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Primary School

Foundation Stage Weekly Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 29th April 2022

Let’s Investigate 

Welcome back. We hope you had a wonderful Easter.

It is going to be a busy half term; we have lots of exciting learning experiences to enjoy. Our current theme is called ‘Let’s Investigate’. We will be encouraging children to be curious learners and ask lots of questions. Adults will promote enquiry-based learning by modelling curiosity and being co-learners. Children will have opportunities to explore and be immersed in their interests. We are going to be building knowledge by answering the following focus questions.

1.How can we look after the world around us? Develop an understanding of responsibilities.

2.What do plants need to grow? Why do we need plants? Develop a scientific understanding of plant-life and growing.

3.What are minibeasts, and where do they live? Develop an understanding of minibeast features and their different habitats.

4. Which foods can we grow? Develop an understanding of growth and a balanced diet.

To answer these questions children will have opportunities to talk and discuss their knowledge and understanding. We will introduce new vocabulary and use a variety of exciting books to inspire learning.

In Puffins and Penguins we value talk and feel it is important for children to have opportunities to talk. We have been using talk strategies to support communication. We explicitly teach children about being a good listener and children practise back-and-forth exchanges in conversations. Below are the Communication and Language Early Learning Goals (these are the expectations for the end of Foundation).

Children have daily opportunities in school to practise these goals. Please continue to encourage your child to talk to you about their learning in school (you can use the newsletters and Seesaw to aid your conversations) Also continue to talk about their interests outside of school as well.

New Arrivals!

To support our new learning experience, we had some exciting new arrivals to the class this week. We have 33 baby caterpillars to look after! The children were very excited and curious about the new arrivals, and I think the caterpillars were equally curious about their new home. Over the next few weeks, we will be learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. The children had lots of questions they would like to research and answer, but they were very keen to accept the responsibility of looking after the caterpillars.

The children wanted to know when the caterpillars would turn into butterflies. We started by attempting to understand the concept of time. We began talking about the difference between years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. They decided that they would like to record how long it takes the caterpillars to turn into butterflies. The children are creating a timeline, so they can observe any changes and eventually count the total number of days it takes.

We sang songs to help us remember the days of the week, and we talked about how the days of the week cycle round. This is a link to one of our favourite days of the week songs. Days of the Week clap clap! to the tune of the Addams Family - YouTube

Bug Hunt

In the woods this week the children went on a minibeast hunt. We talked about which minibeasts we might find in our Woodland Camp. We introduced the word habitat and talked about the different habitats in the Woodland Camp. We taught the children how to use a magnifying glass to help them look for minibeasts. We found centipedes, worms, ants, spiders, woodlice, bees, caterpillars, and butterflies. We will continue to investigate over the next few weeks.

Reading for Pleasure

Across the school we promote a love of reading and encourage reading for pleasure. Adults across the school had discussions about how we can promote this, particularly during independent reading time. In Puffins and Penguins this week, we introduced daily independent reading time. We explained to the children that this does not mean they have to read on their own in silence, it means quite the opposite.

We explained to the children that independent reading time, is a time for children to independently choose what they would like to read, where they would like to read and who they would like to read with. We explained to children that they do not need to be able to read to enjoy a book. We talked about them all being on a reading journey, and they might be able to read some of the words, but they can all enjoy the pictures.

It is a relaxed, informal, and social time that children can share books (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, magazines) on their own or with others – it is their choice. The children really enjoyed independent reading this week. There was lots of book talk, and they were able to choose where to get comfy to enjoy a book. As the weather was lovely, many of them chose to sit outside. The children have ownership of this time, and it was wonderful to see them sharing their interests through a love of reading.

School Value - Determination

This week we have introduced the school value of ‘Determination’ to the children.

We learn our school values through dinosaurs, this is Determodactyl.

"I am Determodactyl. I love challenges and I must finish the things that I set out to achieve. I have to do my best in everything I do. I think about how to solve problems and stick at things even when they are really difficult. If things don’t work at first, I keep on trying new ideas until I reach my goal."

The children took part in a carousel of activities, and they demonstrated great determination. In one activity they were in pairs and challenged to get as many balls as possible in the bucket without using their hands. In another activity they had to balance a ball on a spoon whilst going around an obstacle course. These were quite a challenge, and it didn’t always work, but we talked about how it ok for things not to work, but not to give up and that we can change things to improve it next time. We shared a selection of stories that focused on determination, The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires and Walter’s Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood.

Our curriculum promotes determination through the following steps.

  • Children are confident to “have a go” and don’t give up at the first hurdle.
  • Children recognise when to seek out new approaches and solutions from others.
  • Children can think of alternate routes, make links, tinker with ideas, and articulate their journey.
  • Children are able to focus on a goal, anticipate and overcome setbacks, bring others along with them, and seek out the talents of others to complete the task.

The children had great fun and more importantly they all showed a lot of determination!


In maths this week, we have continued to work on our number bonds to 5. We have investigated Numicon and five frames to really think about the parts that make up 5, e.g.  2+3, 4+1,  2+2+1. We have also explored ‘missing numbers’, e.g., if I have 3, how many more do I need to make 5?

Others have started to explore subtraction. They have been counting backwards and enjoying number rhymes such as 5 currant buns and 5 speckled frogs which takes 1 away each time. We have also been creating number stories using the vocabulary: First, Then, Now. For example, First there were 8 frogs, Then 3 frogs jumped into the pond, Now there are 5 frogs. We have been using 10 frames and number tracks to help visualise the stories. There is a subtraction activity on Seesaw to complete.

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the story on Seesaw, read by Mrs Bastin. 
  • Check Seesaw and your book bag for this week’s RWI books and activities. Practise reading your book at least 3 times a week.
  • Use Ten Town to practice numbers 1-10.
  • Complete the subtraction activity on Seesaw


  • Monday 2nd May – Bank holiday.
  • Friday 13th May – Storyteller visit.
  • Friday 27th May – Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in school.

We hope you have a lovely bank holiday weekend.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075