Welcome to Chestnut Tree!
The Sound Collector - Poetry
On the first week back to school, we explored the fascinating world of POETRY. We read the poem "The Sound Collector", by Roger MacGough and identified the sounds that were so beautifully described in the poem: the HISSSSSSING of the kettle, the TURNING of the lock, the PURRRRRING of the kitten, the TICKING of the clock...
We discussed elements of the poem that we liked and disliked, spotted the rhyming words and performed the poem all together using some instruments and body percussion.
We were very excited to write our letters to Father Christmas. We had lots of questions to ask him in our letter - How old are you? How many elves do you have? How do you travel around the world just in one night?
We also spent some time reflecting on the year, telling Father Christmas our achievements and things to improve... things that we promise to work on in the new year!
We wish all our friends, family and school teachers a very happy Christmas and the happiest New Year!
We had our first Poetry Assembly where each class recited a poem. Our class performed the poem "Christmas" written by M.E. Miro.
We had the best time this week! We read the story of The Polar Express and we also watched the film. It was such a magical day - we were on our cozy pyjamas drinking hot cocoa and watching such a Christmassy movie!
We wrote letters to our parents retelling them our magical experience in the Polar Express.
We raised awareness of the importance of looking after our planet and recycling by reading this interesting book called "One Plastic Bag" set in Gambia, Africa. We made posters to inform people in our school community of the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle!
By taking care of our school pets- The Giant African Land Snails, we learn more about them. We wrote an information text to teach others about these fascinating creatures.
We had a very special workshop to help us learn more about different animals, their habitats, diet and how they have adapted to their environments. We enjoyed our ZOOLAB experience and wrote some postcards telling our family and friends all about it.
We retold the story of ‘The Gigantic Turnip’ through drama. We acted out the beginning, middle and end of the story and can you guess our favourite part?
‘they pulled and heaved and tugged and yanked until the turnip went POP!’
The story inspired us to write our own version. Luckily, there many vegetables in the school garden ready for Harvest…
The sunflowers in the school garden inspired our acrostic poems and helped us with measurement in Maths. We also used our observation skills to create paintings in the style of Van Gogh.
At the end of the half term we have been looking at money. We reviewed the names of the coins and notes that we learned in Year 1, and we learned how to add and subtract pounds and pennies. We also learned a key concept: change - when we pay more than what we need, we get the difference in return and we call that change!
In order to understand the importance of money, we played a bartering game pretending we were living in London hundreds years ago when people had to trade objects. The game that helped us understand how lucky we are to use money now for transactions.
We have also been working on addition and subtraction! We have used our place value skills to help us solve problems using both one digit and two digit numbers. As this term progresses will be developing a wide range of strategies including using number lines, partitioning, tens frames and as always concrete resources to support out learning and problem solving skills.
This term in Maths we have been learning about Place Value. Place Value, as the name suggests, is all about recognising the value of numbers!
For example in the number 34 we can see that it is made up of 3 tens and 4 ones.
The children have spent time representing both two digit and three digit numbers using a variety of different concrete resources including Numicon, blocks and dienes.
Beginning with God
We have been learning about the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. We made links between our own experience and metaphors for God in the Bible. By looking at our school garden and the world around us, we learned how to be grateful for God’s wonderful creation and God’s presence in our lives.
We explained the Trinity using the sign of the Cross.
During the month of December, two children from each class were taking the Travelling Crib home. At home, they set up the Nativity scene, had did some prayers with their family and they had an activity book to fill out. It was a very special activity to share with our families in this time of the year.
As we were approaching to Christmas, we explored the story of the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity.
With the Annunciation story, we wrote a diary entry as we were Mary explaining what happened on that day and describing our feelings and emotions.
When learning about the Visitation, we read the story according to Luke and we discussed what happened on that special day when Mary visited Elizabeth. Our favourite part was when Elizabeth told Mary that her baby leaped of joy in her womb when he heard her voice.
The Nativity story is a part of the Bible we were familiar with. We read the Birth of Jesus according to Luke, but we also compared Luke's and Matthew's Gospel and see what elements were the same and what characters or scenarios varied.
We learned about Advent as a time for preparation and excitement. We discussed what preparation entails - preparing our minds, hearts and bodies for the birth of Jesus.
We also looked at the Advent symbols and discussed their meaning in this important time of the year. We wrote individual Advent promises and prayers that we added to our class Advent wreath, choosing one a day to read and reflect on it.
