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Foundation Stage Unit


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 Welcome to our Foundation Stage Unit 

Caterpillars (Nursery)

Butterflies (Reception)

                                      Mrs Emptage, Mrs Hinchliffe,

    Mrs Baker,  Miss Troke and Mrs Kingdon.  

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Caterpillars have been Out of this World!
Over the last few weeks our Caterpillars have been learning all about our Solar System. They have made junk modelling rockets and developed many skills with this, they have loved exploring and sharing new books about space, using the crates to create rockets as well as other constructio. They have taken part in many different creative activities related to this topic.
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 Boats, Buses and a Beautiful Day!
Butterflies concluded their learning about journeys, boats and buses with a day of adventures in our local area. We were able to Flashback to other journeys we had taken and routes that we had followed over the last few weeks. As we travelled to Instow, we reminded ourselves about The River Torridge, the old and new Bideford Bridges and the Tarka Trail. The children were very excited about their trip across the estuary by ferry. It was a wonderful chance to compare all of the different boats that we could see. We explored Appledore and looked for signs of the old train line and the past. The children were fantastic investigators. They really enjoyed learning about The Hubba Stone and eating their lunch while looking over to the lifeboat. The under the sea display was inspiring and has given us lots of ideas for when we learn about seas and oceans next term. The double decker bus trip to Bideford Quay was a real highlight! The children were so excited. We visited the Burton Art Gallery when we wrrived in Bideford. The children were fascinated by the local history and really loved looking carefully at the model of the Bideford Bridge.
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Learning About Locomotives with a trip to Fremington Quay
Butterflies kicked off a week of learning about trains and locomotives by visiting Fremington Quay. We used Google Earth to look at our route before we left so that we could look out for the River Torridge, the Bideford Bridge, Instow - where we will be going next week and Fremington Quay. We were so pleased to see that the children were able to 'Flashback' and use the words - that had been previous words of the week -  journey and route accurately.
After a picnic in the Sun, we walked to the Heritage Centre to learn more about what used to happen at Fremington Quay in the past. The children were fascinated with the small intricate model of Fremington Quay and all set about drawing something that was interesting to them. The children developed their understanding of maps and aerial photographs further by looking carefully at the exhibits. The Signal Box was a real hit! the children could picture and describe where the tracks, cranes and boats would have been and listened carefully to the recording from the Signal Master telling them more about life at Fremington Quay in the past.
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Journeys by Foot and on Bike
This week Butterflies have loved reading about Mrs Armitage's Bike and thinking about all of the wonderful inventions that we could add to our own bicycles. Our word of the week was 'journey'. We had lots of fun making our own obstacle courses to travel along by foot and then created our own maps to show the obstacle course. Later in the week, we mapped the school grounds and labelled the different buildings and areas around school.
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Castle Hill, King Charles and a fine Coronation
This week, Butterflies have concluded our in depth study into Castles, King Charles and the Coronation by visiting Castle Hill in Torrington and learning about the life of King Charles. The children created some excellent factual writing about King Charles and discovered more about the City of London and famous landmarks. The children rose to the pegboard challenge of creating a peg board Union Jack and thoroughly enjoyed the school Coronation celebrations on Friday afternoon. Visiting Castle Hill gave us the perfect opportunity to begin to explore maps and aerial photos which we will focus on over the next few weeks as part of our project on Journeys. The children followed the Heritage Trail Route on the map and were able to identify the main features on the map. It was excellent to hear them using vocabulary such as Castle Bailey and Castle Motte!

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Coronations, Crowns and Submarines!

This week our Caterpillars have been very busy learning all about submarines as well as celebrating the King's Coronation! The children have loved creating their very own junk model submarines and were very curious to explore different materials and resources to create their designs! We spent some time looking at where King Charles will be crowned and made our very own crowns to wear at our Coronation picnic! We made our own play dough and created some fabulous sparkly crowns with it. 

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Castles and Crowns

Butterflies have exended their learning about castles this week with a visit from artists at The Burton Art Gallery. Butterflies and Caterpillars took part in a wonderful 'Big Art' Castle making project and just look at what they created! The teamwork was phenomenal! The castle even had a working drawbridge! We have also been learning about the symbol of a crown and how a Monarch wears a crown to signify authority! We read a Crown for Lion and had fun illustrating and retelling the story. We are very excited about visiting Castle HIll next week to look at features on a real castle and can't wait to celebrate the King's Coronation wearing our beautiful crowns. 

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Learning About Land Transport 

This week our Caterpillars have enjoyed learning about land transport and movement. We shared the story 'Red lorry, Yellow lorry" and discussed all of the different things a land vehicle does! We loved getting messy when we were painting with the cars and exploring the gloop! We have taken a real interest in using the outside play equipment to explore different ways to move too! We made some fantastic assault courses.  

