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Primary School

Foundation Stage Weekly Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 28th February 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you had a wonderful half term, the children have returned well rested and eager to learn. It has been an exciting week making pancakes, storytelling, and meeting the new guinea pigs and rabbits. This half term we will be asking the children ‘What are your favourite stories?’ We will be exploring many traditional tales including ‘Three Little Pigs’, ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’.

Chinese New Year

Before half term, the children enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year. They made lovely lanterns, paper dragons and had a go at Chinese writing and learning a Chinese dragon dance. The children enjoyed retelling the zodiac story and linking the animals to our school values. The children said, “The rabbit used creativity to get across the river on a log”, “The goat, monkey and rooster used teamwork to get across the river on a raft together”. It is important for children to celebrate different cultures promoting tolerance and mutual respect for one another. It sparks curiosity and creativity, and encourages children to appreciate cultural differences.


Our school value for this half term is ‘Teamwork’. We learn our school values through dinosaurs, we would like to introduce you to ‘Teamatops’. "I am Teamatops. I am very good at working with other people. I always listen to my friend’s ideas and enjoy working out how to solve problems together. I am great at sharing my ideas and know that we can achieve more by working as a team."

Puffins and Penguins enjoyed an afternoon of activities learning about what teamwork means and why it is important. They took part in a carousel of activities which required them to work as a team. In teams they had to travel from one end of the room to the other using only the dinosaur footprints. They had to hold hands in a circle and pass a large hoop around the circle without breaking hands. They learnt about teamwork through the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’ and bible story ‘Nehemiah rebuilds the wall of Jerusalem’.

Storytelling with Malou Evans

Thank you to local storyteller and author Malou Evans for treating us to a wonderful afternoon of stories. She combined storytelling, drama, dance and music as she retold traditional tales including ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’, ’Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and other folk tales from around the world. The children were mesmerised and entranced by the stories, they enjoyed the rhythm of the words. During the session everyone young and old was immersed into the world of stories. It was a truly fun and inspirational session capturing a true love of learning and stories. This is what some of the children and adults said:

"Absolutely brilliant! Great to see all the kids getting involved and enjoying it so much."

"So engaging and creative. It very obviously captured the children’s imaginations. I will be giving it a go at home too!"

"That was so good. I loved the troll story when he went splash into the water."

Thank you to you, the parents and carers, for your continued support. It was wonderful to see so many of you at this event. The children have been inspired by the storytelling and have been retelling the stories during their play.

Storytelling encourages children to be creative and use their imagination to picture the setting, the characters, and the story as it unfolds. Rather than being given the imagery to accompany the words, the child is able to build the world within which the story is set for themselves.

Shrove Tuesday

The children have been learning about the meaning of Shrove Tuesday to Christians. We talked about why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and what Lent is. They made a list of ingredients and we cooked pancakes for our snack. We used the language crack, mix, whisk, batter, liquid, flip, measuring jug, half, quarter, grams and millilitres.

Lego Discovery Programme

Another exciting and innovative project we know you will support us with is the Lego Discovery programme ‘Boomtown Build’. We will be running the sessions over 10 weeks and want to fully engage you in the scheme as well.

We would like to invite you to a short demonstration and information session on Thursday 5th March at 2.45pm. Every family that attends will be able to take away a Lego gift so that Lego Discovery can be supported at home as well. If you are unable to attend please let the class teacher know.

In preparation for Lego Discovery, this weekend if you could take a walk in the local community and look at all the different buildings and talk about what they are used for. If possible take pictures of the buildings and e-mail them to  we will be able to use the images during the sessions.

Exciting News

We are very excited to welcome two new guinea pigs and two new rabbits to our school. Looking after animals is an important way for us to teach children about our school values. We went to visit them this week in their new enclosure. The children enjoyed cuddling and stroking the new animals and have suggested many new names. We are toying with the idea of the rabbits and guinea pigs going home with pupils at weekends. If this is something you would be interested in, please let the office know.

To support our learning on animal care we are going on a trip to Pennywell Farm on Wednesday 25th March. This is an exciting day filled with a variety of activities including feeding and meeting all the farm animals. We are guided around the farm in groups by leaders from Pennywell. You have been sent an e-mail with further details. If you have any queries please ask the class teacher.

World Book Day

On Friday 6th March we will be celebrating World Book Day. This year we really wanted to emphasise the love of reading and the magic of storytime. We aim to get children excited about a range of new books and ultimately spark a new generation of enthusiastic readers.

Children come to school dressed in their normal school uniform, however we invite children to bring with them the following named items in a bag:

  • Their favourite book from home.
  • A clean, unworn set of pyjamas – long sleeved and long trousers.
  • A onesie or dressing gown to go over the top.
  • Slippers or slipper socks (optional).
  • A soft, cuddle toy to snuggle with.

The children will enjoy a range of activities throughout the day, they will be getting changed after lunch into their pyjamas, ready for storytime within the classroom. We will be providing the children with milk and cookies.

We look forward to your support in making this our best World Book Day yet.

Home Learning

  • Research on how to look after rabbits or guinea pigs. Draw a picture and write some simple words or sentences.
  • Number recognition – which numbers can you recognise to 20? Practise counting backwards from 20 - 0.
  • Take photographs of buildings in the local community and e-mail them to  to use in our Lego programme.


Allergies - We have a number of children with nut allergies, so please ensure that nut products are not brought in to school.

Absence - Should your child be absent due to illness please call the absence line on 01803 607589 and leave a message with your child's name, class, and reason for the absence. Alternatively, you can text this information to 07786 208446. If your child has sickness and/or diarrhoea, they will need to be absent from school for 48 hours after the last episode of illness. For planned absences of any nature you will need to complete an absence request form, these are available on the school website or from the office.

Times of the school day - The school day begins at 8:50am (gates open at 8:40am) and finishes at 3:15pm.

Parking on the drive - In an effort to keep everyone safe, please do not park on the school drive when dropping off or picking up children, particularly when collecting children from after school activities.

Dates to remember

Lego Discovery Workshop – Thursday 5th March 2.45pm in the hall.

World Book Day – Friday 6th March

Mothering Sunday Assembly – Friday 20th March 2.40pm in the hall.

Trip to Pennywell Farm – Wednesday 25th March.

End of Term – Friday 27th March

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075