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Y2 – Beech

Welcome To Beech Class

Beech Class Team:

Mrs Morris, Miss Hawker

Mrs Peates and Mrs Ward 

Dear Families, for your information, a copy of the curriculum map has been added to our class page. The curriculum map for this term is titled 'Summer 1'. You will be able to see what the children will be learning about this term. We have lots of exciting things planned! If you have any questions about this, please chat with Mrs Morris or Miss Hawker at drop off or collection time. 

DT and Maths Measures - Week ending-17.05.24

 

   Year 2 are settling well into their new routine and everyone has been working hard. Caterpillars have arrived in Beech class. The children decided to name them Jeff, Catty, Squirtle, Stitch and Steve. They are very hungry and getting bigger each day. We can't wait to learn about their life cycle in science. Year 2 watched and short film and then used drama to help them write an excellent character description. The children have done a great job to create designs for their Christmas cards. These will be coming home soon for you to order. The teachers have been busy assessing the children's reading over the past two weeks and we will be giving out new reading books on Monday.  

     On Tuesday we had great fun at The Oratory. Our favourite activity was bug collecting in the woods, especially trying to find and briefly catch the speedy centipedes so that we could look at them more closely. We also tried being leaf and tree detectives but it was tough.

     On Wednesday, we all beamed with pride as one of our class collected a special trophy for Progress in Writing. Then we had a fun afternoon of board games. Thursday was another very special day for awards as we were proud to see the KS1 award for Progress presented to another Beech Class student. After celebration in the special assembly, where we also joined with the whole school to say a big goodbye and thank you to Mrs Pearson, we headed off on our final and very special trip together. We felt pleased and honoured to participate in Swan Upping 2023, the first under the reign of King Charles III. We started with a picnic lunch on the meadow and Mapledurham and were all ready for the arrival of the skiffs and Mr Barber, The King's Swan Marker.

     The whole Beech team are incredibly proud of all of the children and all that they have achieved this year. We wish everyone a restful and happy summer, hopefully filled with fun and sun. 

News from our week - 14th July 2023

     It is unbelievable that our school year is coming to an end but we have been making the best of this and enjoying some special projects this week. In our English we have been rewriting the story of The Ugly Duckling. We have had great fun reimagining this traditional tale and including details from our forthcoming Swan Upping event into the story. We are also enjoying illustrating the story with sketches and watercolours.

     In Phonics, we have been working with another tricky Silent Ghost spelling as we have worked with /wr/ making an /r/ sound. We have also enjoyed sharing information about our heroes and their qualities. On Friday we celebrated heroes with the whole school in assembly. On Wednesday we enjoyed sharing a treat with our friends in Oak and Hornbeam as we had a film afternoon. 

News from our week - 7th July 2023

     This week started with a fabulous sports event and the i-rock concert. The children all made us very proud in their determination and talent at both. At the QuadKids event, held at Langtree, children ran, jumped and threw their way through the events with energy and excitement. It was lovely to see some of the parents cheering us on. We were delighted that our efforts saw us bring home a number of medals and some fabulous results. It was a blustery but fun afternoon. In the i-rock concert the Beech band were super showing off their rockstar talents. 

     With move-up day on Tuesday, everyone enjoyed their time in Ash Class. Mrs O’Neill had some exciting activities for us. We particularly enjoyed making our marble runs and doing some super portrait art. We are all excited for our new class in September.

     Back in Beech, we have worked on silent letters in our phonics, reminding ourselves and getting to grips with ‘kn’ spellings. We also enjoyed a ‘Big Write’ inspired by a picture of a toad. We chose our own genre of writing and it was great to share ideas for diary entries, stories and information text choices. We are looking forward to our swan upping trip very soon. 

News from our week - 30th June 2023

   What a fun and active week we have had this week! We enjoyed sport with all our friends in Oak and Hornbeam on Monday and then had great fun showing off our skills in our Sports Day on Tuesday afternoon. The weather was just right, keeping us cool enough to run, jump, throw and have fun! It was lovely hearing all the spectators cheering us on.

     Back in class we have been thinking about bravery as a superpower and how stepping out of our comfort zone requires bravery but can be exciting. We enjoyed a story about a boy called Milton finding his own courage. Tricky Witch has kept us busy again in our phonics lessons as we reviewed and revised the soft c sound and spellings.

     In contrast to all the sports activities, we have enjoyed working on more sunflower pictures.This week we used oil pastels to create our own vase of flowers pictures. We also worked to use a view finder to focus on a small part of a photograph and then produced our own pencil or oil pastel copies. It was interesting focusing on small details and working hard to draw what we could really see rather than what we thought we could see. We have enjoyed lots of reading this week, including sharing a class book that is very silly and great fun. 

News from our week - 23rd June 2023

     This week we have enjoyed lots of art and creative activities. We have been exploring sketching and using different grades of pencils to achieve different effects. It was fun comparing the H pencils to the softer B pencils. We also enjoyed sketching a vase of flowers inspired by van Gogh’s sunflowers. We are looking forward to producing a colour picture with oil pastels next week.

     Phonics has seen us busy consolidating our learning about the ‘j’ sound spelt with ‘dge’ and ‘g’. We enjoyed making up and writing silly sentences about pigeons and strange germs in fridges to check our skills. We have been joining another local school in times table challenges for the past two weeks. It is tricky work applying our multiplication and division skills when we are being timed but we are pleased that we have done so well.

     Having learnt about how safe and strong castles were and the defences that they provided, we enjoyed changing sides and learning about attacking a castle. We thought climbing up the latrine shaft was a sneaky way to get in but very smelly and unpleasant. It would not be our choice for a method of attack. In our work about heroes and superheroes, we have been thinking about some of the qualities that make a hero. We realise that super-strength, speed or being able to shoot spiderwebs is not always the most important quality. This week we focused on kindness and respect as heroic qualities and realise that we can all be superheroes. Then we considered our own strengths and decided on three particular personal super qualities or superpowers.

News from our week - 16th June 2023

     We have had a busy week in Beech despite the heat. In English, we enjoyed using a fabulous picture book to inspire some descriptive and imaginative writing. The book called The Journey showed a small girl taking a magical journey with a very special red crayon. In Phonics, we have been revising and reviewing some of our spelling rules and the tricky spellings that we learnt earlier in the year, putting these into practice by completing puzzles and dictation.

     We have continued to show-off and apply a range of our maths skills in lots of problem solving with word problems, mathematical puzzles and calculations. We have moved on from motte and bailey castles in our topic lessons and have been learning about the structure of stone castles. This has meant we have encountered more specialist vocabulary. Do you know what machicolations are? Would you hide behind a merlon or a crenel? If you’re not sure check with one of our Year 2 castle experts.

     In PSHE we have started to think about heroes and superheroes. This gave us a great idea for our Father’s Day cards but shh! That will have to be a secret for a couple more days. We hope all the dads like our special art. We are pleased that we have a class trip coming up at the end of term. Please keep an eye out for details on ParentMail.

News from our week - 9th June 2023

     This week we have moved on from Jack and his adventures with the giant and have enjoyed twisting our tale of Little Red Riding Hood, having been inspired by a picture of the wolf putting on its disguise. Lots of us had great fun switching the role of villain from the wolf to Little Red herself. In Phonics we have been focusing on using and applying lots of the spelling rules that we have learnt this year and on our accuracy when spelling common exception words.

     We have been real show-offs in our Maths lessons as we have been applying lots of our skills to word problems, sometimes with two steps to unpick when finding the solution. We have also been reading tricky scales in measure and in statistics.

     In our topic lessons we have started learning about castles and were excited to learn about motte and bailey castles this week, with lots of new specialist vocabulary. Did you know that you can still climb the motte in Castle Gardens in Wallingford? In Art this week, we drew self-portraits. We were quite pleased with the results but are keen to make improvements as we develop our skills.

News from our week - 26th May 2023 

     This week we have enjoyed lots of fun with the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Having completed our diary entries from Jack’s or the giant’s point of view, we worked to create our own versions of the story. We had fun considering what different magic items the ‘mystery stranger’ that Jack met might have given him and used this to inspire changes and twists to the tale. In some of our stories Jack was given magic feathers, sunflower seeds, stones and even some magic dice, resulting in all sorts of things growing outside Jack’s window from sunflowers to giant number ladders.

     We also enjoyed learning about monarchs in history this week. Having produced a time line, we focused on some significant monarchs, including our new King Charles III.

     Our bean plants are doing quite well now that they are in pots. We are a little disappointed that some don’t seem to be thriving yet but are pleased that the tomato seedlings are already shooting up.

     After lots of hard work this term, we were excited to enjoy a class treat as we had filled our bucket. We had a lovely picnic in the sunshine and enjoyed playing together afterwards.

