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Foundation Stage Unit

  FSU 

Welcome to our Foundation Stage Unit 

                      Mrs Emptage, Mrs Hinchliffe, Mrs Baker, Nikki, Julie, Mrs Beer, Miss Turner and Mrs Dennis

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Sunflowers (Nursery 2 Year Olds)

Caterpillars (Nursery 3-4 Year Olds)

Butterflies (Reception)

Are you looking for a fabulous Nursery provision for your two or three year old? 
 
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Contact us to arrange a visit and
please submit a Note of Interest form 
 Our up to date admissions policy and information booklet are below: 
                                                                                pdf FSU Information Booklet Updated June 2024
The next step of process is to complete and send us the following:
pdf Step 2 Parent Declaration Form (January 2024)
The following forms may not be applicable, but please complete them if they are:
 
Would you like to find out more about our thriving Reception Class?
Please contact the School Office to arrange a visit. 
If you have any queries about admissions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The links below give you further information about our Foundation Stage Unit. The documents clearly outline what the children will be learning about and what experiences are on offer. Key texts and songs and rhymes that we teach are included. Please click on the song links so that your children can listen to the songs at home!
 
  pdf Curriculum Goals Butterflies (End of Reception)
                                                       
                                                              pdfSunflowers Curriculum Web Summer 2 Summer and Habitats
                                                                          pdf  Sunflowers Summer 2 Summer and Habitats
 
                                      
                                                               pdf Caterpillars and Butterflies Curriculum Web Summer 2
                                                                        pdf Caterpillars Summer 2 Summer and Habitats
                                                                        pdf Butterflies Summer 2 Summer and Habitats
 

Our Favourite Five Books

At Monkleigh School, we are passionate about igniting a love and passion for reading from the very start. In FSU, Sunflowers, Caterpillars and Butterflies all have a selection of Favourite Five books - these are five books that are always on display in the classroom. We read these books again and again over the year - they are rich in language, rhyme and repetition and are excellent stories. If you are ever looking to buy your child a book for Christmas or for their birthday or if you would like some ideas for books to borrow from the library, please take a look at our Favourite Five Reads:

pdf Sunflowers Favourite Five 

pdf Caterpillars Favourite Five

pdf Butterflies Favourite Five

Please scroll down to find out what we have been up to!

Exploring Habitats

This week we dug deep and had great fun exploring bugs. We got our hands stuck into finding the bugs hidden in the spaghetti ‘grass’, used our fine motor skills to help feed the birds with worms and made our own ladybirds. Our song this week was incy wincy spider, so it was only right we also made some spider paintings.

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The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch

This week our Caterpillars shared the story of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch. We have learnt the importance of a lighthouse and how it keeps boats safe. We have been making our own cheeky sea gulls and enjoyed spreading and making our own delicious jam sandwiches. We have been sailing out to sea in our boats and created our own lighthouses. Just like in the story we acted out sending a basket of food on a rope from the house to the lighthouse. We have enjoyed learning about all things land, next week we move onto sea pollution and how we can make a difference to the world around us.

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Sally and the Limpet

What a wonderfully creative week Butterflies have had. They have enjoyed immersing themselves in the story of Sally and the Limpet and are confident with retelling the story - this will really help them when they write their own story next week!  The children have written detailed and informative information books about limpets and have demonstrated that they continue to know more and remember more about rock pool creatures and habitats. During the year, Butterflies have developed their fine motor skills and clay skills, the clay star fish they have created show just how much they have developed! They have had super fun in our outside areas and continue to challenge themselves further every day!

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ROAR!

ROAR!!! This week the Sunflowers set off to the jungle. We created and enjoyed our small world jungle. We focused on the patterns we see on jungle animals, comparing and matching the different patterns to the animals. We also made spotty snakes and stripy tiger masks using different mark making techniques.

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Tiddler!

This week our Caterpillars have shared the story of Tiddler. We have learnt about ‘marine’ animals this week and experiencing all things under the sea. We have made our own star fish with cereal and created our own beautiful fish with bubble wrap printing. We have been printing shells in the play dough and playing with the blue water, searching for some under the sea animals.  We have also enjoyed using magnets to catch fish too! 

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Rambling through the Rock Pools
This week Butterflies have been learning about habitats. With a special focus on rock pools and dunes. The Butterflies have enjoyed playing rock pool bingo and reading Sharing a Shell. They have created some wonderful writing about the characters from the story. The highlight of the week was our trip to the beach. The children enjoyed exploring the Visitor Centre at Northam Burrows and learning all about habitats. The microscope was also a big hit. The children then spent time exploring the dunes and rock pools to find and identify different creatures. 
 
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Journeys and Habitats

This half term the Sunflowers will be exploring different animal groups and habitats. This week we started with dinosaurs 🦕. Our play has been very dino based, with different play experiences and learning opportunities. We have made our own dinosaurs, explored colours, created habitats in the sand tray and got sticky and slimy jelly ‘swamp’.

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Journeys and Friendships

This week our Caterpillars have been sharing the story of 'The Suitcase'. This is a heart warming story about friendship, trust and showing kindness to someone in need. So this week the children have been discussing what makes a kind friend and have been filling a kindness jar of Pom poms! Our word of the week has been possessions, the character in the story carries his special possession in a suitcase, it is a tea cup. The children have been using their dough gym skills to create their own tea cups with playdough and have been sending in photos of their own precious possessions to add to our class suitcase. The children have been drawing pictures of their families and choosing what they would put in their own suitcases and talking about where they would like to travel. 

