Year 2 – Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!


Hello Year 2!
Our new topic “Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!” is now the focus of our weekly blogs and we are so pleased that most of you seem to be really enjoying it.
How many of you cracked the History Mystery last week?
Thank you for continuing to share your work on Twitter, Facebook and through our homework email. We have been impressed with fabulous fractions, lovely letters, perfect portraits and creamy cakes this week. What superstars you all are!
Thank you for the feedback on the blog too. It is once again split into days which reflect exactly the learning that is taking place in school.

Before we get started we have a few extras we would like to share with you this week:

Marvellous Makaton!
Makaton is the sign and symbol language used at Archibald First School. The aim of Makaton at our school is to help all children feel included, allow all children to express themselves and to allow all children to communicate with one another.
Please watch the video below of your friends and see if you can learn some Makaton signs related to our new topic, ‘Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!’
You could even make your own video showing you using them.

We have found a range of online books that you can access to support your child with their reading.
Please follow the information to access online reading books.
All links have access to reading books from different colour bands.
The majority of children in year 2 were reading purple, gold and white books when they were in school in March.

If you are unsure which band your child was on and they cannot remember we suggest you try gold as it is expected that most children will be able to read and understand gold books by the end of year 2. Alternatively, email your child’s teacher using the homework email address.

Here are some links to the free online books:
This link requires a login:
Select Archibald First School
Enter the first letter of the last name
Enter day and month of birth 1, 1 (1st January)
Enter year group 1 (NOT year 2)
(this is the same for all children and not personalised)
Oxford Owl Eggs

Reading for Enjoyment
Over the next two weeks Miss. Pearson will be sharing a lovely story linked to our topic- Vlad and the Great Fire of London.

Who do you think Vlad might be? What do you think he will get up to?
Have a listen to the first part of the story below.

Vlad and the Great Fire of London

Marvellous Monday

Try to read for 20 minutes every day. Choose books that you have at home or from the links above. These could be story books or non-fiction texts.

This week we are going to be looking at Newspaper Reports. Do you have any newspapers in your house? If you do have a look at one (check with who ever looks after you first). What do you notice about how they look? Does the writing look similar to the writing in books? What about the pictures?
If you do not have newspapers in your house have a look at the one below:

Now that you know what a newspaper report looks like we would like you to think about the features of newspaper reports. In year 2 we need to include the following features in our newspaper reports:
The name of the newspaper
A Headline
Pictures with captions (what the picture is about)
Facts about the main event

Look again at the newspaper report above. Can you find all of these features in the writing? Use different colours to highlight each of the features in the newspaper report.
(Grown ups – there is an answer sheet included to show you where the features are and how the report could be marked that you might want to use in Thursdays lesson).

In numeracy this week we will be focusing on shape. Once again we will provide the links to the White Rose videos and worksheets each day along with an extra challenge which may focus on another area of mathematics.
Lesson 1 – Properties of 2D Shapes
A 2D shape is a flat shape that cannot be picked up.
In year 2 children need to know the names and properties of all common 2D shapes (square, circle, oblong/rectangle, triangle, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon). They also need to know the properties of these shapes (amount of sides, lines of symmetry, number of right angles etc) and that shapes can be regular (all sides are the same length and all interior angles are the same size) or irregular (length of side and size of interior angle can vary).

Here is a link to the White Rose videos (the link is to all 4 lessons, Monday’s lesson is lesson 1 – Properties of 2D shapes)
And here is the worksheet to go along side the video.

PLEASE NOTE – there has been an issue with the worksheets from White Rose this week. Many activities are duplicated each day. Please just skip an activity if you have already completed it. Remember the BBC Bitesize provides extra resources linked to the White Rose lessons if you feel your child needs more practise.

Numeracy Challenge
Colouring Triangles
Look at the triangles below, what do you see?

What do you notice?
What is the same and what is different about the two pictures?

Now its your turn to colour!
Explore ways of colouring the attached sheet of triangles below.

Can you make symmetrical patterns?
Can you make symmetrical patterns with 2 colours? 3 colours? More than 3 colours?

Here is a sheet for you to give it a go:

In year 2 children should be able to spell all of the common exception words correctly. Each Monday we would like you to practise the common exception words with your children. This can be in the form of a spelling test, they could make a poster, they could use them in sentences, write in coloured pencils, write them in unusual ways using bubble writing etc. Get creative and have fun with it!
Here is a set of the year 2 common exception words:

Challenge 1
Today we are going to think about how the fire started. We would like you to use your inference skills to do this. Look at these cards below, they are all clues as to how the fire started. Can you put them in order of those that you think are the most important down to those that you think are the least important.

