This Christmas the team are excitedly anticipating the arrival of the first of our professionally printed, new-look magazines so we hope you enjoy the extra colour that we have been able to use throughout! At this special time of the year we thought it would be lovely to hear what has been happening with some of the younger residents of the village, so we asked the Head of the Junior School, Mrs Joanna Francis, to be guest editor for this edition…

I am delighted to have been asked to write for the Copthorne Magazine this month at the beginning of my third year in post as Headteacher of Copthorne CE Junior School.

As I write this, all of our Year 6 pupils (61 children) are visiting a residential centre in Liddington for the week. This is an opportunity for the children to experience a range of outdoor activities as part of the PE curriculum that we are not able to offer in school. These include abseiling, archery, zip wire, climbing and team building activities such as the “crate challenge”. This four night residential trip is excellent for developing pupil independence and to allow the children an opportunity to bond with their peers. When the children leave the school to move onto their secondary schools at the end of Year 6 and we ask them what has been the best thing about being at Copthorne Juniors, they always say Liddington week!

The school is always busy in the run up to Christmas with lots happening in school. We have a Christmas Fair on Wednesday 5th December (3.15pm to 4.30pm). Some of the stalls including the tombola, bottle stall and refreshments are run by the PTA or staff in school. However, the rest of the stalls are planned and organised by the pupils in the school and include games and activities as well as making things. They always do a great job in this role and approach the task with enthusiasm. In the past we have been lucky enough to have a visit from Santa so we hope he makes it to us this year as well!

Our Carol services take place at St John’s Church in the week beginning 10th December. We welcome parents and family to these services and hold two services to allow space for everyone in the church! We try to blend some traditional carols with newer, fun songs. The children’s singing always fills the church with its lovely tones.

As a church school we have really close links with the church. Father Wim is very involved in the school and has taken on the role of Governor with great enthusiasm. He also leads a weekly assembly in the school which is always enjoyed by the pupils.

I should like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and a joyous new year.

Joanna Francis