Vision and Aims
The purpose of Year Two at Reach is to equip our students with the academic and personal skills necessary to flourish in key stage two and beyond. Our curriculum and approach is carefully designed to ensure that all children develop curious minds, are successful in their learning, and develop a real love of discovering more about the world around them.
By the end of the year, our aim is that all pupils:
- Are able to read fluently, using inference and deduction to demonstrate understanding
- Are able to write a variety of text types independently
- Ask and answer questions using a wide and technical vocabulary
- Secure a command of the four operations in mathematics, using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations
- Develop resilience and persist with tasks that they find challenging
- Show independence in social settings, building positive relationships with a wide range of friends and managing conflict in a win-win manner.
Every child in year two is continually assessed in every lesson by teachers and additional adults. Some of the techniques that we use are mini-whiteboards (in which all children scribe a response to a question), cold calling (in which children are questioned at random) and ‘prove it’ opportunities (in which the children have the chance to become a mini teacher!)
After each lesson, work is checked and marked to assess whether or not each child has met the learning objective, allowing an opportunity for re-teaching. Broader, end of term ‘quizzes’ are also used to gain a bigger picture of what the children know and to identify gaps, which can be addressed in longer term curriculum design.
All children are also assessed against key constructs for reading, writing and maths – using mastery criteria of emerging, expected, excelling – half-termly.
These assessments are shared with parents using half termly reports, parent consultations and regular email. Parents are also very welcome to visit their child’s class to take part in a lesson and/or celebrate their child’s work.
In Year Two, each half term is carefully designed to allow cross-curricular links, ensuring that each learning experience has meaning and relevance for the children. For example, if healthy lifestyles is our topic, children will write recipes and instructions in their literacy lessons, using their experience from cooking sessions in Topic.
In literacy we aim for all of children to become strong readers and writers, as we know that these skills become the foundation upon which the rest of learning rests. During reading sessions, we continue to use phonics to strategically decode, whilst spotting and reading common exception words. We also develop children’s comprehension skills by teaching inference and deduction, encouraging children to use examples from the text to justify their responses.
In writing sessions, we give children the opportunity to write a range of fiction and non-fiction text. Features of these text types are explicitly taught, allowing children to recognise the features
In maths children are given the opportunity to explore mathematics using concrete manipulatives, ensuring conceptual understanding of the operations being taught. We expect children to reason in an increasingly sophisticated manner, proving their answers and explaining what they are doing using mathematic vocabulary. We also use a short, daily maths meeting to ensure fluency in number, including securing number bonds to 20 and the ability to ‘roll numbers’ (count in twos, fives, etc).
In topic, we thematically teach the objectives of foundation subjects including history, geography, art and design, and design and technology. For example, we may teach the topic Homes, in which children will investigate their local community and compare it to other communities around the world. We may then plan, design and create a model of an imaginary community, including physical and human features. Children also learn about the lives of significant individuals who made international lasting changes to the world (such as Rosa Parks).
In science we carry out investigations and use our observation skills to explore: the parts and life cycles of plants and animals; materials and their uses; and humans and healthy lifestyles.
In French, children are treated to an immersive experience with a Modern Languages teacher from the secondary school teaching by speaking only in French. Children learn common phrases and build their French vocabulary through songs and games.
In computing we teach the children to code, write algorithms and become digitally literate using a range of tools.
Children are set homework every week to help consolidate learning from school and build fun and positive learning experiences at home. Reading and maths practice are set online using Bug Club and MyMaths, respectively. Children are also given spellings to practice at home, as well as more open ended topic tasks (such as following a recipe to make a healthy snack at home).
We love generating curiosity and enriching our learning by going on educational trips. In year two, we visit a professional theatre to watch a pantomime, visit museums which have exhibitions that match our learning (for example, a Chinese exhibition at the V&A museum) and go for local walks to help understand the geography of our area.
Collaborating with Parents
We believe that for a child to be successful, it is crucial that parents (each child’s first and best teacher) work alongside with teachers at school. We communicate regularly with parents via text and email, as well as running workshops with a focus on a particular area of the curriculum.