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My Name is not Refugee

This week Butterflies have continued exploring transport and journeys but with a different focus. We have been exploring the journeys that refugees have to take to find a new safe space to live. Our word of the week is 'Refugee' and we now have an understanding that a refugee is someone who has to leave their home and country because it is not safe due to war, natural disasters, danger or limited water. The children have explored how refugee children might feel and have enjoyed reading  'My Name is Not Refugee.' We have thought carefully about our most treasured possessions that we would pack in our suitcase and how member of the community could help refugees coming to live in North Devon. 

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'Help Me'

“Help me” has been our focus this week. We have explored the language of asking for help, and based our play around the emergency services and those who help us. We have strengthened our fine motor skills spraying ‘flames’, and we’ve looked after each other with the doctors kit. We’ve used lots of books and photos to talk to the children about people who can help us and when, as well as dressing up to extend our role play.

Exploring London and The Royal Family

This week our Caterpillars have been learning about our capital city London. We have learnt about some of the famous landmarks in London and even attempted to use blocks and cubes to create our own tall landmarks. We have been using pegboards to create our flag and have created our own 3D London buses! Outside we have enjoyed using the crates to create a London bus and have enjoyed many car trips around London too! 

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Butterflies have enjoyed reading a biography of King Charles and learning lots of interesting facts about him. Their writing about King Charles was detailed and informative. They have enjoyed learning about the Union Flag and recreating it using peg boards and finger painting. We finished off the week with a trip to Castle Hill in Torrington where we flashed back to our learning about Castles to identify the different features in real life. We also looked for signs of the past and used old photographs to look at how the area has changed. 

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Construction and Digging Fun

“Dig dig digging” has been the story we shared this week. We have enjoyed the construction vehicles in the Rice Krispies, dressing up as builders and ‘fixing’ things around the room. The children painted with Duplo bricks to create buildings; and also continued to develop our building skills with wooden blocks, Duplo and Stickle bricks; as well as getting messy using shaving foam to ‘cement’ our buildings. 

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Crowns and Celebrating King Charles III

This week our Caterpillars have been learning about King Charles III. We have shared the story of 'The Kings Hats' and we introduced London our Capital city and Buckingham Palace! The children have enjoyed watching the Kings guards in action and created their own Kings guards too.
The children have created their own Union Jack flags by developing their fine motor skills by using cotton buds. They have also made their very own fabulous crowns and King collages. Next week we will explore more of our capital city. 
 
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Butterflies have been exploring the significance of a Crown and all that it symbolises. We have discovered a new word for a King or Queen - Monarch and we have looked closely at Kings and Queens from the past and used excellent enquiry skills to predict which Monarchs ruled hundreds of years ago. Butteflies have been constructing their own crowns and have flashed back to printing using a range of lines to decorate crowns.  They have also continued to develop their transient art skills. We are thrilled with the children's story mapping and story writing skills - they are on track to meet their writing curriculum goals! 
 
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Up Up and Away!

Up up and away! This week Sunflowers have gone on an airplane adventure. We have made our own cloudy pictures, decorated hot air balloons, and enjoyed the sensory experience of cloud dough. We have looked at different places we could go on the plane, and talked about where some of us have been on an airplane already. We made the most of the beautiful weather, taking our play outside, even doing some plane spotting!

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This week in Caterpillars we have been learning all things air transport. We have  shared the story of ‘Maisy goes by plane’. The children have used shapes to create their own aeroplanes, we have created our own rockets and planes with recycled materials. We have been enjoying vehicle puzzles and creating our own air transport collages. We have explored pattern and created our own hot air balloons. We have also watched a rocket launch too. Some of the children sent in photos from when they have been on an aeroplane so they could share this experience with their friends. 

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Journey to London

This week Butterflies have travelled to London and have started to learn all about castles from the past. The children have used a wide selection of fine motor skills to create some wonderful art. They thoroughly enjoyed creating their own information pages about castles. The children labelled their diagrams and wrote sentences explaning what the different features of a castle were for. We are so proud of how hard the children are working on their writing.

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Adventures with Boats and Buses

Sunflowers this week enjoyed learning all about boats. We explored different textures, and loved the gelli baff. We combined different techniques to stick and paint our own boats; and we recapped our shape word focus’, making a shape picture using different items to paint with. And in true Monkleigh form, we weren’t put off by the raining joining our play again, we had great fun splashing in the puddles and chasing bubbles in the wind.

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This week our Caterpillars have been sharing the story of 'The boy who travelled the world'. We have been looking at sea transport. We have created our own boats and submarines with junk modelling and tested them in the water to see if they float. We were scientists and investigated whether objects float or sink. We have also been learning how to be safe around water and the importance of the RNLI whilst experiencing some sea themed sensory fun.  

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The Butterflies have been very excited to learn about boats and buses this week. We have looked at bus timetables and talked a lot about routes and journeys that we can take by car, boat or bus. The children have been making boats that can float and have though carefully about waterproof materials and forces which act on a boat. They were thrilled to take part in our boat and buses trip on Friday! We spent the morning exploring signs of the past in Appledore, before taking a ferry trip from Appledore to Instow.

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Trains, Boats, Cars, Buses and lots of fun!

This week the Sunflowers have also been exploring trains. We made our own trains from a large cardboard box, as well as utilising the crates outside. We created trains using sponge painting, and by experimenting with different shapes. We used our fine motor skills to fit the train track together and learnt a new song: “down at the station”.  We also made the most of the sunshine, exploring the outside space as much as possible. 

