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Yealmpstone Farm Primary School

'The doorway to learning for the whole community.'

Head Teacher's Blog

Spring Term Dates

Week 2: 10/01/22

Welcome back! 

Happy New Year to all of you and a warm welcome back to school. We have a busy term ahead of us and we continue to be challenged with managing the Covid situation which is affecting staffing and attendance of pupils. Thank you for your ongoing support to ensure we keep infection rates down to a minimum. We will let you know if their are cases in your child's class so that you can test through LFT. All work is accessible through online learning either with the google classroom link or Dojo. Please get I touch with your child's class teacher if you need any clarification. It is imperative that children attend school if they can, as we are aware of the impact of missing learning.


We have started the Bikeabilty and Balanceabilty today for Foundation, Y3 and Y4. We have also secured three days next week for Y1. This is an important life skill that the children will need and they will be supplied with helmets and bikes during their training sessions.


We will be starting a swimming programme for Y4 and Y5 this term on Monday 24th January and last for three weeks. During this time the children will be having their English and maths lessons in the afternoon. Please encourage your child to read daily and practice their TTRockstars. 

Catch-Up and Tutoring

The government have provided additional funding to enable us to help those children who have been adversely affected by Covid.

We have a number of catch-up programmes in place across the school for children who need additional support and confidence:


Foundation and Y1: daily 1-2-1 practice of phonics and number skills

Y3-Y6: small daily group work for English and maths

Y2&Y6: maths academic mentor (starting on Monday 17th January)

Y5&Y6: One to one tutoring programme for fifteen weeks (starting on Tuesday 11th January)


Children have been identified from our assessment analysis and are reviewed every six weeks. You will be given feedback through the annual report that will be sent out in March this term. These programmes are having a positive impact on all children as it means that all classes are slightly smaller and the teacher is able to focus on those who are making good progress as well. Every lesson counts to allowing your child to make positive progress so please make sure children arrive on time in the mornings. 


Autumn Diary

Week 13: 13/12/21

Merry Christmas!

At YFPS we would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We know that this year has been full of trauma and shocks for many of you and that it is unfortunate that we continue to be managing the risk of Covid as we go about our everyday lives, but we would like you to take a moment to pause and enjoy our KS2 Christmas video which shows our pupils thoroughly enjoying themselves and sharing their festive cheer. I think this is an example of how resilient our children are and how adaptable we have all become to changes in our lives which are beyond our control. Please click here to enjoy our children's performance.

KS2 Perform at the Lord Mayor's Carol Concert

We were very lucky to be able to send a group of children to perform at the Lord Mayor's carol concert this week. Although the concert was not live, the children were filmed by PL1 performing in St Andrews church and will be part of the whole service which will be released on You Tube tonight. Please click this link here to enjoy the concert. It was a privilege for our children to be included in this very prestigious event.

Non Pupil Day

Tuesday 4th January will be a non-pupil day therefore the first day back for the children will be Wednesday 5th January. We look forward to seeing you then. In the meantime, please keep an eye on the news to see how the pandemic is developing and whether this will affect schools' returning.

Week 12: 29/11/21

Covid Update

This week we have had a number of staff and pupils testing positive with varying symptoms and we continue to to keep you informed if there is an outbreak in your class. We do still hope to be able to hold the nativity for Foundation and KS1 with an audience and we will make the final decision for this next Friday 10th December. Whilst we want to make sure everyone is safe, we also do not want the children to miss out on school time as this is so important for them. We continue to put all lessons on google classroom and children who are self isolating but feeling well can join the class on a daily zoom link.

Christmas Events

Please see the following table to help you to keep up to date with Christmas events at Yealmpstone Farm. We have a Christmas hat competition for the Christmas lunch on Tuesday with prizes for each class. 

Tuesday 7th December

Children’s Christmas lunch and Christmas hat competition

Friday 10th December

Christmas Jumper Day: £1 for Save the Children and bring in an item for FOYFS for your classes Christmas hamper

Monday 13th December

10am: Nativity performance,        2pm Nativity performance

Tuesday 14th December

10am: Nativity performance         2pm: Nativity performance

Wednesday 15th December

Christmas mufti; we will be holding a raffle for the Christmas hampers; Santa will be visiting – please bring in a donation of £2.50  

Additional Christmas apprentice items will be sold outside around the school grounds.

