From little acorns: 50 years of Copthill
In the summer of 1969, in the kitchen of the Copthill farmhouse, Mrs Teesdale Snr. was starting out on an incredible journey. I wonder if she had even the smallest notion that a decision to educate her toddler, Jonathan, and baby Nicholas, along with two cousins and a friend, would result in the thriving school she and her family lead today. Simon entered the Nursery on his grandmother’s knee only a few years later. To quote a catchphrase from a famous comedy sketch show, which was also new, exciting and inventive in 1969, Mrs Teesdale Snr. was about to start ‘something completely different’.
Elton John is listed as a popular musician of 1969 so it is fitting that our Year 6 children, including one of Mrs Teesdale’s younger granddaughters, performed his music when they brought The Lion King to the stage recently. The lyrics of ‘Circle of Life’ reverberated around our school hall. The children sang: “There’s far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found” and that always seems to be the case, every Summer Term, when we consider how to compile a review of the academic year that includes everything our children have achieved, experienced and enjoyed since September.
Every child is different, every year is different and Copthill is different from any other school. During Copthill School’s fifitieth year, we have looked back over the decades and celebrated our history. We also wanted to give something to the next generation of Copthill children. Each child has planted a tree. Those trees will grow together to provide more woodland for Copthill children to play, learn and grow together.
Mr Simon Teesdale has worked out that his mother’s school has educated well over 2,500 children since those first days at the farm. Some trees can be identified easily, others can be more difficult. The teachers at our Year 6 pupils’ new secondary schools often say it is easy to spot a Copthill pupil because they are well prepared for the next stage of their journey. The Copthill spirit lives in all of them.
Sit down with your children, relax and reflect on a year that includes so much to celebrate.
Mrs Helen Schofield