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This week our Caterpillars have been sharing the story of 'BIG BLUE TRAIN' and exploring land transport. We have been using the crates to make our own fantastic vehicles. We have been painting with cars and using the tools to fix the bikes outside as-well as the play equipment too! We have been investigating different heights and ways to make our cars move faster. We have been drawing our own train tracks, looking at vehicles past and present and discussing their differences aswell as boarding the Monkleigh Express and making different arrangements with shapes. 

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Butterflies had a wonderful sunny afternoon at Fremington Quay where we introduced our learning to trains. We have been exploring modern trains and trains from the past and the children really enjoyed investigating signs of the past. They were fascinated with the Heritage Museum and really loved imagining where the trains would have stopped and where the huge cargo boats would have moored up. The junk model trains that the children have created have been very carefully constructed! 

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Welcome Back to the Summer Term!

We were very excited to see our Sunflowers, Caterpillars and Butterflies back in school this week. Our newest Sunflowers have settled in brilliantly! This week we have started to learn about journeys and transport. We have had a focus on cars, bikes and walking. Butterflies have been developing their mapping skills and were very proud to bring in their wonderful small world gardens that they have created over the holidays.  Caterpillars have been exploring movement of vehicles and practical mapping and Sunflowers have been working very hard on developing their fine motor skills. What an excellent start to the term!

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Eggscellent Easter Celebrations:  

🌻In Sunflowers we have had a great week. We have loved exploring Easter. 
We had an Easter egg hunt, made fluffy rabbit Easter cards, tried hot cross buns for snack and loved making (and tasting!) chocolate nests. 
 
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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have been having lots of Easter fun! We have loved sharing the story 'We're going on an Easter Egg Hunt' the children have been so excited to search the pages for the eggs. We had our own daily Easter egg hunt where we had to find 10 eggs around the room! This week we held our Easter bonnet competition, Mrs Reeves struggled to choose the winners as they were all so amazing! We also turned ourselves into bouncing bunnies and enjoyed getting messy with paints and taking part in some fine motor fun! 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center In Butterflies we have been exploring Easter. The children have combined all Design and Techonology skills developed over the term to independently create chick tree houses. The creativity and resilience in the room was infectious. The children are very proud of what they have produced. We have used our threading and sewing skills to decorate Easter Eggs and have created some lovely writing about Easter. Butterfly Easter bonnets looked fabulous - they had all clearly worked very hard to produce them! 

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Celebrating Spring and Differences:

🌻 This week the Sunflowers learnt all about the life cycle of a chick. We made our own hatching eggs, using different mark making techniques; bingo dabbers and sticking with feathers. We ordered the stages of the life cycle and our story helped us explore other things that might hatch from an egg.  We had a very exciting visit from some very cute and fluffy chicks too!

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have been learning about the life cycle of a chick. They have enjoyed sharing the story of Dora's eggs and thinking back to last week's learning and making links to the names of the baby farm animals within the story. We have created our own life cycle of a chick as well as exploring paint with forks to create our own chicks hatching from eggs. We have been enjoying playing with the small world farm we helped to create last week. We had a very exciting first school trip to a local farm, we got to meet some beautiful animals and even got to see some baby lambs being born. We also were lucky to have a visit from some baby chicks too! 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center In Butterflies this week we have been learning about our word of the week - Diversity. We have been celebrating differences and exploring how everyone in the class is different. The children have enjoyed exploring using online paint programmes to recreate the illustrations in the book 'It's Okay to be Different'. The children have created some wonderful pictures and writing to describe themselves, their families and favourite foods. 

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Exploring the cycle of life and the world around the us:

🌻 Sunflowers have rounded off their farm fun this week. We have experimented with our new vocabulary, using baby animal names in our play. Making our own farms with cornflakes and weetabix, and having great fun in the muddy gloop have definitely been a highlight this week.

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have shared the story of 'What the lady bird heard'. We have had lots of fun painting with farm animals, exploring gloop and saving our farm animals from being stuck in the playdough. We have been making our own ladybirds and we played our own speaking and listening game 'What the ladybird heard' where we had to find our own spaces in the room and the lady bird had to whisper messages to one another. We have begun our build a farm challenge this week and have constructed farm houses from different materials ready to put in our small world farm next week. Our word of the week is 'offspring' we have been learning the names for farm animals and their young. 

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Butterflies Butterflies Everywhere!
 
Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center The Butterflies have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the life cycle of a butterfly this week. We have explored creative ways to represent a life cycle and have discussed and developed a good understanding of the word metamorphosis. We have used the 'Austin's Butterfly' approach to feedback where children have developed their kind, specific and helpful feedback skills to help their friends to improve their butterfly drawings and art work. It has been impressive to see the improvement in the drawings and paintings over a short space of time. We enjoyed a Spring walk around Monkleigh where we even spotted the farmers preparing the fields to sow the seeds. It reminded us of the song 'Oats and Beans and Barley Grows' which we sang two weeks ago! Our seeds are growing well in the classroom. Spring seems to be finally arriving! 

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Exploring the Natural World Around Us:

🌻Sunflowers this week have been learning about horses. We have explored why they wear horse shoes and created our own horseshoe paintings with celery. We made playdough straw bales for them to eat too!  We have also loved getting outside in the sunshine more this week, exploring the VERY blue water!