News from our week - 19th May 2023   

     The children have been very busy this week applying all their fabulous Year 2 skills in Maths by answering mixed arithmetic and reasoning problems. They have also challenged their comprehension skills by completing some interesting and quite complex reading tasks.

     We have also enjoyed working on some science about plants, learning about their life cycles and discovering some new vocabulary. We removed our bean bag-grown seedlings from their bags and were excited to inspect them closely with hand lenses, studying the new roots and shoots. Then we transferred them into pots and planted some tomatoes as well. We are hoping for a harvest later in the year.

     All these bean activities meant that there was really only one story that seemed appropriate for our English work, so we have enjoyed reading and learning the Jack and the Beanstalk story. We have been hot-seating the giant, asking lots of questions about how he felt about Jack’s visit and are planning some diary entries for different characters as a fun way to consider the different points of view of the same story.

     Getting active outside has been more fun this week in the sunny weather and we have enjoyed going for a run on the rec a few times, as well as having great fun with our celebrity PE teacher, Felix, on Friday.

News from our week - 12th May 2023

     This week we have had fun in the classroom with some super active fun brain breaks to keep us lively and ready to learn. We have used some online fun as well as lively music. Having enjoyed the long weekend, it was great to hear about all the different coronation celebrations. Having watched the coronation and enjoyed party celebrations, Beech families also enjoyed all sorts of activities from climbing Pen y Fan to racing round Legoland, and it was lovely to see so many at the FOWPS event. We have continued to learn about King Charles and his family this week and have been considering the role of monarchs in the past and the qualities that they might have needed to be good leaders. The weather has not been conducive to mile run activities but we do hope that the sun is around the corner. 

     Our bean seeds have almost all germinated and are just about ready to transplant. It is fascinating to see the roots and shoots developing. In Maths , we have developed our knowledge of division further as we considered dividing as sharing, and have been using our skills to solve division word problems.

News from our week - 5th May 2023

     Although this has been a short week it has been crammed full of learning and excitement. We continued to learn the national anthem and we surprised some of the other pupils on Wednesday when we signed as well as sang it after the fly past. The helicopter fly past was very exciting and we had great fun cheering and waving as the helicopter swooped and took our photo. We were joined by Cabin children to make the III in the centre of the King’s cypher on the ground.  We have enjoyed learning a little about the coronation of King Charles and particularly liked learning about the very special crown that will be placed on his head in Westminster Abbey: the St Edward’s Crown. Having learnt all about its age, its 444 jewels, where it is kept and how often it has been used, we had great fun making our own replicas. We then wore our amazing creations to our fabulous Coronation party on Friday afternoon. We also had a chance to admire a very special crocheted replica of the crown. Doesn't it look amazing? Our Friday party was great fun as we played games in our House Teams and then enjoyed cake with the whole school in the hall. Of course, we all made sure we stood smartly and sang and signed the national anthem and raised three cheers for His Majesty. 

     This week in English, we have used our instruction writing skills to write up our imaginative set of instructions about how to trap an ice dragon. Having worked on this as a whole class, we are now planning our own versions to trap our own created dragons. Don’t worry no dragons will be hurt during this process! Most of us want to capture one to look after it and care for it as a pet – you may wish to buy a fire extinguisher in preparation for the new house guests!

    Getting active in the sun this week has seen us out doing the mile run on the rec and making the most of sunny playtimes. The sun has also helped our growing projects and we have been pleased to see that lots of our bean seeds are germinating and beginning to show roots and small shoots. We also enjoyed looking at the results of our experiment about the conditions for growing. It was quite clear from our results that plants need sun (for warmth and light), water and soil to germinate and grow healthily.

News from our week - 28th April 2023

     We have enjoyed exploring and writing a different genre of text this week, as we have been learning about writing instructions using imperative verbs and clear formats. As part of this, on Tuesday, we enjoyed making and eating jam sandwiches before writing instructions on how to make them. Later in the week, we used our imaginations and our ideas about our recently created dragons to create instructions for ‘How to trap a dragon’.

     In Maths, we have continued to develop our understanding of multiplication, using arrays and repeated addition to help us. We have also continued learning to tell the time to the half and quarter hours on an analogue clock. In Phonics, we have been working on some more Tricky Witch spellings where the usual letter sounds are changed after ‘w’, like warm and towards, adding these to our learning from last week of words like worm, world, wander and waffle. We also worked on the ‘zsh’ sound spelt with an ‘s’ before ‘ure and ‘ion’ in words like pleasure and vision. Tricky Witch really does like to challenge our spelling skills.

     We have enjoyed lots of music in the classroom this term. We have been using it to get us moving and motivated and to help us to calm and focus. We also enjoy singing each week along with Oak and Hornbeam. We are learning a song about friendship but have also been focusing on learning the National Anthem in readiness for the King’s coronation.

     On Wednesday afternoon, we started a special hydroponic growing project. We are growing beans in plastic bags so that we can watch them germinate and develop. It was an exciting start to our latest science topic. Take a peak in our windows over the next few weeks to watch our project develop.

News from our week - 21st April 2023

     It has been lovely to hear all about the children’s Easter adventures and to receive lots of lovely news of their holiday reading activities recorded in their small activity books. This term in English, we are excited to start some work inspired by dragons. This week we created our own special dragons with different characteristics, some fierce and some friendly. It has been great fun and we have used our creations and illustrations to inspire us to write fabulous kennings poems.

     On Wednesday, we welcomed Cabin and Year 1 to our class for a special story time. It was lovely to have everyone together and we really enjoyed the story of the very special night dragon, Maud, and her friend, Mouse.

     In Maths, we have been working on multiplication and division and also telling the time, two quite complex topics. We have also been reviewing and revising some of our other Year 2 skills and putting them into practice. It has been lovely to have some sunnier playtimes this week and we have also enjoyed getting out to do the mile run in the sunshine. We really have made the most of getting active this week in our PE sessions too, particularly on Friday with Felix.

News from our week - 30th March 2023

     We are finishing the term feeling extremely proud of the children. They have worked hard throughout the term and made lots of progress in all the different areas of their learning. This week has not allowed any let up in the effort and hard work. We have focused on writing with the children all using their imaginations to write stories inspired by the word ‘adrift’ and accompanying images; from floating in space, to drifting away on a lake, we have been treated to lots of adventures. We also put our scientific knowledge of animals to good use by writing riddles about different creatures in the animal kingdom.

     We started the week by enjoying the dress rehearsal of the Y3/4 play and what fun it was. It was also exciting to hear some of our class in the i-rock concert on Monday afternoon. Well done to all of them!

     In Maths, we continued working on thirds and used our fraction knowledge to solve some tricky problems. We used the information that we had as clues and were intrepid maths detectives, following our methods to solve a variety of problems.

     As light relief during the week, we managed to create some super cute Easter bunny cards which we are sure you will love. We wish everyone a happy and relaxing Easter filled with fun, laughter and lots of naughty chocolate! See you next term for more adventures and hopefully more sunshine.

News from our week - 24th March 2023

     What a fabulous week we have had in Beech Class. We started the week with some of the boys attending an interschools KS1 football tournament. Despite the weather they really did play well and enjoyed their afternoon. We were pleased that two of the boys received medals for good sportsmanship and determination. Well done to the whole team!

     Back in the classroom we were hard at work on lots of science and animal classification in readiness for our trip. On Tuesday we were excited to set off with Oak and Hornbeam on our trip to Beale Park and what a fabulous day we had. We thoroughly enjoyed looking around and observing the animals, noting their special features and adaptations. We also enjoyed combining our science and geography knowledge to think about where in the world we would find each animal’s natural habitat. Becky, in the Education Centre, helped us to develop our learning, leading us in a fabulous workshop all about Amazing Africa and its wonderful wildlife. We were thrilled to be able to hold and touch some real African animals.

   On Wednesday, we didn’t slow the pace and applied our science learning to creating our own magnificent animals, recording lots of information about them and their habitats. Continuing our animal theme, we also had a chance to admire and hold the chicks that have been hatched and cared for in Cabin. Not content with only focusing on animals, we took some time to check out our pumpkin experiment that has been ongoing in the classroom since November. It was finally ready to be transplanted. The new pumpkin plants were growing quickly and stretching up out of the jar. We studied them carefully, looking at the roots and shoots, before repotting them in small pots to take home. We are hoping that we can have a pumpkin competition in October and compare the harvested pumpkins from our plants.

     We have managed to squeeze in some learning in Maths and phonics this week too. In Maths, having worked hard on quarters and three quarters, we looked at thirds. We found them a bit trickier to work out but are mastering them now. We also used our fraction work to adjust a recipe and then enjoyed making mandazi (Kenyan doughnuts). Our phonics lessons found us learning more Tricky Witch spellings with Monster Phonics. We were learning about ‘o’ making an ‘u’ sound in words like love, worry and brother. We also looked at ‘ey’ making an ‘ee’ sound in words like key and trolley. We even found some words that had both of our new spelling patterns in them like money, honey and monkey. What a busy week!

