Year 2 Update

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It is hard to believe that the end of term has arrived. It seems like yesterday that we were welcoming our Year 2 students into our classrooms! Term 1 has been a busy one and looking back we realise how much the students have achieved. They have built positive relationships with each other, worked cooperatively together to solve problems and developed new understandings of themselves as a learner. Your support as parents has been invaluable as you continue to work with your child to support their learning at home through regular reading practice and Chinese homework. We are very grateful to those of you who have been supporting us in school by assisting us in our classrooms and most recently on our Science Museum field trip.

Reading and Writing

The Year 2 students will not bring home fluency books during the holidays but the break is the perfect time to reread the books you have at home. We are sure many students will be pleasantly surprised that they can now read their favourite story books by themselves. Why not organise a book swap over the holidays with friends. If you are staying in Hong Kong, it is the perfect opportunity to explore one of the many libraries. Of course, there are the numerous online resources offered by the DC library through DING! Whether you are in HK or travelling during the break DING is available for your child to continue their reading practice. Students can easily access these book sites once they have logged into DING…

      Big Universe

      Pebble Go

      Oxford Owl (username and password – dckids2)

      Tumble Book Library

It is important for students to keep practicing their writing during the holiday break. Why not keep a holiday diary? It doesn’t matter if you are traveling or not, this is a great way for your child to write about their authentic experiences. You can take photos or they can draw pictures to match the sentences. Keeping a record of their activities is always a fun way to share their adventures with family and friends.

How we express ourselves – Celebrations unit of inquiry

We are beginning our new unit of inquiry when we return to school in January 2018. To support student understanding for the ‘How we express ourselves’ unit, we would like to invite parents, of all languages, including English, to help the students explore and discuss the central idea and teacher questions in their mother tongue. This event will take place on Thursday 11 January starting at 8:45am. If you are able to join us please add your details here. We will provide further details at the start of next term for those parents who can take part.

The central idea for the inquiry will be:

Celebrations are a significant reflection of cultures and beliefs.

The teacher questions are…

  •    Why do people celebrate?
  •    How do we celebrate?
  •    What are the themes reflected through celebrations?

The Mother Tongue learning engagement has proven to be a valuable and powerful experience in the past as a way of assessing students’ prior knowledge and helping them make connections. We look forward to working with you to support this learning opportunity.

Enjoy the Holidays

Finally, we hope you have a relaxing holiday season and travel safely if venturing away from Hong Kong.


Posted by year2

In Maths the students have continued to work on place value and counting along with problem solving. It is important for every child to continue to regularly practice counting forwards and backwards, crossing the decade (ten number) from a given number. Please use a 100s chart to practice this with your child at home. We have been working on this in our classes so ask your child to explain how it is done. Another practical example is to have your child to count out money (using $2, $5 or $10 coins), then practice counting back.

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

Non -fiction Texts

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With the support of Mrs Leanne Sercombe, our PYP Teacher Librarian, the Year 2 classes have explored the features of non-fiction texts. The students have learnt about the layout of non-fiction texts and the key vocabulary used for each part. Over the next few weeks we will continue to learn more about non-fiction texts and by the end of the term students will be creating their own report connected to Forces.

Here are examples of non-fiction page layouts and the vocabulary we are using in our classrooms. As you explore books at home with your child help them make connections to these non-fiction features.


In order to create this report the students will be developing their research skills and linking this to the reading comprehension strategy of ‘Asking Questions’ throughout the reading process. For information on how to support this at home, please refer to the Ask Questions Parent Pipeline.



During our phonics lessons our focus has been deepening students’ understanding of the long vowels and how these are represented in words they are reading and spelling. The magic or bossy ‘e’, as you may have heard it called, applies to all of the vowels and as such is a useful one to reinforce at home. If you see a word with the silent ‘e’ at the end, spend some time talking about how it makes the vowels work together. The vowel rule “When two vowels go walking, the first does the talking” is a good way to reinforce the idea that the first vowel changes from the short sound to the long sound and the ‘e’ stays silent when you read the word.


Year 2 Update

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This week the Year 2 students have been busy thinking about some of the forces in our world as part of our new unit of inquiry ‘How the world works’. They have been involved in provocation activities designed to challenge them, prompt discussion and consider solutions. Through the use of images students have provided explanations to decide if the picture is FACT or FICTION and have had lots of fun talking about these real or unrealistic scenarios.

We have been thinking about scientists and introducing what we will do as scientists in this unit. This will include making observations, asking questions, making hypotheses (predictions), testing and conducting experiments, recording pictures and notes as well as drawing conclusions based on what we have learned.

To get us thinking more about forces we were involved in immersion activities focusing on PUSH and PULL forces. As you can see in the photos we tried many ways to test these forces by moving our bodies and objects in different ways using a range of materials.

Ways you can help at home

When opportunities arise, take some time to talk to your child or ask them questions about the forces they see in the world around them. When out for a bike or scooter ride, talk to your child about how they are making it move. What forces (push, pull) are they using? Is it easier going up or down hill? Why do they think so?  

Please refer to the ’HTWW’ section in the Units of inquiry tab for more details.


The student diaries are checked daily and often include important information, reminders and notices. Please ensure your child’s diary is checked regularly so communication stays open between school and home. To help with this we ask you remove notices as soon as they are received and respond to them as required. Thank you for your attention to this.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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