Erasmus Update

We have had a fabulous week with our Erasmus partners and they really enjoyed making a healthy snack with our children. Y4 worked with the Lithuanians to see what was in a healthy Lithuanian packed lunch; Y5 watched a video that the Greek team had made about healthy food in Crete and Y6 made healthy wraps which are eaten by children in France for their lunch. 

Term Dates

The last day of term is Friday 17th December and we will be returning to school  on Wednesday 5th January.

Week 11: 22/11/21

Erasmus Healthy Schools Week

On Monday our European visitors will be arriving and we have a full programme of activities for KS2 throughout the week. The theme for the week will be healthy eating and healthy exercise. We will be focusing on what makes a healthy packed lunch and looking at a healthy packed lunch in Lithuania, France and Crete. Y6 will be visiting Dartmoor national park and hiking with our visitors on Wednesday and we will have an orienteering course for Y4 on Thursday. 

Erasmus Fairy Tales Week

On Monday 6th December a small group of our school will be visiting Poland to work with our European partners on our fairy tales project. This will be a very busy week with lots of exciting activities and we plan to work with the fairy tale theme when we take the Y3 and Y4 children to Brixham in the Spring term. We will post lots of photos and have zoom meetings for the children during the week.

Open Morning for New Foundation

On Tuesday 7th December we will be having another new Foundation parents' open morning. Please can we ask you to spread the word about our fabulous school so that we can continue to grow and develop. We have advertised in the local area but please can we ask you all to share any posts on twitter and Facebook so that we can encourage more people to attend.

Assessment Week

The children are doing really well in all areas of their learning and we are in the process of assessing them so that we can ensure we have matched learning needs accurately and groupings are correct. We are really pleased with the impact of Read, Write, Inc on children's progress and a number of you have asked about the order of the book band colours. Please click here to see how they progress. In maths we are also finding that the children are making good progress by practising Number Sense every day.

Nativity Tickets

We are in the process of allocating tickets to everyone who has requested them. You can imagine that this is a difficult job and we ask for your patience and understanding while we endeavour to make sure every family has two tickets to come and enjoy this special Christmas event. In order to do this safely we ask everyone to carry out an LFT before they arrive and wear a mask. We will not be able to sell mince pies and drinks so that we keep movement to a minimum. We are keeping everything crossed that this event can go ahead as planned.

FOYFs Christmas plans

FOYFs have been very busy planning a wide range of events for you over the next few weeks. Each class are making a product through our Christmas Apprentice scheme and we will shortly have order forms and pictures on our website so that you can place orders. The theme this year is 'eco Christmas'. More information to come via Dojo.

On Friday 10th December it is Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children. Please can we ask you to wear a Christmas jumper, make a donation and also bring an in item for a rainbow hamper which we will be raffling off. Each class will be given a colour of packaging to bring in. For example, if your class has red you may bring in any item for a hamper in red packaging.

On Wednesday 15th December we have heard that Santa is coming to our grotto and we will be visiting him during the afternoon. FOYFs will give us more information about how this will run. 

Also we would like to have a virtual competition to see how we all decorate our houses on the build up to Christmas. Please send photos of your amazing Christmas decorations to and they will be shared via Dojo. All entries will be placed into a raffle and we will select winners for some delicious prizes. Let the festive season begin! 


Week 10: 15/11/21

Children in Need

Please remember that we are joining in with the country to fund raise for Children in Need tomorrow, Friday 19th November. The children can come in mufti or Pudsey outfits for a donation of £1 and we have a raffle where every class will have the chance to win a Pudsey bear. We will also be selling Pudsey biscuits for 50p and the children will be able to decorate their own biscuit in their classroom. This is a great way for us to support a very worthwhile cause and we look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.

Road Safety Week

Next week we will be focusing on road safety with the school and the community. We will be joined throughout the week by a local policeman and we will be encouraging everyone to try to leave their car and walk, ride or scoot  to school. A number of schools around Plymouth have closed their road this week to highlight the danger around the school gate at collection and drop off times. The school car park is not available for parents to use during busy times. We thank you for being supportive of this rule and keeping our community safe. We will have lots of prizes for children to win which are related to road safety. Can we also encourage you to remind your children about The Green Cross Code and practice this with them. 