On Thursday, we were so lucky to have a special mass in our school chapel with Monsignior Roger where he talked to us about Advent.
Month of the Rosary
Moses and the Burning Bush
We have started a new Topic in Science... USE OF EVERYDAY MATERIALS!
We are looking at the different types of materials around us and describing their properties.
Is it waterproof? Let's check with water!
Is it flexible? Let's pull it out!
Is it bendy? Let's prove it!
In our Gardening lessons, we looked at building a winter shelter and we had to decide which materials were more suitable to do so considering the weather conditions!
How do animals in a habitat depend on each other?
We enjoyed learning and investigating how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals and how this can be affected by the seasons. We created our own simple food chains and identified the producer and then the consumer. We had so much fun playing the food chain game!
Autumn garden maintenance
Getting the garden ready for WINTER can be hard work.
We used rakes, brushes and wheelbarrows to pick up leaves. We used forks and trowels to scoop out the leaf mulch and put on our planting beds ready for planting our seeds in Spring.
Compostable and Non-Compostable Materials
We set up an investigation to see which materials are compostable and non compostable. We collected materials from the school grounds and then sorted them into the two groups. Next we buried them in the garden and we will patiently wait to see what happens...
In the Autumn term, our science topic is ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’.
We enjoyed exploring our school garden and observing animals and plants that live in different habitats. We learned about and compared different habitats. We used our observation skills, grouping and classifying to collect and sort living things, things that had once lived and things that had never lived.
All of them make a habitat!
In this second half-term, we are learning about the three most important Queens of England: Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. We are learning about their lives and key facts about their reigns.
Children have made some amazing projects and art works about each of the queens!
In October we celebrated Black History Month. We learned about the Windrush and the importance of cultural diversity. We did a reading comprehension activity, posters and activities, creating a lovely project to display in our classroom.
During the first half-term, we have been learning about the continents and oceans of the world. Children learned their names and where they are located in a world map. We also investigated some facts about important landscapes and animals that live in each continent and ocean.
We explored different types of mechanisms and we used that knowledge to create our Christmas Cards with levers and spinners!
In the first half-term, we have been learning about an important artist: Vincent Van Gogh. Children have researched about his life and artistic movement. Inspired by Van Gogh's art, children sketched and painted their own version of one of Van Gogh's most famous paintings: The Sunflowers. Children used paints and oil pastels for their artistic creations.
Christmas Jumper Day, Christmas Pantomime and Santa's visit
Odd Socks Day
During PSHE this half-term, we have been learning about a variety of ideas that explore our feelings and opinions on a range of topics. Some examples include how to reduce the spread of germs, the importance of rules in the classroom, incorporating Learning Behaviours and special visits. We have had an eventful first half term, please take a look at what we have done to get a real taste of our learning.
This term in computing has been spent familiarising the children with how to correctly use laptops and iPads as well how we stay safe when venturing online. Computing spans across the curriculum and the children have had the opportunity to bring their IT skills into a variety of lessons, whether it be researching different continents or using programmes like J2e to record data about our garden plants.
Our school grotto is being restored and we were all invited to collect a stone from the grotto. We decorated the stone in class with words and images that help us to reflect on Mary.
We enjoyed learning about Islam, the Muslim religion. We learnt how they worship Allah and Miss Kermanipour shared some Islamic traditions with us in class.
We celebrated One World Week.
Each class represented a different country. We all enjoyed learning about the countries and shared our learning with a big display in the hall. We also learnt new dances from each country and we wore clothes from our home countries.
As part of our celebration of the Year of St Joseph, we came to school dressed up as our dads, granddads or favourite male role model to celebrate Father's Day
We had some Zoom sessions with Harold the Giraffe. He told us all about our feelings and staying safe with our friends.
We have had may fun days when we have come to school dressed up to celebrate creativity.
During our spring gardening lessons we counted the animals we found in our garden. We also spent time learning to identify all the different flowers on our school garden.
Making Winter Shelters
In science we have begun our new topic Materials. We have been exploring and investigating different types of materials and different properties that they have, whether they are waterproof or not, can bend or not, warm or cool etc. After our investigation into the different materials we had the chance to test out our theories by creating our own winter shelter in the garden. But there was a catch! Mr. Charles was going to test out how good our shelters were at keeping us dry by pouring water over the top! Have a look and see how well (or not?!) we did!
This was one of Chestnut Tree Class’ favourite days so far this year! Not only did we get to wear our pyjamas to school, we got to spend the day creating Christmas decorations, Christmas colouring, and reading books together. Then as an extra special treat we watched a movie in the afternoon with POPCORN! We had such a wonderful day and felt so cosy and warm!
