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Foundation Stage Unit


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 Welcome to our Foundation Stage Unit 

Caterpillars (Nursery)

Butterflies (Reception)


Mrs Emptage, Mrs Hinchliffe,

    Mrs Baker,  Miss Troke and Mrs Kingdon.  

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



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



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

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

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


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

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

The Little Pigs.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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            Exploring and learning in our wonderful

        outdoor environment.

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

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Pumpkin Soup.

We really enjoyed reading Pumpkin Soup.

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pdfMonkleigh FSU Curriculum Newsletter Autumn 1 20