COPTHILL SCHOOL - SUMMER 2023 NEWSLETTER
Sunbeams and Explorers!
What a busy term it has been, with excitement and adventure across the whole of Lower School. Everyone has made the most of the warmer weather and our great Copthill outdoors has been buzzing with our enthusiastic, independent explorers and their inquiring minds.
The final few weeks of term included fantastic achievements in our Sports Day, which everyone enjoyed. The team spirit across all of Lower School was extremely humbling, and the sheer effort and determination from everyone involved was a pleasure to witness.
Our celebration event was an opportunity for the children to showcase their classrooms and work from the last term to their parents. It was lovely to see excited and proud little faces in every classroom.
The transition mornings throughout school have been an excellent way for the staff and children to look ahead to September and become familiar with the changes ahead as they move up the school. It is incredible to think that our Year 2 children will be heading up the corridor into Middle School as it only seems a short time ago they were entering Reception!
Reception children have loved the final term with their Year 3 buddies and have shared many special times together. These close relationships will remain throughout the school. Thank you to all the Year 3’s for your nurturing and support. You have helped us all to grow!
Reception enjoyed the ‘Tell us a story’ theme where they read many traditional tales. Cinderella was a favourite as the children acted out the story and then wrote some of their own. They ventured into the forest to make their own magic wands and applied their active imaginations to making spells and potions out of environmental materials. Fortunately, nobody ended up being turned into a frog! They made carriages out of construction materials, resulting in some intricate and impressive designs.
The well known tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar was fondly enjoyed by everyone and allowed us to grow some caterpillars of our own. They learnt about all the conditions and needs for the caterpillars’ survival and were fascinated when they emerged as Painted Lady butterflies, which were released onto the flower bed one hot and sunny day. The children were able to study pollination and understand the importance of the tiniest members of the Copthill habitats!
During the ‘What on earth’ topic, the children took a virtual visit to France where they enjoyed an elaborate French breakfast with French games and accordion music. Bravo Reception!
The children have been studying the Copthill environment and drawing comparisons between different habitats, while studying the plants and animals that live there. There was also the opportunity to compare Copthill’s farming methods with Sacrewell Farm during their recent trip. The workshops included pond dipping, a tractor ride with an agricultural tour including the importance of the reservoir, and a wormery learning experience. The watermill was a real highlight, where the children could apply their research and classroom learning to a fully functional mill. It was fascinating for them to learn about the milling of corn long ago and make connections with the processes involved from ‘farm to fork’.
Year 1 children have been very industrious this term. Their ‘Light up the world’ topic has enabled them to learn all about space, planets and the universe. They have made a very impressive gallery of Earth and solar system artwork that they showcased to their parents and the other year groups. Their knowledge of planets is fascinating, and their enthusiasm infectious!
They have been investigating the importance of water to life on Earth and discussing watery weather, which has led to some impressive pieces of three-dimensional artwork displayed in the corridors outside the Year 1 classrooms. Rain and germination have been part of their learning as they discussed the variables needed to successfully grow beans in bags on the windows of their classrooms.
Our Year 1 children have shown their gardening talents too, as the runner beans are thriving outside the classroom. We can’t wait to sample the produce! Year 1 have been excellent independent explorers as they have researched and identified flying minibeasts around the school grounds and learnt about their importance as ‘pollinators’. They have also made links to the development of seeds and fruit in plants and flowers outside.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, two classes of Victorian children arrived at school dressed in traditional costumes. They journeyed back in time to the Victorian era at Burghley House and learnt the trades of maids and servants who worked there long ago.
Shoe polishing, cleaning and cooking were the order of the day! I don’t think our children have ever worked so hard, and they gained an appreciation and empathy for what life was like for Victorian people working at Burghley. Fortunately there was also playtime with old-fashioned Victorian toys and table setting, which was quite fun, and an excellent day was had by all.
Our Year 1’s are all talented and budding artists as they have been carefully studying how to effectively make tints and shades with colour mixing. Some beautiful sunset pictures have been designed and look extremely professional. Well done Year 1, your enthusiasm and conscientious attitude has really paid off.
There was an exciting start to the summer term for the whole of Lower School during our Coronation celebrations. Year 2 learnt all about the King's family and succession to the throne. They carefully studied the work of Andy Wahol and used his style as the inspiration for their King Charles portraits that looked highly professional.
We all enjoyed the Coronation celebrations in the school grounds with all of our families. Year 2 loved having their faces painted and participated enthusiastically in the school street party. The flag they made for the front of the school was wonderful, and many of our visitors commented how colourful and inviting it was at the main entrance.
The Year 2 classrooms have been a hive of activity as the children have travelled to far-reaching countries across the world. The term started with a special visit from the well-known cuddly bear, Paddington, who had travelled all the way from Peru!
It was very insightful for the children to learn about the country of Paddington’s origin. Over the weeks following Paddington’s arrival the children studied Peruvian foods, culture, traditions and climate. They looked at Peruvian clothing and used this as inspiration to successfully design some of their own. It was very interesting to research the traditions of Peru and learn a little more about the festivals that are celebrated. Year 2 could then draw interesting comparisons between Peru and the United Kingdom including looking at particular landmarks in London. All the children made their own miniature Paddingtons, complete with passport for his return journey. Farewell Paddington, we hope that you will visit us again soon!
Year 2’s ‘Going wild’ topic has been a fun and inspirational end to the term. The children looked closely at the story Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. They carefully studied the literary content and made up incredible fantasy stories of their own which they shared with the class.
A trip to Hamerton Zoo will always be a highlight in their Copthill journey, and is a place where they made lasting memories. The children learnt all about endangered animals and the importance of the zoo in keeping endangered species alive. They also learnt about extinct animals and marvelled at the strange creatures that had once roamed the earth. It was interesting to learn that many animals become endangered or extinct as a result of human intervention.
Year 2 have made some incredible pieces of artwork using wild animals as their inspiration, these are now on display in their classrooms and surrounding corridors. The children have carefully considered the use of the animals' senses and the way that their bodies have adapted to the environment in which they live as key to their survival.
We are extremely proud of all our Lower School children and the continued effort every day to ensure that they make excellent progress and fulfil their potential. My heartfelt gratitude and thanks go to all the parents and our dedicated staff for a happy and successful year. We wish you all a very restful break.
Lower School Lead