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Exploring Castles

Butterflies have thoroughly enjoyed learning about castles this week! Our word of the week was 'attach' and we have been singing 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' We have enjoyed reading lots of information books about Castles and also read Sleeping Beauty. Reading Sleeping Beauty gave us the perfect opportunity to flashback to our previous learning about Traditional Stories. The children were able to use their prior knowledge to identify the setting, characters, problem and solution in the story. We were also able to flashback to Spinning Wheels! 
The children have explored making 2D and 3D castles using large boxes, chalk drawings and collage techniques. They enjoyed making 'lift the flap' information pages where they had labelled the different parts of a castle.
Butterflies were also lucky to visit Monkleigh Garage. They investigated different tools and the daily activities that take place in a busy working garage. This has really helped their play and exploration in our own role play garage which is a garage and car wash this half term.
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This week we welcomed back our Caterpillars after half term along with some new friends too. So we spent our week settling in and exploring our provision. The children have loved exploring our wonderful and developing forest school area. We have spent lots of our week outside playing. 
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This week we welcomed back our Caterpillars after half term along with some new friends too. So we spent our week settling in and exploring our provision. The children have loved exploring our wonderful and developing forest school area. We have spent lots of our week outside playing. 

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Celebrating Easter
This week Butterflies have been learning about how Christians celebrate Easter. Our word of the week was 'Christians' We have thought a lot about images and symbols that are associated with Easter, Spring and new life. We had a lovely tour of St George's Church in Monkleigh and found out about lots of the key features of a Christian Church. The children were fascinated with the Stained Glass Windows and even got the chance to play the organ! In School, we have been learning to sign Hot Cross Buns and had great fun making chocolate pizzas!
It's Okay to be Different'
This week, Butterflies have been celebrating everyone's differences. Our Word of the Week was been 'Diversity' We've talked about how our families, interests and even favourite foods are different and that this is okay. The children have worked hard on their mouse skills on the Chrome books and have created some super illustrations based on the book 'It's Okay to Be Different'. We had a super time visiting The Burton Art Gallery to see the fabulous art work on display. We talked about our favourite pieces of art and the art work we would like to have a go at re-creating. It was very special to see the Butterflies' own art work in a real art gallery!
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Oats and Beans and Barley Grow!
This week, Butterflies have been learning about the Life Cycle of a Bean. They have planted lettuce, bean and chard seeds. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will start to see some seedlings growing soon! Our word of the week has been 'Life Cycle' We have worked hard to label a plant and used Fred Talk to sound out the different words. In Maths, we have been continuing to learn nunnery bonds to ten. The children are doing brilliantly with this! We had a wonderful trip to Rosemoor on Tuesday. We took part in an education workshop and created our own Spring crowns. It was lovely to have the opportunity to explore the gardens. The children all brought a Primrose back to school which they have planted in the Forest School area to remind them of their visit.
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Tadpoles, Froglets and Frogs
This week, we have been learning about the life cycle of a frog. Our word of the week has been 'Amphibian' and we have discovered that amphibians spend part of their life living in the water and part of their life living on dry land. We have looked closely at Frogspawn and have thoroughly enjoyed watching our tadpoles wriggling around! The children have created some fabulous descriptive sentences about the tadpoles.  We have enjoyed exploring ice and jelly frogspawn! In maths, we have made an amazing start to learning number bonds to ten and are working hard to learn our 10 Sleepy Fingers song.
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Exploring Life Cycles - Butterflies
We have started our journey into exploring Life Cycles this week by learning about the Butterfly Life Cycle. We read The Hungry Caterpillar to help us remember what we already knew. We have watched films and read lots of interesting information books all about the life cycle. The children have been learning about 'Metamorphosis' and what this means. All of the children can confidently tell us about the life cycle of a butterfly and the important stages.  We are thrilled with the way that the children are using their observation skills. We continued 'Looking carefully' at things by looking at patterns on butterfly wings. We have learnt the meaning of the word 'symmetrical' and have created some super butterfly wing patterns. We have built on our past explorations of water resistance and using oil pastels and watercolours and have created the most beautiful butterfly art work. 
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This week, our Butterflies have been learning all about the signs of Spring. The children looked at and talked about the changes from winter into spring. We have enjoyed reading ‘The Growing Story’ and watching the seasons change in the pictures as the little boys grows. In maths, the children have been learning all about length and height. They have been using the language linked to this as they found things longer and shorter than their own feet and we even managed to stand in a line in height order. The classroom has been filled with beautiful daffodils as the children were observing closely as they painted with the watercolour paints. It has been wonderful to see how the children have returned to this throughout the week to try and improve on their paintings.
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Caterpillars (Nursery)
This week we have shared the story of Mr Wolfs pancakes. The perfect story for Shrove Tuesday.  We practised making and tossing our own playdough pancakes as well as even making our own delicious pancakes at school. Like Mr Wolf in the story we practised writing our own shopping lists and enjoyed making our own cut and stick pancake faces. We all played the shopping list game and were interested to see what different foods we needed to find. 
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Learning More and Remembering More Everyday!
This week, Butterflies have continued to learn about Ghana. We have explored Google Earth to learn more about the location of Ghana. The children are fascinated with maps and learning about the different continents in the World. We have continued to read the book 'Grandma Comes to Stay' and have thought about how life in Ghana and England is similar and different. The children have thoroughly enjoyed reading Anansi and the Magic Stick. Anansi is a very mischievous character! they have had great fun writing their on Anansi stories - we were dazzled by their amazing story writing! We have weaved Bolga pots and have even tasted Jollof Rice - a traditional dish from Ghana. The children's focus and desire to learn this week has been incredible. 
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'Spinning Around'
This week, we have continued our exploration into Traditional Tales by reading Rumpelstiltskin. We used the story to hunt for signs of the past and compared kitchens and libraries from the past with modern kitchens and offices. The children were super detectives and found lots of differences. They have really enjoyed reading the story and thinking carefully about the choices that the characters made. Our word of the week was 'Consequence' and we've talked about how every choice - good or poor - has a consequence. The children have engaged in some high-level discussions about the choices that the characters made and whether they agreed or disagreed with them. We've had great fun in our role play library. We were very excited to visit Torrington Library where we enjoyed even more stories. We also walked around Castle Hill investigating signs of the past and identifying parts of the castle - this will come in handy when we learn more about castles later in the year!
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This week we have started learning about the structure of stories. We have been Reading Three Billy Goats Gruff and learning about the characters, setting, problem and resolution in the story. We've really enjoyed the story and have been able to retell what happened. We have focused in on bridges and our Word of the Week was 'Structure'. We visited the Tarka Trail on Monday to look at the different bridges and structures. We spotted different materials; wood, metal, iron bars, felt, brick and cement. Back in school, we used what we had seen to create our own junk modelling structures and bridges - our bridge had to be strong and sturdy enough to hold a small world person. We found out about different junk modelling joins. We were incredibly impressed with the way the all children showed their resilience during their modelling. Over the course of the week, all children kept revisiting their bridges to test and improve them! 

