I hope that you and your children have had an exciting and relaxing holiday over the summer and are ready to start a new, fun-filled academic year. This letter will briefly explain topics such as the timetable, classroom organisation and homework. It is relatively detailed, but do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
In Year Two this year, we are extremely lucky to have Mrs Jeffries and Mrs Whalley to support us and to help us learn throughout the school day. We also have Mrs Brooker’s expertise, as she will be teaching the children Music and PE on Tuesday afternoons.
Year 2 – Timetable and classroom organisation
1) P.E. will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. Your child needs the school PE top, black shorts and plain trainers, kept in a P.E. bag with a tie string so that the bag can be hung on your child’s peg. When it gets colder, the children will also need black tracksuit bottoms to keep them warm during outside games. All items need to be named and the P.E. kit should be kept in school unless you feel that it needs to be washed!
2) Reading books and reading records should be brought to school every day in a book bag.
Reading books can be changed every day; although, we expect a child’s book to only need changing every 2/3 days to give you and your child enough time to not only read the story but discuss it and any themes. It is your child’s responsibility to inform us when they want to change their book so please can you help us by reminding your child that they need to change their book before you say goodbye in the morning.
3) Spelling folders should be brought to school every Friday.
The school’s homework policy states that children in Year 2 should be completing the following tasks outside of school hours to help them make ‘expected’ progress:
(iii) Weekly learning logs (These may be based upon any subject and will aim to consolidate and deepen understanding).
Reading – reading regularly is very important. The school’s expectation is that children will read with an adult for at least 5 minutes every day. Possibly the most important aspect of learning to read is fostering a life-long love of reading – your child’s enjoyment of the books they read is very important. Therefore, please encourage your child to not just read their school ‘reading book’, but also books borrowed from the local library – especially the books they want to read! Remember, your child will benefit from reading a variety of storybooks, non-fiction, poetry books, comics etc.
How you can help!
It would be fantastic if you could help your child with mechanical reading skills i.e. recognition of vocabulary. When they cannot recognise a word, encourage them to use clues to decode the word e.g. break the word down into letter sounds, look at the initial letter– what does that word begin with? Use contextual clues – which word will fit in and make sense? Does the illustration help your child to guess the unknown word?
These strategies need not be used every time your child encounters an unknown word. It may be that pausing too long will cause loss of continuity of the storyline. In this situation prompt your child immediately. You can always return to the unknown word at the end to see whether he/she has remembered it.
As your child reads encourage them to note the use of punctuation and how it helps to make sense of the text. Encourage your child to read with expression. Notice important presentational techniques. E.g. why is BANG written in capital letters? Why has a series of dots been printed…? Why is a word written in italics?
Encourage your child to re-tell the story, talk about characters in the story or predict what might happen next e.g. what kind of person is Goldilocks? Was she right to go into the house of the Bears? What do you think will happen when Little Red Riding Hood goes into Grandma’s house?
Reading and word activities can help your child to focus on a particular aspect e.g. how many words on this page begin with a capital letter? Why? Let’s see how many words we can find with ‘ow’ and ‘ou’. Use a dictionary – practise finding words in it e.g. will I find ‘mother’ at the beginning, middle or end of the dictionary?
Writing and Spellings
Encourage your child to form letters correctly (please ask for or see the Great Kimble handwriting sheet included if you are unsure). This will help them to then begin to join their writing easily and effectively.
Help your child to see writing as purposeful e.g. writing thank you letters, making lists (your shopping list, things to take on holiday etc), and writing instructions.
Every week in school your child will bring home a set of spellings to practise. These may include words with specific letter patterns and/or high frequency words that they are expected to know.
Learning spellings – I encourage the children to learn their spellings using the LOOK-COVER-WRITE-CHECK method. This is easier than orally saying the letters aloud.
It is important that your child looks after their spelling book so that words can be revised during the year. The folder needs to be bought in every Friday.
By the end of Year 2, children are expected to be able to count to and across 100, starting from any given number; in odds and evens, in multiples of 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s. The children will consolidate their number bonds to 10 knowledge and move forward practising addition and subtraction facts to 100. The children will also be expected to find, name and write fractions of a shape, objects or amount including halves, thirds and quarters. We will also cover statistics and the children will learn how to read and draw pictograms, tally charts, block diagrams and simple tables.
Children should use both objects and pictures to represent numbers, in order to gain a strong understanding of number and its importance in our everyday lives. You can help your child at home by encouraging mental maths regularly; counting up the value of coins, sharing food, telling the time, or even counting steps forwards and backwards.
If you have any queries about how best to help your child please do not hesitate to contact me.
In conclusion, I would just like to add that most infants are very conscientious and work hard in school. Therefore, it is important that after school and at weekends they have time to pursue their own interests, recreational activities and relax. I am usually available immediately after school so if you have any worries, concerns or questions concerning any aspect of the curriculum or how your child is progressing, please arrange to see me via the office.
I am looking forward to getting to know you and the children. I have no doubt that we are going to have a wonderful, exciting year with lots of new experiences and opportunities!