Outdoor Wild Learning School (OWLS)
On alternate Mondays, Year 2s start their week with a visit to the Senior School woods for OWLS. The session offers pupils a range of activities, which are designed to enhance their learning in the classroom. So far this term the children have created artwork in the landscape, developed mapping and tracking skills, and had a go at identifying common wildlife in the area.
After our visit to the woods, it’s then off to the Prep School for a weekly ICT lesson. Working at their own computers, pupils’ work on exciting projects that develop their skills in typing, image manipulation and coding.
After lunch, we spend some time in class on a Monday discussing our news from the weekend, before writing our weekly diary. We’ve found it to be an excellent way to develop children’s stamina in writing, and give them opportunities to write creatively with meaning and purpose.
The minibus collects each Year 2 class for their weekly swimming lesson at the Senior School. The swimming teacher, supported by two qualified lifeguards, teaches the children at their own level to practice their backstroke and breathing for front crawl. The children often enjoy a game at the end of the lesson, where they get to practise jumping in and collecting ‘sinking fish’ from the bottom of the pool.
The mornings begin with quiet reading in class. Each Year 2 classroom has a reading corner with a selection of books which cover a range of genre and cater for all reading abilities in class. Each morning the children get to self-select a book to read for pleasure, whilst teachers and support staff get the opportunity to listen to individual readers, helping to develop children’s word reading and comprehension skills.
Each day includes a dedicated hour for an English lesson. We teach through a creative curriculum, and the children get to explore writing in a fun, engaging manner. This term we have been looking at non-fiction texts and have been researching facts about animals in order to create our own animal fact file.
After break it’s time for maths. Like English, each day includes a dedicated hour of maths teaching. Over the course of the year, the children develop their skills in number, geometry, shape and space, following outcomes set through the 2014 National Curriculum.
Recently the children have been developing their measuring skills. The lesson started by exploring different units of measurement, before challenging the class to find a range of objects in the classroom which were below 30cm, and to record their measurements. The lesson ended by working in teams to measure the height of each other, and to order ourselves in the class in order of height.
Parents are kept informed of on-going learning through our weekly focus ‘bulletins’. These are emailed out each Monday and outline some of the key learning taking place during the coming week in class.
We have lunch together in the hall, where there is a tasty selection of food and salads for children to choose from. Today it was pasta with a choice of toppings, with garlic bread and salad – very tasty!
After lunch it’s time for art. The children love having weekly art lessons, where they get to enjoy a range of creative skills including collage, painting and sculpture. This term the children have been working on colour and pattern as they create some stunning mosaics, inspired by our current history topic on the Romans.
The teaching of humanities gives children a wider perspective on the world around them. This term’s history topic has been the Romans. The children have really enjoyed discovering more about the Roman empire through practical, engaging lessons. Today, the children were met by two local archaeologists. The pupil’s were allowed to handle a range of real Roman artefacts, including pottery and metalwork, and were fascinated to find out about the equipment archaeologists use to search for finds.
The day starts with a whole-school assembly. One of three a week. It’s a lovely opportunity to share news with the rest of the school and normally ends with a song and prayer.
In addition to daily English lessons, the children join in with short daily phonics lessons – these pacey, interactive lessons develop children’s understanding of the sounds in words, which they use to help develop their word reading skills. This week we’ve been exploring how to identify, read and spell words which use split-digraphs (a-e, i-e, e-e, o-e, u-e).
On Wednesday afternoons we have indoor PE in the hall. This term, we have been teaching the children yoga. They have learned a range of yoga poses inspired by nature, which they have really enjoyed practising.
The children love science lessons. They have inquisitive minds, and enjoy completing experiments that test their knowledge and understanding. This term, we’ve been looking at the properties of a range of everyday materials. Today, we gave the children a selection of different paper, and got them to test it for a range of properties including strength, water resistance, flexibility, durability and purpose. We then watched a short video all about how paper is made in a factory, before completing our own diagrams of the process in our workbooks.
A team of specialist teachers from the Prep School visit the Pre-Prep every Thursday afternoon to teach all of the classes a wide range of subjects to enhance their curriculum.
The children engage in a dance and drama session, where they enjoy moving to music and a variety of drama games.
The children have circle time once a week. In these lessons, the class explore a range of SEAL topics (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) with the school’s SENCO.
Each class has specialist Mandarin lessons. In these classes, the children learn basic phrases and have begun to identify the meaning of some key characters.
Music lessons take place in the dedicated music room. This term the children have started learning to play DooDs, which are perfect for beginners interested in the flute and clarinet.
Fridays normally begin with handwriting. The children in Year 2 are starting to learn joined-up writing, and enjoy practising this in their books.
Friday maths lessons often look slightly different, as they incorporate more problem solving and reasoning which give the children an opportunity to apply newly taught skills. This week the children got to play a game which helped them to practise using positional language and developing their understanding of ¼ and ½ turns.
After morning break, sports coaches arrive from the Prep School to take all of Year 2 out for a weekly PE session. If it’s good weather the children get to use the playing fields. This term, they’ve been developing their ball skills and gymnastics.
Exercise throughout the day
We like to keep active in Year 2, and after lessons where we’ve been sitting at our tables, the children enjoy a short 5 minutes of exercise in class, where they get to learn a range of dance moves!
Every week we spend some time in the school library. The children love to visit and explore the wide-range of books on offer. The children can choose a book to take home with them and share with their family over the weekend.