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This week we have been learning about the Chinese new year. We enjoyed sharing the story of the great animal race and cut out our very own masks by ourselves, we used our masks to put on a show at our puppet Theatre. We played with the animals from the story in the red sand and also we got to explore noodles with chop sticks. We made our own chinese dragons and also got to try some delicious chinese food. 

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Look at all of the Wonderful Words that we have discovered this term! Please challenge your little one to see whether they can explain what some of them mean. Can they say the word in a sentence? They've done so well this term with their Words of the Week! 

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Resilience and New Year Challenges
We have kicked off the year with a bang and a focus on 'Resilience' and 'The Learning Pit' We have talked about the meaning of what it means to be resilient - to try, try and try again until you succeed. We thought carefully about what it means to challenge ourselves and how we can persevere to achieve our goal. We went out onto the Obstacle Course and really had to use our resilience. We created our own Learning Pits to remind us that we can use resilience with every challenge that we face. We have set ourselves a challenge for July and sealed it in an envelope. We will work hard on this challenge from now on and look forward to celebrating our success in July!
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We're very excited to be back after Christmas, this half term we will be looking at non traditional fairytales! We started our first couple of days back by sharing the story of "A hero called wolf". We also created our very own puppets and made up our own stories and put on shows at the puppet theatre. We also copied various structures from the Duplo cards and enjoyed the challenge.  

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The weather has turned and we've moved on to thinking about Winter and ice. Our word of the week has been frozen. We've explored frozen water as ice and talked about the properties of solids. We've investigated how we can turn the ice into liquid by helping it to melt. We've melted solid chocolate to make chocolates - yummy and have created some wonderful clay snowflakes - these showcase all of the clay skills that we have been learning this term. The children are very proud of what they have achieved. We finished the week with a lovely visit to The Plough Theatre in Torrington to watch the performance of the Naughty Fox. This focused on the importance of sharing. 
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A muddy and sunny walk in Parkham Woods gave us the most perfect start to our week learning about Winter and Evergreen trees. It was REALLY muddy which was great fun! The children were brilliant at spotting deciduous and evergreen trees in the woods. They enjoyed feeling the pine needles and talking about the differences between evergreen trees and decidious trees. Back in school, we've been reading the book Tree whichi has helped us to understand the changes that take place in all four seasons. We've continued to work on our clay skills - we've seen a huge difference in their clay work. We have weaved trees and folded trees to help us to continue our fine motor skills. We have explored creating different shades of green by mixing paint. 

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This week we have been talking about and learning about the changes in Seasons that we are experiencing. We have focused on moving from Autumn to Winter and the changes that brings. We have read the most wonderful book. A Walk in the Woods and were really inspired by the illustrations in the book. Our word of the week has been 'Deciduous' and we are becoming experts in identifying deciduous trees! We have loved exploring transient art to create different animals. The texture and colour of leaves that we have found were fascinating. 

