COPTHILL SCHOOL - SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER
Learning about the world, for the future
Earlier this term, out in the woods, Year 4 children and their teachers designed and constructed the darkest of dens so that they could be undiscoverable if necessary.
Back inside, no-one could hide because, in order to enter their classrooms, visitors had to ring the doorbells they had installed following their practical investigation of electrical circuits. It simply wasn’t possible to enter unnoticed as flashing lights and buzzers alerted each class to the presence of an intruder.
Fortunately, the Norman mangonels, which they built with Mr Teesdale, were left outside, otherwise the Year 3/4 landing would have proved to be an impenetrable fortress!
I was lucky enough to be present one morning when the children were tasked with different electrical challenges to overcome. Their cooperative teamwork, determined problem solving and committed perseverance was almost tangible. They were rewarded just before the half-term break with a breakfast of tea and toast and a wide selection of electrical games which flashed and beeped and wailed when their manual dexterity wavered, resulting in a real ‘buzz’ of excitement in the classrooms!
Year 4 might have practised extracting plastic organs from the metallic outline of a body by playing the game ‘Operation’ but Year 5 explored the human body in more intricate detail when dissecting hearts and lungs.
This enabled them to understand the circulatory and respiratory systems and I was incredibly impressed by their in-depth knowledge when I worked with them to discover the effect of exercise on heart rate. This, I’m sure, has been explained to you if you’re taking part in an online PE lesson every morning.
Along with Year 4 children creating skeletons with muscles and tendons out of resources they’ve found outdoors and around the house this week, and Year 6 investigating cells and micro-organisms (but perhaps the less said about the smallest of all the microbes the better in this review!), the medical experts of the future have been made at Copthill (and we know just how important they will be). With Year 5 creating and filming manifestos for their own political parties, I know our future is in safe hands.
Although travel around the world is now restricted for a while, we can bring the rest of the world to Copthill. Our Year 6 children can give you details of the up-to-date weather forecast for Spain in the Spanish language while Year 5 can create a Spanish feast of salsa and guacamole for you. Year 5 can also lead you on a treasure hunt around our grounds as long as you can follow their French directions. In the woods, you might find Year 6 who spent a morning with Mr Teesdale, planting trees, weaving, engaging in philosophical enquiry and shooting! Such is the variety of life at Copthill.
Years 5 and 6 travelled in their imaginations to a remote island somewhere in the Mediterranean when The Young Shakespeare Company involved them in their production of The Tempest.
A small group of actors brought the island to life, around and among the children, including the whole audience to create the drama of the storm that wrecks Prospero’s boat and the magical banquet with which the spirits of the island trick Prospero’s enemies. Throughout the performance the children explored the motives, thoughts and feelings of the characters and had the opportunity to speak and enjoy Shakespeare’s words in short sections, including Caliban’s brilliant insults!
Continuing the literary theme, Year 5 visited the Oundle Festival of Literature where they met Miriam Halahmy, an award-winning author who shared stories about herself and her characters to an enthralled audience. Many children were motivated to read more of her work.
Year 6 travelled back in time to the trenches of the First World War. The poignant images of them going ‘over the top’ posted on our social media sites were captivating and thought-provoking. They investigated the complicated reasons for the outbreak of war and considered why men signed up to fight. Mr Tilney, a former Copthill parent, shared his expert knowledge and artefacts.
The children were enthralled as stories from the past became very real and they learned lessons that our world should never forget.
The beginning of term and independent secondary school entrance exams seem long ago now but I cannot end this review without saying our very proud I am of all our Year 6 children, as I am of all the children who are following in their footsteps through the school.
Unfortunately, Year 6 children will remember this year for different reasons to those we had planned for them and I sincerely hope they can return to their school before the end of this academic year. They are the best advocates of our school, as proved by the tours they lead during Open Mornings, and they are all Copthill Learners to their very core.
We have been learning all about our 206 bones in our bodies this week! We drew around a child in each of our classes then placed x ray photos on the drawing and identified the bones. We even found out the scientific terms for them.
JUMPING BOOK WORMS
In Science we have been continuting to learn about the human body. We undertook an investigation to find out about whether having the longest leg enabled us to jump further.
YEAR 5 & 6
Y5 FRENCH DIRECTIONS TREASURE HUNT
Y5 have been learning how to describe their town, creating their own local maps and labelling them with the French names. We then moved on to learn directions so that we can make sure we can find our way in French speaking countries! To put our new language to the test, we did a French treasure hunt where we all had to read and translate the French directions to record the correct answer and find the next clue until we managed to locate the hidden treasure... Super work practising French oral and reading skills.
END OF TERM WITH BANG FOR YEAR 6
Literally ending the term with a bang! Year 6 embracing their WW1 topic with an afternoon in the Copthill trenches and what a scene it was, FANTASTIC!