Upper School

Romans, Saxons and Shakespeare

It’s hard to recall school life before lockdown but a few moments with children in Years 4 and 5 help us to remember all that is special and unique about a Copthill education - and that Copthill education might be delivered in the school building, the school grounds or your kitchen or lounge at home! Year 4 have conquered the known world just as the Romans did because they have excavated Roman artefacts, erected a Roman temple in the school hall and ejected missiles from Roman trebuchets; it was certainly worth returning to school this half term just to be able to finish that final feat! They baked chocolate chip cookies using Fairtrade ingredients from around the world, including honey. Next year, they’ll be able to source honey closer to home as they helped to make the hives for the bees who have recently become resident at Copthill. Our animals are an important part of our Copthill community but, on World Book Day, Year 4 were introduced to animals from further afield from a visiting author, Judy Brulo. They learnt about vultures and then, being so inspired, they built their own model, 3D vulture islands. The Year 4 classrooms were buzzing with busyness, but no visitor could enter unannounced, as doorbells and intruder alarms were installed when the children investigated electrical circuits. They concluded their studies by boiling kettles and plugging in toasters to prepare a feast of hot chocolate and toasted crumpets whilst playing electrical games. The American Dream was the topic covered during lockdown - who knew we could travel so far and learn so much without even leaving our homes? The children imagined what it would be like to live like North American Indians. They made animal totem poles and dream catchers and they wrote and presented myths whilst holding talking sticks and wearing headdresses within their homemade teepees. And no Year 4 year is complete without a night under the stars. Campover had to be a virtual one at home Some children made dens and slept in places other than their normal bed - such as on the hall floor, under the kitchen table, by the stairs or, indeed, in their homemade teepees. Inspired by their North American topic some lit a campfire and enjoyed a barbeque before bedtime. The next morning, children and teachers met online for a group teeth clean via Zoom! Zoom - what stories we have to share! A menagerie of animals joined every Year 4 meeting but the tale of the pony in the kitchen will live long in everyone’s memory and will, no doubt, become part of Copthill’s glorious folklore! Year 5 Zoom meetings during lockdown included children typing their screen names as ‘Reconnecting’ to trick their teachers, revolving their images to turn their teachers dizzy and travelling across the world and into space by constantly changing their backgrounds! Perhaps it was quite apt that one Science lesson asked them to choose someone with whom to journey into space. Tutor Group Treasure Hunts were also favourite highlights as was taking part in a world-record-breaking Art lesson. Lockdown was fun for a while but returning to school was the best way to end the school year. Return to school was like coming home but Year 5 travelled afar this year. They began the year with their Bushcraft adventure and were so fortunate to be able to enjoy their Saxon Tour to North Yorkshire just before restrictions were firmly put in place. They competed in netball and hockey tournaments and also reached new heights through rock climbing and explored the depths by venturing into caves. These activities, along with night trails, leaps of faith and alien-hunting meant that the children discovered much about themselves and each other. Looking after ourselves and each other has perhaps become something we cherish even more now so our Year 5 children can be proud of their fundraising efforts when they organised our activities for Children in Need. These include fairground games in our school hall. The school hall was also the scene of a shipwreck when The Young Shakespeare Company visited to perform William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Real-life water activities during outdoor days have proved a particular highlight since the children have returned to school and they really haven’t minded being submerged in the river that meanders along the edge of Copthill’s grounds - in fact, I think they might have ‘accidentally’ fallen in the water on purpose! If we think back to September, which seems a very long time ago, the children began the school year enjoying their House Picnics. These are organised by our Year 6 children. In September, our Year 5 children will cross the next bridge of their learning journey into Year 5. They have big shoes to fill but I know they will take on the responsibility with pride and commitment as they continue to grow as Copthill Learners. One special person who won’t be returning in September is Mrs Wallace. Her last term at Copthill might not have been as expected or planned but she embraced every challenge with exactly the attitude that we want to instil in all our children. She has taught in every classroom across the Copthill site over the years so she was able to smile when she was told that she would be teaching in the Dining Room on return after lockdown! Mrs Wallace has guided and led so many children through their Copthill journey over many, many years and she will be very much missed. Her calm, kind and heartfelt dedication to ensuring she helps each child be the very best they can be is a lesson to every teacher.

Mrs Schofield