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Adventures on the Common and Nocturnal Activity!
We had a wonderful start to the week with a visit to Torrington Commons for a Bear Hunt! We swished through the really long grass - some grass was taller than us! We squelched and squerched through the mud; splashed through the streams and stumbled and tripped through the woods. Luckily we didn't find any bears! We continued to look for signs of Autumn and saw some beautiful colours glistening in the sunshine. Our favourite part of the hunt was playing Poohsticks! We had so much fun!
We have developed a good understanding of the word 'Nocturnal' and can identify animals that hunt for their prey at night. We have used our fine motor skills to create some fabulous owls and foxes.
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This week we read the story of 'Bear snores on' which is all about a bear hibernating whilst his friends all come in from the cold and have a party. We explored the bears emotions through the story as he gets woken by his friends.  At the start of the week we went on a bear hunt on the Commons, we had so much fun. We have also enjoyed partaking in bear hunt yoga each morning, we are so good at balancing. We then began our Christmas crafts with a bear card, we used a fork to move the paint around to make the bears fur and then used cutting and sticking to finish our designs. We of course had lots of fun things to do on Children in need day. We wore our pyjamas to school, and created our own pudsey headbands, we also got to decorate some delicious biscuits too.  
Learning about Diwali
This week we have been learning about how Hindus celebrate Diwali. We have learnt that it is also called the Festival of Light and that Hindus like to celebrate with lots of colour. We have thought about how we celebrate special events and compared this to how Hindus celebrate Diwali. We have had lots of fun exploring our use of loose parts to create Rangoli patterns. We have further developed our clay making skills and made a Diva Lamp. I will sum up with one of the Butterflies definition of Diwali as they describe it perfectly: 'It is a Festival of Lights, they use fireworks and lamps and decorate with Rangoli patterns and stencils on their hands.' 
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We have had the most wonderful week of visiting places in our local community to give us a better understanding of how we help to make up part of the wonderful local community that we are lucky to live in. 
On Monday, we visited Weare Giffard to walk through the woods to hunt for fairies and Miss Tiggywinkle. We had great fun subitising with toadstools and exploring the Autumn environment. We managed to find lots of interesting objects to add to our Transient Art area.
We visited Harbour in Bideford to deliver the donations that we had collected for our Harvest Collection. The ladies showed us around, told us all about the work of the foodbank and cafe and we were even able to sort our own donations and add to the stock that they have. Afterwards we went for a well deserved hot chocolate at The Appledore Bakery cafe. This gave us some excellent ideas for our own Monkleigh Tearoom back in school. 
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We've also managed to explore our understanding of fireworks and experiment with some new art techniques. 
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Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere. This week we have been celebrating Autumn and all of the wonderful offerings that it brings. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading Pumpkin Soup and learning about bagpipes and banjos - the musical instruments that the characters enjoy playing. We have introduced the word character and thought carefully about how the characters behave and treat each other. We have been developing our fine motor skills and strength by hammering golf tees into pumpkins; wrapping elastic bands around small squash and making and kneading dough balls into shape so that we hade something to eat with our pumpkin soup! We are very impressed with the way that the children have explored the use of chalks to create their own pumpkin art work. In maths, we have used natural materials to create repeating patterns and have really challenged ourselves and extended our learning with this. Well Done Butterflies! have a fabulous half term! 
This week we have been thinking about where we fit in our local community. We have reflected on all of the people we have met from our local community over the last few weeks. We are very excited that members of our own school community are visiting us to read our stories - this is giving us a chance to get to know everyone in the school.
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This week we have been learning about Hibernation. We shared the story of 'It was a dark cold night'. We have enjoyed playing with water this week, whether this was our water tray, or drawing with water or jumping in puddles. We have been busy exploring marks and building upon our imaginative play. 
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This week we have read the story of the 'Helpful Hedgehog'. Our word of the week was 'Helpful' so we learnt what it was to be helpful and help others. We also began many autumn themed crafts. We looked at the changes that autumn brings. We made some autumn lights; we went for an autumn walk and found lots of things to make a autumn collage and hedgehog. Our favourite thing was exploring marks with paint and things we found on our walk! We also did some apple painting too! 
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We have been reading 'It's a No Money Day' and have been thinking about what it must be like to wake up to discover that there is little food in the house. We have set up our own Foodbank role play and have created a Foodbank poster to advertise types of foods that can be donated to Foodbanks. We are collecting Harvest donations for Harbour in Bideford and hope to deliver the donations ourselves next week. 