Challenge 2
Now that you have thought about an order of importance, we would like you to look at the clues again, this time seeing if you can make any connections and links between them. These connections and links could be based on anything that you already know about the fire. You could write the connections and links down if you want or just explain them to your grown up or an older brother or sister if you have one.

Here is an example of how you COULD link them (but remember you might disagree with these connections and this is OK! There is no right or wrong answer!)

Top Tip – Rearrange your clues into a circle before this activity, it makes linking them easier!

Terrific Tuesday

Try to read for 20 minutes every day. Choose books that you have at home or from the links above. These could be story books or non-fiction texts.

Today we are going to think about what we could include in our newspaper report. We are going to write a report about the Great Fire of London. Imagine that you are a reporter and the fire broke out last night. Rumours are that it started in a bakery on Pudding Lane but at the moment you do not know how long it will last or how it will be stopped.

Today you are going to plan what will go in your newspaper report.
On the planning sheet there is space for you to come up with a snappy headline, facts about the fire, who could have started it, what has happened, when it happened, where it happened, why/how you THINK it happened (remember you don’t know all the details yet) and a place for a drawing to look like your photograph. You will also need a quote (something someone has said about the fire) from someone who was there.

Top Tip – Quotes are usually written in inverted commas and are something that someone has said,
For example “The flames were taller than a tower!” Mrs Smith, who lives on Pudding Lane
“It didn’t start in my bakery, I definitely put all of my ovens out!” Tom Farriner, bakery owner

*You can draw you picture on the back of the sheet if you like, the box is very small!*

Lesson 2 – Properties of 3D Shapes
A 3D shape is a solid shape that can be picked up.
In year 2 the children need to know the names of all common 3D shapes (cylinder, cone, sphere, cube, cuboid, pyramid, prism etc) they also need to know the properties of these shapes (faces, edges and vertices).

Here is a link to the White Rose videos (the link is to all 4 lessons, Tuesday’s lesson is lesson 2 – Properties of 3D shapes)
And here is the worksheet to go along side the video.

BBC Bitesize link

Numeracy Challenge
Building with Solid Shapes
I have a box of solid shapes. In there are triangular prisms, cones, cuboids, cylinders and tetrahedrons (triangular based pyramid).

Which of the buildings below would fall down if we tried to make them? Which ones would be unstable and possibly collapse?

Explain your reasoning.


This week we are going to think about resilience.
When things go wrong, resilience is what helps you to cope and get through hard times. Sometimes it makes you even stronger than you were before.
Watch the video below and discuss the story.
How does Humpty Dumpty show resilience?

Why the fire spread so quickly
Today we would like you to think about why the fire spread so quickly. Do you have any ideas?
Watch the beginning of this video clip again to see if you can find out more:

There were many reasons why the fire spread, some of these things were changed after the fire stopped and some were beyond the control of anyone. How many reasons can you think of?

Your task is to look at the statements in the worksheets and try to sort them into true and false reasons for why the fire spread so quickly. 7 of the statements are true, will you spot them all?

Wonderful Wednesday

Try to read for 20 minutes every day. Choose books that you have at home or from the links above. These could be story books or non-fiction texts.


Today you will use your planning sheet to write your newspaper report. Remember, in year 2 good newspaper reports include:
The name of the newspaper
A Headline
Pictures with captions (what the picture is about)
Facts about the main event

We are also challenging you to add a quote to your newspaper report if you can!

Here is an example that the lovely Miss Pearson wrote. Did she remember to include all of the features?

Now have a go at writing your own newspaper report. Use your planning sheet from yesterday to help you. Make it sound exciting and scary, this will make your reader want to read on!

Here is you writing frame:

Lesson 3 – Sorting Shapes

This lesson builds upon previous learning and also makes links to data handling with children sorting shapes using simple Venn diagrams.

Here is a link to the White Rose videos (the link is to all 4 lessons, Wednesday’s lesson is lesson 3 – Sorting Shapes).
And here is the worksheet to go alongside the video.

BBC Bitesize link:

Numeracy Challenge
Shadow Play
Here are the shadows of some 3D shapes.
What could they be?

