COPTHILL SCHOOL - AUTUMN 2020 NEWSLETTER
Walking like Egyptians, and walking the plank too…
So, after a cautious start way back in September, here we are crossing the finish line without too many casualties. The term brought new changes for all the children, parents and staff and we think we’ve all done remarkably well - accepting the ‘new norm’. Staff have all missed our interactions with parents and being able to welcome you into our busy classrooms, but the communication channels have still been flowing and we thank everyone of you for your patience. Unfortunately, as we have been teaching in different circumstances, we have been unable to interact with each other, apart from within our own year group bubbles, but everyone does catch a glimpse of other children in their play zones. Amazingly, the Reception children have settled in brilliantly. Mrs Dimbleby and Mrs Holder have remarked how sensible and grown up the children are when coming into school in the mornings and getting on with their day. The Year 3 children have missed bonding with their ‘buddies’ and showing them the ropes but, from what I have seen, the younger children are quite capable on their own! They have made the huge jump into ‘big’ school and they have been learning their letter sounds with lots of finger pointing and games to support their learning. The Snail and the Whale, Bonfire Night, hibernation and The Three Billy Goats Gruff are just a few of the topics that have played a large part in the children’s curriculum and it will not be surprising to you all that, as we head to the end of term, the children are shattered! They haven’t performed their Nativity story to a ‘live’ audience but I am sure that everyone will be delighted with their online showcase when they snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy it in their own home. Back in September, the Lower School welcomed Miss Hamer and, officially, Mrs Fletcher into Year 1 and what a whirlwind it has been! Not only did they have to settle into a new job, they also had to learn new skills in a new-look term! It has been great to watch the children adapt to the rigours of Year 1 and, in their usual enthusiastic way, embrace their learning. The children celebrated Diwali, dressing up in their brightest clothes and designing their own Rangoli patterns and Diva lamps using anything sparkly they could get their hands on! They are a creative year group and love getting their hands dirty during their weekly Forest School sessions and, as the term has progressed, they have continued to go outside in all weathers, wearing as many layers as possible, with Mrs Bell leading the way. We all love our outdoor learning and it’s been wonderful to see the children making stick families, lighting bonfires and even giving Andy Goldsworthy a run for his money with their autumnal art!. As we head towards the last few days of term, we would usually be welcoming our Lower School parents to our Year 1 Christingle Service but, unfortunately, this year we are unable to. However, that hasn’t stopped the Year 1 and Year 2 children performing a virtual service for you to enjoy at your leisure with your child at home. Year 2 have continued to make the most of everything Copthill has to offer and they are doing it with such gusto; it’s wonderful to see their beaming smiles and hear their enthusiasm echoing around the school. Even in these strange times, the children have walked like Egyptians, walked the plank and produced some excellent independent explorer projects to present to the class.
They too have continued to flourish outside and, after squashing berries and leaves for their pirate headbands, they have also built their own fire to cook flatbreads and made some enviable Christmas decorations that could adorn any tree. It is important to remember that we believe that these outdoor opportunities (as well as the obvious benefits for health, mental wellbeing and fitness) will leave a lasting impression on the children and extend well into adult life; our Year 2 children certainly benefit from the great outdoors.
Year 3 has been as fast paced as usual and it’s always great to see the children ready for the next challenge; it is a huge step from Year 2 to 3 but it never amazes us how quickly children adapt. We were delighted to welcome History off the Page into school back in September to lead our Evacuee Day and it was rather nice to have a little bit of normal in the school calendar. The children thoroughly enjoyed the day but they admitted that they prefer to be with Mrs Donaldson and Mrs Teesdale and in the 21st century! The children constantly want to absorb new information and this is a topic that never fails to allow our children to explore. They loved building Anderson Shelters for their independent explorers topic and, again, Mrs Bell was able to build on their lust for learning, even baking WW2 carrot cakes! It is sad that we can’t welcome all our parents to watch the Year 3 Christmas production but it hasn’t stopped the children from performing and, as I write, their 4 short productions are being edited so they can enjoy their performances at home with a hot chocolate and maybe a mince pie! We are thrilled with the effort they put into their performances as it was quite unnerving playing to an empty hall and 3 iPads!