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Healthy Living
This week, we have continued to learn about how we can look after ourselves. We have been learning about healthy eating and looking after our teeth.  We had a super visit from Kim at Torrington Dental Practice. She helped us to understand which foods and drinks were high in sugar and how to reduce the impact of sugar on our teeth. She showed us how to brush our teeth properly. We have worked on this during the week. We had great fun naming a range of fruits and vegetables and describing their texture and how they looked, felt and smelt. We really enjoyed our fruit tasting and making our yummy fruit smoothies. We have developed our art printing skills by exploring printing with different fruits and vegetables. Our writing skills are really developing, the children were so good at using 'Fred Talk to label our body.  
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Looking After Ourselves - Our Bodies and Exercise
We have had a very active week focusing on how we can take care of our bodies by making sure that we get enough sleep and exercise. We have enjoyed reading Peace at Last and thinking about how we feel when we get enough sleep - and when we don't! We've had great fun playing Sleeping Lions! We have been taking part in lots of different types of exercise and learning about how our bodies change during exercise. The children can find their hearts and have been talking about which exercise and sports make our hearts beat the fastest. We have been lucky to welcome in Donna - a fabulous nurse from North Devon District Hospital. She taught us how we can take care of our bodies and how doctors and nurses help us to look after our bodies. She also brought us lots of bandages that we've loved using in our Doctor's Surgery. It's fabulous to see how the children's maths sorting and matching skills are developing and how hard they are working in Read Write Inc.
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We are all settling very well and busy exploring our new learning environment. 
We enjoyed outdoor learning this week and made lots of lovely potions. We also enjoyed dough gym too!
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Family, Fun and Friends
This week our Word of the Week has been 'Family' We have had a wonderful time learning all about everyone's families. The children have been so articulate with their explanations about their families. We have drawn super pictures to show our families. We also enjoyed creating our own pebble family pictures. The highlight of the week was out first school trip as Butterflies. We travelled in the minibus to all of the children's houses to see where everyone lived. The sun was shining so we stopped for a lovely sunny picnic in St Giles Park. An absolutely amazing first full week. Well Done Butterflies.
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Super Duper You!

We are thrilled to welcome the Caterpillars and Butterflies into FSU for a brand new school year. They have settled so well and so confidently. This week we have been focusing on settling and routines. We have had a wonderful time exploring our outside environment and cooking up some delicious recipes in the mud kitchen. This week, the focus has been on 'Me' We have read Super Duper Me and talked about all of the things we love to do. The absolute highlight has been watching the children share the wonderful scrap books and timelines that they have worked on over the summer! They have been so articulate with communicating their knowledge of past events in their own lives. They have told their friends all about their families and have been so proud to show their work! 

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We are absolutely thrilled with our brand new outside area. The children are already having lots of fun learning how to use the different road markings and climbing equipment. We have tested out the den poles and made some fabulous dens. We are now onto the next phase of the development of our outdoor area - so watch this space!



Aboriginal Art
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The art work that the children have created this week is spectacular! We have enjoyed learning about the Aboriginal Culture and were fascinated to discover that Aboriginal tribes have been living in Australia for over 50 000 years! We have been learning how our explorations of materials and processes in art can help us to create a carefully produced final piece of art. We have explored sponge painting, painting spirals and layering shapes and patterns. Our final boomerangs are fabulous and include symbols that the Aboriginal tribes use to communicate. We've taken part in boomerang throwing, some of us were naturals! We were very pleased to welcome Arthur, from Class 1, he gave us an excellent explanation about the didgeridoo and even showed us how to play it! 
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The Great Barrier Reef
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We have had a wonderful time learning all about The Great Barrier Reef. We were fascinated to find out that it is 1800 miles long which is much longer than the length of the United Kingdom. We have discovered that coral can grow from one tiny coral polyp! The colours, shapes and creatures that we have explored have been vibrant and inspiring. We spent a great deal of time exploring marbling techniques and creating coral reef backgrounds. We have enjoyed blending with soft pastels and creating art work of a small and larger scale. The Jelly Baff has been a real hit! 
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Australia Here we Come!
