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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Newsletter, 21st April 2023


This week we introduced the school value of ‘Creativity’.  Some people may think that creativity is linked solely to artistic skills – it is not. Creativity is also about being able to look at a problem, wonder, explore, and develop solutions. Children need plenty of opportunities for creative play and creative thinking. Children need opportunities to try new ideas and come up with new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Our pupils have to feel a sense of freedom in their learning to take risks and have some choice in how they go about demonstrating their understanding. Creative activities help acknowledge and celebrate children's uniqueness and diversity, as well as offer excellent opportunities to be expressive.

In Foundation Stage, we learn our school values through dinosaurs. This is Creatoraptor:

One of the challenges this week to help an animal cross a river. The children 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. Another challenge was to collaborate and create a new poem – we have put this on Seesaw for you to listen to. It is always a pleasure watching and hearing children sharing and developing their creative ideas.

Learning Experience – ‘Let’s investigate …’

This week we began our new learning experience called ‘Let’s investigate…’

We want to encourage enquiring minds, supporting children to find out about the world around them and become more environmentally responsible.

Questions that we will be considering during this topic are:

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

This week we began with some scientific challenges. First, we tested different items to see which would ‘float’ or ‘sink’. We began to notice that items with common features behaved in the same way, for example, all of the wooden items floated, and all of the metal items sunk. We used this knowledge to predict what other items would do when placed in the water.

Throughout this learning experience we will be noticing similarities and differences between animals (including humans). We discussed a range of ‘sources’ that we could use to help us find out information, e.g., non-fiction books, the internet, and television programmes. This will also link in with our upcoming trip to Paignton Zoo.

We are very lucky to have some vegetable beds in our environmental area, which we have used to plant seed potatoes, beans, and peas. We have sown some sunflower seeds. We want to nurture a love of gardening, planting, and growing, and we will observe the changes that take place over the coming weeks and months. We will talk about being fit and healthy, we will try new foods and make our own smoothies.

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

Reading Rivers

Thank you so much to those of you that have already completed a ‘24 hour Reading River’ – it has been lovely for the children to share their reading river with their classmates. We are going to make a display of the reading rivers in our classrooms for all children to see.

We would welcome any children who have not yet made one, to create one at some point over the next few weeks. Children can bring their reading river in at any time across the half term.


This week will have been subitising beads on a ‘rekenrek’. A rekenrek is a counting frame, similar to an abacus. It has ten beads on each row, five white and five red. It allows the children to work more efficiently because, unlike an abacus which has beads that are all the same colour on the row, the red and white beads on the rekenrek allow them to quicky ‘see’ the 2 five parts, for example to make 7 by knowing they need 5 red beads plus 2 white beads.

This will allow the children to continue to develop their subitising skills, explore the structure of small numbers, develop their number sense, and will lead on to adding and subtracting.

Trip to Paignton Zoo

Yesterday, you should have received an email regarding a class trip to Paignton Zoo on Thursday May 4th. Information about what to wear and what to bring is on the letter. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any questions.

If your child attends an after-school club, we will bring them to that club as usual at the end of the day.


Club bookings have now closed. A reminder that clubs for Foundation Stage will start next week.

  • Tuesday - Multi Activity Club with Mrs Wenman.
  • Thursday – Dance Club with Mrs Chadwick.
  • Friday – Multi Skills Club with outside agency, Premier Education.

All clubs will run 3.15pm – 4.15pm. Please collect your child from outside the main reception area.

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the story on Seesaw.
  • Check your child’s book bag and Seesaw for phonics activities and reading to complete at home.
  • Explore sinking and floating at home, maybe in a washing up bowl or in the bath at wash time. Before you put it in the water, predict what you think will happen.

Important Dates        

  • Monday 1st May – Bank holiday.
  • Thursday 4th May – Trip to Paignton Zoo.
  • Monday 8th May – Bank holiday for the Coronation.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075