We are having a big focus on handwriting across the school and we will be asking children to practice this at home as well as at school. Please look out for helpful examples on google classroom. Younger children learning letter names are learning little ditties which help them how to write the letter correctly. The older children are encouraged to join their letters and this can make handwriting look a little untidy when they are developing this skill.

Trauma Informed School Training

Plymouth City Council have invested a large amount of funding to train all school staff to have a better understanding about how to manage families and children who have experienced trauma. We already have this principle in the heart of all we do, but we are also attending the training and ensuring that all members of our community feel supported and able to thrive. Remember that Kelly Tompkins is available to speak and give advice and she can be contacted on her mobile 07740121503

Week 9: 08/11/21


We do understand that there are a lot of bugs going around as well as COVID at the moment and this is having a negative impact on pupils continuity of learning. If your child is showing any symptoms of Covid then thank you for carrying out a LFT on them before they come to school. This has helped to keep numbers of cases in school very low. If your child has the sick bug then the NHS guidelines is that they have to be away for 48 hours from the last time they were sick. A few children are experiencing a very heavy cold with flu like symptoms that is not Covid. As long as they feel well enough to attend, please send them to school. 

Remember that school starts at 8.45am every day and it is very important that you arrive on time as lessons begin as soon as they walk through the door. All classes have lessons uploaded onto google classroom daily so you can always access learning if you need to self-isolate for any reason. Children in Foundation will be sent work through Dojo by their class teacher if they have to self-isolate.

Anti-Bullying Week

Next week we will be having anti-bullying week and we will have a 'wear odd socks day' on Monday to draw attention to the fact that we are all different and unique in our own way. There will be daily assemblies to consider the theme and we are focusing on the positive message, 'One Kind Word' and how we can all play our part in preventing bullying in our community.

Children in Need

YFPS will be fundraising for Children In Need on Friday 19th November. We invite the children to dress up in either mufti or Pudsey costumes for £1 and bring in your spare small change. We will also be selling Pudsey biscuits that the children can decorate and we will have a raffle where the children will be able to win a Pudsey Bear. There will be one to win for KS1 and F and one for KS2. We hope you will support this very worthwhile cause.

Erasmus Visitors

On Monday 29th November our first Erasmus visitors will be with us for the week. They are coming from Lithuania, France and Greece. Our theme for the week will be 'Healthy Schools' and they will be predominately working with Y4-Y6. The teachers will share with us information about their schools and countries and how they keep healthy.

During the week beginning Monday 6th December a small group of our staff will be visiting one of our partner schools in Poland. The theme of the week will be fairy tales and they will be able to zoom into our classes so that the children can meet each other and share experiences and learning. 

Week 8: 01/11/21

Road Safety Week

The governors would like to have a focus on road safety awareness during the week beginning Monday 22nd November. We are very aware that there is a great deal of congestion around school during arrival and departure times and therefore we all need to work together more effectively to keep everyone safe. During the week we will have a visiting police officer to talk to the children and parents, we will have quizzes and prizes for children to win and we will be encouraging children to cycle, scoot and walk to school.


Visit from William Quince: MP for Children and Families

On Monday 15th November we have the parliamentary under secretary for children and families visiting the school. We will be talking about the way we have supported our families and children throughout the pandemic and highlighting the areas of support families need in order to thrive. Please let us know any points you would like raised by private message to


World War 1 Week

From Monday 8th November we will be working with the children to think about World War 1. Each class will be focusing on a story and historical information about this period of history. We will also have a Remembrance assembly with the children on Thursday 11th and children are able to buy a poppy or other memorabilia leading up to this date. Y6 are selling items on a daily baisis.


Christmas Events

I am sure that you are aware that the COVID cases remain high across the city, however we are really keen to try and have a little bit of normality for Christmas. Therefore we have decided to have a nativity play with Foundation, Y1 and Y2. The children will perform four times and we will allow two tickets for each child for one performance. Attendees must have a LFT and wear a mask to be able to enter the building and we will space seats so that there is plenty of room. Please do not attend if you have any COVID symptoms. We will also Live stream the performance so you can watch it from home as well. There will only be sixty tickets per performance.