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We zoomed into the week this week with a virtual trip to Australia on Monday! The children arrived at school with their bags packed and had to head straight for the check in desk to check in and weigh their bags. They were very excited to receive tickets for a journey to Australia. The children set about making their passports and queuing to go through security. Luckily the flight was on time so the waiting time in the Departure Lounge was minimal. Once they were comfortably seated on the plane, they watched a safety video before settling into playing games, chatting and enjoying refreshments! The children were amazing and got really involved in what we were doing.
Our journey has really inspired the children to think carefully about what they would like to learn about Australia over the next few weeks. We have mapped their journey and been looking carefully at continents and oceans. We have recapped on our knowledge of compass directions when looking at the different states in Australia. We have also started to compare ocean creatures to those that we found in the Rock Pools in Westward Ho!
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⭐RSE Day - Everyone Can Sparkle ⭐️
Today we celebrated RSE Day by listening the story Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddolph. We talked about how we are all different and have different interests and that’s OK. We then decorated our own Odd Dog Out. Look at how different but wonderful they all 
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Plastic Pollution
We have been really inspired by reading the story 'Duffy's Lucky Escape' and have discovered our favourite song of the year - 'There's a hole at the bottom of the sea.' It's certainly a catchy song and has really helped us to improve our memory skills! 
The Duffy story really highlighted how dangerous plastic can be to sea creatures. We have spent the week learning about what we can do to reduce our use of single use plastic. We also had fun exploring plastic art - printing with plastic, painting on plastic and creating sea creatures using loose parts and plastic. We investigated how plastic behaves in water and could see how sea creatures might mistake plastic bags for jellyfish.
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We have had the most wonderful week learning about habitats and rockpools. We started the week with a fabulous visit to Northam Burrows Visitor Centre to learn all about rockpool habitats. We even got to feed the creatures living in their rock pool. After having lunch on the dunes and talking about the dune habitat, we made our way to the rockpools in Westward Ho! We spotted lots of limpets and sea snails and even some shrimp. We finished off our exploration with a visit to the Hocking's Van - yummy!
The visit set us off for the most exciting week learning about rockpools. We enjoyed reading Sharing a Shell. We explored clay - just like the clay that we spotted at the beach and looked carefully at how we could shape and add texture to the clay to create starfish shapes. 
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A Royal Celebration
We have had a dazzling two weeks learning all about Kings and Queens, Queen Elizabeth II and London. We started the two week extravaganza by learning about the significance of crowns and by thinking about Kings and Queens from a very long time ago to our present monarch Queen Elizabeth II. 'Monarch' was our word of the week and we had a wonderful time constructing our large collage crown. We have really worked on our scissor skills and fine motor skills and enjoyed reading 'Crown for a Lion.' We then moved onto learning about England's 'Capital City' London. We used Google Earth to explore the journey from Monkleigh to London and to compare Monkleigh and London. We have further developed our knowledge of maps by using maps and keys to explore the different landmarks in London. We enjoyed reading 'The Queen's Hat' and mapping the Queen's journey around London. We created some excellent writing about The Crown Jewels and our very own Queen collages. We have sent photographs of our work to Queen Elizabeth II and are keeping our fingers crossed for a reply! Enjoy taking part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations with your family and friends.
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Our learning of the Savanna continues this week as we share the story of Handa's surprise. We were lucky enough to try some of the delicious fruits from the story, we tried passionfruit, avocado, Tangerines and pineapple as discussed the textures and tastes. We also explored patterns of animals and created our own animal prints with the dabbers. We used oil pastels to create beautiful African sunset pictures, we then extended our cutting skills by adding the silhouette of our favourite savanna animal too.
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This week the children have been interpreting the story of the Lion and the mouse. We have started learning about the Savanna and which animals live there. We have had a go at drawing and painting them too! 
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We shared the story of Percy the park keeper and learnt about where different woodland animals live. Our words of the week were Warren, Den, Nest and Sett. We also looked at different animals paw prints and looked at their characteristics so we could match them together.  
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This week we shared the story of superworm. Our word of the week was Habitat, we learnt all about where different bugs like to live and compared the diferences. We enjoyed making our own junk modelling bugs too. Whilst listening to superworm we began to be able to identify rhyming words. We also enjoyed searching for bugs during free play outside. 
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This week we learnt about the Queen's jubilee. Our word of the week was jubilee, we cannot believe our Queen has been the Queen for 70 years! We dedicated our week to making our own versions of the queen, learning about London and some famous landmarks there. We also made our very own Union Jacks. Our story of the week was the London Noisy bus, we loved making the beep sounds.



