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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 20th January 2023

Learning Enquiry – When I Grow Up.       

Thank you to the parents who have shared details about their own careers. We have enjoyed sharing these with the children.

This week the children have been exploring timelines. We talked about what timeline means and have created several timelines. Together we created a timeline for everything we did on Tuesday this week.

The children discussed the significant events from the day and tried to put them in the correct order. They had discussions about how we take the register in the morning and in the afternoon. They had to justify and reason with one another about the order of events. They remembered that RWInc lessons happen in the morning and recognised that they do not have lunch as soon as they come to school. Once we ordered the school day, they extended the timeline to include before and after school.

In our next session teachers demonstrated their own timelines! Children were fascinated by the significant events in their teachers lives. They were able to help order some of the events by identifying particular features. For example, they knew that the baby picture had to come before the starting school picture. We were able to talk about a ‘decade’ and what this means. They related this to their own lives, recognising that they had not experienced a whole decade yet and some of them were 5 years old which is half a decade.

The children then had to create their own simple timelines. They had three parts to their timeline: past present and future. They used their baby photo (or drew themselves as a baby), then added a current photo to the timeline. Finally, they had to think about the future and what they would like to be when they grow up and draw themselves. The children enjoyed sharing their experiences and ideas. It was a wonderful way to build their understanding of time. These activities will be built upon as they move throughout the school and learn more about chronology.

Home Learning - You might like to help your child create their own simple timeline at home. This could include pictures of special events in their life. For example, when they were born, their first steps, birthdays, holidays, starting nursery/school. You can create these on Seesaw or bring them in to school next week. Have fun talking about the different events and putting them in date order.

Understanding the World

We have been talking about how birds often do not have enough food during the winter months, as bugs and berries are scarce. This week we followed instructions to make ‘bird feeders’. We mixed suet, bird seed, oats, and cranberries to make a tasty treat for the birds. We pressed the mixture into pine cones and hung them in trees around school including, the Woodland Camp and above our mud kitchen. Some of us have already spotted birds investigating and stopping for a snack! We have a very friendly robin who likes to visit every day. The birds are wonderful to watch, and it is good to know that we are helping them! We linked this activity to talking about ‘responsibility’ for wildlife.   

Local Trips      

As part of our rich early years curriculum, we strive to give children a variety of opportunities. Throughout their time in foundation, we will be taking the children in small groups to visit places in the local community. We will sometimes use a minibus, or we might walk, depending on the destination.

To promote and encourage a love of reading, this term we will give every child in Foundation the opportunity to visit Torquay Library. We will take small groups of children on a minibus for a short visit during school hours. This will also link closely to our Spring learning experiences ‘When I Grow Up’ as we will be talking about the role of a Librarian and ‘Traditional Tales’ as we will be exploring different stories.

We will also be visiting the local community to explore some of the different job opportunities. If we take your child out of school during the school day, we will inform you via text message. If you have any queries, please contact the class teacher.


This week, we continued to use the apparatus. We focused on the skills of balancing and jumping off apparatus safely. The children travelled along the bench then jumped off, landing on two feet with their knees bent, finishing in a gymnast pose. The tasks became increasing more challenging as they had to step over and manoeuvre cones on the bench. We were very impressed with their determination to improve their skills.


In maths this week we started exploring number ten. The children used numicon to notice patterns and make number lines. We often use numicon to learn about the composition of numbers. The children had a number ten numicon and they had to fit the other pieces on top to find as many ways as possible to make ten. For example, they used a number six numicon with a number four numicon. We encouraged the children to justify why they could not use a number seven numicon together with a number five numicon to make ten. Mathematical talk is essential. It is important for children to be able to explain their reasoning as it gives them a deeper understanding of number and helps them to secure links between numbers. We will continue our learning on 10 next week.

ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support Assistant

Across the school we have trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs). An ELSA is a specialist teaching assistant who has a wealth of experience of working with children and is trained to support children in the development of their emotional literacy. ELSAs are trained and regularly supervised by Educational Psychologists from our local education authority.

Emotional literacy is

  • Understanding and coping with feelings about ourselves and others
  • Developing high self-esteem and positive interactions with others
  • Being emotionally literate helps children focus better on their learning

ELSAs can support children with:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement

Children are identified, by teachers and parents, to take part in specific ELSA sessions depending on individual needs. Children work together in a small group and take part in fun practical activities. They meet once a week (for 30 minutes) for 6 weeks, progress is reviewed at the end of the 6 weeks. ELSAs can also provide targeted one-to-one support where necessary.

