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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 28th April 2023

Let’s Investigate – animals!

We are encouraging children to be curious learners and ask lots of questions. Adults are promoting enquiry-based learning by modelling curiosity and being co-learners. We want children to have opportunities to explore and be immersed in their interests. This week we were building knowledge to help answer the following focus question:

1.How can we look after the world around us? Develop an understanding of responsibilities.

To link with our trip to Paignton Zoo next week, the children discussed how they have a responsibility to look after the animals in our world. They wanted to learn more about animals, so they can help protect them. We used the sources, non-fiction books, and television programmes, to help us learn facts about animals.  The children enjoyed learning about elephants. After watching the programmes, the children discussed and shared the facts they heard; they were great at extracting the information.

The children were fascinated to find out that elephants are good swimmers, their tusks are teeth, they can drink an incredible 200 litres of water a day, and a baby elephant can walk within minutes of being born. We placed the African and Asian elephants on the world map to mark their natural environment.

It is important for children to have opportunities to talk and discuss their knowledge and understanding. During each learning enquiry we will introduce new vocabulary and use a variety of exciting books to inspire learning.

In Puffins and Penguins we value talk and feel it is important for children to have opportunities to talk. We have been using talk strategies to support communication. We explicitly teach children about being a good listener and children practise back-and-forth exchanges in conversations. Below are the Communication and Language Early Learning Goals (these are the expectations for the end of Foundation).

Children have daily opportunities in school to practise these goals. Please continue to encourage your child to talk to you about their learning in school (you can use the newsletters and Seesaw to aid your conversations). Also continue to talk about their interests outside of school as well.

Home Learning – Fact File Presentation

We have a home learning challenge for the children. We would like them to choose an animal to research at home and create a very small fact file. They need to find at least 3 facts about the animal to tell the rest of the class. It could include where in the world the animal lives, (we could locate this on our world map), what it eats, or any other interesting facts. They need to present their facts on a piece of paper. You can help your child write the words or scribe for them, but please encourage them to be independent where possible. They also need to draw or print a picture of their animal as well. Or if you have another idea on how to present the information you can be as creative as you like. Please help your child to learn these facts, so they can tell them to the rest of the class.

Please bring them to school by Tuesday 9th May, so we can begin to share them with the class. Thank you for your support. We look forward to hearing all the amazing facts.


We have been working on our understanding of addition, by telling Maths stories. We used the words ‘first’, ‘then’ and ‘now’ to tell addition stories, e.g. First there were 3 frogs on the log, Then 2 more frogs hopped on, Now there are 5 frogs on the log. Stories are helpful to ensure that children understand the process of addition and what the numbers 3 and 2 actually represent, rather than just seeing a number sentence ‘3 + 2 =?’. It also helps them to realise that the number will be bigger at the end as we have put more items in the story. We will continue to build on this concept over the next few weeks.


The children have been demonstrating their creativity this week during choosing learning and Lego Discover. They have been challenging themselves to think creatively to find new ways to do things and become problem solvers.

In Lego Discover this week the children were challenged to create electric cars, a charging station and build ramps to test their vehicles. They answered the following questions.

  • What is the purpose of ramps?
  • Where are ramps in our community and what purpose do they serve?
  • How does it feel when you go down a hill?

They were introduced to the vocabulary: gravity, ramp, and speed. They talked about how the electric car uses energy to travel up the ramp and gravity helps it to travel down the ramp. They explored the effects of gravity and speed, the children enjoyed testing their ramps, and used collaboration and critical thinking to solve problems.

Coronation Celebrations

On Friday 5th May we will be celebrating the coronation of King Charles III. Children can come to school dressed in their own red, white, and blue clothes, or they could dress as a King, Queen, Prince, or Princess. The children will be learning about the Monarchy and the Coronation throughout the day. We look forward to celebrating.

24 Hour Reading River

Thank you so much for continuing to share your ‘24 hour Reading Rivers’ – we have started to make a lovely display. 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. More information can be found on the ‘Reading Matters’ newsletter. Preston Primary School Academy - Reading Newsletter

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the book on Seesaw read by Mrs Bastin.
  • Check your child’s book bag and Seesaw for phonics activities and reading to complete at home.
  • Create a small animal fact file to present to the class. See details above.
  • Create a ‘24 Hour Reading River’ to share with the class. Preston Primary School Academy - Reading Newsletter

Important Dates        

  • Monday 1st May – Bank holiday.
  • Thursday 4th May – Trip to Paignton Zoo.
  • Friday 5th May – Coronation Celebrations.
  • Monday 8th May – Bank holiday for the Coronation.
  • Tuesday 9th May – Start to bring animal fact files from home learning.
  • Monday 15th May – Poetry performance for parents at 2.45pm. More details to follow.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075