During Autumn Term we have been learning about Vincent Van Gogh and looking at his different artworks. We have looked particularly closely at his work ‘The Sunflowers’ and had a go at re-creating our own versions. Here is some of our work we are particularly proud of!
We’ve begun our topic in history: ‘From the River Brent to the River Thames’. Our first task was to place different dates and events that happened in London onto a timeline in chronological order (which we learnt is the order that things happen in).
Within Science we have been learning about Habitats and Living Things. This week we looked closely at how animals rely on their environment to survive. We were each given an animal and needed to create our own food chains, thinking about which animal would be the prey to another. After that we thought about what would happen if there were limited, or nothing left of a particular food source (such as berries) and how that would impact the food chain. Slowly causing more and more animals to rely on a different food source, or worst of all possibly become extinct!
It’s really important that we look after our environment to make sure that something like what we acted out doesn’t happen!
Chestnut Tree really enjoyed celebrating Halloween and getting the chance to dress up. Even though we weren’t able to share our wonderful costumes in the parade like usual it was still great to see the costumes within our bubble. Here’s a sneak peek.
This week in our Gardening session we learnt the importance of garden maintenance. By keeping the garden clean and maintaining it, it will make sure that the plants can continue to grow and thrive in years to come.
Chestnut Tree Class 2019-2020
Please check the Home Learning Y2 page
for weekly activities for the children to do while the school is closed.
Before the end of the school term, we needed to clear out our designated vegetable plot of the garden and plant new seeds so that when we return, there will hopefully be new crops beginning to grow. Unfortunately we will not be there to harvest these as we will have begun our new and exciting adventure in Year 3. But students that will come after us will have the enjoyment that we were able to experience, just like the Year 2 students last year did for us.
In Art class this term we created our own paper! We wanted to make sure we were thinking about our environment and tried not to make something that would create more waste, so we used different types of recycled paper to create something new! We then used this paper to create something special for someone who we consider as special in our lives.
We were also able to use this activity in Literacy as we wrote up our own instructions on 'How to Make Handmade Paper' so that other people who may not have known how to do this could follow our instructions and create their own handmade paper!
During Science week we were encouraged to research and bring in our own science experiments to share with our class! Chestnut Tree Class had many different experiments to share including invisible ink, contained tornado, using a gas reaction to inflate a balloon, the reaction that occurs between soap and surface tension, a bubble tube and many coca-cola and mento reactions! Because we had many of the same experiment we took this opportunity to change different variables to see if the reaction would change at all.
We considered what would happen:
- If we used bottled cola compared to different to one from a can?
- If the botte was shook compared to one that was kept still?
- If we put the mento directly into the container of cola, or poured it into a seperate cup?
We really enjoyed our time as scientists and used our learning behaviours of being CURIOUS and CREATIVE to help us think more deeply about our experiments and to ask questions.
Gardening: Seed Germination
During our gardening lesson we have been looking closely at plants. In past classes we have planted our own bulbs and will be observing them grow in our own school garden. Whist that is happening we undertook an experiment where we planted beans on different days and then after a week removed them from the soil so we would be able to see the process of germination occurring. Once we had observed the different stages closely, we were able to get creative and using clay, recreated what the process looked like.
This week we have been celebrating bird week. Each class was given a bird to research, learn about and create a project on. Chestnut Tree’s bird was the Magpie. We had lots of fabulous projects come in with plenty of information to share about Magpies. We also went outside and created a tally sheet keeping track of how many different types of birds we could observe in our garden.
We were also lucky enough to have a visit from Falconry UK! They shared with us some beautiful birds. We met a kookaburra, pygmy owl, and an African Saharan owl. Some of us were even lucky enough to hold the birds!
During the Spring Term Chestnut Tree Class are taking Chess classes! We are very excited to learn how to play Chess, to think and strategise, and to develop a growth mindset – which we found out is really important to have!
Our word of the month is Confidence!
The Student Representative Council shared with us some advice on how we can be confident in our learning. We also learnt how important it is to just believe in ourselves and not listen to the little voice in our head saying that ‘we can’t’.
Autumn 100% Attendance Assembly
The whole school gathered together to celebrate those students who achieved 100% attendance during the Autumn Term. We were reminded of how important it is to be punctual to school and to attend as much as we can to make sure that we are doing our best learning.