Awesome Animals at Brilliant Beale Park

     We were so excited to set off on our school trip to Beale Park on Tuesday 21st March. We had done lots of science learning in the classroom in preparation. We had great fun exploring the park when we arrived and took time to study lots of the animals noting how they are adapted to live in their natural habitats. We also noted down where in the world their natural habitats can be found, bringing our science and geography learning together. 

     We did wonder as we studied the meerkats whether they were also studying us as they seemed very interested and observed us just as closely as we did them. We met some very noisy small parrots called sun conures. They all flew across their cage towards us landing on the wire in front of our noses and squawking at us very loudly. It was quite a surprise and very exciting. We also enjoyed seeing large green winged macaws, a porcupine who was enjoying munching on his broccoli, some ring-tailed lemurs, a rather hairy and huge tarantula and lots lots more. 

     We were very lucky that one of the keepers invited us to see him feeding the otters. We were amazed to see their sharp teeth and we were warned about them too! We were very grateful to the keeper who told us lots about the otters, their skill at swimming with their webbed feet helping them and how eating lots of fish oil helps them to dry quickly as it keeps their fur oily and the water runs off it more easily. 

     After lunch we enjoyed learning with Becky in the Education Centre. We did a workshop all about Amazing Africa. All the keepers who helped us were impressed with our knowledge and we had great fun learning more and sharing our ideas. We even got to meet two wonderful African animals, one very small and one really much bigger: a mealworm, that was very tickly to hold, and a royal python. 

     We did find time for some relaxation during our day as we enjoyed playing with our Oak friends in the playground at lunchtime and finished our day with a train ride, making sure we spotted the zebras and wallabies on our short journey round the park. 

     What a fabulous day full of fun and learning. The children made us very proud showing enthusiasm, knowledge and good manners. 

News from our week - 17th March 2023

     In Beech this week we have enjoyed lots of science work about animals, their habitats and their amazing adaptations. We enjoyed a funny story about how the giraffe got a long neck and legs but then we considered this from a more scientific perspective and realised how very clever it is that animals are well-suited to their different habitats and needs. We are looking forward to putting our expertise to use and inventing our own animals with special adaptations. Mrs Pearson’s polarelebit looked very funny but it also had some very special features to help it survive.
     We have also had a busy week getting ready for Mothers’ Day. We planned a design for a special gift and then put our plans to the test producing some beautifully decorated cups and saucers. We felt very proud! Accompanied by a special teapot Mothers' Day card, they are sure to be our mum's cup of tea!

     In our phonics lessons we have continued to learn spelling rules for adding suffixes to words and have focused on ‘or’ spelt ‘al’ or ‘a’ in words like ‘talk’ and almost. It is a tricky one to hear and remember. In Maths, we continued to explore quarters, finding that two quarters are equal to half. We have also looked at three quarters of shapes and quantities.

     On Friday we all looked fabulous in our red t-shirts and tops to celebrate Red Nose Day. Please remember that we are heading off on our trip to Beale Park on Tuesday. We will need to be prepared for all weathers and have a packed lunch to enjoy. We are looking forward to a great day out.

News from our week - 10th March 2023

     We have had a week full of some surprises, including the snow on Wednesday. We also enjoyed welcoming more parents to the classroom to share in our phonics expertise on Wednesday afternoon. It has been lovely to showcase the children’s knowledge and enthusiasm for our Monster Phonics programme in these sessions. We hope that you enjoyed your visits. We will be following up the sessions with a useful handout, so please keep an eye out in bookbags. In our phonics lessons this week we have focused on more spelling rules for adding suffixes to words: doubling letters, and changing ‘y’ to ‘i', for example: stop --> stopping, and happy --> happier. We have had more catchy phrases from our friendly monsters to help us with this.

     In English, we have turned our attention back to information texts and have been expert zoologists writing information about elephants. We have enjoyed reading and watching videos as part of our research. Having studied some example texts about elephants and noting the format and organisation, we worked together to organise information and ideas and then wrote a very informative text. We are looking forward to illustrating it and making a class book.

     In Maths, we continued work on fractions. This time finding quarters of shapes and quantities. We were able to use our knowledge of halving to help us. We have continued to learn about different habitats and this week focused on the desert areas of the world. Did you know that the Antarctic is a frozen desert? We were fascinated to hear about how some animals are adapted to survive in the hot deserts on the African continent and the icy frozen landscapes of the Arctic. 

News from our week - 3rd March 2023

     We have had another active and busy week in Beech. On Monday the children went to Langtree to participate in a KS1 cross-country event. Despite some apprehension from some children before the event, everyone had a wonderful time and showed real determination. Two children received medals for demonstrating this Olympic value.

     Back in the classroom on Wednesday afternoon, we enjoyed welcoming lots of parents to see our phonics expertise. We hope that you enjoyed seeing our enthusiasm for the monsters and how they are helping us to develop progress in our reading and spelling. Our phonics lessons this week have been focused on learning a new spelling rule for adding suffixes to words ending in ‘e’. As the monsters say “Let the e be free”; this is a great way for us to remember to remove the ‘e’ before adding a suffix like ‘_ed’ or ‘_ing’. We have also been learning that other words need us to double the consonant before adding a suffix in words like stopping and hopping.

     In English, we focused on a special character description early in the week and then, later in the week, had more fun with our Spike Milligan poem: Ning Nang Nong, imagining that we had been to the peculiar island for a holiday and writing postcards about our visit.

     In Maths, we continued work on finding half of shapes and quantities. We combined this with our place value knowledge to find half of two-digit numbers using the diamond method. It is great fun and we can use the same format to double numbers too. We have also been busy honing our measuring skills by measuring to the nearest cm. The children have been fantastic at remembering to line objects up carefully with zero and worked well to double check their answers.

     All of the half term projects are now in and have made a spectacular display in our classroom. We have continued to learn about different habitats and this week focused on the savannah on the African continent. In Geography we mapped our immediate locality which proved harder than we first expected! We created keys for our maps to ensure that they were clear and as useful as they could be.

     World Book Day provided a wonderful close to week, full of fabulous costumes, book recommendations and most importantly, great excitement for reading. Thank you so much for all the time that was spent organising, borrowing and making costumes

News from our week - 24th February 2023

     It has been lovely to have everyone back and hear about their half term adventures. In English, we have had fun this week learning a very silly poem by Spike Milligan. It is called the Ning Nang Nong and is an island where all sorts of strange things happen. It is great fun and quite a tongue twister. We are using it to inspire some of our English work and have written our own version as a class. In Maths, we have started work on fractions and have been recognising and finding halves with shapes and quantities. We have also started to explore the language of measurement and have been busy measuring things in our classroom using cubes, pennies and reading diaries!

     It has been lovely to see some of the first half term projects coming in. The children have been really creative with their habitat boxes and we have seen polar, swamp and ocean habitats filled with different animals and plants. We continued more work on habitats this week in Science.

     Our phonics lessons saw us revising and reviewing all the different ‘l’ spelling patterns that we learnt about at the end of last term and adding another to the list with the ‘al’ spelling from words like hospital, animal and royal. Knowing which one to use is tricky and we have been working hard to learn some key spellings and have some to practise for homework.

     We had filled our class pompom bucket before the half term holiday and had something special planned to celebrate. On Tuesday, we enjoyed a class treat with delicious pancakes. We had lots of different toppings including ice cream. It was great fun and delicious! 

News from our week - 10th February 2023

     The children have all worked hard during another busy week. In English, we have been writing up our information text about Wonderful World, our imagined theme park. We all wish we could build it and enjoy a trip there as the attractions sound fabulous, including a zoo, an amazing aquarium and a fun fair area with rollercoasters and rides. In Maths, we have been solving problems using all of our addition and subtraction skills. We also continued with some positional language.

     In our science, we have been learning about the seven life processes and different habitats, both local and worldwide, and how they provide for living things. We have a special crafting task for homework that is related to our science learning as we are creating habitat boxes. In phonics, we have been learning some new spelling patterns for the ‘l’ sound, including ‘le’, ‘il’ and ‘el’. In Geography we have been exploring the United Kingdom, its capitals and seas. We have also looked at significant places and foods from different regions within the United Kingdom.

News from our week - 3rd February 2023

     This week we have been celebrating National Storytelling Week by immersing ourselves in some wonderful stories from around the world. We started the week with a live online workshop exploring the beautiful Sleeping Beauty paintings from Waddesdon Manor. They were colourful and detailed and started our imaginations whirring with ideas about the story which we enjoyed sharing and retelling.

Having fun telling stories!

