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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Newsletter, 24th February 2023

Learning Experience – Once Upon a Time…

This half term we will be discovering the wonderful world of stories. We will be answering and exploring the following:

1.Know some traditional tales and be able to retell the stories through mapping and performance.

2.Understand the role of authors and illustrators.

3.Understand the structure of a story and common principal characters. Develop confidence in storytelling.

4.What are fiction and non-fiction books?

This week we read the book ‘Story Soup’ by Abie Longstaff. The two children add objects to the story pot to change and bring their story to life. At first, the two children do not work well together. However, in the end they demonstrate great teamwork and create a funny and wonderful story. After we read the story Puffins and Penguins were inspired to make their own ‘story soup’. We found a big bowl and added some characters to the ‘story soup’. Next, we decided on the story setting and added more props to the bowl. One of our stories was about a giraffe with a poorly leg who was stuck on a magic island. The children were excited to share their ideas and stir the ‘story soup’.

This was a great way to learn about the structure of stories. We decided that a story needed characters, a setting, at least one event that happens, and an ending. We used visual prompts to help the children remember the structure. They are all looking forward to collaborating and making lots more ‘story soup’ during choosing learning time.


Our school value for this half term is ‘Teamwork’. We learn our school values through dinosaurs, and 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."

On Monday, we explored and defined teamwork. Teamwork is working with others to achieve a common goal. A team can be two or more people working together. We decided that to work as a good team, you need to listen, take turns, share, be respectful, show perseverance, and encourage one another.

We talked about the word ‘collaboration’ and how this also means working with others. We identified many examples of how the children have already demonstrated great teamwork in school.

In the afternoon, the children engaged in a rotation of activities to further explore the skills of teamwork.

  • Activity 1 - We read the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’ and talked about how they used teamwork. Then we used drama to act out the play. We decided that sometimes it is much easier to work as a team to get things done.
  • Activity 2 - We listened to the bible story of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Then we built a wall together using large bricks. We talked about how it is easier to work as a team and help each other – imagine how tiring and how long it would take to do it on your own!
  • Activity 3- We read the story ‘That Fruit is mine!’ by Anuska Allepuz. We then had to work as a team to complete a challenge. The group held hands, and we had to try to get a hula hoop around the circle without letting go of hands or breaking the circle. We had to work as a team and support each other to help the hoop move around the entire circle.
  • Activity 4 - We had to work in teams to get all the train carriages from one side of the room to the other by only standing on the yellow dots. We were not allowed to stand on the floor, so we had to collaborate and pass the spare yellow dot to the other team members so that our group could move forward. We talked about how everyone has a role when working as a team. You need to communicate effectively to share ideas and take turns. There was then an extra challenge as the train had to collect coal (bean bags) as it crossed the room.

The children enjoyed working together, and we are very proud of them. We will continue to provide opportunities for the children to demonstrate teamwork. We always talk to the children about how they can use their school values in school and at home. Please send us images on Seesaw of your child using teamwork at home.

Shrove Tuesday

On Tuesday we celebrated Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is a Christian festival celebrated in many countries. It falls on the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent – a period of around six weeks leading up to Easter. During Lent, Christians give up luxuries to remember when Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to fast and pray.

We made our own pancakes! The children mixed the ingredients to make the batter and then watched while Mrs Clague cooked them. They used the language crack, mix, whisk, batter, liquid, flip, measuring jug, half, quarter, grams, and millilitres. The pancakes were very yummy!

Lego League Discover Programme

This week Puffins and Penguins explored Lego Duplo. They worked in teams to discover different functional parts and create their own models. We talked to the children about the new Lego programme we are going to start next week - First Lego League Discover – Superpower.

Over the course of 10 sessions, children will think and behave like engineers. The programme will enable children share and test ideas. Children will work in small groups to explore, design, create and evaluate their models. They will be using skills to communicate, problem solve, take risks, and pose questions.

The theme this year is called Superpower. The children will explore the entire energy journey, where energy comes from to how it is stored and used. The children will build a wind turbine and create their own energy saving models for the different people in the community.

Save the Date

On Wednesday 8th March at 2.45pm, we would like to invite you to a parent information session in school. We would like to share the many benefits of the First Lego League Discover programme and how the learning can be continued at home. At the end of the session, you will be able to take home a free Duplo gift to use at home with your child.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the class teacher.

We are always looking ways to innovate our curriculum and the First Lego League Discover programme is a fun and exciting opportunity, which has been very successful over the past few years.

When I Grow Up - Ready for Work

Police visit

To continue our learning from before half term, ‘When I grow Up…’. We had a special visit from some local police officers. They came to share their experiences of being a police officer. They told us about different jobs within the police force such as dog handler, crash investigators, underwater divers, and working in the police helicopter.

They also help people who have been a victim of crime. They talked about the links between our school values and their work. They especially use teamwork as they work together to solve problems. They also use respect and have lots of responsibilities. The police officers talked about which number people should call in an emergency. They spoke to the children about the information you would need to know if you had to call 999. They were impressed that lots of the children knew their own address.

Police officers keep us safe in many ways. The children discussed who they would ask for help if they were lost and decided that a police officer could help or, if they were in a shop the people who work there could help. The children were fascinated to discover that we all have ‘unique’ fingerprints. The police officers recorded the fingerprints of all the children on a special certificate that they took home. The children were able to try on some of their police uniform and ask questions about the equipment they carry. It was very exciting.

To add even more excitement, the children had the opportunity to sit inside a police car, and they even turned the blue flashing lights and loud siren on.

The police officers explained how we can help them by being good citizens. For example, staying with our grown-ups, not talking to strangers, wearing a seatbelt when we are in a car, and to be nice to other people and use kind words. Thank you to the police officers for dedicating your time and sharing your experiences with the children. You have certainly inspired lots of the children to be police officers in the future!

World Book Day

World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world! It is an annual event and is a wonderful way to promote reading, books, and authors. At Preston Primary we will be celebrating this special day on Friday 3rd March.

There will be lots of reading events happening in school that day. We will let you know more details closer to the event but thought we would give you advance warning so that you can think about what your child might like to wear.

Please don’t feel pressure to buy anything especially for this day. Use the dressing up clothes or onesies that you already have. There are so many story books with characters containing pirates, witches, animals, etc. Look at what you already have before buying new. Torquay Library are also offering a free costume loan service.

More information can be found on our latest reading newsletter

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the story read by Mrs Clague, ‘Mr Wolf’s Pancakes’ by Jan Fearnley.
  • Check your child’s book bag and Seesaw for phonics activities and reading to complete at home.
  • Send us images on Seesaw of your child demonstrating teamwork at home.
  • Complete the pattern activity on Seesaw.

Important Dates        

  • Puffins online parent meetings – Monday 27th February
  • Penguins online parent meetings – Wednesday 1st March
  • Face to face parent meetings – Thursday 2nd March
  • Lego parent information session – Wednesday 8th March 2.45pm
  • World Book Day – Friday 3rd March. Dress up as a book character.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075