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Primary School

Foundation Stage Newsletter

Puffins and Penguins Newsletter, 9th June 2023

Let’s Investigate – Caterpillars

New Arrivals!

To support our learning, we had some exciting new arrivals to the class this week. We have 33 baby caterpillars to look after! The children were very excited and curious about the new arrivals, and I think the caterpillars were equally curious about their new home. The children were very keen to accept the responsibility of looking after the caterpillars.

Over the next few weeks, we will be learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. The children used their prior knowledge of ‘cycles’ to help them learn new knowledge. Previously, they have looked at the cycle of the seasons and the life cycle of a sunflower.

The children had lots of questions about the caterpillars that they would like to research over the coming weeks. One of the keys questions was, ‘When would the caterpillars turn into butterflies?’ We started by attempting to understand the concept of time. We began talking about the difference between years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. They decided they would like to record how long it takes the caterpillars to turn into butterflies. The children are creating a timeline, so they can observe any changes and eventually count the total number of days it takes.

We sang songs to help us remember the days of the week, and we talked about how the days of the week cycle round. This is a link to one of our favourite days of the week songs. Days of the Week clap clap! to the tune of the Addams Family - YouTube

Woodland Camp

Bug Hunt!

In the woods this week, Puffins and Penguins went on a minibeast hunt. We talked about what a minibeast was and some of the examples. Minibeasts are invertebrates – they are creatures without backbones. They include insects, spiders, beetles, snails, worms, and centipedes to name a few. Because invertebrates don’t have a skeleton inside their body, some live in shells (like snails). Others have a hard covering called an exoskeleton. If you would like to know more, you can visit the Woodland Trust website using this link. What is a Minibeast? And Other Bug Facts - Woodland Trust

We taught the children how to use a magnifying glass to help them look for minibeasts. We found lots of woodlice and some butterflies. We will continue to investigate over the next few weeks and hope to find lots more minibeasts. You may even find some in your house!

The potatoes and sunflower seeds that we planted before half term are growing well. The children are looking forward to digging lots of potatoes up next month.


In maths this week, we have been revisiting our work with doubles. This time, we worked on being able to automatically recall the double number bonds. This means that if the teacher says, ‘Show me 8 fingers’, I instantly know that I need 4 on one hand and 4 on the other. Or if she says, ‘Double 3’, I instantly know that makes 6. We recapped our vocabulary knowledge around doubles, including the words and phrases ‘double the amount’, ‘twice as many’, ‘both’, ‘the same again’, etc. We also talked about the twins that we know, and that twin means two babies born at the same time.

We have also been using a ten frame to explore double arrangements.

School Value - Determination

This week we have introduced the school value of ‘Determination’ to the children.

We learn our school values through dinosaurs, this is Determodactyl:

The children took part in a carousel of activities, and they demonstrated great determination. In one activity they were in pairs and challenged to get as many balls as possible in the bucket without using their hands. In another activity they had to balance a ball on a spoon whilst going around an obstacle course. These were quite a challenge, and it didn’t always work. We talked about when things are tricky it is important not to give up and that we can change things to improve it next time. We shared a selection of stories that focused on determination, ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, and ‘Walter’s Wonderful Web’ by Tim Hopgood.

Our curriculum promotes determination through the following steps.

  • Children are confident to “have a go” and don’t give up at the first hurdle.
  • Children recognise when to seek out new approaches and solutions from others.
  • Children can think of alternate routes, make links, tinker with ideas, and articulate their journey.
  • Children are able to focus on a goal, anticipate and overcome setbacks, bring others along with them, and seek out the talents of others to complete the task.

The children had great fun and more importantly they all showed a lot of determination!

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 Clague.
  • Check your child’s book bag and Seesaw for phonics activities and reading to complete at home.
  • Complete the home learning task detailed above. Walk around the local area and take pictures of the different features you see. 
  • Try the doubles activity on Seesaw.

Have a great weekend.

From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague and the Foundation Stage Team

Preston Primary School Academy
Old Paignton Road

01803 607075