At Copthill, the outdoors is not an ‘add on’ to school life; it is an integral part of the school's teaching philosophy.
This holistic approach is called Enriched External Learning (EEL) and it permeates all areas of school life for all age groups. It is designed to encourage pupils to benefit from the challenges, opportunities and wonder of the outdoors.
We believe that the inspirational opportunities, as well as the obvious benefits for health, mental wellbeing and fitness, will leave a lasting impression on their childhood and well into adult life.
When I started at Copthill I had no idea how many opportunities I would have, but knew I was going to have fun when I skinned a rabbit and made a shelter to sleep in during my first week at school.
Year 5 girl
Every day pupils from all year groups help to look after the animals on the school's animal farm. Pupils look forward to feeding and cleaning the animals including alpacas, chickens, dogs, donkeys, guinea pigs, rabbits and sheep, and to collecting and selling the chicken eggs. Year 6 pupils are responsible for walking the school dogs. These daily opportunities give pupils the chance to take responsibility and to provide reliable help.
Upper School pupils (Years 4-6) experience adventurous activities from camping, climbing, raft building, survival skills to team building. These are delivered during activity afternoons and residential trips, and within the PE curriculum. Adventurous activities encourage pupils to challenge themselves and occasionally to have mild but carefully considered 'dangerous experiences', which require them to assess risk.
Outdoor camps and cookery
Pupils from Years 2-6 are offered camping, either as part of Summer school, or as specific year group camps during term time.
Year 5 pupils attend a residential bushcraft course in Hertfordshire, which provides a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and to develop self confidence in challenging surroundings. Learning to build a fire, to cook and boil water are highlights for all pupils. Happy childhood days with teachers and friends.
Outdoor holiday courses run throughout all half terms and during the school holidays. Popular courses include sport, Forest School and bushcraft.