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🐛This week the Caterpillars have shared the story of Caterpillar and Bean. Our word of the week has been 'chrysalis'. We have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. Along with creating our own life cycles we have also created paper chain caterpillars and explored patterns and symmetry by making the most beautiful butterflies. We have helped to strengthen the muscles in our hands by using a hole punch to make it look like the leaves have been nibbled by a hungry caterpillar. We have also made some caterpillars with beads and have enjoyed painting with circles too! 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center This week Butterflies have finally been experiencing Spring! The sun was shining on our trip to Rosemoor. They used their observational and questioning skills to identify different Spring flowers and plants. They made wonderful decorations and planted pea seeds to bring home to grow. They were very excited to invite tadpoles into the classroom as part of our learning about the frog life cycle. The children have recorded their own videos explaining their understanding of the frog life cycle and their understanding of the word amphibian. 

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Growing and Changing

🌻 The next few weeks will see the Sunflowers learning about farm animals and they’re young. Beginning this week with cows. We created our own cow pictures with potato printing. Our vocabulary focus was Cow and Calf. We had lots of cows within our play; in the sand with the tractors and some bails, and of course the big farm barn too. 

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have shared the story of Jasper's Beanstalk. We have been learning about the life cycle of a plant and what they need to grow. In outdoor learning we have planted our own seeds and look forward to watching them grow over time. We have been painting with vegetables this week and have made our own gardens as well as our own plant diagram. We have made our very own bumble bees by using vertical movements after discussing the importance of them and have also explored creating flowers with different tools and equipment in the play dough. 
 
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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center It has been wonderful to see how well the Butterflies are linking and building on their learning from earlier in the year. We have made lots of flashbacks to previous learning and the children are continuously remembering more and understanding more. As part of our learning about the bean life cycle, the children have been using their senses to explore seeds and plants. They have looked carefully at plants and compared size, leaves and appearance. The children have had chance to improve their junk modelling skills and have used their team work to create the most wonderful Jack and the Beanstalk model. The children have planted cucumber, pea and tomato seeds and are confident with labelling plants and explaining what they need to grow. We are very much looking forward to our visit to Rosemoor next week. 
 
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Spring is springing our way!

🌻 This term has started with the sun giving a brief appearance, and our topic of Life Cycles. This week Sunflowers have explored colour. We went for a walk in our outdoor environment to see what colours and signs of spring we could see. We made crowns with lots of different colours and explored all the different colours we can differentiate and see in our everyday lives. 

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🐛  This week our Caterpillars have begun to learn about the changes Spring brings! We have learnt about some of the things we might see around us as spring sets in. We have shared the story of rabbits spring adventures, the illustrations in this book are just perfect for helping us to learn about springtime and things we may notice in the environment around us. We have created some beautiful spring flowers through shapes, dabbers and painting! This week the children have also been exploring rhythm with the musical instruments.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education CenterWhat a wonderful start to the term. The Sun came out as we introduced our word of the week - Spring! This term we will be using our senses to explore the world around us and look for signs of Spring and investigate life cycles and growing. We have read the beautiful book 'The Growing Story' where a little boy sees the animals around him growing and is so keen to grow himself. We have explored clothes we might wear in Spring and things we might see in Spring. We have launched our wonderful Monkleigh Garden Centre role play and have been exploring with watercolour paints to create daffodil paintings. 

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Story Telling and Story Writing

🌻 This week the Sunflowers have enjoyed sharing their favourite stories and teddies from home. We recapped the stories we have learnt this term, and made our own stories using the “You Choose Fairy Tales” book to help us. We have continued to explore different ways of playing, and starting to add a narrative to our play.

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have been sharing the story of YOU CHOOSE, our word of the week has been imagination. We have been using our imaginations to create our very own stories and to create some puppet shows with some of our favourite familiar characters. We have been bringing in our own favourite stories from home to share with our friends. We have enjoyed exploring our marks and drawing our own characters on the board and interactive whiteboard. We have also been using our imaginations within our small world play. 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center This week Butterflies have been reflecting on their learning over the term. We have been flashing back to all of the traditional stories that we have read. It is incredible to see how much more the Butterflies know and remember. They are experts in understanding the structure of stories and identifying characters, settings, problems and solutions. They have enjoyed talking about the different choices that the characters have made and have made their own stories up by mixing characters, settings, problems and solutions from the stories we have read. The Butterflies have used their excellent writing skills to write their own story based on the book 'On the Way Home' they are very proud of what they have achieved.  The Butterflies have made great strides in their maths work this term and are subitising superstars! they have been applying their skills to numbers 6,7 and 8 and are now really challenging themselves with their maths learning. 

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Celebrating and Exploring a range of Traditional Stories

🌻 This week, the Sunflowers have enjoyed Little Red Riding Hood. We explored dressing up and pretending to be someone different; tea parties in the sand; and making our own jam sandwiches for snack. Our language focus was based around the use of saying ‘no thank you’ when something happens we do not like or do not want.

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars have continued to learn about Africa, our word of the week is Ghana. We shared the story of 'Little Red and the Hungry Lion' the children have found it very amusing. We have finished our African pattern Art from last week and began our group art project which we're very proud of. The children have also made their own musical instruments, African necklaces and explored the different patterns African animals have. We even tried some Pomegranate and pineapple too.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center This week we have been reading Anansi and the Magic Stick. This is a traditional tale from Ghana which tells the story of a very cheeky spider. Anansi gets up to lots of tricks with his magic stick! The children have been developing their fine motor skills and creating Anansi collage pictures by drawing shapes and lines before cutting out paper to make the spider. We have continued to think about the structure of stories - focusing on characters and settings in preparation for writing our own stories next week. We thoroughly enjoyed tasting Jollof Rice - a traditional dish from Ghana.  

