COPTHILL SCHOOL - AUTUMN 2021 NEWSLETTER
Boomwhackers, Higgledy, Piggledy and the Dyouthinkhesaurus...
It was so wonderful to finally hear singing throughout the corridors as the Lower School children prepared for their Nativity and Lower School Christingle service. It seems as though school life may be returning to a little bit of normality. It has certainly been a very busy and exciting term and, as we reached the final week, we were trying hard to maintain a routine and keep excitement at a manageable level! At the beginning of the week, we were treated to the Reception children’s dress rehearsal of ‘The Higgledy, Piggledy Nativity’ and we were blown away by their confidence, their singing voices and their maturity; it surely isn’t only one term since they joined main school! A huge thanks to Mrs Dimbledy and Mrs Holder for settling their children in over the last few months, forming a fabulous relationship with them all and directing them through a rigorous routine. Last year, due to the restrictions, Reception children were unable to buddy up with Year 3 children; luckily this year has been different. It’s great for the Year 3 children to take on the responsibility of looking after their buddies and they were thrilled to watch them perform for Lower School. Over the last few months the Reception children have become very creative and have been able to demonstrate this through their outdoor experiences with some fabulous end results, ranging from casting spells to making clay hedgehogs, apple crumbles, environmental poppies and even Father Christmases! We are so lucky to be able to use our extensive rural surroundings to continue to develop the children’s knowledge of the wider world and we are very grateful to Mr Campbell and Mrs Muxlow for their unwavering enthusiasm in Forest School. It seems an age away when we said goodbye to Miss Hamer in Year 1, as she welcomed the safe arrival of her daughter Emily, and said hello to Mrs Wells; the transition was seamless. It has been non-stop for the children in Year 1 as they have continued to progress in the curriculum and develop their understanding in Read Write Inc., maths and the creative curriculum. The children have had some great topics to extend their questioning skills - ‘Happy Families’ and ‘Come and Join the Celebration’. These have certainly stimulated their interest and they cannot wait to get hold of ‘Fairies and Frogs’ next term. The children were lucky enough to get real hands-on experiences when the Toy Lady came to visit and showed the Year 1 children toys from the past. A number of members of staff realised that these were the toys they had played with - a long, long time ago! Year 1 have continued to flourish and join in with the main school extra-curricular activities, ranging from Gardening to Art Club and Mrs Fletcher and Mrs Wells have commented on how their enthusiasm never wanes! As they prepared for their Christingle Service, we realised how far they have come over a short period of time and we are very proud of their resilience and determination; keep it up Year 1! Back in September, it was wonderful to welcome Miss Gardner into Year 2. Watching the Year 2 children on stage during our Christmas Service, it was difficult to think of them as only 6 or 7 year olds as they performed with great enthusiasm, poise and maturity - a real treat. Their learning has been able to thrive throughout the term due to such great topics as ‘Pirates’, ‘Christmas Around the World’ and their own pupil’s voice, ‘Dinosaurs’. It has been very scary walking through the corridors as there are dinosaur eyes following your every move - rumour has it that it’s the Doyouthinkhesaurus species! Occasionally, in the Year 2 corridor, you could imagine hearing dinosaur growls coming from the classroom but instead these were the boomwhackers. No, I didn’t know what one was either so I had to look them up: ‘A Boomwhacker is a lightweight, hollow, colour-coded, plastic tube, tuned to a musical pitch by length. Boomwhackers are used as musical instruments in the percussion family.’ The Year 2 children were transfixed and mesmerised by the sounds they made. Maybe a new instrument for the school orchestra? Year 3 children grow from strength to strength and it’s great to see them taking on more responsibilities and further embracing the daily extra-curricular activities which are provided after school by the staff - housekeeping is a firm favourite, as are uni-hockey and Lego. The children have realised how lucky they are to have these opportunities as they spent a rather strict morning in a school back in 1940. They were allowed to dress up as evacuees for the day and we transported them back 80 years to a much tougher time. I think they understood how different their life was compared to that of a child of that time, even though they thought spam sandwiches were the best! The children have continued to love their outdoor learning experiences and Mrs Bell has been able to engage the children in activities such as making blackberry ink for an evacuee’s placard, sparklers and Christmas decorations - we thank her for all her hard work in all weathers. It is wonderful to see so many of our children taking part in many different music lessons and we could accompany Miss Gardner’s boomwhacker band with pBones, cellos, guitars and recorders. It certainly is a fast paced day in Year 3 and Mrs Donaldson and I are thrilled by the way the children have adapted to the faster-paced timetable ready for the move up into Year 4! So, another busy term is over and as we prepare for 2022. We must say a sad farewell to Mrs McAlindon. We have loved teaching alongside her over the last few years and her energy has been one of the Seven Wonders of the World especially at this time of year. We thank her for everything she has done for us and the children and will miss her greatly. Finally a huge thank you from me to all the staff in Lower School; they have been fabulous over the last term. Even when we had a little ‘hiccup’ a couple of weeks ago, they continued to put maximum effort and humour into all their teaching. Definitely a well-deserved break is needed. Thank-you to all our parents for supporting us and to all your children for making our job worthwhile; every day is certainly different and we wouldn’t want it any other way! Have a great Christmas and a very safe and Happy New Year.