This week we have shared the story of Maisy goes by plane. We have explored how planes move and learnt a new word "Flight". We shared our holiday photo's with our friends and talked about how we travelled there. We discussed the items needed for a hot or cold holiday and thought about what we would pack to go on our own holiday. We also explored colours to represent hot and cold places. 

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Boats and Buses
This week as part of our term's work learning about journeys and transport, we have been learning about boats and buses. We have been reading 'Last Stop on Market Street' and our word of the week has been 'route'. 
We have been learning all about the steamship SS Freshspring and using vocabulary to name different parts of the ship - mast, crew, deck, Mess Room, bunk, Captain's Cabin. We have been comparing different types of boats and the different uses for boats. 
Our finale to the week has been our own mammoth journey in our local area! We took the minibus from Monkleigh to Appledore where we went and treasure hunted and looked for lots of signs of the past. We compared all of the different boats that we could see, went to see the lifeboat and even found the old train station in Appledore. From there, we took the double decker bus to Bideford Quay where we spent the afternoon visiting the rowing club, SS Freshspring and the Burton Art Gallery to see our art work! Wow time for a sit down! The Butterflies will sleep well tonight! 
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Journeys and Transport
We are excited to be back after our easter holidays and eager to start our new topic of transport. 
This week we read the story of the Naughty bus, who goes on a great adventure by accident. We talked about our own journeys and if we have been on a bus which ended with a requested trip on our very own mini bus. 
Our word of the week was address, we learnt where we lived and drew a map of our journeys to school. We painted with vehicles and enjoyed exploring which colours we could make by mixing. 
We used the crates outside to create our own vehicles and enjoyed sharing our own journeys.  We also enjoyed using the magnetic letters to find words and our names too. 
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We have zoomed into the new term and our learning about Journeys and Transport with a visit to Monkleigh Garage. This week we have focused on travelling by foot, bicycle and car. We had a great time learning the names of all of the tools and watching the cars have tyres changed and their brakes tested. Our visit has really inspired us to explore and learn in our garage role play area. Our word of the week has been 'Journey' lots of children brought in maps that they had made over the holidays to show their journey from home to school. We have worked on making maps of obstacle courses that we have made and then maps of the school. We talked about buildings that were opposite and adjacent to each other. We have looked at how a compass work and how it shows the directions North, East, South and West. The children enjoyed adapting the saying 'Naughty Elephants Squirt Water' to help the, to remember the compass points.
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Celebrating Easter
We had a week of easter fun! We read we're going on an Easter egg hunt and had our own hunt too! 
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This week we have been learning about the Easter Story. Our Word of the Week has been Christians. We have been learning about Christian beliefs. We visited St George's Church in Monkleigh to learn about the different features of a Church. Reverend Marisa showed us lots of interesting things. We particularly enjoyed listening to her play the organ. Reverend Marisa visited school during Outdoor Learning to help us create our own Easter Garden.
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We worked with Class 3 and used our Easter Garden to retell the Easter Story. We have finally made pizzas, Easter Pizzas! We used utensils to carefully spread and cut the ingredients. They were very yummy! Have a wonderful Easter break everyone!
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Butterflies Butterflies Everywhere!
What a colourful week it has been! This week, we have been learning about the Life Cycle of a Butterfly. We now know about the four different stages of the life cycle and can explain what happens during each stage. Our Word of the Week has been 'Metamorphosis' and we can explain what this means. We have had lots of fun exploring wax resist and how wax pastels can be combined with watercolour paints to create some interesting effects. We look forward to visiting the Burton Art Gallery in May to see our butterfly art work on display. We love the second phase of our Outdoor Area where we have had fun playing in Small Worlds, Construction Worlds and our very own Garden Centre - we even had a grand opening ceremony!
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                                         We have had a great time playing with our new Small World areas and Construction Area. 
Spring is Finally Here!
We are so pleased that the sun is finally starting to shine and that we have started to see signs of Spring! We have had a wonderful week learning about the life cycle of a bean plant. Our Word of the Week has been 'Life Cycle' and we have a new favourite song - 'Oats and Beans and Barley Grow' we have a feeling that the children will be sharing this song at the Open Afternoon! 
We have planted our own bean seeds to grow and watched a time lapse film to see what happens during the growth of a bean plant. We are very knowledgeable about what a plant needs to grow. 
We have designed and made our own small world gardens and have added grass seed. We look forward to using them in our outside area and watching the grass grow! 
The highlight of the week has to be our day trip to Rosemoor. The children made natural spring crowns, planted their own pea plants and went on a 'Spring Hunt' around the gardens. The adults at Rosemoor were really impressed with what the children knew, remembered and understood about plants and Spring. They were particularly impressed with the challenging vocabulary that the children were able to use.
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It's Okay to Be Different:
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This week we have been reading the fabulous book 'It's Okay to be Different' Our Word of the Week has been Diversity and we have learnt a 'Hello' song which includes greetings from lots of different languages.  We have been learning that we all look and act differently and that we all like to do different things. We have been working hard on our Oracy skills and learning about how we can present our opinions to others. We have learnt how to say whether we disagree or agree with someone else's opinion. We have enjoyed looking at our floor book and reminding ourselves of what we discovered about Ghana and talking about how we are similar and different to people who live in Ghana. We have enjoyed writing 'I am Special' poems. 
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We read the story of Jaspers Beanstalk, we learnt all about the life cycle of a plant and what a plant needs in order to grow. We painted some beautiful sunflowers and also took our very own sunflower seeds home to plant and we are going to see who's grows the tallest! We also made some beautiful flower collages and suncatchers too and learnt all about the changes that the season of spring brings us, we went on a local walk to look out for signs of spring, we found lots of fun puddles to jump!
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                                                                                                     On the Way Home
We have really enjoyed reading On the Way Home and exploring lots of characters in detail. We have spent time thinking about the settings, characters, problems and solutions in the stories that we have read this term. We have also compared the stories and looked at similarities and differences. We have enjoyed using Sketchpad on the Chrome Books to create pictures of settings for different characters. We had a great time developing our oral storytelling skills and using this to help us with our own writing. We are feeling really challenged by our maths activities and have been spending lots of time exploring numbers 6,7, and 8 in depth.
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 Anansi the Spider
This week we have been reading Anansi stories. They are traditional stories from Western Africa. We have enjoyed learning more about Anansi and the characters from the traditional tales and have created some wonderful traditional patterns in response to the illustrations. We have been fascinated by learning all about life in Ghana and how it is similar and different to life in England. The children showed their curiosity and interest by asking some excellent questions. Using Google Earth and exploring maps of the World have been a real highlight. We rounded off the week by eating Jollof rice. Jollof rice is a traditional dish which is eaten at parties, family gatherings and celebrations in Ghana. We thought that it was delicious! 
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Goldilocks and the three Bears.

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We have had a fun packed week learning the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears. We have loved scooping and pouring with the porridge oats. We have been using our fine motor skills to cut out our own character masks and reenacting the story. We made the three bears home outside and have compared different sizes, we have enjoyed using the compare bears to sort and count the most. 


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The Caterpillars have enjoyed learning about the story of Little Red Riding Hood this week. We have made our own wolves out of playdough and using interactive whiteboard to design our own characters. Using dabbers to create the forest from the story.