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Run Run as Fast as You Can!

🌻Sunflowers this week have enjoyed learning the Gingerbread Man story. We have made ginger play dough, got messy with the paints, re told the story using the puppets and enjoyed yummy ginger biscuits for snack.

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Welcome to Africa!

🐛 This week our Caterpillars have started learning about Africa. We have been sharing the story of Anansi the Spider King. We have looked at the book ‘Amazing Africa’ and talked about the climate there and learnt whereabouts the different African animals live, is it the desert? The Savannah? Or the rainforest?

We have begun some African art this week and exploring shapes and vertical patterns for this. We will continue working on this next week too.  We have also started to make some African jewellery which we look forward to finishing next week as we move on to learning about Ghana.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center This week, Butterflies have loved learning all about Ghana. They have explored Kente cloths and the beautiful colours, patterns and fabrics. It has been wonderful observing the children exploring printing horizontal, diagonal and vertical lines. They have immersed themselves in painting, cutting and printing. We linked back to our weaving work before Christmas and weaved our patterns to create Kente cloths. 

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Traditional Tales, Exploring Characters, Settings and the Cold Weather!

🌻 Sunflowers have started this new term looking at traditional tales, beginning with The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks. We have enjoyed different craft opportunities, and discussing the story and retelling them in our play, as well as taste testing ‘baby bears’ porridge. We have also taken the opportunity this cold weather has provided us with and enjoyed playing outside, exploring the ice and snow, and the sounds of the crunchy grass under our feet.

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🐛 This week our Caterpillars shared the story of Sleeping Beauty! We began the week by creating our own puppets and retelling the story with the puppet theatre. Our word of the week is 'Spinning' so we have been using our gross and fine motor skills to explore this movement outside. We have also helped strengthen our fine motor skills by tearing paper to create our very own shields. We have enjoyed investigating cloud dough and have been using water to change the texture of it which was lots of fun. We have loved small world play with the castle this week and have enjoyed using the blocks to create our own castles.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have been exploring characters, settings, problems and solutions as they read a range of traditional stories. This week we have been reading Rumpelstiltskin. Our Word of the Week 'Consequence' has enabled us to explore whether Lily should have told tall tales to the King and let Rumpelstiltskin spin gold for her. The children have considered whether they agree or disagree with Lily's choices and have given reasons for their ideas. The children were able to investigate how a real spinning wheel works and took special care of this wonderful artefact lent to us by Bruce. It was lovely to be able to explore an artefact that was made in the past. 

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🐛 This half term our Caterpillars will be exploring traditional fairytales!
This week, the Caterpillars have been reading The Three Little Pigs and exploring our word of the week 'Structure'. The children have been creating their own houses with play-dough and collages as well as exploring using different materials and resources to construct and attach pieces together to create their own structures. They have also been using the bricks to build their own houses as-well as exploring building and fixing resources.
 
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Frozen - Exploring Melting,  Solids and Liquids

🌻 Christmas has come to the Sunflower Room! the children have had a super time creating Christmas Collages, exploring colours and textures associated with Christmas and reading lots of Christmas stories.

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🐛 Caterpillars have explored ice and water and have developed their vocabulary and language to describe what the ice and water felt like. They had a great time exploring the 'magic' of wax resist by using white pastels to draw snowflakes and then adding a blue watercolour wash over the top. The Caterpillars have been working very hard on their Christmas crafts.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have enjoyed taking part in some science investigations this week. They have explored solids and liquids and thought about their properties. They have investigated the process of melting while melting solid chocolate to be able to pour liquid chocolate into moulds to make chocolates. They thoroughly enjoyed exploring ice and investigating how ice could be melted. They added salt, sugar, baking powder and sand to the ice amd really impressed the adults with their observations and explanations. Our story - The Snowflake Mistake has inspired some wonderful ice palace collages.

Moving from Autumn to Winter

Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have been learning about the changes in the environment that happen as we move from Autumn to Winter. Our word of the week was deciduous. We went on a walk around school to identify deciduous trees - the children could explain that they were looking for trees that had lost or were losing their leaves. We collected interesting things which we used back in school to create transient art pictures of butterflies, squirrels and foxes. We have explored using pastels and lines to create deciduous trees following the illustrations from our book of the week 'A Walk in the Woods.'

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🐛 Caterpillars have enjoyed thinking about the clothes that you need to wear in Winter, they have used fine motor skills to sort leaves using tweezers. Caterpillars have created wonderful Winter and Autumn trees using their colour mixing and printing skills.

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🌻 Sunflowers have been exploring the season of Winter through sensory activities and exploring cold colours and shiny materials that can be associated with the cold season. They have been reading stories to develop their understanding of winter and looking at words that could describe how they feel in the Winter.

Night and Day and Lots of Sleeping

🌻 Sunflowers have been learning about the importance of sleep and have made some wonderful animal nests to keep a range of animals safe and warm. They have enjoyed developing their scissor skills and have created some super hedgehogs. It's lovely to see our Sunflowers so settled into life at Monkleigh and really enjoying their learning.

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🐛 Caterpillars have really shown their creative and individual personalities this week. they have been learning about the dark and animals that come out at night. They have named animals and worked on listening carefully to a range of environmental sounds. The highlight has most definitely been creating torn owls. Every owl is individual and unique and shows such personality and creativity!