If your child is selected to take part, a letter will be e-mailed, and the class teacher will be available to answer any questions.

Further information can be found at the link Resources for Emotional Literacy Support Assistants - ELSA Support (


Jigsaw is our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme that runs throughout the school. There are different puzzle pieces (topics) each half term. The knowledge and skills from the topics are carefully sequenced across the school to support children’s progression.

This half term our Jigsaw topic is called ‘Dreams and Goals’. Over the half term the children will be talking about challenges and how it is important to keep trying. The children will be setting goals and learning how they can support and encourage one another with kind words. Children learn how to be ambitious and think about some of the jobs they might like to do when they are older and the skills they would need. We have linked this with our current learning experience ‘When I Grow Up’.

We have e-mailed the Knowledge Organiser for our current Jigsaw learning ‘Dreams and Goals’. The Knowledge Organiser details key knowledge and vocabulary used this half term for you to share and continue at home with your child. It also has some mindfulness activities and family talk time prompts you might like to try. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask a class teacher.

Rhyming Story – Oi Frog

This week the children enjoyed the funny rhyming story ‘Oi Frog’. The animals sit in unusual places that rhyme. We played rhyming games and made up our own rhymes. The children were very creative thinking of other animals that could be included in the book and the rhyming object to sit on. We also had lots of giggles thinking of words that rhyme with our names. Polly sits on a lolly, Jack sits on a sack, and Freddie sits on a teddy.

We will be exploring this more next week and attempting to write our own rhyming words focusing on our correct letter formation.

Help your child find rhyming objects at home. There is a rhyming activity on Seesaw for the children to try.

Reading for Pleasure

As a whole school we promote a love of reading through a variety of activities. Each half term we have a whole school reading theme and this half term it is called ‘Children’s Choice’. Everyone has been excited to share their favourite book with their friends. The children have been talking about their favourite part of the book and some children have retold the story themselves to the whole class. We have made a scrap book of all their favourite books so they can refer to it and continue sharing their love of reading. It has been a delight to hear children sharing their love of reading. Here are a few examples:

"My favourite part is when he puts the letter in the toaster!"

"It’s funny when the carrot is stuck in the toilet roll."

"I like all the animals in the book."

We are encouraging every child to bring in a book. If your child has not yet participated there is still time. Please discuss with your child which book they would like to share. This can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or even a magazine that they enjoy. Bring the book to school anytime between now and half term. If one of your child’s favourite books is from the school library, please let us know and we will help them find it. We may keep the book in school for a few days, so please be patient. We look forward to sharing a love of reading.

Teddy Bear Hospital – bring a teddy to school

On Wednesday 25th January we will be visited by student doctors from WAMS (Widening Access to Medicine). They attend university in Plymouth and undertake their practical training at Torbay hospital. They will be running some interactive workshop-based activities such as ‘what is in the doctors bag?’ and ‘hand hygiene’.

They will also be running a ‘Teddy Bear Hospital’. Your child can bring one soft toy into school that day to be looked at by a doctor. You might want to have a discussion first with your child about what might be wrong with their toy, e.g., a missing eye, a broken leg, a headache. The doctor will examine it, write a ‘pawscription’ and possibly give it a bandage or a plaster. The main aim of the ‘Teddy Bear Hospital’ activity is to provide a positive and fun experience for children, whilst at the same time building trust and reducing their anxiety when visiting a doctor or going into hospital.

The whole visit is a great way of getting children to think about health at an early age and also being encouraged to consider future careers in healthcare.

Thank you for your support, we look forward to sharing the children’s experiences next week.

Cool Milk’

As well as being delicious, there are many health benefits to drinking milk.

Milk is free to all children who are under 5.

This is a reminder that your child’s entitlement to a daily carton of free milk stops on the Friday before their fifth birthday. For your child to continue to receive milk, you will need to visit to register your child and pay for their milk.

If you have any queries, please ask the class teacher.

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the story on Seesaw ‘Little Whale’s Song’ read by Mrs Wenman.
  • Check your child’s book bag and Seesaw for phonics activities and reading to complete at home.
  • Create a small timeline of significant events in your life.
  • Decide which book you would like to share with the class and bring it to school between now and half term.
  • Try the activities on the Jigsaw Knowledge Organiser.
  • Try the rhyming activity on Seesaw.

Important Dates        

  • Theatre trip ‘Room on a Broom’ – Tuesday 7th February
  • Half Term 13th – 17th February

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075