KS2 will make a Christmas video and we will share this with you during the last week of term. I am afraid we still  cannot have our grandparents' Christmas lunch this year, but we ask the children to think about getting involved with a project where they make something for their grandparents.

The children will be able to join our Christmas lunch which will be on Tuesday 7th December and can be booked in advance. 

Week 7: 18/10/21

Oxford Owl Online Reading 

We will be giving out passwords for the whole school to be able to access online books which are linked to the Read, Write, Inc scheme

through the Oxford Owl  website. Your class teacher will allocate ebooks for the children which respond to the RWI books they are reading in class and at home. There are quizzes that link to the books, audio books and other ebooks available. When you get your log in details, select the 'Oxford Owl for School' tab and then 'student'. The  type in the name, password and school number. You will see a page with lots of choices of activity and books as well as a homework tab. 

Children who are reading at the stage above RWI can also access books through the login at a higher level.

Parent Questionnaire

Please take a moment to help us improve our school by filling in our online questionnaire. This information will help to shape our school improvement plan for this academic year.

Drop Off and Pick-Up times

A number of staff, parents and children are concerned about dangerous behaviour at drop off and pick up times. We do understand that you are all busy and can find this a stressful time of the day, however it is vital that we ensure safety. Mr Crocker will be making spot checks to ensure that everyone is following the rules to keep us all safe. Please do not park on the zigzag lines or enter the carpark as parents and children are leaving the school by this exit. Details of drivers not following these rules will be passed to the police. Please help us to keep our community safe.

Bright Stars 

We still have a number of spaces for children and we are offering a very friendly and safe environment for your children to thrive in. If you have a child who is eligible for funding then please come and take a look at what is on offer. 

New Foundation Children Open Days

Please spread the word that we are offering open mornings on the first Tuesday of each month up until February on the following dates:

Tuesday 2nd November from 11-12pm

Tuesday 7th December from 11-12pm

Tuesday 11th January from 11-12pm

Please do encourage anyone you know who will have a children starting in September next year to get in touch with us on 343411 or email

Our pupils have very proudly made a video of the school.

Week 6: 11/10/21


Don't forget it is PANTS week this week and we are sharing the message of keeping safe from harm with your child in a very sensitive way. Tomorrow morning in assembly Pantysaurus will be in assembly to give the children the special message. Please reinforce this at home as well using the wonderful resources online.

Erasmus Mobility Meeting

On Friday 22nd October a few of the staff will be heading to Serbia to meet our Erasmus partners for half term. We are focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and maths - STEAM and we will be learning all about how each country is developing these subjects. We will keep a daily update going on Dojo for you and share all of our learning. 

Parents' Meetings and Feedback

You should all have received information from your child's class teacher about when you will be available to meet up with them during the week beginning Monday 18th October to discuss their progress and development. Please do complete the questionnaire that was sent out last week so that we can continue to make sure we improve the school experiences for your child.

Harvest Festival

Don't forget to look out for the link to our harvest festival on Dojo on Thursday. Remember that we will be collecting non-perishable food for the Foodbank charity as part of our thanksgiving for all the lovely food we have to eat in our country.

Mountain Bikes Trials Show

Just to keep you up to date, we will now be having our bike display on Monday 18th October at 1.30pm. Here is a taster of what to expect Founder Matti Hemmings (who should be coming along) has been on Nickelodeon and Blue Peter so the kids may recognise him  I'm not sure which rider will be doing the show this time, but it's likely to be someone like this Feel free to show to the kids!

Bright Stars Holiday Club

Please remember to book in this week if you would like to use the holiday club over the autumn break so that we can staff it appropriately. We do still have some spaces in the nursery and would love to welcome your 2, 3 or 4 year olds to join our wonderful setting.