     Continuing the globe-trotting theme of our term so far, on Tuesday we moved to the other side of the globe to Australia and enjoyed the story of a greedy frog called Tiddalik. It was great fun retelling the story and we extended our storytelling skills to write our own versions on Wednesday. To finish the week, we enjoyed a story from Africa as we explored the tale of Anansi the spider. We really have had fun and have developed our use of effective story language along with being creative.

     In Maths, we have turned our addition skills on their heads and been working on more tricky subtraction crossing tens. We have also been looking at the language of position, using clockwise and anti-clockwise and making half and quarter turns. This has combined well with our work on maps and we have been able to compare it to the compass points. Our phonics has found us learning about some tricky Silent Ghost letters with Monster Phonics. We have worked on ‘kn’, ‘gn’ and ‘wr’. We found it very funny that people used to say the silent letters and have had fun doing it ourselves to help us remember some of the spellings.

News from our week - 27th January 2023

This week has seen us exploring some of the culture of Scotland which was timely with Burns Night falling on Wednesday. In Art we continued to look at patterns and enjoyed learning about tartan. We then had a go at developing our own patterns, weaving paper to create designs inspired by tartan. It took some of us some time to work out our weaving techniques but our final designs look fabulous.

     In our singing assembly with Hornbeam and Oak we enjoyed learning a traditional Scottish children’s song called ‘Three craws sat upon a wall’. It was really catchy but with some unusual Scottish words in it. We seem to have discovered a real earworm and have all been humming it ever since. Mrs Pearson was even humming it when she was walking to lunch. In geography, we have stepped further afield than Scotland as we continued to explore the world. We enjoyed learning new skills to use our atlases efficiently. We really are globe-trotters, or maybe we’ve had dancing shoes on rather than running shoes, as PE has seen us having fun learning dances from around the globe too.

     In our English lessons, we have been organising all our amazing ideas for our imagined theme park into plans with an introduction, sections of information and a conclusion. We all wished that we could take a trip to some of these places because they sound so exciting. We have been working to include a WOW moment in our writing and using exclamation marks to emphasise these.

News from our week - 20th January 2023

     We have had a super week full of learning and imagination. In Maths, we have been working with trickier 2-digit numbers, including adding them crossing tens, and using our skills to solve one and two-step problems. We have also been working on statistics, drawing and interpreting pictograms.

     In our English lessons we have been looking at information text about a place. We have enjoyed thinking about how the text is organised and how effective adjectives can make it sound exciting. We have used our imaginations to create our own fabulous theme park with lots of different activities and attractions, including a zoo and a waterpark. We are looking forward to writing our information text about the park.

     In geography, we have continued with our work on continents and oceans and have enjoyed singing our song. In Art, we continued looking at patterns and enjoyed look at Orla Kiely’s designs. We used her printed repeating patterns as inspiration for our own printed designs using the faces of 3D shapes and paint.

News from our week - 13th January 2023

     Our first full week back has seen us busy and working hard. In Maths, we have continued to develop our skills in addition and subtraction, using our place value skills to work with two 2-digit numbers. We have had to recall and apply all the knowledge that we learnt last term and it has been good to get into our mathematical groove. In English, we our turning our attention to non-fiction texts this term. This week we enjoyed comparing fiction and non-fiction texts, finding their different features and exploring different types of books. We have also been excited to start a special mission accompanied by videos and special assignments from BWA (Big Write Agency). We will be working to explore and write information text.

     This term we will be looking at geography for our topic work, exploring the continents and oceans of the world. We are looking forward to using atlases and maps. We have added a world map in our book corner and are enjoying stories from around the world to accompany our topic work. This week we have enjoyed lots of different stories including one about the Channel tunnel in French and English, and stories from further away including Africa and South America. Lots of our work is linked to exploring our world this term. We have even been singing in a different language with Hornbeam and Oak, learning a song about saying hello in French. You can check it out here if you want to sing along at home. 

     In Art we have started looking at patterns and will be exploring different artists and cultures, and their patterns in coming weeks.

News from our week - 21st December 2022

     We enjoyed our last couple of days of the school term with a wonderful Christmas dinner, lots of games and fun in the classroom and some last minute art. We wish everyone a very happy Christmas and hope that your holidays are filled with fun and family. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year ready for more learning adventures together. 

A Magical Performance

      All of the children should be very proud of their outstanding performances in The Magical Christmas Box.  It was wonderful to see all of the children from Oak, Hornbeam and Beech working together and supporting each other. The children all worked hard to learn songs, their lines and roles over the term.  The songs and singing were lively and full of enthusiasm. As well as making sure that we learnt about Christmas traditions, their origins and the story of the first Christmas, the play gave us lots of opportunities for fun and laughter together.  

News from our week - 16th December 2022

     The children have made us incredibly proud in so many ways this week. We have completed a number of assessments, as we usually do at the end of a term. The children have worked hard to apply the skills that they have learnt in year 2 so far and demonstrate all their learning. Well done to all of them.

     In addition to all of this, we have all enjoyed our wonderful nativity performances. All the children were fabulous – remembering lines, coping with costumes and singing beautifully. Well done everyone! We hope that you enjoyed the performances that you attended. It was lovely to share this with you in person after two years of restrictions.

     It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas now! In the classroom our Christmas elves have appeared each morning, sometimes up to mischief and always with a learning challenge for us to solve. Having completed our letters to Santa last week, this week we have turned them into fabulous short video presentations and we are looking forward to sharing these with you. We are sending them off to Santa before the end of term. 

     We have also started some special Christmas cards. In between all this festivity we have still found time to continue with our Maths and Phonics learning. Is it any wonder with so much hard work going on that we filled our class bucket and were able to enjoy a treat afternoon on Friday. We had a great time playing games and enjoying fun together.

News from our week - 9th December 2022

     Another week of rehearsals has seen us polishing our performances for an exciting week next week. We enjoyed our dress rehearsal on Thursday and we think the whole school enjoyed it too. We are looking forward to welcoming you all to our nativity to enjoy our singing and acting. Back in the classroom we have enjoyed comparing different letters to Santa with a variety of different details and styles. We have now planned and written some super letters of our own and are hopeful of some responses and super presents on Christmas morning. In Maths, we have continued to work on our adding and subtracting and have applied our learning to work with money. We completed our exploration of our museum box this week and were delighted to find that the final item was a wonderful old car horn.

News from our week - 2nd December 2022

     We have had a very busy week with lots of Christmassy activities. We are enjoying our rehearsals and our performance is coming together. We are now looking forward to wearing our costumes and really feeling the part. Thank you to those who have sent in costumes and additional items. If you still have some of these at home we will need them on Monday.

     In Maths, we have been working on adding and subtracting tens to numbers, and using related facts adding tens to make 100. It is great to apply our knowledge of smaller numbers and place value to complete trickier calculations. We are also applying this learning to our work with money when making amounts and adding prices together. 

     In English, we have been working on letter writing again but this time to a very special person and we bet you can guess who! In our topic work we have enjoyed unpacking some very special artefacts from our museum box. We have looked at some very old driving goggles and a driving cap, as well as a starting handle and an old AA badge. Lots of our museum pictures and items are from Morris Garages owned by Lord Nuffield who lived near to Woodcote. It has been good to get out onto the rec and enjoy a run in the mornings again this week. After all the heavy rain that kept us in, we were not going to be put off by the damp and fog.

     On Thursday, we enjoyed a visit from PCSO Susan Haynes. We heard a story all about PC Ben and PCSO Susan told us lots about police work, including the different vehicles and animals that the police use to help them. She answered lots of our questions and reminded us to stay safe. She left us with a PC Ben book and some super badges to remind us of her visit.

News from our week - 25th November 2022

     What a fabulous week! We have been space explorers, inventors and palaeontologists. It has been so exciting having so many visitors to school this week and to develop our science knowledge with expert guidance. It has also inspired our classroom learning and we have enjoyed learning about materials and exploring their properties in our Science lessons.

     In our Topic lessons, we heard about another amazing inventor as we learnt about the development of the car. We enjoyed learning about Karl Benz and his wife Bertha. We are excited to learn more about William Morris who is more local but is also important in the development of the car. To help us with this, a very exciting museum box has arrived in the classroom; so we have lots to look forward to next week.

     In other news, our Christmas play is coming on. Our songs sound fantastic and we are sorting out costumes. Please remember that any additional costume items should now be in school to help us with rehearsals and full costume fittings next week. Homework this week is to learn our lines ready for on-stage rehearsals next week.

     In Maths, we have continued working with money making values with different coins. To get us moving this week we have enjoyed some fun in the classroom with Wake Up! Shake Up!, have done some yoga and have had fun in PE with Felix. The morning rain has kept us from our runs so fingers crossed we get some more sunny mornings next week!

Super Science Week 

     This week has seen us exploring space in a planetarium, learning about the solar system, experimenting with materials alongside Science Oxford, and becoming palaeontologists exploring fossils and even meeting some fabulous dinosaurs. What an amazing week! 