Lower School Leader Pastoral
An Awesome Nativity!
The aim to be responsible, reflective and respectful is well known by all of our children as the three R’s of our school rules. During this magical time of year, it is definitely time to reflect on events and achievements in the past and present whilst looking towards the future. Last week, as a teacher, I had the opportunity to reflect on the diverse curriculum that Copthill School has to offer. While teaching a Year 1 extra-curricular outdoor activity, the sun was beginning to set behind the wood as we ventured out to construct animal homes for hibernating creatures. The children were drawn to some lights glinting in the corner of the field. As we crept closer, the reaction of the children was indeed one of ‘awe and wonder’! A life-sized nativity scene had been created in the corner of the field with animals, shepherds, kings, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. I wish that I could have bottled the anticipation and excitement in the air! The moment seemed to go on forever and, to my surprise, nobody spoke or moved. The spontaneity that followed was quite incredible as, independently, the children burst into song with all three verses of ‘Away in a Manger’! They then proceeded with a medley of songs that they had learnt at school. Finally, we were bombarded with many different questions about how the sculptures had got there. Had the kings really travelled from afar? Which countries had they visited on the way? How were Mary and Joseph feeling as new parents? Looking at the tiny baby Jesus with his parents gazing at him adoringly made us all reflect on the hopes and dreams of the new life. Every parent has the highest expectations for their children, as we do at Copthill, reflected in our school values. Needless to say, the hibernating animals will have to wait another week for their homes to be completed. However, on reflection, the events of a weekly extra-curricular club demonstrated all the skills and attributes of our Copthill Learners and we are extremely proud of them. The respect that the children showed for one another and their beliefs was heartwarming. The responsible way that they asked questions and listened to one another was delightful and the reflection on their adventures afterwards was endearing! I hope that the Year 1 children reflect back on the whole experience in years to come as a memorable and unforgettable one. I know that I will.
Academic Head of Lower School
A Higgledy Piggledy Nativity by Reception
Poppies, Poppies Everywhere!
Remembrance Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Reception. We learnt all about the poppy flower and why people wear them at this time of year.
We have been extremely industrious this week in the Reception classes. Christmas has arrived with tales of cheeky elves and advent calendars.
Week 2 and we are on a roll….
This week in Year 1 our focus in Maths has been counting forwards and backwards – we are getting pretty quick at it now! Keep practising at home everyone!
It’s Bonfire night! Year 1 have loved learning all about the history of bonfire night and have made some fabulous firework pictures.
Ahoy! from Year 2
What a week! We are in full swing of our pirate topic and that has been seen in our Forest school lesson this week, our art lesson, our English lessons and even creeping into a science based creative curriculum lesson.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Our last week of our dinosaur topic has been filled with poetry, palaeontology, fossils and fact files. It has been a really fun topic and the children in Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed delving into dinosaurs.
This is me!
Another busy week in Year 3! They a great time in the Art Room making a 3D version of themselves (with the odd additional feature – we put that down to a bit of artistic licensing!).
Year 3 arrived to school dressed as evacuees on Wednesday. They parted with their parents and boarded the train to Cambourwick where they met a rather stern Mr Ward who took them back to the 1940s where children were clearly ‘seen and not heard’ unless invited to do so!