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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Newsletter, 26th May 2023

Let’s Investigate – Plants

Puffins and Penguins have continued exploring the following learning enquiry questions.

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.

The children have been exploring plants around the school grounds and talking about how they have a responsibility to look after plants because they are important in the world. They were fascinated and enthusiastic to find out about the world around them. We talked about trees and shrubs and how they were important for food, preserving the environment, mindfulness, and habitats for animals. The children impressed us with their knowledge and had some wonderful discussions.

We learnt the different parts of a plant (roots, stem, flower, leaves) and discussed their function, e.g. the roots transport the water from the soil and give the plant stability; the brightly coloured flowers attract insects such as bees and butterflies. The children visited the Woodland Camp to do observational drawings of plants, and they had to label their picture with the different parts. This led to discussing what plants need to grow.

We then talked about how people grow fruit and vegetables. We discussed where different food grows for example, on a tree or underground. We talked about which parts of the plant we eat. For example, with carrots and beetroot we eat the root of the plant, with peas we eat the seeds, with cauliflower we eat the flower part. This has also led to lots of discussions when eating their school lunch as the children have been sharing their knowledge with each other – “My apple grew on a tree”, “My carrots are a root vegetable”.

We looked at the lifecycle of a sunflower and discussed how 1 flower can produce many new seeds. We planted some sunflower seeds. On the packet it said that they might grow up to 180cm! To get an understanding of what this looked like, we used metre sticks to measure 180cm on a piece of paper.

During choosing learning, the children were inspired to create giant sunflower paintings, they had lots of fun working outdoors as a team to do this.

If you would like to find out more with your child, this is a link to an informative programme ‘Maddie, the plants and you’.  BBC iPlayer - Maddie, the Plants and You - Series 1: 4. The Plants We Eat

Home Learning – Animal fact file

The children have continued to share their animal fact files. We have been very impressed by their enthusiasm and confidence to stand in front of the class and share their knowledge. Also, the children in the audience have shown great respect by listening to the children presenting and asking related questions. We are incredibly proud of the progress every child has made to participate in class discussions. Here are some examples of the fact files.

Lego Celebration Event

Congratulations to Puffins and Penguins who have completed the Super Powered Lego Discover Programme!  This week was the final session, and we held a celebration event. The children were challenged to create a building for their community. They reflected on the models they had made in the past and improved and innovated their designs. They made houses, castles, schools, and libraries. Over the last ten sessions the children have impressed us with the skills of teamwork, communication, resilience, critical thinking, and creativity. Through the Lego programme they have been able to develop and rehearse these skills. They have acquired knowledge of engineering and have explored how energy is produced, stored, and used in the community. The children have had fun exploring and creating in each challenge that has been set for them. Their creations have been amazing!

As part of the celebration event, each child was presented with a certificate to celebrate their achievements. They cheered and clapped one another whilst they made their way through the human celebration tunnel. Well done everyone for learning so many new skills, we definitely have some future engineers among us.

Literacy – ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’

The children were excited to continue their learning on the book ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’. We are re-reading  the story and immersing the children in the text to help secure their knowledge and understanding. We have been talking about the meaning of some of the vocabulary in the text, e.g. doomed, scowled, out of control. The children engaged in drama to retell the story and made their own story maps.

This week we explored real beetroots! We sliced the beetroot and the children had the opportunity to taste it. Some children ate quite a few pieces and loved looking at their purple teeth and tongue in the mirror! Some were not so keen on the taste but gave it a try.

We also ‘innovated’ the story. This means that as we are now very familiar with the structure of the original story, we are starting to change elements of it so that we can create our own version of the story. In the original story, the zebra ate a beetroot and turned purple - the children changed the animal, the fruit or vegetable and the colour that the animal turned into. We had lots of great examples, such as a polar bear eating peas and turning green, and a crocodile eating a banana and turning yellow. The children had lots of fun ‘innovating’ the story and coming up with the most ‘bonkers’ and funny ideas!

To link with their their learning about growth and a balanced diet, we made beetroot smoothies! We included the ingredients, beetroot, spinich, kale, mango, pineapple and mixed berries. The children were surprised at how delicious they tasted! Maybe you would like to make a beetroot smoothie at home.


In Maths we have been exploring the relationship of ‘five and a bit more’. We have been supporting the children to recognise that numbers 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 can be made of 5 and a bit more. For example, 7 can be made of 5 and 2 more.

We have been using lots of resources to help the children secure their understanding and build a visual image in their mind. One of the representations was a ten frame. We use two colours so the children can visualise the two parts. Rekenreks are another great resource because they have the two colours, and they encourage the child to slide the correct number of beads across in one go. Use these links to explore the online ten frame and rekenrek with your child. Encourage them to create the numbers and then tell you how they know it represents that particular number.  Ten Frame (  Number Rack by The Math Learning Center

Book Buddies

Book Buddies has been a great success this half term. The children have enjoyed sharing books and magazines with children across the whole school. It has been wonderful seeing the Foundation children confidently talking about the books they love. Books are an important part of our curriculum and it is wonderful to see so many children enjoying them.

Swimming and PE

You will have received an email regarding swimming sessions starting next half-term. Their first lesson will be Friday 9th June.

Puffins and Penguins will be swimming every Friday. Please ensure they wear full school uniform to school and bring their swimming kit to school each Friday.

We have sent all PE kits home for half term so they can be washed. Please return your child’s PE kit to school by Wednesday 6th June.

Learning to swim is an important life skill, especially as we live so close to the sea as we want to keep our children ‘water safe’. We commit thousands of pounds every year to maintaining and heating the pool. Thank you to everyone who has made their donation so far. If you have not yet made the £12 payment, please do so as soon as possible.

Special Home Learning Task

In preparation for our learning enquiry after half term we encourage you to walk around the local area (around school) and take photos of any features you notice, for example, woods, beach, shops, churches. You can then send these photos on Seesaw or via e-mail to share with your friends.

Also try and draw a map of your home and label the different rooms and entrances. We will be exploring and drawing maps in school after half term.

Poetry and Song Performance

Thank you so much for supporting the children’s performance, it was wonderful to see so many of you there. We are sure you will agree that the children were amazing. They performed with confidence, enthusiasm, and passion. Learning poetry and singing songs supports early reading by introducing new vocabulary and promoting a love of language. Well done Puffins and Penguins, we are all looking forward to your next performance.

Reading Matters - Whole School Reading Newsletter

Please share the whole school reading newsletter with your child. It is packed with recommendations and activities to promote a love of reading. It can be found on the school app or website. We have a link below for your convenience.

Preston Primary School Academy - Reading Newsletter

Sun safety

In warmer weather, please help to ensure that your child is protected from the Sun.

Sun cream. Please make sure you apply sun cream at home in the morning.

Sunhat. Send in a labelled sun hat each day.

Water bottle. Please also remember to send in their water bottle each day. (You could put it in the fridge overnight or add ice cubes to it to make the water cooler.) In hot weather the children will be drinking more, so if their bottle is finished, we can also refill it from the water cooler in school.

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.
  • Enjoy the story ‘Bonkers about Beetroot’. We are sure you will want to talk to your grown up about all the activities you have enjoyed in school around this book.
  • Complete the home learning task detailed above. Walk around the local area and take pictures of the different features you see.
  • Get your aprons on and begin baking! You will find a recipe on Seesaw to make numicon biscuits. There are lots of maths opportunities in cooking - measuring, reading scales, counting, and recognising numbers as well as language such as ‘more’ or ‘less’.

Have a lovely half term.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075