Autumn Term Week 5: 4/10/21

Developing Fluency in Reading

We are delighted with the progress children have made with their sound recognition across Foundation and KS1, however we would like to improve the children's fluency in reading further. The best way to improve fluency is to practice reading everyday. Please can we encourage you all to listen to your child read for at least ten minutes a day as this will really help. In school we have daily reading time and lots of rewards to encourage the children. Another great idea is to read to your child at bedtime. This is a lovely way to share some quality time together and if you pick a book that is just beyond their reading age, they can enjoy the story and develop their understanding of story writing and vocabulary. We know that lots of children have televisions in their bedrooms, but the blue light from screens actually stimulates the brain and can stop your child sleeping. Nothing beats a good story! Please click here for some great ideas of stories to share together.

Parent Meetings

During the week beginning Monday 18th October we will be having our termly parents' meetings. This term they will be held through video zoom conferencing. and your class teacher will be contacting you all shortly.

During the meeting we will be discussing how your child has settled into the new term and which areas of learning they are currently working on developing. Please make the most of this opportunity.

PANTS week

During the week beginning Monday 11th October we will be joining in with PANTs week. This is a child friendly way of discussing with children how to keep themselves safe around child protection. We have a visit from Pantysaurus, the dinosaur who will join Foundation and KS1 in an assembly on Tuesday 12th October. Please click here to find out more about how you can support your child at home with this sensitive topic. 

Black History Month

We are really keen to celebrate the achievements of role models across the world and throughout history this month in our celebration of Black history. We are focusing on Black British role models at YFPS and this will be linked in with our collective worship and school values. Click here to find out more about how you can join in with us.

Autumn Term Week 4: 27/09/21

Olympic Visitor

This week we have the privilege of meeting our Olympic 110m hurdle guest, David King, who ran a great assembly and then sessions with each class. It was very inspiring to meet David and he really motivated the children in their exercises.

Dr Bike

We are looking forward to Dr Bike arriving next Monday to fix any bikes which may need a bit of repair. If you would like to book your bike in, please let Mr Baker know so that he can organise the day. Please bring your child's bike to the KS2 playground in the morning for Dr Bike. This week is cycle to school week and we are encouraging children to ride or scoot to school. Remember that there are fantastic prizes for the top schools and we were third last time! 

This will also help reduce the number of cars that are around the school site at the beginning and end of the day. 

Developmental Language Delay (DLD)

Our school is working in partnership with the Plymouth Nursery Schools' Federation to develop a centre of early years for Plymouth.

Part of this work will be to promote Communication Supportive Environments (CSEs). This means that we will be offering an excellent early years environment to enable children to develop their speech and language in both Bright Stars nursery and the foundation stage. We will also be offering training to our parents and other early years settings across the city. There will be a DLD awareness day running across the country on Friday 15th October and we will be joining the speech and language team on the Hoe from 5-6.30pm where we will see the lighthouse lit up to mark the day. This is to raise awareness of the importance of recognising how we can support children who have this condition.

Harvest Festival

We will be having our harvest festival on Thursday14th October at 9am. This will be a mixture of video and live presentations and we will record the event and share the link via Dojo as we still cannot have parents into the school site in large groups or all of the children in the hall at the same time. We will be collecting non perishable items for our usual charity - Foodbank. Please send you child in with an item to donate on Thursday 14th October.

DLD Awareness Day 15th October

Autumn Term: week 3 20/09/21

School Priorities for Academic Year 21-22

This month we are busy writing our school improvement plan for this academic year. Our school have identified the following areas to focus on:

  • Continue to improve children’s fluency skills across all maths lessons by embedding White Rose and introducing Number Sense across the school.
  • Continue to develop the children’s skills and strategies for decoding in reading through the introduction of Read, Write Inc as a whole school reading resource.  Embed the reading comprehension skills through VIPERS.
  • Ensure all children who have been affected negatively by the national lockdown have access to additional support through the Recovery Premium and the National Tutoring funding.
  • Embed the new curriculum and ensure continuity and progression across all subjects with small steps in learning.

We are delighted that children have settled into the new school year so well. Please make sure that you arrive on time every morning as the first lesson from Y1 - Y6 everyday is Number Sense maths. During this lesson the children have the chance to revise concepts that they have previously covered through maths games and activities. It is a short session to kick start the day! This is in addition to their main daily maths lesson.