Could they be the shadows of more than one shape?
How do you know?
Explain your reasoning.

What helps develop resilience?
Some things that can help develop resilience are:
1. Having a positive attitude
2. Finding good friends that you can trust
3. Feeling good about and believing in yourself
4. Helping others or ‘giving back’
5. Being able to solve problems and overcome challenges

How does the boy in this video show resilience?

Now that you have watched the true story of Emmanuel, can you make any links to other stories you have read, films you have seen or famous people that you have learnt about that have also shown resilience? Who/what are they and how did they show resilience?

We would like you to create a poster of a time that you have learnt about resilience from someone and when you have shown resilience yourself. You can write, draw or do a combination of the two on the poster. There is also a resilience spin the wheel activity designed to help in times when you are feeling down or sad.

Self Portraits
Building on from last week’s lesson where you completed a half self portrait, this week we would like you to have a go at completing a full self portrait. This is a trickier skill than last week so we have some tips to help you out.
This video shows a teacher sketching a self portrait but she also gives hints and tips about how you can make you portrait look more like you!

You can also use this handy guide made by the lovely people at Twinkl to give you more tips such as where to place your eyes, nose and mouth.

Design a Tudor House
The Great Fire of London happened just after the Tudor period when the Stuarts were on the throne. The houses at the time were still very much a Tudor design.
This week we would like you to design a Tudor house the you will make next week. You will need to design your house with beams and a straw roof and will need to add measurements on your design as next week you will use these to create your house.
Here are some pictures to inspire you:

We also have a PowerPoint to help you with your ideas and tell you a little bit more about Tudor houses:

Thinking Thursday

Try to read for 20 minutes every day. Choose books that you have at home or from the links above. These could be story books or non-fiction texts.


Today you are going to be a teacher!
When your teachers mark your work we are looking for your “best bits” and “bits that could be even better”. We use pink and green in school to mark but today you can use any colours you like. We would like you to read back through your newspaper article from yesterday and to mark your work! Can you use a colour to find all of the features that good newspaper reports need? (see the list from yesterday’s lesson if you have forgotten) Can you find any parts of your report that could be even better? Can you improve these bits? Maybe you could use a polishing pen like we do at school?

If you finish this job quickly then an extra challenge is too look through your newspaper article and pick out all of the key words about the fire or any others that you know and create a word search for a friend or family member to solve.

Here is your template:

Lesson 4 – Shape Patterns

In this lesson children are asked to follow, find, continue and create repeated patterns using different 2D shapes. This session begins with work that recaps pattern work started in EYFS and completed in year 1 and builds to more complex pattern work and problem solving challenges.

Here is a link to the White Rose videos (the link is to all 4 lessons, Thursday’s lesson is lesson 4 – Shape Patterns).
And here is the worksheet to go alongside the video.

BBC Bitesize link:

Numeracy Challenge
Chain of Changes
Here is a set of shapes, for this problem we will call them pieces.

Each of these pieces is either a different colour or a different shape from all the others.
This problem asks you to arrange the pieces in a line so that you change either the colour or the shape in the next piece along.
If we start with a blue triangle the next shape has to be either another triangle or another blue shape

Challenge 1 – Can you start with a blue triangle and end with a red circle (using ALL the pieces)?
How many ways can you do it?

Challenge 2 – Again can you start with a blue triangle and end with a red circle but this time you must change the colour then the shape. For example, if you put the yellow triangle after the blue one you have changed the colour, so the next time you have to change the shape. How many pieces can you use this time? Can you use them all?

You may want to draw your patterns but you might find it easier with shapes that you can move around.
Here is a copy of the shapes for you to print and cut out if you wish.

So many of you this week have been talking about the #BlackLivesMatter campaign that is so important at the moment. We are so proud of you for talking about this important subject and raising awareness of it in your own way.
We would like to share a true story of a lady who was incredibly brave and changed the world for the better:

Why do you think that we remember Rosa Parks today?
Why is her story so important?
How would you feel if somebody treated you differently just because of the way you look?
How do you think Rosa Parks changed the world?
At Archibald First School we believe that everyone should be valued and respected no matter what they look like, where they come from or how they choose to live their lives.
There are ‘No Outsiders’ at AFS!