We also had a discussion about stranger danger, how we would keep safe if we were approached by a stranger such as the wolf in the story.

The Little Pigs.

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The Children have been learning about the Three Little Pigs, and the meaning of the word Structure. We have built our own houses using different construction materials. Using paints we have made our own pig paintings, created pig masks and made pigs from playdough.



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Castles Castles Everywhere! We've had the most wonderful week learning about castles. We have used our junk modelling skills that we have been developing over the last few weeks to create huge cardboard castles. We have used a range of joins and slots to connect and 'attach' the boxes together. We are very proud of the shape castles that we have created by combining triangles, rectangles, circles and squares. The non-fiction book that we have been reading about castles has been very informative and this has helped us to learn a range of vocabulary such as: moat, drawbridge, turret, tower and portcullis. We have enjoyed reading Sleeping Beauty and looking at similarities and differences between this story and Rumpelstiltskin that we read last week.

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Wow! We've certainly been in a 'spin' this week!

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 We have been learning about the past and how different things were in the past compared to the modern day. We have read Rumpelstiltskin and looked carefully for clues about the past in the story. A kitchen in the past was very different to a kitchen in the modern day!  We have explored the characters, setting and problem in Rumpelstiltskin and have discussed our opinions about the choices that the characters made. We loved learning about the spinning wheel and investigating how it worked! We have explored lots of spinning objects. We are making super progress with our maths skills and have an excellent understanding of the number 5. Our recording skills are developing daily!

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Billy Goats Gruff and Bridges
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We have immersed ourselves in different materials and building this week. We have read Three Billy Goats Gruff and spent time looking at the characters, setting, problem and resolution in the story. Our Word of the Week was 'Structure' the children enjoyed challenges of building strong and sturdy structures using a range of construction equipment. We have learnt a range of different joining techniques to help develop our junk modelling skills. We thoroughly enjoyed learning 'London Bridge is Falling Down' and talked about the best materials to build the bridge back up with. We have compared a range of bridges - from the local area, our country and other countries around the world. We voted for our favourite bridge and gave reasons why it was our favourite. 
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Happy New Year! We have started the year by thinking about Resilience.

Our Word of the Week has been Resilience and we have read the story Almost Anything. We have thoroughly enjoyed the story which is all about George who doesn't think he can do anything until he learns about the magic of resilience and trying and trying again and again. We have been learning about the Learning Pit and the steps that we go through when we are faced with a new challenge. We made our own Learning Pits based on the challenges that we have faced during the week. We thought about the different ways that we felt at different stages of the challenge.  We have been using our resilience to work on learning to do our own coats up and to design and make challenging plasticine models and to develop our drawings skills. We were really proud of ourselves for getting more confident and able on our outdoor obstacle course. 

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We really enjoyed using our science investigative skills and curiosity skills when exploring how to make bats fly! The children have become real experts in nocturnal animals and camouflage. During the week, we also enjoyed a welly walk around Monkleigh where we took time to look out for signs of winter. We found Ivy Flowers, Holly, rough and bumpy bark and a few muddy puddles!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt!
What fun we had going on a bear hunt to Torrington Commons! Lots of our families and siblings came along too. We had excellent fun swishing and swooshing through the piles of leaves and rolling down the hills. We trekked through a snow storm, squelchy mud and through water until we eventually came to a cave! We ran back to the minibus very quickly when we discovered that there was a bear inside!
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Back in school, we sorted and played with lots of deciduous leaves, we learnt what the word deciduous means and the names of some deciduous trees. There were lots of similarities and differences between the leaves.
Christmas Trees Week
After learning about deciduous trees, we moved onto learning about the word 'Evergreen' We were bubbling with excitement before and during our visit to Cranford Christmas Tree Farm. We explored the farm and looked at all of the different sized Christmas trees. There were elves to spot and there was even hot chocolate to warm us up! Thank you to Laura at Cranford Christmas Tree Farm for donating a tree for us to bring back to the FSU.
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As we are moving into real winter, we have been learning about frozen objects and solids and liquids. We have explored using wax resist techniques to create our own snowflakes and had great fun playing in snow. The chocolates that we made by melting chocolate from solid to liquid, before pouring it into moulds, were yummy! Our fingers got cold playing with the ice and we enjoyed playing with the ice cubes and frozen paint. 
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We have been learning about Diwali,we have focused on the words Celebrate and Festival. Also we have learnt about how Hindus celebrate Diwali, we have thought about the similarities between celebrating Diwali and celebrating our birthdays. We have enjoyed exploring patterns.

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 During a week of work about Bonfire Night, we explored lots of art skills and techniques.

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We have been exploring maths vocabulary in practical ways, we have learnt the meaning of the words; compare, sort, match and colour.

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            Exploring and learning in our wonderful

        outdoor environment.

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We have been learning all about ourselves,how we have changed over the years; how to keep healthy and how to look after our teeth and bodies.

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Pumpkin Soup.

We really enjoyed reading Pumpkin Soup.

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pdfMonkleigh FSU Curriculum Newsletter Autumn 1 20