News from our week - 18th November 2022

     It was great fun on Monday coming to school in odd socks. We took some time to think about why we were wearing them and celebrated how different and unique we all are. We always try to be kind and respectful but have tried to pay extra attention to this and recognising it in others this week.

     We have continued to sing our Christmas songs and have read through the play a number of times, in readiness for our rehearsals. In Maths, we have enjoyed working with money, becoming more familiar with the different coins, recognising them and their values. In the coming weeks we will be using plastic coins at snack times to purchase our fruit from our special snack shop. We have also worked on using our simple number facts to expand our knowledge to calculate trickier and bigger subtractions and additions.

     Having enjoyed Jill Murphy’s On the Way Home and invented our own versions of the story, we worked hard this week to write our stories. We also discussed and composed our thank you letters for the vehicle owners who helped us last week.

     In PE, we have had great fun with Felix. Thank goodness we got some sunshine and dry weather because it meant that we could get out and enjoy football and learn some skills with him. However, more rain earlier in the week gave us the opportunity to try sailing one of our vehicle models on the ‘playground lake’. The lovely little boat sailed beautifully and we captured it in some super photos. 

News from our week - 11th November 2022 

     What an amazing week with a number of special events to complement our learning. On Monday, we were excited to find out our parts for our school Christmas play. We have continued learning the songs and are all ready to get started on some acting. Tuesday turned out to be a very exciting day as we enjoyed seeing and exploring all the exciting vehicles that visited our playground. It was such a surprise! We enjoyed comparing the old models to the new with the variety of cars, motorbikes and even tractors. Even the torrential downpour couldn’t dampen our spirits and we were rewarded by a fabulous rainbow at the end of the afternoon. We want to say a big thank you to all the owners who visited us. Be sure to check photos in the article below.

     In RE, we have been learning about the Sikh religion and Tuesday was a very special day for Sikhs as they celebrated Guru Nanak’s birthday. We have enjoyed learning about him and were very proud to present assembly to the whole school on Friday, explaining about this Sikh celebration. Friday was also a special day and we remembered all of the people who have been affected by war, especially those who have served their country, as we took our poppy wreath down to the war memorial.

     Back in the classroom, we have been busy in Maths using fact families calculating subtraction and addition with part/whole models. We had fun with Brown Owl in our Monster Phonics as we worked on /ou/ and /ow/ spellings. In English, we enjoyed a Jill Murphy story called On the Way Home. The girl in the story told tall stories to her friends and we enjoyed coming up with some of our own about meeting scary skeletons, hairy monkeys and even slipping on giant, yellow bananas. We acted out this part of the story and had lots of giggles and gasps as we exaggerated our stories. We also looked at different types of sentences and the punctuation that they need.

     Show and Tell on Wednesday was fun as we looked at more of the children’s vehicle models, including a rather cheeky broomstick which made us laugh.

Vehicle Rally at School 

     What an amazing afternoon we enjoyed on Tuesday 8th November. We had ten fabulous vehicles on the playground, including a 1920s Rolls Royce Phantom, a 1970s MG, both a new and a 1950s Triumph motorbike, a vintage tractor and a modern John Deere tractor, and a Tesla.  It was a wonderful opportunity for all the children, bringing their learning to life, putting history and our understanding of changes through time into real context. We have been learning about the history of transport and we enjoyed comparing the old and new models, noting differences between each.

     All of the owners were very generous with their time, sharing their knowledge and answering our questions, as well as allowing us access to sit in the vehicles. All of the school came out to join us during the afternoon and everyone enjoyed the experience. The weather was not on our side as we experienced a torrential downpour but the children’s smiles made up for the rain – our feet may have been damp but our spirits soared! That rainbow topping off the afternoon seemed very apt.

     In addition to supporting our learning, it was a wonderful afternoon celebrating our community. Having such support from the local community is a privilege and staff and children send a special thank you to those who took time to come along with their very special vehicles as part of our Woodcote Primary School ‘family’. 

News from our week - 4th November 2022

     We have survived the wettest week for a long time! Sadly it has meant that we did not get out running this week but the damp days haven’t dampened our spirits and we have had lots of fun in the classroom. In Maths, this week we have moved on to look at some of the mathematical operations starting with building our fluency with our number bonds to ten. We have also been doing some problem solving as we applied our learning about properties of 2D and 3D shape.  

     In RE, we have enjoyed learning about Sikhism, particularly about Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru. It is a special week for Sikhs next week as they celebrate his birthday.

     In English, we have had a fun week with lots of descriptive work about Halloween and firework night. We have learnt about onomatopoeia, sound words, and used them effectively in our firework poems along with some fabulous adjectives and description. We are really proud of our final poems and feel like proper poets.

     We have also enjoyed sharing some of the children’s vehicle models in class this week. They are all amazing and we are looking forward to seeing the rest of them next week as we ran out of time. We took time to hear about each model, the materials that the children used and their building process as well as information about the vehicles themselves. 

     We have also had great fun this week singing the first of the songs for our Christmas show. Watch out next week as we will be busy casting and allocating lines.

News from our week - 21st October 2022

     We have had a very active week, getting out for a run a few times and attending the KS1 cross country running event at Langtree. A number of the children felt a little nervous about going along but all came home feeling proud that they had run their best and taken part. We were very proud that one of our children received an Olympic values medal for his tremendous effort at the event. If only medals could have been given to everyone as all of the children showed real resilience and determination, making us very proud.

     We got outside in the beautiful Autumn sunshine on Tuesday afternoon to do some art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. He uses lots of natural materials to make art and we did the same using conkers, leaves, sticks, acorns, seeds and lots more. We created pictures and patterns working in pairs. 

    Using our knowledge of place value, this week in Maths we compared and ordered 2-digit numbers. The children were very pleased to have filled their class bucket with pompoms this week. We have been delighted to give out so many bucket filler certificates during the term and were not surprised to see that the children had earned a treat. Everyone arrived for school on Thursday in pyjamas. It was not a day of rest even though we were super comfy, as we were busy with lots of Science and RE learning.

    It was lovely to see so many parents at our parent/teacher meetings. We are sure that, like us, you are very proud of how well the children have embraced their new classroom and learning in this first term in Year 2. We are looking forward to lots more adventures together and working on our Christmas play after half term.  We are also hoping to do a DT project and would be grateful for plastic water or soft drink bottles large or small, plastic bottle lids and old CDs. Please deliver donations to Beech Class at drop off or pick up times. Thank you for your support.

News from our week - 14th October 2022

     We have had another busy week in Beech. We were pleased to have some sunshine back despite the cold mornings; it meant that we got out onto the rec for a run on two occasions fillings our lungs with autumn air.

     We have focused on more vowel digraphs and some high frequency words in our phonics lessons. We were really excited to share our Monster Phonics reading books as home reading as well as in our classroom. We loved our Monster Phonics classroom pumpkin with the special Tricky Witch, her house and friends on it.

     In Maths our number lessons have focused on numberlines and we have been solving lots of problems and challenges with missing numbers, different intervals and starting points. Our Show & Tell shape activity was great fun, giving us lots of opportunities to use our shape vocabulary and knowledge. We have also been working on sorting different shapes using a variety of criteria.  

     In art this week, we returned to sketching work as we took a look at the wonderful natural objects that can be found during the autumn. We sketched conkers and fir cones, as well as observing the detailed colours and patterns of autumn leaves. We are looking forward to using these natural materials in a different way next week.

     In our topic lessons, we have been learning about the beginnings of the railways and about the wonderful George and Robert Stephenson who invented some of the first steam locomotives. Our favourite is the Rocket which won the contest to be the best and the fastest.

     We have been very busy in our Science again this week looking at life cycles of different animals and how they begin life. We have also set up a longer-term science experiment which we will be closely monitoring in our classroom over the next few weeks. We will keep you posted.

News from our week - 7th October 2022

      We have had lots of fun in Beech with our story: The Shopping Basket. We met the rude animals and have been making improvements to John Burningham’s story by adding adjectives and different verbs for ‘said’. It was fun thinking up good words like ‘trumpeted’ for the elephant and ‘oinked’ for the pig. With Mrs Hammond we have enjoyed reading and learning poetry for National Poetry Day.

     Our phonics with the monsters has continued this week with us working on lots of split digraphs. We have also enjoyed reading some of our new Monster Phonics story books and finding out more about the monsters and their adventures.

     Our Maths has been very visual this week with us exploring different representations of numbers in pictures, apparatus and on numberlines. We have also continued our shape work and are looking forward to our shape-themed Show & Tell next week.

     We had a great time getting the paints out for Art on Tuesday. We used our knowledge of colour mixing to make some secondary colours and painted colour fields inspired by Mark Rothko. We worked hard to use our paintbrushes and colours effectively with sweeping strokes on our page. Just like Rothko we thought about what feeling each colour might represent, for example blue might be sad or calm but red feels hot and sometimes angry.