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have been learning about nocturnal and diurnal animals. They have thought about why some animals hunt at night and have thought about the differences and similarities between animals that are awake during the day and at night. Writing skills have included naming and labelling nocturnal animals. Butterflies have worked on threading and wrapping skills to create foxes with really long stems. An investigation to remember is the 'make a bat fly' STEM investigation. The children investigated lots of ways to make their bat fly effectively. Butterflies had the most wonderful afternoon at 'Saplings in the Wood' Forest School which is situated between Monkleigh and Torrington. They immersed themselves in the beautiful surroundings and focused their learning on deciduous trees in preparation for our learning in school next week. 

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Celebrating Light and Diwali

 🌻 This week the Sunflowers have enjoyed recalling the previous weekends fireworks. Talking about the colours and noises they experienced, painting our own fireworks, and enjoying making some yummy breadstick sparklers.

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🐛 Caterpillars started off the week by making some delicious sparklers - this provided a great transition from learning about fireworks to Diwali. Caterpillars have been exploring light and celebrations. They have enjoyed recalling celebrations that they have had with their family and friends - birthdays, christenings and weddings. They have also created some fabulous patterns. 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center  Butterflies have been learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali. They have discovered how Hindus celebrate Diwali by wearing special clothes, decorating houses with lots of lights and candles and eating special food. They have enjoyed exploring transient art - indoors and outdoors and creating Mandalas and Diwali cards. We are thrilled with the way that the children's writing is progressing - they wrote some lovely messages in their Diwali cards. They also visited the foodbank - Harbour in Bideford to deliver the harvest donations in school. We flashbacked to our work on It's a No Money Day and helped the ladies create food parcels and stack the shelves. Butterflies have also had great fun in their role play cafe.

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Fireworks

🌻 This week the Sunflowers have loved making the most of the Autumnal weather and found some puddles, as well as exploring different blue sensory bags. The highlight of the week was definitely creating fireworks in the foam and with the powder paints outside. Lots of messy fun was had!

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🐛 Caterpillars have had a wonderful time exploring poetry, colour and fireworks this week. The children had a fabulous time making fizzy fireworks by mixing vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, colouring and glitter. They really enjoyed using their senses to observe what happened. 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies also had a wonderful time exploring the fizzy science investigation. They were able to clearly communicate to others what had happened and why it happened. The Butterflies have explored lots of different art processes this week and have created excellent spirals and swirls. They really enjoyed reading and joining in woth Firework poems and writing their own poems with sound words. 

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Harvest, Autumn and Pumpkin Patches

🌻 This week Sunflowers have been exploring Harvest in the Community. They have had a wonderful time with cornflakes and diggers and tractors in sensory play. The children continue to enjoy getting out and experiencing everything that Autumn brings. We have painted with Autumnal colours using sticks, conkers and leaves and have been singing Dingle Dangle Scarecrow.

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🐛 Caterpillars have been reading 'The Leaf Thief' this week and have been talking about what happens to the leaves in Autumn. They have explored the textures of different leaves and explored the crunching sounds that they make. The children are thrilled with their autumn leaves - they have printed and cut out their own leaves to create a beautiful wreath! Scissor skills are coming along nicely! 

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have really enjoyed reading Pumpkin Soup this week. They have been learning about the different characters - Squirrel, Cat and Duck and how they have very different interests and personalities! We have talked about the characters and setting in the story. Butterflies have been developing their fine motor skills by hammering golf tees into pumpkins and wrapping elastic bands around mini pumpkins! Tomorrow we will scoop out the pumpkins and after half term we will enjoy some Pumpkin Soup! 

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Exploring Harvest and Autumn

🌻This week in the Sunflowers, we took our learning outside into the lovely sunshine, reading our book of the week We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. We enjoyed exploring the forest school area, climbing and rolling down grassy mounds, playing with the water run and experimenting with the music wall.

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🐛Caterpillars have been learning about Autumn and how leaves change colour. The children have loved exploring different Autumn objects and using the tweezers to pick up and sort different leaves. The children used their fine motor skills to create hedgehogs with playdough and spaghetti.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education CenterButterflies started a week learning about Harvest and Autumn with a walk in Weare Giffard woods. We found lots of evidence of Autumn and some really interesting shaped leaves and acorns. We also found lots of lovely fairy doors! Butterflies have been learning about the importance of Foodbanks and have created a poster to raise awareness of the importance of foodbanks. This is in preparation for launching a harvest collection for Harbour in Bideford. The children have read 'It's a No Money Day' and are incredibly motivated to collect as many donations as possible for Harbour. Butterflies will deliver the donations themselves in November.

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Looking After Ourselves - Healthy Emotions and Healthy Minds

🌻 This week the sunflowers have explored different emotions, looking at different faces and used mirrors to look at our own faces. We explored ways to communicate our needs, and made glittery sensory bottles to encourage a calming feeling. 

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🐛 Caterpillars have had great fun sorting different objects and healthy and unhealthy foods. They have been thinking carefully about their emotions and what emotions can look like. They have loved reading Be Brave Little Penguin and thinking about how they can be brave.

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center This week we welcomed a dental nurse to talk to Butterflies about the importance of looking after their teeth. We looked closely at healthy and unhealthy foods and made smoothies with Chef Louise - they had a secret ingredient - beetroot paste - it made them very yummy! Butterflies have explored different emotions and talked about the different ways that we can deal with situations. 

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Looking after Ourselves - Healthy Eating, Exercise and Sleeping

🌻 Sunflowers have talked about keeping our teeth clean. We painted and washed toys with tooth brushes. We also  explored the feel and taste of new fruits.

