Year 2 are egg-cited!

Last week we were incredibly excited to have a visit from Mrs Quirk. She brought with her a dozen eggs and a feathered friend! Our eggs are now nestled safe and warm in the incubator and also under Clara in her nest.

Clara has already decided that she had too many eggs to look after and has rolled one out from the nest and broken another. Hopefully the other four will stay snug and warm. Each day, we have taken it in turns to check on Clara and her eggs – feeding her, changing her water, scooping out her poo and quietly chatting to her. She seems very happy in her house by the pond.

In the classroom, we have been patiently crossing off the days – now only seven more to go until hatch day! We did a special test last week called ‘candling’ using a bright light, a blue tac nest and a cardboard box. It looked like three of our eggs had chicks growing inside them, we could hardly contain our excitement!

These two pictures show one of our eggs with no chick growing inside (the darker orange area is the yolk) and the other one has an air sack at the bottom indicating that a chick is growing in the darker area above. We are learning to to be great chicken experts!

Time to Shine

Habitats – all round us there are creatures living in all sorts of places and that is what Year 2 have been discovering this term. We began with a wonderful book called ‘The Bog Baby’ and even after reading the book, many of us are undecided whether we actually might find one if we look hard enough and in the right places! We took our very own squishy, blue bog babies around school to see whether we had any suitable habitats for them, damp and shady we decided were the best conditions for them to thrive.

The book and its beguiling characters inspired some fabulous instruction and story writing. It gave the children opportunity to show off all their writing skills that they have been developing this year – adjectives, adverbs, commas in a list and for possession, past and present tenses as well as their beautifully joined handwriting.


The arrival of Term 5 in Year 2 is much anticipated (by Year 2 teachers anyway!). It is when the children have the opportunity to show off their learning in what we have called our ‘Time to Shine’ work, more widely known as SATs. The children are naturally unaware of the importance of these statutory assessments, but none the less they rose to the challenge and impressed me immensely. They showed kindness and respect towards each other: working quietly and without disruption. Their positive attitude towards every challenge showed the level of their resilience and determination to show what they could achieve. I could not be more proud of them.

We celebrated the completion of our assessments with a ‘Gruffalo Day’. We banned working in silence and on our own, preferring to have a hands on type of learning day. Story-telling and role-play of this much-loved story culminated in a whole class presentation, with character voices and much laughter. Additionally, we made ‘deep dark woods’ dioramas and watched the BBC animation of the story too.

We have almost reached the end of this (surprisingly short) term but have squeezed so much into it. I look forward to term 6 with mixed feelings, excitement for warmer weather, sports day and our summer production, but a little sadness that our time together is coming to a close. Let’s make it a term to remember!

Year 2 are growing!

This term began with a special treat for all the children in Classes R, 1 and 2 and followed on from our learning about animals last term. The Amazing Animals Workshop brought their rescue animals for us to meet and learn about. It was fabulous to see the children totally hands-on and involved, handling each animal with care and interest. We met familiar animals as well as some new ones… a pair of skinny-pigs, a temrec, a python, bearded dragons and a chameleon who liked to sit on our head! The children’s behaviour was impressive during such an exciting, and occasionally daunting, experience.

Living and Growing was the theme of our learning this term, and gave us opportunity to turn our classroom into rather a green house of growing. Our tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and broad beans germinated well and under the expert care of Miss Reynolds have continued to flourish into seedlings. The children were vigilant each day, letting us know when they needed watering or turning towards the light. Our experiment to find out what plants need in order to thrive had surprising results, the cress seeds outside in the cold barely germinated, however the cress seeds in the dark grew tall and pale, much to the children’s amazement!

We did all sorts of measuring over the past few weeks, learning about grams, kilograms, mililitres, litres, centimetres, metres and degrees celcius. The children’s favourite activity was undoubtably making magic potions. Our final potion had to measure exactly 500m… with one last splash of ‘fizz whizz’ completing the mixture, we were delighted to discover that magic really could happen! Ask someone in Year 2 to tell you what appeared!


Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.


Good Luck children!


Mrs Gillhouley

Wild Things

One of class came back to school with some very exciting news, a new baby sister! It could not have been better timing as our learning this term is about all about animals – including us, We are finding out how animals grow, have young and survive. We had so many questions to ask Shea and his mummy, learning many new things. Lots of children were fascinated to know that newborn babies’ eyes are just dark and their eye colour develops. Other children were surprised to learn that young babies cannot hold up their own head or see further than the distance from them to their mummy’s face when being held in her arms. Thank you for coming to visit us!


Our learning has continued by finding out the basic things that all animals need to survive. After a lengthy discussion about whether they really did need a TV or sweets to stay alive, we thought about what responsible owners should provide for their pets. We turned ourselves into pets for the afternoon and wrote messages to our owners about what we needed.

