HWEO – Language

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In Language this term we have been looking at sentence structures and how these might be different in other languages. To help to support this at home you could ask your child to write some sentences in English and where possible model writing it in another language. When doing this it would be useful to explain to them why the words might be written in a different order or changed and highlight any big differences or similarities to them.

In our classes students have also started to use technical vocabulary for the words in a sentence such as verbs (action/doing words), nouns (name of a people/places/things) or adjectives (descriptive words). When you are reading at home you could ask your child to point to words that fit these categories  and if they find some great examples then we would love to hear about then back in class.



In reading, students were introduced to the idea that readers have an inner voice which helps them to identify new learning, make connections and ask questions. Students practiced listening to their inner voice and recording their thoughts to “leave tracks” whilst reading.

Our current focus is on the comprehension skill of determining importance. We learned that readers can read with a question to skim and scan for useful information. Students have been practising how to do this as a class, in small-groups and independently as they investigate non-fiction texts to learn more about celebrations.

A great way to continue building this skill at home is to encourage your child to research something they are interested in together. Spend time identifying what you want to find out and framing this as a question. Using your question, model how you skim the text to get a general idea and how you scan for keywords and phrases.

Remember to think out loud to make your thinking visible!


Year 2 Update

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As mentioned in our recent class e-mails, we have had an exciting start to Term 2 with our new unit inquiring into different celebrations and exploring the significance and similarities of many of these.

Below are some photos from our mother tongue session and some of the exciting learning that has been happening so far.

The class and specialist subject teachers have all been very impressed with how enthusiastic the students have been about this unit and the connections they have already started to make about many of the celebrations. Some of the big themes coming through from their inquiring are light, food, clothing, decorations and music/dance. Students have been further exploring these themes through research in books and on the iPads, shared play and by creating art work.

We would love to take an even closer look at the theme of music and dance and the roles these play in many celebrations. As such, if you or any member of your family have a dance connected to a celebration that could be shared with the Year 2s then please contact your child’s class teacher as we would love to find out more.

Our Celebration of Learning is being held during blocks 5 & 6 on Wednesday 14th of February and you will all be receiving a special invitation from your child very soon. The week of our celebration coincides with Chinese New Year and as such we plan to also explore this celebration more. For our Celebration of Learning  we would like to ask students to dress in clothing which is culturally significant to them. 

Finally, please check the English and Mathematics tabs (at the top of this page) for other information about our current learning.

How we express ourselves – Celebrations unit of inquiry

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Our Central Idea:

Celebrations are a significant reflection of cultures and beliefs.

Lines of Inquiry

  •   The reasons people celebrate 
  •   Ways people celebrate 
  •   Themes reflected through celebrations

Teacher Questions 

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

Learner Profile

  •   Communicator
  •   Open-minded


  •   Creativity
  •   Confidence
  •   Respect

Transdisciplinary Links

Visual Art, Drama, Music

Language- reading non-fiction texts, communicating to inform

Year 2 Update

Posted by year2

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.


How the world works – Forces unit of inquiry

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Our Central Idea:

Forces act all around us and impact our daily lives.

Lines of Inquiry

  •   The types of forces
  •   Scientific investigation
  •   The effect of forces on our daily lives

Teacher Questions

  •   What are the types of forces?
  •   How scientists investigate forces?
  •   How do we use forces in our everyday life?

Learner Profile focus

  •   Inquirer
  •   Thinker


  •   Curiosity
  •   Confidence

This unit explores Forces and has a strong science focus. The main forces we focus on are;

– push/pull

– gravity & air resistance

– friction

– magnets

– buoyancy

Key vocabulary

start / stop

push / pull

fast / slow

motion / move / movement


float / sink

attract / repel


Transdisciplinary Links

Mathematics – measurement, number, data handling, problem-solving

Language- reading non-fiction texts, communicating to explain

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.