COPTHILL SCHOOL - SUMMER 2022 NEWSLETTER
Literacy learners in the Copthill Sunshine!
As another year ends, and teachers prepare to say goodbye to their current pupils, it’s time to reflect on yet another fantastic year.
The Reception children seem so grown up and confident ladies and gentlemen who greet anyone with a cheery hello, or share their entertaining stories, and they are definitely ready for the next adventure.
Over the past few weeks It has been wonderful to see the children embark on school trips and we have been able to welcome everyone back for sports days and the end of year celebration assembly, which were hugely successful. It has been great to see the children ‘showing off’ their talents.
Before half-term, to celebrate the Queen’s platinum Jubilee, we held an amazing Art exhibition involving every child from Nursery to Year 6. The theme was ‘A Wonderful World’ and the quality of the artwork was phenomenal and again it was great to see the children guiding their parents around the display and utilising all our fabulous outdoors.
Reception were thrilled to have a French breakfast, or should I say, petit dejeuner, and there were pain au chocolats, croissants and baguettes to tempt the children with some fromage and confiture as a side dish. This was a very well received activity and I’m sure there was not a crumb left, merci beaucoup!
The river has been a great asset to the summer days and not only did Mrs Dimbleby and Mrs Holder’s children venture into the water to dabble their toes, the Year 2 children also enjoyed some time by the river but raised the bar by breaking out the great water slide at the fort, amazing time had by all, I wonder if they spotted any wild animals in the undergrowth as part of their ‘Where the Wilds Things Are’ topic?
The Year 1 children were transported back 150 years when they visited Burghley House, and they truly embraced their day by dressing up as Victorian children but it wasn’t all fun and games as they had to polish shoes, set the table and even fold the linen so no excuses at home Year 1!
As they were transported back in time, the Year 3 children were transported to India for the afternoon! The children enjoyed making flatbreads and raita as well as tasting onion bhajis, samosas accompanied by mango chutney and mango lassi was sampled with varying results! There was a huge demand for ‘henna’ pen tattoos even though they weren’t quite authentic Indian designs as a number of football clubs made an appearance and, as this was 2 days before they performed at the end of year Assembly, the children stood with their hands and arms firmly behind their backs!
It has been a very busy year as we have returned to ‘normal’ and it’s been wonderful to see and hear the children participating in so many after school activities and they have had these positive experiences due to the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the staff. Clubs have ranged from the ever popular Lego club for Year 3’s, Gardening club with the very patient Mrs Rickett and Art activities in Year 1. I am sure as the Reception children move into Year 1 they will embrace the extra curricular activities with their unending fervour!
Sadly we do have a farewell this term and that is to Mrs Lexy Wells who joined us last September to cover Mrs Charlotte Hamer’s maternity leave. She has been a great member of the Lower School team, we all wish her lots of luck in her new job and a huge thank you for all her work this year.
Thank you to all you, our parents. Thank you for your support this year and on behalf of all the staff in Lower School I would like to wish you a lovely summer, looks like there might be a heatwave next week which is always very welcome so fill up the paddling pools, enjoy some family time and let’s meet again in September!
Lower School Leader Pastoral
Literacy learners in the Copthill Sunshine!
I recently spent a very sunny Saturday walking in Fineshade Woods with my friend and her six-year-old daughter. I am always full of admiration for how such a little girl can speak three different languages - English, Slovakian and Polish.
Both mother and daughter speak to each other in Polish, except in my company when they resort to English. Humbled by my lack of ability in foreign languages, my small friend offered to teach me. Even though my tiny friend was extremely patient with me I became very confused with pronunciation and rules of the language.
An interesting discussion took place whereby we decided that in fact English had far more exceptions to basic rules than a lot of other languages. In true Copthill Learner style I have persevered with my studies, alongside my able tutor, and have made a bit of progress. It demonstrates that no matter how old you are, you can always have the attributes of a Copthill Learner.
The following week, I was talking with a delightful Ukrainian English teacher who shared with me how she taught her pupils to speak English in Ukraine. We have since spent many happy hours together, along with a lecturer still in Ukraine, discussing the best way to teach English to children as a second language.
It has been an exciting and productive experience which has benefited the children at Copthill School and Ukraine. The conversations with my bilingual friends have made us all even more empathetic towards our Copthill Learners trying to master the English language, and its numerous exceptions to the rules, themselves. It has also consolidated the excellent teaching provisions that we have established in school to allow all of our children, whatever their ability, to succeed and thrive with the English language.
Our children are very fortunate to learn phonics through our newly updated Read Write Inc. programme. As a result, our children emerge from Lower School as confident readers with good comprehension and understanding of basic grammar and punctuation that they can apply to becoming successful creative writers. The children develop excellent, secure foundations for further literary adventures in Upper School.
Alongside our successful phonics programme, creativity is explored through our topics in all year groups. It is delightful to see children outside, whatever the weather, using the inspiration of the natural world for their fantasy stories, poems and factual writing. The release of our butterflies, nurtured in the Copthill classrooms, led to a whole host of wonderful adjectives that could be used to create interesting pieces of writing in which you could almost imagine you were back in the moment! We are so proud of our children and their many accomplishments this year.
The conclusion of the literacy meetings with our Ukrainian friends is that they have decided to teach the children English using the same methods as we do at Copthill. I am full of admiration that through all of the challenges and disruptions to their lives they remain passionate about their teaching, ensuring that the future generations of children succeed and thrive educationally.
As for my own personal goals in learning Polish I will continue to give my best. However, I do feel that my young tutor will need a great deal of patience and may be approaching her teens before she is able to understand me properly! My Copthill Learner attributes will be put to good use…
Academic Head of Lower School