 

     It was lovely to see some of the parents at Harvest Festival and thank you for helping us walk safely and cross the roads. We were all incredibly proud of every one of Beech Class; they set a very sensible and respectful example as the oldest children in church, singing beautifully, sitting still and quietly and speaking out clearly. Well done, Beech.

News from our week - 30th September 2022

     This week we enjoyed going out onto the rec to get some exercise running with our KS2 friends. It was great to start the day with sunshine and fresh air. Back in the classroom, we have had another busy week. In English, we looked at a new book called The Shopping Basket. Having read the first part of the book where Steven meets a bear outside the shop, we had fun writing our own version of how the story might go next. We are looking forward to finding out what the real author John Burningham wrote. We have also been writing lists and using our knowledge of adjectives to make the items on our list more interesting.

     We haven’t forgotten about Claude and are continuing to enjoy the story of him on holiday. We even designed new ice creams for him to enjoy at the beach. We have all been working really hard in our Phonics lessons and are finding our new monster friends very helpful when working out the graphemes and digraphs for different sounds.

     In Maths, we have used our partitioning skills and part/whole models to think about different ways to partition a 2-digit number. It was fun using the base ten apparatus to help us. We have also looked at ways of sorting shapes depending on their properties before finishing the week with symmetry activities.

     In RE we began exploring the beliefs and traditions of the Sikh religion and look forward to expanding our knowledge throughout the year. Our History lessons this week took us into the Victorian era when Queen Victoria and lots of people used horses and carriages to travel around.

     This week, we enjoyed our first themed Show & Tell. We had table captains to lead each group and then we enjoyed hearing some of the information as a whole class. Some children had done a super job thinking about our theme and we heard lots about Being Healthy, including how important having friends and family is to keep us feeling good. Our next Show & Tell is on Wednesday 12th October and the theme is 3D Shapes.

News from our week - 23rd September 2022

     Even though this week was a short one, we have been really busy. In English and Guided Reading, we have been using ideas and inspiration from our class book to continue our work on adjectives. We have also had fun trying to predict the next part of the story; Claude has arrived on the beach and we are looking forward to his adventures. We think he might look for crabs in the rock pools, sunbathe, eat ice cream and build a sand castle but it could get even more exciting because some of us spotted a pirate ship on the book cover.

     In Maths, we continued working on our place value, using tens and ones when working with 2-digit numbers, partitioning numbers and using part/whole models. We have also continued our work on shape moving on to learn about more 3D shapes and using our new vocabulary to talk about their properties and to sort them.

     In our History lessons this week, we have enjoyed learning about how Viking ships were powered and their design. We really loved the dragon figure heads and how they might have scared enemies as they approached.

     Dare we mention Christmas so early? We had fun in Art drawing Christmas penguins for our printed Christmas cards. We’re sure you’re going to agree with us about how cute they are in all their different shapes, colours and sizes. Watch out for them in book bags soon.

     In Science, we have been thinking about the food that we eat and about which foods are good for us and help us to stay healthy. This complemented our work on fruits and vegetables last week and the super harvest song that we are learning along with Oak and Hornbeam.

News from our week - 16th September 2022

    This week we have enjoyed meeting the monsters from our new phonics programme: Monster Phonics. We have been getting to know them and the phonemes that they represent. Cool Blue is one of our favourites as he is a cool DJ character who looks after the /oo/ sounds. We also like the Silent Ghosts who play tricks by hiding silent letters to make spelling tricky.

    We are enjoying our class story book about a funny little dog called Claude. He likes adventures and has been packing for a holiday adventure but he is a bit silly. In our English lessons, we have been working on identifying different word classes: nouns and adjectives, and combining these to create descriptions. On Wednesday, we had great fun using our senses and lots of fruits and vegetables to help us with this.

    After we had thought about some effective adjectives like sweet, crunchy, sour, tasty, we used the fruit and vegetables to do some art in the afternoon. We worked very hard to draw what we could see rather than drawing the idea of the vegetable or fruit from our heads. Having watched a video about a little boy who persevered and kept trying to improve his work when he was drawing a butterfly, we went back and worked to improve and redraft our drawings. We all felt really proud of our final sketches. 

    In Maths, we have been working on our place value, using tens and ones when working with 2-digit numbers. We have also enjoyed more work on shape and learning new vocabulary to talk about properties of shape.

    It was lovely to see some of you in our classroom on Wednesday and we look forward to welcoming you at more events over the year.

Queen Elizabeth II mourned and remembered

     Mrs Hunt began this morning with an assembly to think together about the sad and shocking news that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth has died. We spent time together thinking of how she served her country for so many years with dignity and commitment. We thought of her family who are missing her as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. We also thought of our new King Charles and Queen Consort, Camilla and how their lives have changed overnight. We shared a prayer and a moment of silent reflection before returning to class. In class we talked about our celebration of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee and what we had learned about her in the summer. 

News from our first week - 9th June 2022

     What a fabulous start to the year! The children have been delightful and enthusiastic. They are settling well. It has been lovely to hear about their summer holidays and for us to get to know each other better. We are all getting used to new routines and our reorganised classroom. We have worked together to set some classroom rules and decided on lots of positive ways that we can help each other, with the children very sensibly deciding that good listening and respect were top of our list.

     In Maths, we have had some fun with numbers, remembering our Year 1 skills and how to apply them. We have also been revising our 2D shapes and thinking carefully about how we use language to describe properties of shape. We have enjoyed ourselves dancing in PE this week with Ethan. This year we will be getting changed at school so please send PE kits in on a Monday for the whole week. We will confirm our regular PE days shortly.

     Children have been given reading books and reading records will follow shortly. Please bear with us as we get the level of book right during our assessment phase and as we get to know the children better. Our first fun homework is to decorate our ‘Author Books’ and these will be due back to school on Wednesday. We look forward to seeing lots of you after school that day for Meet the Teacher.

ARCHIVE 2021-22

     Thursday was really special as we completed our year with a special trip to Mapledurham after being invited by Mr David Barber, the Queen’s Royal Swan Marker. We enjoyed a picnic lunch and then were excited to see the skiffs arrive and to be able to meet Mr Barber and his team and hear about the swans and how to protect them. Mr Barber was impressed with our knowledge of pens, cobs and cygnets.

     We received a special certificate from Buckingham Palace and presented Mr Barber and his team with our beautifully illustrated poem book and some special pictures drawn by us. What a super way to end our year together!

News from our week - 21st July 2022

   Beech have had a fun time in our final week together. We started in a topsy turvy way with Mrs Hammond teaching us on Monday. We had water fun to help to keep us cool as the temperatures rose. We also worked to complete our swan pictures and our class poem about swans in readiness for our trip on Thursday. It was fun thinking of pairs of words to describe swans, for example ‘feathery-swimmer’ and ‘river-guardian’. Mrs P put our pictures and poem together with more excellent words on the topic of swans from our brain-storming session. We had come up with verbs like ‘gliding’, adjectives like ‘protective and adverbs like ‘gracefully’. All our ideas went together to make a special book for us to present to the Queen’s Swan Marker. 

     On Tuesday we started the day with more bird art. Our collage birds are looking really beautiful. During the week we have also enjoyed playing games together, tidying our classroom, working on an ‘End of the Year Quiz’ that covered all sorts of our Year 2 learning and having fun.

 

     We were immensely proud on Thursday morning, when the special Literacy Prize for progress in writing was awarded to one of the boys from our class. All the teachers have been really proud of all the progress in our writing this year and it was great to celebrate this in front of the whole school. Sadly we also had to say goodbye to Miss Hogan as she is leaving to go to university to complete her training to become a teacher. We will miss her very much and wanted to thank her for all her help this year.

 

      Thank you to all of the Beech children and parents for sharing this year with us, for all the hard work and progress that has been achieved and celebrated. We are very proud!

News from our week - 15th July 2022

     We have had lots of fun learning about stone castles this week. Having learned about their structure and defences, we learned how they might be attacked, including a rather smelly entry point that made us all gasp and giggle. It has been a really exciting week with lots of fun activities. On Monday we enjoyed watching the Y5/6 play – what a lot of fun it was!

     On Wednesday we had a full day of art activities with Hornbeam joining us in our classroom. Inspired by our visit to the aviary at Waddesdon Manor, we worked to create collage birds using patterns, scrap paper and tissue paper. We are looking forward to getting together again next week to finish our project and to creating a vibrant display. Birds have been particularly important to us as we are preparing for our Swan Upping trip next week. We have learnt about the life cycle of swans and how they can be harmed by pollution on the river. We looked closely at their appearance and how they move and have started to work on some poetry and drawings inspired by our learning. Please ensure that you have read and responded to the ParentMail payment item about our trip next week.