Fire has been used for thousands of years to heat things up. We learnt last week that often when we heat things up we change them. This week we are going to be exploring that some more. We are going to use heat (not fire) to warm up several different food items. We will observe the changes that take place and then predict what will happen if we cool them back down again. Some things will go back to the way they were (although they may be a different shape) and some things will have changed forever.

For this experiment you will need the help of a grown up.
We suggest testing the following items (but feel free to change these):
Bread, chocolate, water, egg and corn (to pop)

All of these items will need to be heated up in different ways; for example you could toast the bread, melt the chocolate in the microwave, fry the egg, boil the kettle (or a pan of water) and pop the corn in a pan with a lid on.

Once you have heated these up can you describe the changes that have taken place?
Can you cool the items back down (you might need to ask a grown up how to do this with the water), which go back to the way they were before (there are two) and which have changed for ever?

Use the sheet below to record your observations.

This weeks song is another one linked to our topic. It is called ‘In 1666’. We hope that you will enjoy singing it, completing the music activities to go with it and that you will also learn something from the lyrics.
Here is a link to the song:

This year we have looked at several musical terms:
Pulse – the steady beat of a song (a bit like a songs heart beat)
Rhythm – a pattern of long a short sounds as you move through the song
Pitch – the high and low parts of the song.

Listen to the song again.
Can you find the pulse by clapping, tapping your feet, nodding your head or moving your body in another way?

Can you find parts of the song where the rhythm changes? Where is this? Why do you think this change happens?

Can you find parts of the song where the pitch changes? This could be the pitch of the whole song or maybe just certain notes (or sounds) that you notice are higher or lower than the others. Where do these things happen? Why do you think they are happening?

What new facts have you learnt about the Great Fire of London from listening to this song? Can you add these to your waterfall booklet from last week?

Fabulous Fri-Yay

Try to read for 20 minutes every day. Choose books that you have at home or from the links above. These could be story books or non-fiction texts.


(spelling, punctuation and grammar)
This week we are going to recap how to use commas in a list.
BBC Bitesize has a video and some activities for you to have a go at completing which can be found here:
(you can also complete the zigzag letters exercise if you wish)
Once you have watched the video and completed the activities have a go at this worksheet:

Friday is maths challenge day. The maths challenge is provided by BBC Bitesize.
Here is a link to the Friday challenge:

Numeracy Challenge
Always, Sometimes, Never

Are the following statements about number always true, sometimes true or never true?

How do you know?

What about these statements about shape?

Super Challenge
Can you create some of you own always, sometimes, never statements?

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings, for example, blue and blew. In year 2 children are expected to know and use a range of different homophones in their writing.
To help you use homophones this week we would like you to try working your way through the the activities on the BBC Bitesize English page:

Once you have completed these activities have a look at the worksheet for today’s lesson:

The Double Bounce
This week’s skip is called the ‘Double Bounce’ it has this name because you need to do two bounces for every time that you turn the rope.
Top tip – listen for the ‘click‘ of the rope hitting the floor before you jump.

Here is a video of Miss Watson and some year 3 helpers demonstrating how to complete the Double Bounce:

Here is a another video of your friend Hughie performing the double bounce.

PE– Weekly Challenge
Hopefully you have received a letter via email informing you about the Active School Championships. Your challenge this week is to share an exercise on the app each day; who can submit the most challenges? 
App: TopYa! ActiveUnique School Access Code: 22155

The Five Pillars of Islam are an important part of Muslim life. They are five things that a Muslim must do so they can live a good and responsible life. They include:
1. The declaration of faith (Shahada)
2. Praying five times a day (Salah)
3. Giving money to charity (Zakat)
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm)
5. A pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime (Hajj)

Have a look at the PowerPoint to find out more then have a go at completing the worksheet:

We had a special request from Jack B for a Harry Potter themed activity as he is very excited to have started the first book.

Firstly, here is a link where you can sign up to see different celebrities reading the Harry Potter books. Chapter 1 is read by Harry Potter himself!
Below you will also find a special letter and some fun activities that your child may like to dip into. These are completely optional and just an exciting extra this week.

Well done on another amazing week year 2!
It has been lovely to speak to some of you who are learning from home. If you haven’t had your phone call yet, don’t worry, it will be coming this week.
You are all superstars and we miss you all SO MUCH. Stay safe!
From Miss Pearson, Mrs Mullick, Miss Gowland, Mrs Patrick and Mrs Tadbeer