Using our learning from last term about the oceans and continents of the world, we have been researching about animals which are not have their basic needs met and so are endangered. Astonishingly, we discovered that in Asia there is a leopard called the Amur Leopard that is so endangered that there may only be about 60 left in the wild. The children decided that they would like to work as a class to earn enough money to sponsor a leopard through the WWF. So, Year 2, keep doing those jobs at home to earn your 10p and 20p coins, please!


Year 2’s learning is on fire!

During the last few weeks, Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Great Fire of London. Their interest was endless, with many children extending their learning by visiting the museum in London during the half term holiday and sharing their extra learning with us in class. The facts and information that the children retained amazed me, as was their enthusiasm to learn more.

A highlight of our topic was to research, design and make a Tudor house over a number of lessons. We thought about reenacting the Great Fire but, after a vote, decided that we would rather keep our models proudly on display in our book corner.

We ended our topic with an exciting, if a little rainy, morning at The Fire Fighting Museum in West Kingsdown. The children had opportunity to climb inside a real fire engine, explore the museum – jammed to the ceiling with fire fighting memorabilia, and to try on a pieces of fire fighting uniform. There was much interest and giggling at the size and weight of the jackets, boots and helmets!










Our current topic is called ‘Land Ahoy!’ and we will be learning about the oceans and continents of the world. We will also be finding out about why Grace Darling became a famous person, continuing and deepening our learning with a visit the The Historic Dockyards at Chatham to find out more about lifeboats.


Welcome to Year 2!

Thank you to everyone who came to my ‘Meet the Teacher’ session on Wednesday afternoon. It was lovely to see you all and have opportunity to talk through some our curriculum and expectations for the year.

We discussed how mental maths and reading can be supported at home, hopefully copies of hand-outs have been found in book bags or taken at the session.

Here they are again for future reference:

Download (DOCX, 21KB)

Mrs Samantha Temp

Nearly half term!

First and foremost, I’d like to say a huge well done to all of Class Two. They have worked particularly hard on their SATS this term and all of the children have performed well and  should be incredibly proud of themselves!

I’d also like to thank you, the parents and carers, for helping with homework and for your on-going support and cooperation as always.

Thankfully, as well as SATS, we have enjoyed growing some more plants and learning about our local area. At the start of the term we planted out spinach seeds and have spent the last few weeks watching them grow in different conditions. Class Two have since established the perfect growing conditions for plants and many have told me they cant wait to do some gardening at home. Also we managed to plant some cress which everyone is keen to taste when it has grown a little more.

Indoor CressOutdoor cress

We also had one more very important visitor come in and see us on Wednesday and she bought her little baby in. Everyone in Class Two were so excited to see Miss Prendergast and baby Isla.

I know everyone is Class Two is eager to find out all about the end of year production when we return after half term!

Off to a Sunny start!

It has been lovely to welcome the children back to school this week with such a wonderfully sunny week – what a treat. Mrs Holland, who has returned from Maternity leave, has been enjoying getting to know class 2 this week too.

We all got to enjoy the sunshine on Wednesday morning when we lined the Vine to cheer on Lizzie Yarnold for her amazing double gold medal triumph, at the recent Winter Olympics! Well done Lizzie. Following a class assembly on our theme this term – responsibility, the children discussed Lizzie’s successes and the responsibility she faced in representing her nation. It was wonderful for the children to then be able to cheer Lizzie as she passed us on the parade bus.

This term is such a busy and important term for Year 2, and the children are trying their best to showcase their wonderful learning in all lessons. In Maths this week we have been learning to tell the time. This has been challenging for many of the children but we have been impressed with their perseverance! We have been busy using our class clock and the children have been making their own to help them to tell the time with more accuracy.


It would be really helpful if you could all help your children to practise telling the time at home. To be at the expected standard for Maths in Year 2, children need to be able to tell the time to 15 minute intervals: O’clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to.
To be at greater depth within the expected standard, children are expected to tell the time in 5 minute intervals.

In English, we are just about to start looking at a new Roald Dahl book, which will be a surprise for the children. It will produce some lively discussions and debates in class and help the children to develop their persuasive writing skills! We look forward to sharing it with you shortly.

Our topic continues to be plants and growing along with a local areas study. Mrs Holland has been able to enjoy this lovely weather too, taking the class outside to observe plant growth around the school grounds.

It looks set to be a really busy term, we are busy preparing the children to get ready for what I’d prefer to call a; ‘special challenge quiz’  AKA  ‘SATS’. So please do keep practising telling the time, counting forwards and backwards in 2s, 5s and 10s from any number and playing any fun mental maths games. BUT the most important thing for the class is to work hard whilst they are at school and relax and enjoy themselves when they are not! so please make the most of this lovely weather we are having!