Foundation Stage Weekly Newsletter
Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 10th June 2022
Our school value that we are focusing on this half term is Creativity.
Children need plenty of opportunities for creative play and creative thinking. All children need to be truly creative is the freedom to commit themselves completely to the effort and make whatever activity they are doing their own. What is important in any creative act is the process of self-expression. Creative experiences can help children express and cope with their feelings. Creativity also fosters mental growth in children by providing opportunities for trying out new ideas, and new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Creative activities help acknowledge and celebrate children's uniqueness and diversity as well as offer excellent opportunities to be expressive.
We learn our school values through dinosaurs. This is Creatoraptor.
"I am Creatoraptor. I am very good at making links and using things I already know to help me learn new things.I enjoy challenges and I am great at thinking of ways to solve problems. I can think about what might happen and I like to test my ideas. If things don’t work at first I keep on trying new ideas until I reach my goal."
To introduce the theme of creativity to the children, we had a rotation of activities. The children enjoyed a challenge this week to help an animal cross a river. They were able to be creative and use different resources and plan different methods of crossing the river. Some of the creative ideas included a stick bridge, a trampoline, a raft, and a zip line. We also used the deconstructed role play to invent and make – the children created parks, vehicles, and castles. The children also worked in groups to create a new poem; we will share these with you on Seesaw. It is always a pleasure watching and hearing children share their creative ideas.
‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside’
It is going to be a busy half term! We have lots of exciting learning experiences to enjoy. Our new theme is called ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’. We will support the children in gaining an understanding of our local area, including the advantages of living by the sea. We also want them to have an understanding of the wider world and where Torbay is in England and in the world. We will be using sources such as simple maps, globes and aerial photographs to support our learning. 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. This week, we explored the following focus questions: What are the features of our school? Where is our school located? Why do we need maps? How do they help us? Can you think of examples when you have used a map?
We posed the following problem to the children … Our class puppets, Silly Sally and Tricky Tiger, have not been outside of our school before and they are afraid of getting lost. They would like us to make a map for them to find their way around the school grounds.
We then went on a walk to identify key places around the school building, e.g. playgrounds, field, woods, swimming pool, etc. The children made a list of the areas and also used an ipad to take photos of the different features. We will use the information that we have gathered to support us in creating our own map of the school.
Literacy – Bonkers about Beetroot
This half term we will be exploring growing and change. We like to include quality texts to support our learning. This week we started exploring a new book called ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’ by Cath Jones.
The children looked at the front cover to make predictions about the story. They were very good at describing the two characters, Zebra and Penguin. They decided that Zebra looked happy, and Penguin looked cross, but why? The children collaborated to record their ideas on the ipads. Today we read the funny story and we stopped at different points to discuss our predictions and explain new vocabulary - we call this book talk. Book talk is essential to help children become engaged in the story and gain deeper comprehension. It gives children the confidence to offer ideas about the story and raise questions. The story had a very funny twist at the end - please ask your child to share with you what happened to Zebra at the end of the story.
We have been using cherry models (part, part, whole models) for a while now and we know lots of ways that we can make numbers using 2 parts, e.g. 7 can be made from a 5 and a 2, or a 6 and a 1, or a 4 and a 3. In Maths this week we have been extending/deepening our understanding of numbers and how the parts that they can be made up from. We had a number of cubes which we ‘dropped’ and then we discussed how we could see the parts. For example, when we dropped 8 cubes, they landed in an arrangement of a 3, a 1, a 2 and a 2. We then drew cherry models to show the four different parts which made up the whole number.
With the rain earlier this week, we have been talking about ways to stay dry if we are outdoors. This week, we brought our Happyland people to the woods with us! The children were challenged to think of a way that they could keep their figure dry in the woods. We discussed ways to build a shelter and resources that we might need, e.g. leaves as an umbrella or canopy; sticks to create a frame for a den. The children were certainly creative in their designs and they stayed on task for a long time building and then improving their shelter.
The children thoroughly enjoyed their swimming lesson this week! Learning to swim is an important life skill, especially as we live so close to the sea as we want to keep our children ‘water safe’. We commit thousands of pounds every year to maintaining and heating the pool. Thank you to everyone who has made their donation so far. If you haven’t made the £15 payment yet, please do so as soon as possible.
- Use a map to find your way to somewhere. It might be using SatNav in a car, or Google Maps to give you directions. It could be a map to find your way around a place, e.g. Crealy or Cockington. It could be a map of a town like Paignton or Brixham. Post a photo on seesaw of you using your map.
- Enjoy listening to the story ’10 Little Pirates’
From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team