Welcome to Year 2! Your child has now entered an important stage of their primary school experience: this is the year of the Key Stage 1 (KS1) end of year attainment tests known as SATS which mark the end of their KS1 journey. For many parents, this can feel like an emotional time, as their child prepares for their first formal testing and reaches the end of their stage as an infant. While you do need to be mindful of the end goal for this year, it is also important to see it for the wonderful year that it is.
The final year of KS1 will see your child being encouraged to work more independently. At this age, most children will have improved their ability to coordinate movement and their language/speech will be increasingly complex and grammatically correct, so it’s an exciting year for children, parents and teachers. This guide will help you to understand what your child will be learning and suggest helpful ways in which you can support them at home.
In English, the children will continue to work on the phonics they have learned in Year 1. They will aim to read common words by sight (particularly Common Exemption words), whilst still sounding out unfamiliar words. They will learn further spelling patterns and rules, and begin to apply those in their writing. Children will learn to write for a range of purposes including stories, poetry and real events. Grammar becomes even more important in Year 2.
In Maths, we focus on counting forwards and backwards, in 1s, using our fingers. We also learn to count up in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. Children in Year 2 will learn to add and subtract with two-digit and one-digit numbers. They will learn multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 times-tables. In fractions, they will find 1/3, 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 of a shape or a quantity of objects. They will study measures, including weight, capacity and length, and they will learn to tell the time to five minutes. They will also study properties of 2D and 3D shapes, as well as a range of data-handling methods such as bar charts and pictograms. By the end of Year 2, pupils will be expected to know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value.
Science in Year 2 is engaging and fun. Expect your child to learn about living things and their habitats, plants, animals (including humans) and uses of everyday materials. They will also learn how to work scientifically, how to observe closely, and how to record their observations.
At the end of Year 2, all pupils will take SATS in Reading, SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and Maths. The reading test is made up of two papers, each worth 50% of the marks. The SPAG test consists of two papers; one is a spelling test of approximately 15 minutes and the other is another short paper which will focus on punctuation and grammar. Maths is also split into two papers. The first is arithmetic where the basic understanding of place value and number is tested. The second is reasoning, where your child will need to apply their problem solving and reasoning skills to show their understanding. We will hold an information afternoon nearer the time, where you will have a chance to ask any questions that you may have.
Obviously, keep doing all of the usual things that have helped them to be successful so far in HTPS. Continue to hear them read, practise counting, help them with homework, talk to them about their day and encourage them to read by visiting the local library, bookshops or using eBooks online. Make sure they are in on time every day and that their attendance is high.
Help them understand what they read
As reading comprehension is so important this year, checking your child’s understanding of the book they are reading is an excellent way to support them. Asking questions about the plot such as: ‘What might happen next? Why do you think the boy is feeling sad? What sort of mood is being created?’ will help them to engage with their reading on a deeper level.
You can also do this when you are reading to them, which is still so important at this age. Children learn a lot from the way we read aloud and we can encourage them to see how the author’s use of punctuation changes the way we read their work. Think about pointing out statements, commands, questions or exclamations when reading with your child. You might want to use a range of voices to show how types of sentences and punctuation can be read in different ways.
Any opportunity to use maths in a real-life context is really useful. For example, ask them to help you pay for goods or calculate change when shopping. This will help to develop their reasoning and problem solving skills. Learning to tell the time, using an analogue clock (not digital), to the nearest 15 minutes, is another great way to support your child’s learning at home; this also links neatly to their counting in 5s in the 5 times-table.
Finally, you can develop their independence at home by encouraging your child to get dressed on their own or organise their belongings more independently. This will help enormously as they move up through the school!
In the morning, children are encouraged to come into class on their own to build independence. Children must come in through the door at the end of the Year 1 and 2 corridor by the main staircase and no parents are allowed in the main school building at this time. If you need to get a message to the class teacher, a TA on duty at the door will deliver the message for you.
At the end of the day, please collect your child from their outside classroom door. Please make sure the office have an up to date list of who is allowed to collect your child on your behalf. The safety of our children is of the utmost importance, so if this changes please let the office know and they will pass the message onto the class teacher. Children will not be released to adults who are not on the official list, unless the parent has given the teacher a message via the TA on the door that morning, or the office.
By far the most important thing that a child can do at home is read. Children are expected to read each day at home (minimum 5 times a week) and this should be recorded in their reading records. Children are never too old to be heard reading or to be questioned on a book that they are reading. The discussion that can come from reading with your child and questioning them can encourage a real love for reading that really helps them in all areas of the curriculum.
Children will be given spellings to learn each week which will follow the spelling patterns taught in their spelling groups. They will be tested on these the following week. Children will be given a maths and an English activity to complete each week. This work will be based on the learning the children are completing in class that week.