News from our week - 8th July 2022

     Beech have been busy writing this week. Having edited our Big Write compositions, we turned our attention to our altered versions of The Three Little Pigs. We have had fun swapping the character’s round and changing some of them for new characters to create our new stories. It has been great fun hearing the new versions, like The Three Little Chickens and the Big Bad Fox, The Three Little Rabbits, The Three Cute Kittens and the Big Bad Puppy and even The Three Rebel Troopers and Darth Vader. In our grammar and spelling we have focused on making adjectives by adding the suffixes -ful and -less, as well as making nouns by adding -er, for example someone who teaches is a teacher.

     In our topic lessons, we enjoyed exploring the features and appearance of a stone castle. Do you know what crenels and merlons are? What would you throw down onto your enemy through the machicolations? We have enjoyed our computing lessons and have produced some great pictures using Paint. In Maths, we have been working on measures particularly capacity. On Tuesday we had a fabulous time with Miss McCarthy in Year 3.

News from our week - 1st July 2022

     We have had another active week in Beech with a fabulous afternoon of sport in the sunshine on Tuesday. Everyone enjoyed running, jumping and throwing and all put in their best effort and showed off their biggest grins. What a great afternoon!  Thank you for joining us. We had also had a sneaky practice on Monday afternoon but in the showers, so we were much happier to have the sun on Tuesday. To round off our sporty week, on Thursday we had a great time playing rounders with Felix.

     Back in the classroom, we have been doing lots of writing this week. We worked particularly hard to produce our best copies of some lovely thank you letters for Oxford Playhouse, making sure we used the right format for our letters and our best handwriting. We also included some pictures of our favourite characters. In our grammar lessons, we have focused on the possessive apostrophe and our spelling focus has been on adding suffixes to words to improve our written work.

     In Maths, we have had fun with some problem solving exercises using lots of different operations and calculations. We have also been exploring repeating patterns, as well as revising our shape, position and direction language.

     Having learnt about motte and bailey castles in our topic work, we started to compare them to stone castles this week and are looking forward to learning lots more new vocabulary when we look at stone castles more closely.

News from our week - 24th June 2022

We have had a wonderful and busy week with adventures in sport and theatre.         On Monday we had fun doing some problem solving using our skills in measuring and fractions as we made different length streamers for Sleeping Beauty’s christening party. However, in English we turned our attention to a new story and enjoyed listening to, retelling and exploring the story of The Three Little Pigs.

     Tuesday was a very exciting and busy day. We enjoyed visiting the theatre tent that had arrived on the field. We loved watching and joining in with Animal Rocks. Our favourite characters were the fox and the dinosaurs. The dad tortoise’s dancing to the Strictly tune made us laugh a lot. We have enjoyed writing thank you letters to the actors and the team at Oxford Playhouse. After the show we enjoyed making shakers and joining in with some rhythm fun. Homework can be found on Teams this week.

     The Beech team would like to say thank you to all the parents, grandparents and siblings that were able to join us on Friday morning. It was lovely to see you and the children very much enjoyed being able to share their learning with you.

Fabulous Quads Fun in the Sun

     What a fabulous afternoon we have enjoyed at Langtree competing in the partnership schools' KS1 Quads competition. It is called quads because there are four events that everyone takes part in:  300m running race, 30m sprint race, vortex throw, standing jump. All of the children from Beech Class participated and did a fabulous job, trying their best, having fun and scoring points for our team. 

      We had some outstanding running from boys and girls in both the longer distance and the sprint races.  Some children really dug deep and showed real determination. Both boys  and girls achieved some first places in both distances. In the vortex throw the girls showed some fabulous technique and achieved some great results. Not to be outdone the boys then put in a super effort with a number of them achieving throws of 14m! Children showed the same determination in the standing jump where they each worked to improve their distance over three jumps. 

     At the close of the ceremony we were pleased to award medals to two of our boys for showing amazing teamwork, to two of our girls for determination. We were delighted that the medal for highest scoring girl at the competition, when scores from all four events were totalled, went to a Beech girl! In addition one of our girls teams achieved first place with the highest team points for a girls team overall.  They proudly took the Langtree Partnership trophy for best girls team today. 

     Well done, Beech Class! 

News from our week - 17th June 2022

     This week Beech have had a very creative week. We spent time retelling and adapting the Sleeping Beauty story and then wrote our versions using effective description and word choices. We magpie-d some super story-telling phrases from the fairy tales that we had listened to, like ‘a terrible hush fell over the party’ and we really liked: ‘a shiver ran down their spines’. In our Art we completed the decorations on our clay pots with lots of dotty and spotty designs, having been inspired by Yayoi Kusama. We also had fun making some living cards for Fathers’ Day. 

     We continued to work on tricky thirds in our Maths lessons. We have been finding them in shapes and quantities. We also worked on presenting data in pictograms. Despite the hot weather, we had fun developing our athletics and field skills in readiness for sports day. We enjoyed throwing the javelins and working as a team doing relays with a baton.

News from our week - 10th June 2022

     Goodness this week has raced by in a whirlwind of excitement! Beech Class thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Waddesdon Manor on Tuesday. We enjoyed writing about Waddesdon Manor and learning more about the story of Sleeping Beauty which was illustrated in the paintings that we saw. We are using them as inspiration for our own writing. In Art we were pleased to find that our clay pots have dried and are ready for painting. We took time to learn about making tints by adding white to colours and have added a base paint to our pots.

     In Maths, returning to our work on fractions, we learnt about thirds. They are a little bit trickier to work out and to draw sometimes. Our bean seeds, which are now planted outside the classroom, have grown quite tall and now need some helpful support. We had a fun PE with Miss Hogan this week, the rain had kept us in but we still got active doing yoga and then dancing. We were able to get outside on Thursday for our other PE lesson. We also enjoyed hearing about Dr McCann’s adventures and work on Thursday. It was great to have him come and visit our school. What a busy week!

Wonderful Waddesdon

    What a fabulous day we all had at Waddesdon Manor! We feel virtuous and blessed as they do say that the sun shines on the righteous and what a glorious sunny day we had. After a slight delay with our departure we started the first part of our adventure. The children had not been on a school trip on a coach before and getting strapped in and sharing our journey was exciting. 

     On arrival the gasps of thrill were audible throughout the coach as we drove around the North fountain and up the driveway towards the beautiful building.  Usually forbidden access except on foot, it certainly made a spectacular sight out of the front of our coach and we felt very important and honoured. 

     Once we had disembarked and 'freshened up', we were then treated to entry into the house and climbed the rather grand red carpeted spiral staircase, holding the red brocade rope bannister carefully. What grand paintings, furniture, statues and objects we passed on the way as we made our way to a fabulous circular room lined with stunning colourful paintings hung above upholstered red benches. We certainly weren't sitting learning in Beech Class today! 

     We enjoyed hearing the story of Sleeping Beauty and re-enacting it as we studied the giant illustrations in the oil paintings hung around the room. The paintings, that are 100 years old this year, were by an artist called Leon Bakst who used to design costumes for the ballet. The colours and detail were certainly stunning. 

    Our afternoon was filled with a picnic lunch taken on the front lawn of the manor and time to explore the grounds. We particularly enjoyed visiting the aviary where we were able to spy some of the rare birds that the Rothschild family, who owned Waddesdon, have worked to preserve from extinction. We also loved the spectacular wooden Asian elephant statues in the grounds, another nod to the conservation of important species on our planet. 

News from our week - 26th May 2022

     This week began with the buzz around preparing for our school celebration of The Queen’s Jubilee with a giant party!  As part of the preparations Beech decided to ensure that Her Majesty was represented on the day by working in teams to produce a big art figure of the lady herself. Everyone worked together and we were rather pleased with the outcome in one of her favourite shades of blue. We think Her Majesty would approve too.

     On Wednesday our day started with fabulous fun from Jester Giggles. Our faces ached from smiling and laughing at his silliness. In the afternoon we all got dressed up in our best finery, had fun party games in our classroom when we discovered the magic powers that some of us seem to have, and then ended the afternoon by joining with the rest of the school for a tea party on a grand scale.  We were privileged to have Reverend Linda sitting with us after she had dedicated our special oak tree which will be registered under the Queen’s Canopy initiative. We started the party tea by singing the National Anthem and then enjoyed scones, cream and jam, jelly and ice cream and also a piece of our very special celebration cake.  Our special figure of Her Majesty stood and watched proceedings from the corner of the hall. She can be seen in the church for the Jubilee weekend and will return to the school reception after that. 

     Our term ended with a very special Flypast by the RAF who buzzed the school on Thursday lunchtime. Watch out for the same helicopters and lots more in the official Flypast over Buckingham Palace on Friday. 

News from our week - 20th May 2022

     Beech Class have had a very creative week! In Art we were excited to get out the clay and model some special containers. We made two pinch pots and then joined them to make a larger pot. It was tricky to get the pots the same size and then to smooth out the join but we are really pleased with the outcome and look forward to decorating them once they are dry.