We congratulated children who had not missed a single day of school and also celebrated those children who had only missed ½ a day or 1 day of school.
Well done to Elisa, Felix, Henry, Pedro MR, Cyrus, Nikola and Svetlana who had 100% attendance during the Autumn Term. Well done to Davi, Saira, Maiya and Calebe for only missing ½ or one day of school.
School Trip along the River Thames
We had a very exciting and eventful trip on Thursday where we were lucky enough to take a ride on a boat along the river Thames! To get there, all three classes had to take a trip on the tube from Willesden Green to Westminster. We then had to wait a little bit for the captain to bring the boat – the River Princess – to the dock so we could climb aboard. Once on the boat we were able to see so many famous landmarks and monuments (some that we recognised from learning about the events that have happened along the River Thames in our history classes). We could see the monument for the Great Fire of London, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and so much more! We were very tired when we returned to school, but we had a wonderful time exploring the city along the Thames!
We were lucky enough to have a water workshop come and visit us. We had so much fun learning about the water cycle, rivers and streams, the impact water can have on us and our environment and how to make sure we care for the water we have. There were so many fun rotations that showed the ways that water can move, what we might find in a river, what we would need to do in a flood and how water falls from clouds. It prepared us well for our trip along the Thames!
No Pen Day
We challenged ourselves to a day of learning but with a twist! We completed all of our learning without the use of pens or pencils! There were some creative ideas in Chestnut Tree class, such as going back to ink and feathers because ‘that’s not really a pen or pencil’. Instead we learnt through different activities, games practising our number bonds and adding in maths, used our time in the garden to act out different food chains, and even used technology to create a fact file about St. John Henry Newman!
Odd Socks Day
After the powerful assembly ‘Power of One’ we celebrated anti-bullying week by wearing odd socks to school! We spoke about the meaning of wearing odd socks and how it shows that all of us are a ‘little bit odd sometimes’ and it is important to look after each other. We also designed our own pair of odd socks, and my, my were they strange and odd!
Power of One
We had an assembly about anti-bullying called the Power of One and learnt that we can stop bullying from happening using this one powerful tool – ourselves! We learnt that bullying is hurtful, intentional, and purposeful, and how to go from being a by-stander (someone who watches bullying happening) to an up-stander (someone who can help/try to stop the bullying). The most important thing to remember is to always tell a teacher or a trusted adult if you see or experience bullying.
Black History Month
During Black History Month we have been learning about different black men and women who have made an impact in history. Chestnut Tree’s focus woman was Katherine Johnson. We have learnt that she is a mathematician who worked for NASA as a ‘Human Calculator’ checking the engineers' equations for rockets planning on going into space. She was the first woman and African American to work for NASA and worked on important projects like Freedom 7 and Apollo 11! She is also 101 years old and still alive!
We have been practising number patterns and looking at what happens when we add and subtract 1 and 10 from numbers. We have used lots of different resources to explore this including 100 boards, number lines and counters. We also practised this concept in word problems, using the R.U.C.S.A.C acronym to help us understand and answer the questions to the best of our ability.
Last Friday we celebrated Halloween by dressing up in spooky costumes, and had the chance to present our creations to parents and the rest of Year 2 during a parade! It was a tough choice with so many creative costumes, but congratulations to Saira and Kacper for winning best costume in Chestnut Tree Class!
In Science we have been spending lots of time in our beautiful school garden learning about seeds, plants and habitats. We have explored different areas of the school garden and organised items we have found into groups of ‘living’, ‘once lived’ and ‘never lived’ groups. We also had the chance to plant our own sprouts! Hopefully they will continue to grow and we will have many more plants in our garden – we will check in with them throughout the next few weeks. Possibly the most exciting thing that we were able to do during our gardening lessons was harvesting our own carrots that we planted last school year!
We have been working really hard in Chestnut Tree class (and all Year 2 classes) this term. We are really proud of our maths work. We have been learning about Place Value, and practising how to partition numbers into Tens and Ones using lots of different resources to help us learn. We have also used our Place Value knowledge to learn about number bonds and fact families to 10 and 20! Have a look at our learning in action!
Our school was lucky enough to have a bug exhibition called MetaBugs come and visit as a competition prize for our hard work in science last year. During this visit we were able to look at, hold and interact with a wide range of different bugs and insects! Some were a little frightening such as the spiders and scorpion but we were brave! Many of us got the chance to hold a beetle, stick insect or a centipede!
Have a look at some of the photos of us with the bugs!
Chestnut Tree Class 2018-2019