At 10am every morning children who are working on developing their early reading skills have a phonics lesson. Your child should have a reading book which they bring home and exchange every Thursday. Please record and praise their progress in their reading diary. Here is the link to find out more about Read, Write, Inc:

Children who are fluent readers are encouraged to take part in our Accelerated Reader programme (AR) and have access to many books both in class, at home and through our library in school. Click here to find out more about AR. They can do online quizzes to collect points which entitle them to be awarded a star badge. 

Each time you achieve a new target you will get a certificate.  You can also purchase a star badge from the office for £1.

-1,000 words = yellow badge
-10,000 words = orange badge
-50,000 words = purple badge
-100,000 words = green badge
-250,000 words = blue badge
-500,000 words = red badge
-1,000,000 words = black badge

 All schools have been given funding to help support those pupils who have been negatively affected by the lockdown. On Friday we assessed every child throughout the school to identify who we need to ensure has additional support. This support maybe in class through short intervention sessions in small groups or 1-2-1, or it maybe that your child is working in a smaller class during part of the day to ensure they have the chance to catch-up with their learning needs. Your child's class teacher will be able to let you know if your child is in one of the groups for additional support. If you are worried about your child's progress then please discuss this with your child's class teacher. We will have parent meetings for the whole school during the week beginning Monday 18th October.

Some children across the school also have an individual education plan (IEP) where we have identified small targets for your child to achieve. If your child has one of these, you will be sent home the document to sign and this will be discussed at the first parents' meeting. A few children have educational health and care plans (EHCP) and they are in regular meetings with the SENco and other professionals.


We also have many children who have made great progress during the last academic year and we are delighted that most pupils are already working at age related expectations or above. Please keep up with the home learning as it is vital that we continue to work in partnership to help your child to thrive.

Autumn Term: week 1 06/09/21

Welcome Back to the New School Year!

A warm welcome back to the new school year to all of you. The children have already started to settle down and become familiar with the new routines and classes that they are in and they look really smart in their new school uniforms. Please can you make sure that you have everything named as it is easy to misplace items. 

Collection and drop off times seem a little strange at first as we adjust to everyone arriving and leaving at the same time. We hope that this will become more familiar as we get into the routine. Thank you for being mindful of other people and using the space we have. It is really helpful for learning time for children to arrive in school promptly. 

Topics for the Term

This week children have been having a settling in time and enjoying learning about the new class dinosaur names! This idea has come from the School Council and it also links in with introducing Latin, our new subject in KS2. Did you know that dinosaurs are named after Latin root words; for example, as Harry in Y6 explained in assembly, a velociraptor is named after the Latin 'velox' (swift) and raptor (robber). 

Here are the names of the classes again:

Foundation & KS1:
- Pterodactyl Class
- Triceratops Class
- Stegosaurus Class
- Spinosaurus Class

Year 3 – Tyrannosaurus Rex Class
Year 4 – Pteranodon Class
Year 5 – Velociraptor Class
Year 6 – Diplodocus Class

Read, Write, Inc: Teaching Early Reading Skills

We are now following the new phonics programme throughout Foundation, KS1 and for a few children in KS2 who still need to develop their reading fluency and confidence. The children are in ten groups that meet every day for a half an hour lesson at 10am. They will be assessed every few weeks and groups may be adapted so we make sure we are challenging everyone at the right level.  We will run some parent training sessions during the week beginning September 20th over zoom so that you can become familiarised with the new systems. This is an excellent scheme and we are very excited about the resources we have purchased. There will also be some video clips shared with you on a weekly basis so that you can see what the children are learning. 


A love of books and stories is vital to helping your child to learn to read. Our school library will be opening again this term to everyone so that children can take a book home to enjoy. 


For children in KS2 who are now on Accelerated Reader, we are continuing with our star reader badges and quizzing children. Remember that quizzes can be done at home through the website as well as in school. Children are eligible for a badge when they have read enough words. 

Soft Federation with Plymbridge and Ham Drive Nursery

We are very excited to announce that we will be working with Plymbridge and Ham Drive Nursery this year to work together to develop a Centre of Excellence for Early Years in Plymouth. We will share more news with you about this partnership as we develop throughout the year. Part of this work will be to develop the work of the speech and language team that work across the city to support early years children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). 

First week back at school.