     In English, we have been writing information about our imaginary animals. We have drawn large pictures of the animals and labelled them. These diagrams will illustrate our writing and look fabulous.

     In Maths, we have been using a wide variety of our skills to solve calculations and then applying these skills along with reasoning and problem-solving to answer word problems calling on all our number and calculation knowledge.

     We have enjoyed singing this week, as we have learnt two East African songs. Mrs Pearson had got a little over-excited about parents visiting the classroom, thinking it was much sooner than it is but we will be well prepared with our welcome songs when we see you all in June (even though we will have moved on with a different topic by then). We have also enjoyed learning the first verse of the national anthem in preparation for the Jubilee celebrations next week.

     Our bean seeds continue to grow well with good roots and shoots that we examined under magnifying glasses. They are now planted in pots and a container outside our classroom where we can keep an eye on the next stage of their development. Our sunflowers have raced on with growing too and all look like super healthy seedlings, unlike some of the plants in our investigation. We were surprised to see that the plants in the dark had grown but they are not green at all and look a very unhealthy yellow colour. It has been interesting to see the differences between each pot and that the seeds in the fridge, where it was too cold, have not grown at all.

News from our week - 13th May 2022

     We have been very busy in our Maths lessons this week. Having become experts in calculating half of numbers and shapes, we have used this skill to continue our work on quarters, realising that if we half and half again we can find a quarter quickly and efficiently. Then we moved on to use all our skills to work on three quarters. We had good fun sorting out quantities of lunch and building materials for Big Builder and Small Builder. Big Builder needed a ¾ share of everything – how greedy! We have also been working on statistics in some of our lessons, using tallies, pictograms and block graphs.

     We have combined our topic and science work this week, learning about how animals are adapted to their environments. We really enjoyed learning about how camels are adapted to life in the sandy desert and how polar bears are adapted to life in the snowy Arctic. Then we started some special work using all our science knowledge to create our very own invented animals. Each animal has adaptations that help it to survive in its habitat. We are looking forward to drawing large pictures of our animals and to writing about them.

     We have been pleased to see that our bean seeds have germinated and many of them are growing shoots as well as roots. We have planted more seeds this week and have started an investigation to test what plants need to grow.

     In Phonics we have been looking at the /j/ spelling family and have learnt a new spelling: ‘dge’, used in words like badge and edge. We enjoyed making rules for each spelling to help us to choose and use the right one when we are writing. 

News from our week - 6th May 2022

     This short week has been a busy one in Beech. In English, we have continued with our work on information text and have also been working on non-chronological reports about ourselves.

     In Maths, we have continued to work on fractions, working to recognise halves and quarters of shapes and then applying our learning about halving to find half of quantities and numbers. We have also started to learn about telling the time. Our knowledge of halves and quarters of circles is proving really useful as we apply it to the clock for telling the time.

     We have continued to explore the different geographical features of land in some parts of the African continent, learning about desert and rainforest. We have also learnt a little Swahili. It is a language spoken in some African countries and we have enjoyed counting and learning a welcome song.

     In our Science, we have started some work on plants. We have drawn and labelled a plant and are looking forward to seeing the different parts develop as our seeds germinate. We have made sure that we can see our seeds well as we are growing them in a special way without soil to start with. Take a look in our windows to see our hydroponic growing bags with our developing bean seeds.

     In PE we are enjoying learning to use a racquet with skill and to play tennis. 

News from our week - 29th April 2022

     The children have returned with energy and enthusiasm and have really thrown themselves into a great week of learning. In English, we looked at the features of information text, spent time organising information into categories and are now ready to plan our first non-chronological report about ourselves.

     In Maths, we have been using our times tables skills to choose the most efficient method to solve division calculations and problems. We noticed that dividing by two is the opposite of doubling and enjoyed reversing our diamond method of writing out the calculation to help us to halve a two-digit number. We then noticed that thinking about dividing by two was a good starting point to look at fractions. We have enjoyed folding squares and circles to find halves and quarters and then applying these skills to other shapes and patterns.

     In Topic, we have continued with our Africa theme as we wanted to do some more exploring before moving on this term. We have combined it with some Science as we thought about geographical areas and the natural habitats that they provide for a variety of animals. We have started to notice that lots of animals are suited to their specific habitats and are learning that this is adaptation. We are looking forward to learning more and to using this to create our own special animals.

What a Kork-er of a Visit! 

     On Thursday, we were thrilled to meet Korky Paul. Having learnt lots about him and used his books and characters as inspiration for our own work in recent months we were excited to meet him and he charmed us all. We enjoyed hearing him read a Winnie story, with a special guest appearance by Winnie herself and her cat Wilbur. 

     After reading the story to us, Korky drew a special illustration for us. He asked us to give ideas to inspire his picture. It was fabulous watching him bring Winnie to life on the paper, using his pens and watercolour paints so quickly and effectively. 

   Korky also enjoyed seeing some of our work including our Beech Book of Spells and some of our story writing. He seemed suitably impressed! Having been impressed by all the imaginative interpretations of the entries for the special Korky competitions, he chose two entries as our class prize winners, one for the Big O and one for Winnie's New Hat. 

     At the end of the day many of us enjoyed a chat with Korky as he signed our books. It was great fun hearing some of the secret inside information behind some of the illustrations and how Korky particularly likes to use his 'happy mistakes' to advantage in his illustrations, like that special kink at the top of Winnie's hat. 

News from our week - 8th April 2022

     Beech have been fabulous during another challenging and busy week. Well done! In English this week our letter writing took an important and formal turn as we have been writing to Her Majesty the Queen. This involved us learning a number of rules of etiquette about how we should address Her Majesty and how we should open and close our letter. Before writing we enjoyed learning lots about her life and about her long reign. Did you know she owns more than 100 horses? Or that her favourite pets have always been Corgis and Dorgis? We loved hearing that she was a Brownie and were a bit surprised to hear that she has never been to school! She did do lots of lessons though, with her governess.

     Before his visit on Thursday, we enjoyed learning about Korky Paul’s life and how he became an illustrator.

     In Maths, we used our times tables to help us to solve division as grouping. We found that it meant that we could sometimes solve division calculations more quickly.

News from our week - 1st April 2022

     Well done, Beech!  It has been a challenging and busy week. We continued to work on  our letter-writing in our English lessons. We did also enjoy taking time to work independently on a Big Write when Mrs Ward presented us with a huge mystery key on Tuesday morning. We had lots of ideas about what exciting things it might open and we certainly felt that it was magical, incorporating this into lots of our story-writing.

     In Maths, we continued to work on division.  We have tried solving some problems about sharing quantities and writing the division calculations to match. We began exploring mass towards the end of the week and enjoyed using the balance scales.

     In our topic work, we have started to focus on the continent of Africa. We looked at Uganda on the world map and the map of Africa and found some of the geographical landmarks of the country.

     We were so excited on Tuesday to hear that Korky Paul is coming to visit. You can expect us all to be counting our pocket-money this weekend in readiness to buy a treat at  the sale and book-signing event when he visits. We are also looking forward to showing him all our work inspired by his illustrations and the Winnie stories. In Art, we enjoyed preparing pictures to show to him and completing our tartan-inspired patterns.

RSPB Bronze Award - Achieved

     Beech Class have worked hard on a number of RSPB Wild Challenge activities over the term and we are delighted that their combined efforts have enabled Beech Class and Woodcote Primary School to achieve their Bronze Award for 2022. We received congratulations from the RSPB Wild Challenge team and certificates arrived in school this week. 

     Many of the children received personal certificates for their efforts and others continue to work towards their goal while also helping us as a team to receive the recognition.

     Don't forget to look back on Teams for assignments and activities if you have not completed them yet. It is never too late to start helping our natural environment and the plants and animals around us. 

     We are now striving to complete our Silver and Gold before the close of the summer term and the year together. 

News from our week - 25th March 2022

     We have enjoyed a super sunny week this week. Monday was World Poetry Day, so we enjoyed reading lots of fun poetry, choosing our favourites to write about. Some of the children had also written super Spring poems for homework and we all enjoyed hearing them. We hope that you enjoy this example. 

     In English, we have turned our attention to letter-writing, thinking about the purposes of different letters and what needs to be included. We have also been looking at how you write an address.

     In Maths, we turned our focus to division. This week we worked on division as sharing and enjoyed a story about sharing cookies: The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. We also enjoyed sharing out packs of cookies and eating them at the end of the lesson.

     We used arrays to help us with sharing and dividing. We even made ourselves into arrays on the playground. We have also been comparing measurements. We will be ready to use our skills in measuring length for some problem solving next week.

     In our topic work, we developed our atlas skills, looking for places in the UK and locating the continents and oceans of the world. We used the contents and the index, which meant working to use alphabetical order.