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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 23rd September 2022

We have had a wonderful week in Foundation Stage! The children in Puffins and Penguins continue to impress us with how well they are settling into school life. It is wonderful to witness them exploring and playing in their environment and to watch new friendships being formed.

Our School Values

The long term legacy of Preston Primary School will be the personal values that our pupils take to Secondary School and beyond. Passing exams is important in life but needs to be complimented by a set of personal values that enable one to flourish in the workplace, in the community, and in the family. At Preston, we have six values - one for each half term within the year.

This half term we will be focusing on the value of Respect. This links in well with being in a new class and ascertaining class rules. In Foundation Stage, we learn our school values in dinosaur form! Each dinosaur has a special name, and we talk about how we can demonstrate that particular value in our learning and everyday life.  

Here is the school value of Respect in dinosaur form.

‘Marvellous Me’

In our learning experience ‘Marvellous Me’, we have been discussing the questionsHow are we the same and how are we different?’ We have also been talking about what the word ‘unique’ means and how we are special and unique.

New routines

As the children have settled so well, we have introduced new routines into their school day:

Visual timetable

In each class, we have a visual timetable so that they can see what the plan for the day is. This helps them to develop a sense of time and also increase familiarity and belonging.

Special Person

We have also introduced the ‘Special Person’ of the day. In Foundation Stage, we support children to understand that they are all special in their own way. We take it in turns to celebrate one ‘Special Person’ each day. This role involves wearing a special badge, being the line leader, as well as being the ‘shopkeeper’ at snack time. We take the time to talk about why this particular child is special to us.         


Each child places a photo of themselves onto our self-registration chart which is a ‘tens frame’. This links well with Mathematics as it is a quick, visual way to see ‘how many’ without the need to count every individual photo. We talk about how many children are in today, how many children are away, how many more children need to come to school to make 20, etc.

Choosing learning board

We also introduced the choosing board for the first time this week. During ‘Choosing Learning’ the children choose an activity and put their name by the corresponding icon. This system promotes independence, turn taking and personal challenge, skills that they will use throughout life. We value children learning through play as it enables children to explore their thinking and curiosity.


We went to the field for our PE lesson this week! We talked about the effect that exercise has on our bodies and the children felt their heart both before and after exercise to see if they could notice the difference.

“I am breathing louder.”

“I can feel my heart beating harder.”

This week we concentrated on balancing with a bean bag. We had to balance the bag on our head and our foot without it falling off. It was a bit tricky at first, but we persevered and didn’t give up!

Phonics – Read Write Inc     

In phonics this week we have been learning the sounds ‘t’, ‘i’, ‘p’ and ‘o’. We start each lesson by hearing and saying the sound, then we read the sound and then we practise writing the sound. Next week we will be giving your child a Set 1 booklet that they can keep at home to practise the correct formation of the letters.

Phonic Information Session – Wednesday 28th September at 5pm

On Wednesday 28th September at 5.00pm we will be holding an online phonic information session. We will explain how your child learns to read in school and how you can help at home. We will talk about the importance of reading and phonics and how your child will progress through the Read Write Inc programme. We will e-mail all parents a Microsoft Teams link for the session – please join 5 minutes before the start of the session. In preparation for the session, we will also send you a form to add any particular questions you may have about phonics and your child’s reading journey. We will then strive to answer all your questions in the session. We hope you can join us. We anticipate that the session will be no longer than 40 minutes.

Woodland Camp

The children had lots of fun exploring the Woodland Camp again this week. We sat on the seating around the ‘fire circle’ and reminded ourselves of the safety rules. Throughout the year we will be cooking in the camp, and we will light a fire, so we are training the children to always walk around the fire circle seating and never walk across it so that we can stay safe at all times.

We also went to the upper decking and talked about how we can use it as an observation point. We could watch others in the camp below and we also noticed how close we were to the tops of the trees. Throughout the year, the children in Puffins and Penguins will be observing and talking about the seasonal changes that we notice - this week we talked about how the trees are full of green leaves.

We had a wonderful time exploring and playing in the woods with our new friends! The children played lots of different games - they made dens, swung on the tyre swing, and cooked in the mud kitchen. Lots of the children used their imagination in the environment to pretend that we were in a caravan and even rode on a unicorn and a dragon!


Although lots of children can already rote count to 10, and some can count beyond, in Foundation Stage we have a ‘Mastery’ approach. This means that children acquire a deep, secure understanding of our number system. Part of this approach is their ‘fluency’ which involves speedy recall of number facts. A big part of Maths is their mathematical thinking and being able to make connections and have reasoning skills. We also use lots of different ‘representations’ so that children can visualise their maths. We will explain more about all of this in a future maths presentation for parents.

 In Maths this week, we have been focusing on the number 1.We looked at Numberblock 1 and discussed what we could see on the block that there was only 1 of (1 cube, 1 eye, 1 mouth). We talked about special language of 1, e.g. single, alone, unique. We talked about the position 1 in a line – that means they are ‘first’.

Water bottles

Please can we ask that your child only has water in their drinks bottle. We have already had some spillages in the classroom - juice and squash are very sticky and can stain.

Please be assured that your child is also served water in a beaker at lunchtime as well as having their milk carton at snack time, so please do not worry if your child has not completely finished the contents of their water bottle.


Thank you for your continued support in providing your child with the correct uniform for school. It is important for children to wear their uniform with pride. Please can we remind you that school uniform is …

  • A white buttoned shirt - no polo shirts.
  • Ties to be worn (apart from with a summer dress).
  • School shoes must be black – no trainers or plimsolls.
  • Hair longer than shoulder length must be tied back.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ story read by Mrs Clague on Seesaw.
  • Enjoy sharing your library book with your grown-up.
  • Join in with the ‘Maggie Muncher’ oral blending activity on Seesaw.

Brush Bus

You will soon be assigned information via Seesaw regarding our ‘Brush Bus’ programme. This is a supervised tooth brushing activity which promotes the importance of good oral hygiene and encourages regular brushing. This will be taking place every day in school. There will also be a link for a consent form.


Wednesday 28th September at 5pm – Online Parent Phonic Information Session

Monday 24th October – Friday 4th November – Half Term

Kind Regards Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075