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🐛 This week Caterpillars have been learning about “looking after me”. Our word of the week has been ‘healthy’ we have been sorting healthy and unhealthy foods and thinking about how to make a healthy meal. We enjoyed a visit from Chef Louise and we made...

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Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center We've been thrilled to welcome some vistors into FSU to meet our Butterflies this week. A highly skilled and experienced nurse came to talk to Butterflies about her job and how she helps people to take care of their bodies. She talked to the children about the A (Airways) B (Breathing) C (Circulation) checks that she carries out. She talked about staying healthy by eating a range foods. The children loved exploring the bandages and different moitoring equipment. We also welcomed Jonny Duddle. He came and read some of his fabulous stories to the children - his props and performance was inspiring! The children thoroughly enjoyed watching his illustrations come to life and wanted to start drawing as soon as he left!

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Life as part of the Monkleigh Primary School Family

Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education CenterThis week all of the children have been learning about life in school and the school community. Lots of the members of staff have been in to read stories to the children. Butterflies have been reading the Colour Monster Goes to School and exploring feelings and emotions associated with starting school. The children met with Mrs Reeves and asked her some wonderful questions including: How did you become a Headteacher? What do you do in your Office? Do you ever come on school trips? We also managed to fit in an Autumn Walk around Monkleigh. We looked at where Monkleigh School is within the village and even went blackberry picking. On Friday we made yummy apple and blackberry crumble!

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🌻The sunflowers this week have explored colours and enjoyed the puddles the rain has left us too.

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Welcome Back to our Wonderful Sunflowers, Caterpillars and Butterflies

Butterfly Wing Optics | Smithsonian Science Education Center Butterflies have been thinking about their families and relatives this week. They have talked to their friends about their families and we have celebrated the fact that every family is unique and very special. The children have made pebble families and have enjoyed exploring our role play and outside areas. On Friday, we went on our first school trip 'Around the Houses' To begin our journey into understanding how we belong in our local community, we visited everyone's houses!

🐛This week in Caterpillars we looked at ‘Our Families’. We talked about who is in our family and enjoyed sharing pictures of them. We made play dough faces, drew our families, and explored the people in the sand. We had fun with the tweezers, strengthening our hand muscles for drawing, as well as exploring colours.

🌻This week we have enjoyed welcoming our Sunflowers (2 year olds). We have loved exploring the environment, both inside and out. We read “Goat Goes to Playgroup”, looking at the things goat does the same as us at school. We enjoyed the sand and water play, as well as sharing some stories and making music with the instruments.

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Happy Summer!

We cannot believe that the year is drawing to a close! It’s been the most wonderful year and we are incredibly thrilled with the way that all of our Caterpillars and Butterflies have developed and grown. We’ve had so much fun, a wealth of new experiences and lots of laughter along the way.

After another year of continued development and growth for our FSU and constant commitment, energy and enthusiasm from our team, we are really pleased that we can share the outcomes of the Ofsted inspection that was carried out in school in June 2023.

‘Children in Early Years flourish with an impressive start to their education journey.’

‘Leaders are determined for pupils to learn to read and to develop a love of reading. Leaders prioritise the involvement of parents to help their child to learn to read. Regular opportunities are provided to ensure that parents are well supported. As a result of leaders’ actions, pupils learn to read exceptionally well.’

‘Children in the Early Years thrive. They are nurtured and well supported. This helps children to be curious about the world around them and share a love of learning. Staff maintain a sharp focus on language development. They design learning activities that help children to connect their ideas. This helps children to build their knowledge successfully.’

If you know anyone who would be interested in learning more about our thriving Foundation Stage Unit, please invite them to come along to our Open Morning on Thursday 21st September from 10:30am. Google Forms to sign up for this event will be posted at the beginning of September.

We wish all of our wonderful Caterpillars and Butterflies and their families a fabulous summer.

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Jungle Songs and Cheeky Monkeys
This week the Caterpillars have been learning about the rainforest and the different animals that live there. We have been very creative making our own rainforest animals out of paper plates. We have learnt a jungle song which the children have been learning actions to. We have drawn our favourite animal from the rainforest with chalks, looking carefully and choosing the correct colours. We have enjoyed using the small world jungle animals in the sand and had some jungle animals come and visit from Mrs Kingdom’s house, some cheeky monkeys even enjoyed a yummy snack with Daisy! We have also been counting and looking at shapes this week. Our maths word of the week is direction, we have hidden objects around the room and given instructions to our friends to find them and also playing Simon Says. 
 
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Marbling Magic
Butterflies have thoroughly enjoyed learning about The Great Barrier Reef this week. We couldn't believe that it stretches over an area longer than the whole of the United Kingdom! Our Word of the Week has been 'Ecosystem'. The children have had a great time experimenting with inks to create a marbling effect. Their work really is beautiful and celebrates a diversity of light abd colour that can be found in the Coral Reef. The children have really enjoyed learning about the vast range of creatures living in the Reef!
 
