This has been a memorable year for many different reasons for the whole school community. One of our key aims is to develop character and life skills in all our children. We are continually looking at ways to develop these characteristics, and I would suggest that the children need to look no further than their inspirational teachers to understand the importance of these vital skills.
Throughout the early weeks of lockdown, as I walked around the empty school, deserted apart from a few staff tucked in their rooms teaching online, it really brought home that without excited and enthusiastic children a school is nothing but an empty shell.
However, I felt comforted knowing that all our children, with the supportive assistance of their families, were still being challenged and inspired each day by their teachers in so many different ways.
And there lies the real heart of education: the teachers. The quality, resourcefulness, adaptability and creativity of our teaching staff has been without parallel. They quickly took up the challenge of learning and applying many new IT skills.
Working virtually, they collaborated with each other to ensure they were all sharing the very best practice and ideas. They certainly went the ’extra mile’ in so many ways, and when I hear about the online provision from many other schools, I feel particularly proud of the way they have risen to the challenge.
September will bring many new challenges for them all, but sadly it will be without a number of loyal staff who are leaving us at the end of term. Claire Boughton, Joanna Wallace and Claire Tidswell are all retiring, having accumulated an amazing 67 years of teaching at Copthill between them! They have all provided inspirational teaching over these years to a huge number of children. In the Early Years Department we are also saying farewell to Alex Forman who has ably cared for our Nursery children for 15 years, and Sarah Nelson who has supported her so well more recently. We wish them all the very best for the next chapters they are about to start and hope they will all keep in touch.
My final thanks are to you, our parents, who have supported the staff and school so patiently and considerately over these difficult months, in addition to your own difficult family and work situations.
We will do all we can to repay that loyalty over the coming months by continuing to educate and inspire all the children in our care, whatever the challenges with which we are presented.
Our sole motivation for returning everyone to school, with the full support of all the staff, was because the children remain at the heart of a Copthill education and we are so pleased all the planning and preparation has been so worthwhile.
Wishing you all the very best for the coming summer holiday. We look forward to seeing those of you returning in September, and wish all our leavers the very best for the future.
Mr Jonathan Teesdale