Abbey Road, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1JU

01271 342579

Pilton Infants' School

Learning For Life

Welcome to the Year 2 page - 2020-21

In Year 2 this year, the team in Fox Class is  Mrs Ruddick, Mrs Buckley, Mrs Ling and Mrs Barber.  The Hedgehog team is Mr Mortimer,  and Mrs Lake.  

Our aim this year is  to support the children  on their return to school, 'catch up' with the learning they have missed due to Covid, and to become confident learners.  By the end of the year we want the children to become independent enquirers with the confidence to have a go, make mistakes, reflect and learn in a meaningful way.  We enjoy lots of questioning and discussion between children, their peers and the adults in school.  See below for details of the things we're learning in Year 2.

If you have any queries about how your child is getting on, please contact the school and we will arrange a time to phone you.

The Year 2 team

The Euros 

The Year 2s avidly followed the progress of England through the Euros tournament.  We had a draw for teams and each followed their own as well as supporting England.

Lots of the children stayed up to watch the final and were very disappointed with the result.  We had a PSHE lesson all about being a good winner and a good loser.  We looked to Gareth Southgate as an example and then talked about times in our life where we had won, lost or been disappointed.

Then we presented the winner of the draw with their prize and it was lovely to see the class demonstrate super winning and losing behaviours.

We talked about some of the online abuse that the players had suffered overnight and decided to write letters to the 5 players who took the penalties.  We are posting the letters today and will let you know if we hear back.  See below for some examples:


We've been learning to use water colour paints. We spent some time experimenting with different brush strokes and techniques with different quantities of water. Then we applied the blending skills to create pictures inspired by Anthony Browne in his book Changes.  We thought about typical classroom objects and what they might change into.    You can see some of the children's work below:

Non-fiction writing

We learned about a new way to present our non-fiction writing which had an interactive element (like lift-the-flaps and envelopes with letters inside).  We studied one about Greta Thunberg and then used what we learned in History to create one about Marina Silva (in pairs or threes).  Finally, the children chose a subject of their choice and created their own.  You can see some examples below.

Home Learning - British animals

We asked the children to research a British animal and share what they had learned.  They enjoyed sharing and learning from one another.  We also loved exploring the Secret Garden and looking for creatures and signs of life in the garden.

Printing a Rainforest

We explored different printing techniques using a range of objects.  Then we made butterflies and decorated rain forest animals for our display.  The children were able to reflect on which prints looked the best.  They knew it was good to print rather than try and draw with an object, not try and fill up all the white space, use a limited range of colours and use different objects in different parts rather than use lots of objects all over the place!

World Book Day

We read the story Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph and then watched a drawing tutorial from the author himself.  As part of our wellbeing plan, we talked about how important it is to recognise how unique we are. The children designed their own dogs.

We also did a sponsored read (collecting money was optional) and raised over £400 to spend on lovely new books for the school.

Replies to our Christmas cards

We were thrilled to receive replies from the residents of Portmill Court.  They loved the children's Christmas cards so much that they wanted to write back and let them know what a fantastic job they'd done and how cheered they were on receiving them.  The children were really excited to see the cards and letters from them.

DT Autumn 2020.

The children learned about different types of moving parts.  They investigated different ways of joining materials.  After that, they made mock-ups of cards with pop-ups, sliders and pivots.  They evaluated these and most children decided that the pivot with a split pin was the best design for a card.  They then designed and made Christmas cards.  They made one for their families and one for a resident at Portmill Court.

In RE, the children have been learning all about celebrations.  After learning about Christingles and what each part represents, they made a Christingle to take home.  This is what they said:

"It feels really special."

"The orange shows the whole world and the red is the blood of Jesus when he died."

"The sweets and raisins mean the things that we have like food.  I like the sweets best!"

"The candle is special because it shows that Jesus is the light of the world and he shows Christians how to be good people."

Science - Habitats

In Science, the children have spent the half term learning about animal habitats and why they are suited to different animals. They had to design and make a habitat for a specific animal and say why it was a good habitat for them.  This was linked to all our prior learning to categories of animals such as mammals, reptiles and birds and warm/cold-blooded animals. You can see some of the designs below.

Dinosaur Drama

This week we've been learning about different punctuation to end sentences.  In drama we looked at how punctuation can change the meaning.  For example, "Turn it off." is different from "Turn it off!"  The children had to act out situations where the sentences might need an exclamation mark.  We had lots of examples of cross parents and grumpy siblings!  We learned that exclamation marks can be for big voices and big feelings.  You can see some of our acting below:

Dino Designs!

As part of our Design Technology, the children were given the challenge of exploring different ways to join moving parts.  They were given a range of materials to choose from, had to select a different one for each body part, make and then evaluate which was the most effective way of joining.  The string and treasury tags were good but the children thought the split pins were by far the best!

Half Term Home Learning Challenge

We asked our Year 2s to find out some facts about T-Rex in preparation for some non-fiction writing.  We were blown away with the work they brought into school for our display.  We had paintings, drawings, collage, writing and research from books and on-line.  Well done Year 2!  You can see some examples below:

Chalk Stories

We've been learning about the book Chalk, by Bill Thomson.  In the book, some children find some magic chalks and everything they draw comes to life.  We started by thinking about what we'd draw with magic chalks.  We emailed the author and he said he'd draw a cure for Covid-19!

Some of our groups acted out their own stories today and (with some special effects added in) turned it into a book.  You can see two of the stories below.

Further down the page, you can see some stories/ excerpts by some of our children who used the structure of the story to make up their own.  You can see how they used their green pens to edit and improve their writing.  We think they've written some amazing stories!

Welcome back!

We have spent some time getting to know the children and creating Art linked to our new classes.  In English, we've been learning about the Colour Monster and using it as inspiration to write out own books about feelings and to make collage pictures to brighten up the classroom.  You can see some of this below:

Computing and History

This term, the children have been 'tinkering' with new apps.  They explored Pic Collage and learned to change the background, font and text size and colour, as well as adding stickers, drawings and photos.  

As part of our History learning, we explored the site which has some really amazing 'now and then' photographs of Barnstaple. The children chose a photo that showed changes over time, took a screen shot and then created an information sheet in Pic Collage.  They had to retrieve the photos that they had saved and stored.  Here are just a few examples:

Linking subjects - Spring Term 2020

We know that when we teach subjects which link together, children's learning is more meaningful.

The children enjoyed their History Walk around Barnstaple at the start of term and found out about the old Barnstaple Castle.  They designed and made castles in the style of the Motte and Bailey castles that we learned about. 

In English, they learned to write recounts including interesting details and adverbs to show when, where and how, then they wrote about the walk.  

They have been studying the human and physical features of a map of our local area and are going to make their own maps.  In Jigsaw, we focused on the skills of learning collaboratively and what to do when we get stuck.  In teams, the children constructed their own buildings to use in the map work we did in Geography and ICT.  They learned to create a key and construct a map of our school or local area, and to give clear compass directions to get from place to place.  They debugged some instructions that were incorrect.

In Science, we linked what we've learned about materials in Science to make and test trebuchets.  The trebuchets with the plastic forks as catapults flung the 'cannon balls' the furthest.  The children explained this was because the forks were flexible and elastic.


The Day the Classroom Quit.

In English, we've been learning about writing letters.  We loved the book The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and decided to make our own called The Day the Classroom Quit.

The children chose classroom objects, gave them faces and decided what they might complain about.  We explored how to use our class thesaurus to express emotions and then the children wrote their own letters.