and expression that was shown, not to mention, great use of props and bodies! A ParentMail announcing the finalists will be sent out early next week. Well done, everyone!

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Second week update!

Last week was another busy one in Year 2… We finished the week by completing our Avercamp-inspired pictures. Having coloured in our detailed drawings, we added a beautiful shimmery colour wash to give an icy effect.

We had great fun using lots of different equipment to make and represent 2-digit numbers in Maths.

On Thursday morning we had a series of route cards to follow and record where we thought they took us to. We were quite surprised at how difficult it was and we realised that we had to work as a team in our pairs. There were lots of different answers and some of us need to work on our understanding of left and right which proved to be quite crucial in getting to the right place!

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The Easter Quarter is underway…

avercamp-winter-scene-skaters-castle-NG1346-fmWe were all glad to be back at school on Wednesday ready for the new Quarter. Holidays are always fun but it is great to get back in a routine!

Our first topic of 2015 is Our Locality and we have already found LJS and Oundle on Google Maps. It was very interesting switching backwards and forwards between the map and satellite views and we really enjoyed dropping the yellow man onto the map and exploring using Streetview. Some of us managed to navigate from LJS to Oundle School swimming pool and we loved spotting the shops in the market place. Next week we are going to try to find our own homes using our postcodes. We did notice that buildngs look very different from a bird’s eye view… Even St Peter’s Church was difficult to spot because the spire was not easily visible from above.

Thursday morning saw us boarding a coach and making our way to Stamford Arts Centre to see Polka Dot Panto’s production of Aladdin. A fantastic time was had by all and Mrs Ormston even managed to make a stage appearance as herself!

On Friday afternoon we found out about a Dutch artist, Hendrick Avercamp and looked carefully at one of his paintings which he painted around 1608-9, over 400 years ago, called ‘A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle’. We discussed perspective and the fact that objects and people look smaller when they are further away. We also noticed that the people were not dressed in the same way that we would be if we were ice-skating! We then started work on our own icy scenes, first drawing a faint horizon line and then drawing people, trees and buildings. We have started to colour them in and next week will finish them off by adding a glittery colour wash using pearlescent paint with glitter.

You can find out more about Hendrick Avercamp via the National Gallery link. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/hendrick-avercamp-a-winter-scene-with-skaters-near-a-castle

Playground games

Today, in Year 2, we have been reminding ourselves of playground games that we enjoy taking part in with our friends. It was a blast from the past for Mrs Bain, Mrs Laxton, Mrs Waterhouse and Mrs Hill!

We had a go at: What’s the Time Mr Wolf?, Stuck in the Mud, Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar and The Pony Game (ask the children about this one, the will be happy to share).

We really hope to see some of these games being played during our break and lunch times.

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