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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Newsletter, 12th May 2023

Let’s Investigate – animals!

We had a fantastic time exploring Paignton Zoo last week! We spent a whole day looking at the animals and finding out interesting facts about them. We even had a keeper talk about the giraffes, zebras, and ostriches, as well as learning how to say ‘go away’ in lemur language! We found out what ‘endangered’ meant and lots of the children were interested in using the colour key around the exhibits to find out if these animals are vulnerable in the wild.

Fascinating fact! - When a baby is born at the zoo, it is given a name beginning with the same letter as its mum, so that the keepers can easily remember which baby belongs to which adult.

Thank you to Paignton Zoo for giving us the opportunity to come for a free visit as part of your centenary celebrations. Both the children and staff had an amazing day that will not be forgotten.

The children wrote a recount of our trip, working on improving their personal writing targets. We have created a special video on Seesaw so that you can see some photos and video clips from our special day!

Home Learning – Animal fact file

We have been so impressed with the children’s fact files! Each child has had an opportunity to share their information with their classmates and answer questions about their chosen animal. We have made a wonderful display of them in the classroom.

If your child has not yet made a fact file, here’s what to do:

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 so we can begin to share them with the class. Thank you for your support. We look forward to hearing all the amazing facts.

Coronation Celebrations

On Friday 5th May we celebrated the coronation of King Charles III. The children all looked wonderful in their red, white, and blue clothing or dressed up as a king, queen, prince, or princess. We found out the meaning of special vocabulary such as royal, throne and coronation. The children each created a design for a new coin or a postage stamp with the King’s head on.


To link in with the coronation, this week the children had to design and make a palace ‘fit for a king’! They then had to work out how to power the palace, for example, they may put solar panels on the roof, or have a wind turbine or have a charging point. We are sure that King Charles would be impressed with their creativity!

Literacy – ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’

We always like to include quality texts to support our learning. This week we started exploring a new book called ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’ by Cath Jones.

The children looked at the front cover to make predictions about the story. The children collaborated to record their ideas on the iPads.

They enjoyed describing the two main characters, Zebra and Penguin. They decided that Zebra looked happy, and Penguin looked mad.  We shared ‘higher level’ words for ‘happy’ such as delighted, overjoyed, and excited, and instead of ‘mad’ we said glum, cross, furious, and scowled. Today we read the funny story, and we stopped at different points to discuss our predictions and explain new vocabulary, we call this ‘book talk’. Book talk is essential to help children become engaged in the story and gain deeper comprehension. It gives children the confidence to offer ideas about the story and raise questions.

There is an activity on Seesaw based around this book. The story has a very funny twist at the end - please ask your child to share with you what happened to Zebra at the end of the story.


In Maths this week, we have been working on consolidating our number bonds within 5. We have investigated Numicon and five frames to really think about the parts that make up numbers, e.g., to make 5 we could use 2+3 or 4+1. Some of the children have been investigating ways to make numbers between 6 and 10, for example 7 is made up from 5 + 2, 4 +3, 6 + 1, etc.

We have also explored ‘missing numbers’, e.g., if I have 3, how many more do I need to make 5? The children had to convince us what the missing part was by using one of the resources to ‘prove’ it – they used Numicon, dice images or tens frames to demonstrate their understanding.

Book Buddies

Across the school we promote a love of reading. This week we were delighted to welcome children from Years 5 and 6 who came to introduce the concept of ‘book buddies’ to the Foundation Stage. This is a time when children can share their love of reading and inspire one another. All children enjoyed the opportunity to read aloud. Puffins and Penguins were able to talk about some of their favourite books and able to share their favourite poem or character. It was wonderful to see all the children engaged and immersed in books. Thank you to the older children for reading to their younger peers.

Poetry Performance

We are looking forward to performing our poems and songs for you on Monday 15th May at 2:45pm. All family members are welcome.

Please come into school via the main admin office.

Home Learning

  • Enjoy the book on Seesaw read by Miss Payne.
  • 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.
  • We have assigned a communication activity to encourage your child to talk about our new book ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’.
  • Complete the new ‘Six brick’ challenge on Seesaw. This week you will need a balloon for the activities. Each child has a balloon in their book bag. We cannot wait to see your photos and videos of you completing this week’s challenge!

Important Dates        

The following events are on the school website and on the School News app. More details and timings will follow in due course, but we thought that it would be helpful to give you these upcoming key dates:

  • Monday 15th May at 2:45pm - Poetry performance for parents. Please head towards the main office.
  • Monday 29th May to Monday 5th June - Half-term
  • Tuesday 6th June - Return to school.
  • Monday 10th July - Whole School Sports Day
  • Friday 14th July - Summer Fayre.
  • Wednesday 26th July - last day of term.
  • Wednesday 6th September - first day of term.

Have a lovely weekend,

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075