As we near the last few days of term, the children have the CPSC pantomime, the Santa fun run and even a year group bubble Christmas party to look forward to and they definitely deserve it! All the children in Lower School have accepted the new normal without any questions and they have never complained once. A true credit to all our parents and thank you for your support over the last term. On behalf of all the staff in Lower School may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Please stay safe and we will welcome you back in the new year.
Lower School Leader Pastoral
From bubbles to fairy dust: learning and exploring together
It is such a magical season of the year and a time to reflect upon our many accomplishments over the last term. Copthill adults and children have embraced the Copthill Learner attributes and challenged ourselves to teach and learn in a way that is creative, reflective and responsible. Due to the current climate and a need to work in ‘bubbles’, we have had to develop our skills further to become problem solvers, team players and independent explorers. We are all learning, regardless of our age. The emphasis this term has been very much on the importance of community, working together and caring about one another. We have bonded as year group bubbles and close family units. It has been apparent that the focus has been upon the importance of supporting and looking after one another. We have celebrated a diverse range of different cultures and religions to unite us across the globe. This pandemic has also perhaps given us all perspective of what is actually important to us in life. Our young Reception children have never known school to be anything different, but I feel privileged to see them so happy, engaged and thriving. In fact, the whole school oozes the lively, enthusiastic creativity upon which we pride ourselves. Our vast outdoor areas continue to be used for cross-curricular studies and provide an infinite number of learning opportunities. We continue to adapt and improve our curriculum and strive to provide the best education possible for our Copthill Learners. Our definition of ‘Excellent Teaching and Learning at Copthill School’, devised from an amalgamation of the staff and children’s views, has been put into practice. As teachers we have ensured that we have the child at the heart of their education, learning and growing together; having the highest expectations for all our children; providing challenge and support and acknowledging the process of learning. The importance of becoming lifelong learners is paramount in order to instil in our children curiosity, excitement, desire and the drive to learn. Our school provides so many opportunities to explore, to be creative and imaginative and to learn. We have tried to encourage our youngest children to write imaginatively by creating fairy gardens in our classrooms with writing walls. The children are keen to draw and write to the resident fairies who usually reply. Just last week a small child was sitting on the carpet watching the dust particles in the air highlighted by the sun. She was absolutely transfixed by the motion of the particles and after letting out a gasp shouted to the class, “Look at the fairies, they are dancing for us!”
Academic Head of Lower School
Reception Nativity - A Stable by Starlight
Year 1 and Year 2 Christingle 2020
Year 3 Perform Little Miss Muffet
Year 3 Perform - Rice Pudding
Year 3 Perform 'Twas the Night before Christmas
The Snail and The Whale!
This week we have been concentrating on learning about repeating patterns both inside and outside the classroom. We have made a wide variety of patterns out of natural materials, beads, Lego, fruit, shapes, Hama beads and pegboards.
Come and Join the Celebrations!
We have had an amazing week full of Christmas activities. The festive artwork has been beautiful. We have made calendars, Christmas tree hangings, paper chains, wooden figures of Father Christmas and bauble sun catchers!
What a wonderful day Year 1 has had celebrating Diwali. The children dressed up in traditional outfits and paraded their bright clothes in a catwalk extravaganza!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Our final week has been a busy one, the children loved playing the in frosty snow at the start of the week, they pulled crackers and enjoyed a Christmas dinner on Tuesday and have been busy creating Christmas crafts.
This week has flown by and we are making the most of the gorgeous weather and not having to wear our scarves, hats and gloves for Forest School!
The Elves are watching!!!
Come and join us on the Year 2 Blog this week as we have been up to lots of fabulous things with our elves watching us from the display in the Year 2 corridor!
Towers, Tricks and Tales from the Blitz!
Over the weeks the children have been set various tasks on Seesaw. This week’s activity was to use the base 10 apparatus to build secure towers and then calculate the total amount used!
Hot off the Press!
It’s been like Shaftsbury Avenue in Year 3, we have had lights, camera, action and been tripping the boards all at the same time, phew!