Monthly Archives: October 2017

Year 2 Update

Posted by year2

The year 2’s have had another amazing few weeks of learning, taking part in lots of shared play around systems in our community and building their understanding of their own responsibilities within their class, school and wider community.

Last weeks CPD Day

Last Friday all Discovery College primary school teachers attended an ESF wide professional development day led by Professor Leah Waters and teachers from across ESF schools. This included workshops led by seven DC teachers. This day focused on deepening understanding and practice connected to visible wellbeing in schools.

Our focus on mindfulness is part of our wider wellbeing programme in Year 2. This also includes many other things you will have become familiar with since the start of term such as; our class essential agreements, the zones of regulation, recognising individual strengths and student’s written reflections connected to restorative practice. All of the class’s set up these types of systems to ensure that each class community feels a happy, engaging and safe place for all of its members.

A key point stressed during the day was that positive psychology and wellbeing is not a focus on our students/children/ourselves always having to feel happy. It is important for children and adults alike, to understand that there are not really negative or bad emotions, rather there are some we don’t like feeling but are still important. For example, feeling guilty is important to help us try not to make the same mistakes again, anger to help us understand something that may be unfair and sadness to understand that things we do not like may happen to us.

We make it a key part of our learning in school to build the children’s resilience and strategies to deal with not just success, but also mistakes, challenges, loss etc that all people face as they journey into their teenage years and throughout adult life.

You may like to visit Leah Water’s website:

The Strength Switch – How the New Science of Strength based parenting can help your child and your teen to flourish.

Whilst recognising and understanding that we can’t feel happy all the time, everyday we guide the students to be ‘positive detectives’ and look for good things about their day. Within the year 2 classes this is done in a number of different ways such as positivity books, mindfulness exercises and over the next week you will notice a happiness tree in one of our shared areas which all of the year 2’s can use as they transition to different lessons. For further information about any class specific things, please feel free to contact your child’s class teacher.

Finally, next week we will be finishing up our How We Organise Ourselves unit of inquiry. Our next unit is How the World Works within which we explore forces such as magnetism, gravity and buoyancy. This is always a great hands on unit with lots of science which the students and staff are all very excited about already!

Maths – Place Value

Posted by year2

Our current math focus is developing understanding of place value in numbers.

To begin with, students learn to recognise patterns to 5 on fingers and in 10s frames, and then they extend this knowledge to numbers to 10. The idea of having instant identification is that kids start to develop the understanding that while numbers can be formed in different ways, they are still the same number (e.g 4+3 = 7, so does 5+2 and 6+1).

The next step on from pattern recognition is to understand the value of the digits in numbers. We regularly use place value houses to show how the position of each digit affects it’s value. Our main focus is on the first place value house, often referred to as the ‘trend-setter house’ which includes the hundreds, tens and ones/units. Kids are also learning to expand out numbers to reinforce the idea of place value (e.g. 793 is not simply 7 and 9 and 3, it is 700 + 90 + 3).

Below are some games and activities to reinforce these ideas at home.

Systems and Communities

Posted by year2

Throughout the How we organise ourselves unit of inquiry we have been making connections to the systems in our communities. We have explored our most important needs and how these are met through the community we live in. As you can see in the photos below, during inquiry play students have created parts of the community, worked collaboratively to uncover the systems and participated in how these work. The Year 2 students have also been constructing and drawing communities then zooming into focus on the systems for different parts.

To support your child’s learning, please continue to explore your community and how the different parts meet the needs of the people who work and live there. Any time you get to  ‘zoom in’ on the systems can also help to build your child’s understanding. Discussing some of the questions below will help to further your child’s understanding:

What are the systems you have at home?

How are systems organised at your place of work?

What do you notice about the transportation, health, communication systems etc in your community?

How and why people in a community communicate and making connections

Posted by year2

The Year 2 students are exploring how and why people in a community communicate. Alongside our ongoing focus of basic sentence construction, we are considering audience and purpose (to inform, to entertain, etc.) as we write and draw to communicate a message. We have examined various texts in our environment (signs, symbols, letters, lists, books, etc.) to gather information. You can extend your child’s learning at home by discussing the purpose and audience of texts you encounter and read together. For example these could be: posters at bus stops/shops, flyers and magazines you receive in the post, notes around the home or signs in your apartment block.

When reading, students are learning to make connections between the text and their own lives or another text they have read. This is a strategy which helps readers use their prior knowledge and experiences to better understand the characters or plot of a story. Please read the Parent Pipeline: Use Prior Knowledge to Connect with Text for more information about this strategy and how to help your child practise using it at home.  

Parent Reading Workshop 2 and Decoding Strategies Information

Posted by jasonboon

A huge thank you to all the Year 2 parents who attended our second reading workshop on Thursday 12 October. Please click on the link below to view a copy of the slides.

Reading Reading Workshop Session 2

As we mentioned in the workshop, we will be using this section of the blog to regularly share information about ways you can support your child with the strategies students are learning in school to grow as readers and writers. Please find below a copy of key decoding strategies that was shared at the parent information and links to three parent pipelines from the reading CAFE that provide further details about three of the strategies.

Key Reading Strategies

Check for Understanding Parent Pipeline

Use the Beginning and End Sounds Parent Pipeline

Use Pictures, Illustrations and Diagrams Parent Pipeline

Helping with Learning in the Classroom and Parent Teacher Conferences

Posted by jasonboon

Supporting Learning in Class

From the week beginning Oct 16 we will be starting parent help sessions each week in class. Please click on the links below to sign-up if you are able to help. 


2CCG Sign-up Sheet for Parent Helpers

2ASD Sign-up Sheet for Parent Helpers

2LRO Sign-up Sheet for Parent Helpers

2CNS Sign-up Sheet for Parent Helpers

DC Guidelines for Parent Helpers

Parent Teacher Conferences

Just a reminder that Parent Teacher Conferences are taking place this week. As mentioned in an email from your child’s class teacher, we would very much appreciate it if you can take a few minutes to share some insights about your child using the form below.

You Tell Us – Parent Form

Pattern, Function and Skip Counting

Posted by jasonboon

Pattern and Function

During Term 1 students inquire into Pattern and Function. Students learn to identify, name, extend and show patterns in various ways. We explore patterns around us, make repeating patterns and determine features of patterns. Students translate patterns, creating them in different ways and using a 100 chart to find number patterns.

Our ‘Central Idea’ is:

Patterns have repetitive features that can be identified and described.

Our ‘Lines of Inquiry’ are:

– Characteristics of a pattern

– Different ways to make, describe and record patterns

– How patterns help us to predict

Skip Counting & Patterns

As part of their learning about pattern and number the students have been skip counting with numbers to 100.

  •      Practise skip counting (by 2′s, 5′s and 10′s) with or without a hundred chart. 
  •      Practise locating numbers on and navigating the 100 chart (10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less, etc.) and finding patterns on the hundred chart using Splatt 100. You can also practise these skills by playing Starship Games.
  •     Pattern Mania
  •     Colour Patterns

(Please note you may need to install flash or JAVA on your computer for some of the online games to work)