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Beautiful Brazil
This week Caterpillars have been learning all about Brazil, we have looked closely at the flag of Brazil observing the colours and shapes on it. We have watched some Samba dancing and carnivals, creating our own dance and made head dresses. We then performed our dancing for the Butterflies and our special guest visitor Mrs Beer from the office. We have looked at where Brazil is on the globe and enjoyed finding out how life in Brazil is similar and different to ours. What a fun week we have had! Have a lovely weekend everyone. 😊
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Butterflies Jetting off to Australia
We started the week with a bang and a flight to Australia. The children brought their bags into school and proceeded to Check  In at Monkleigh Airport. The children weighed and checked in their bags and then went along to Security - ensuring that they had all valid documents for travel. The aircraft flight simulation was fabulous. The children enjoyed drinks and snacks and spent the flight to Australia reading, playing games and colouring. Baggage Reclaim went smoothly and luckily all bags were reunited with their owners. We have enjoyed taking part in a paper aeroplane science investigation and writing postcards from Australia - definitely a week to remember! 
 
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The Only Way is Badger!
This week our Caterpillars have read “The Only Way Is Badger”.We have been looking at woodland animals and where they live. Our word of the week was ‘habitat’. The children enjoyed different woodland activities; creating a woodland scene, and making puppets and a puppet show. We used our fine motor skills to explore weaving. Our maths this week has been focused on capacity again, looking at which container holds the most or least. We explored this in the water, sand and rice. Another busy week for us. ☺️
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The Problems of Plastic Pollution
This week, Butterflies have been learning about Plastic Pollution and how it affects our ocean creatures. We have been reading the story 'Duffy's Lucky Escape' which is all about a turtle who ate plastic bags - thinking that they were jellyfish. It made Duffy very poorly but luckily some fishermen found her and took her to a turtle hospital. Our Word of the Week has been 'Pollution' We have been learning about how we can look after our environment. The children have written stories about Duffy and have made pollution posters. It was really interesting exploring the properties of plastic and looking at how they behaved in water and when they were painted. The children had great fun creating ocean creatures out of plastic.
 
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The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch
Our Caterpillars have had such a fun week! The children have enjoyed listening to the story of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch. We have made our own jam sandwiches using our spreading skills. Outside we have experimented making our own pulley/zip line to transport Duplo. The children have also looked at different foods sorting them into healthy and unhealthy and made their own healthy lunch boxes. We have also talked about what a lighthouse is and made our own. Our word of the week has been ‘hydrated’ the children have made sure they have stayed hydrated and healthy. What a busy week our Caterpillars have had!
 
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Writing our own Stories - Sally and the Limpet
This week has been absolutely wonderful! We started the week with our sponsored pirate walk and raised over £200 so thank you very much for your support. We have loved reading Sally and the Limpet. Our word of the week was 'Narrative' the children have been drawing together lots of what they have learnt over the year about stories, characters, settings, problems and solutions to write their very own stories. The children have written stories with a clear beginning, middle and end and we are so proud of them! They have used watercolour paints and fineliner pens to illustrate their books and have even found time to paint the beautiful starfish that they created in clay last week. What a week! We are so proud of our amazing Butterflies and they should be incredibly proud of themselves!
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The Rainbow Fish
This week our Caterpillars have been sharing the story of Rainbow Fish. They have been using magnets and catching under the sea animals; they have been strengthening their fine motor skills with the colanders and pipe cleaners, they have also created their own rainbow fish with the use of exploring different textures to create the scales. The children have looked at sequencing and retelling the story as well as catching sea animals in the water. Our caterpillars have been comparing weight in maths. They have also enjoyed keeping cool in the sun by building dens and reading in them! IMG 4364
 
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Rockpools and Habitats
Butterflies have had a fabulous week learning all about habitats. It was interesting to know that habitats can be huge: rainforests and deserts and really small: a tree or hedge. Our word of the week was 'Habitat'. We have spent time learning the names of creatures that we would find in a rockpool habitat. Our day trip to Westward Ho! and Northam Burrows gave the children the chance to find creatures in the rockpools themselves. It was a super morning. We then visited the Visitor Centre to learn more about the habitats in our local area. Picnics and ice lollies were also on the agenda! We are thrilled with the clay starfish that they children have produced. Over the year, we have progressively worked on exploring and developing the children's fine motor skills and clay skills. It has really paid off and the children are really proud of what they have produced. They can't wait to paint them next week!
 
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The Suitcase
This week our Caterpillars have shared the story of the suitcase which is all about a strange new creature who has suddenly arrived unexpectedly. In the characters suitcase, he is carrying his prized possession which is a special tea cup and photograph. Our word of the week has been possession and the children have been sharing photos or bringing in their own prized possession to put in the suitcase. They used play dough to create their own tea cups and chose items that why would like to take with them on a special journey.
 
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My Name is Not Refugee
This week, Butterflies have flashed back to the word 'Journey' We have been learning about journeys that some people have to take to escape danger and seek refuge (safety). We have thought about why Refugees might need to leave their homes and countries and come and live in England. The children have really developed their empathy skills and the story has really helped them to understand the challenges that refugees face. Our word of the week was 'Refugee'. The children discussed and wrote about what they would pack in their suitcase. It has been wonderful to see the ideas that they have put together of ways that they could support refugees in our local community. They thought about sending cards to say welcome and offering donations of food, clothes and bedding. It has been wonderful to watch the children develop their understanding of refugees and diversity. 
 
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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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Caterpillars

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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 Spring
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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Frozen!
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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Caterpillars
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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Caterpillars
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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Butterflies

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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Caterpillars
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!

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Butterflies

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 
are!
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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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Rockpools 
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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Caterpliiars
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.
 

 

Caterpliiars

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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Butterflies

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
Caterpillars.
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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Butterflies.
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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Caterpillars
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.

 

Castles.

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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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Nocturnal/Hibernation
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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Frozen
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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Fireworks.

 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