Early Years at Copthill

Welcome to Copthill’s Nursery and Pre school, an integral part of life at our school.

Nursery and Pre school are very much a part of Copthill School; accessing the facilities and benefits of an independent school: 300 acres of grounds incorporating safe access to our Forest School, the river, animal farm, sports fields, all weather astro pitch, yurt, teepee and outdoor kitchen.

Specialist subject teachers for forest school, music, languages, PE, and ballet.

For more information please contact us on admissions@copthill.com or call 01780 757506

Our Early Years is the ideal start to school life, in a nurturing, stimulating and safe environment run by an experienced and dedicated team. Our aim is to encourage
independence, social skills and intellectual development. Our classrooms and outdoor learning and play areas have been thoughtfully designed to create a warm and welcoming place for our children to flourish.

We have three classrooms starting with our Nursery room for our youngest children; two to three years old. A lovely tranquil room offering a nurturing and caring environment for your child’s first experience of school, whether it be for the first time or transition from another setting.


Our Nursery is staffed by very experienced, qualified Early Years staff who blend up to date professional knowledge with their own parenting experiences. The staff really do get to know the children and look after them as if they were their own.

Our next room along is spacious, well equipped with plenty of space for our soft play equipment for our more confident and independent 2-3 year olds to move to, meeting new challenges in line with their stages of development. From here they move to our Pre school class, in the September after turning three years old.


Our Pre school class; for our three to four year olds offers a stimulating environment to encourage their ongoing curiosity and intellectual development. Pre school is staffed by a qualified teacher and is the department lead for Nursery and Pre school.

The children are continuing to grow in confidence and as they become more independent they are supported and well prepared for the move to our Reception class.

The children have a busy timetable in Pre school with lots more opportunities to explore and experience. They are taught by specialist teachers from our main school. Weekly forest school session/s with our qualified forest school teachers.

Music sessions with our Head of Music, PE with one of our PE teachers and Languages (French and Spanish) with our Lower School language teacher. A dance teacher attends weekly for children wishing to take up ballet lessons.

From January the Pre school teacher begins to work with the children on their first phonics using Read, Write Inc, which the children thoroughly enjoy.

Forest School

Our Forest school is a magical, fun learning environment which supports the EYFS curriculum and can be linked to other topics being covered in the classroom. The benefits of children attending regular forest school sessions are many; self awareness, motivation, empathy, social and communication skills, independence, self-esteem and confidence, physical skills both gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving and risk-taking, resilience, concentration, knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

We invite our parents to come and join us for forest school sessions, this reinforces the positive experience for our children. The children love to show and talk to their parents about their adventures in forest school, and maybe challenge a few to try and light a fire with sticks and a flint!

Harvest Festival in Forest School The Nativity in the woods

The Copthill Farm

The children have many opportunities to visit the animals; Alpacas, donkeys, sheep, pigs, chickens and the Principal’s three dogs are often in residence during term time in their own celtic shelter, overlooking the fort and allotment. Our Nursery class incubate eggs and hatch their very own chicks at Easter, word soon gets out when they have hatched and they receive lots of visits from pupils in the main school. The children enjoy visits down to the river to see the swans and to release the frogs they have watched grow from frogspawn.

Yurt the perfect place to snuggle up relax and listen to a story


We keep in touch with parents through an online journal called Tapestry, which enables keyworkers to complete continuous assessments. Observations and progress made is monitored in all seven areas of the Early Years curriculum.

Photographs and comments are added and parents are able to login and view their child’s journal at any time. Individual Next Steps based on your child’s interests and age and stage of development will be identified and shared. Tapestry is a two way communication tool between school and parents/carers and observations from home are encouraged. Tapestry provides our parents and carers with an invaluable snapshot of their child’s time with us and allows them to share these experiences with their children once at home, this really helps to get the children talking about their experiences.


Key Workers Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships a keyworker will provide this care when your children are in school. Our keyworkers will be responsible for a small group of children helping them to feel safe and cared for. This is an important role; building a close relationship with your child and you.

Responding sensitively to your child’s feelings and behaviours and giving emotional support and reassurance. The keyworker will also look after their physical needs, nappy changing, assisting with toilet training and dressing.

Your child will spend time with their allocated keyworker on a 1:1 basis and during small group work during their time in Nursery and Pre school. Attachments at this stage of your child’s life are vital for their ongoing well being and provides an anxiety free transition from home to school. It is so important that the very beginning of your child’s life at school is happy and a positive experience all round.

Parents and carers

We are only too aware that being the parent or carer of a toddler comes with its daily challenges, we are here to support our families and carers in any way we can.

Throughout the year we offer workshops and day to day practical advice, staff are very aware that it’s the little things that make a difference to your child’s and your experience with us! You will find our door is always open.

We have parent evenings twice a year for you to come and meet with your child’s keyworker. You will receive a “report” once a year too. However, staff are always willing to meet with you at anytime if you have any questions or concerns. *Should we mention Unique Child Reports here too?


Performances we have several events throughout the academic year that the children take part in, the majority of which parents are invited to:

  • Harvest in the Woods
  • Christmas Nativity
  • Mothers Day celebration
  • Fathers Day – Teddy Bear’s picnic / Art Exhibition
  • Sports Day
  • Coach trip to playtown

Sleep arrangements

Whilst we do not have a dedicated sleep room or timetabled sleep time; we provide a more flexible approach according to each individual child’s needs. The children in our Nursery class are all encouraged to have a quiet time after their lunch and we often have one or two who will need a little sleep.

Opening times

The Nursery and Pre school are open during our school’s term dates follows:
Monday to Friday 8:15am – 3:15pm with optional early start and late finish 7:45am – 6:00pm

There is an optional 12 weeks school holiday care; giving a total of 47 weeks per annum.

School will be closed for two weeks over Christmas New Year period, a week over Easter and the last two weeks of the Summer break.

Holiday club

The optional holiday weeks are run on the lines of a holiday club, more relaxed, less structure and lots of fun exciting activities to do, which they probably do not get the chance to do during term- time. We want our working parents to go off to work guilt free knowing their children are going to be happy having the best holiday fun.

Weather permitting during the Summer months we get the paddling pools and the hose pipes out for all those children who love to play with water. Some more of our other activities; baking, den building, seasonal crafts, soft play in the school’s main hall, picnics, games in the fort, story time in the yurt and lots lots more.

The Caterpillar Crew

The Caterpillar Crew at Copthill is a toddler group for all!

Each week during term time, we run a toddler group, which is open to all families both Copthill and beyond. The sessions are aimed at the very youngest of adventurers, so Mums and tots are also able to experience the great outdoors here at Copthill.  The ‘Caterpillar Crew’ enjoy different themed and seasonal activities including: natural crafts, playing games, scavenger hunts, minibeasts, mud modelling, storytelling, den building and most importantly exploring and making new friends in a wonderful woodland environment.

Come and join us for a morning of fun and adventure in the Copthill School grounds. We’d love to see you, here are a few little pointers to take note of:  Parents must stay with their children throughout the session.  Please check that your child is dressed appropriately. We’d recommend wellies, waterproofs and layers to enable them to stay warm and dry.  A tasty hot chocolate drink and a biscuit will be provided for the little ones, and maybe for some well-behaved Mummies too!


A charge of £60 per child is required to secure your place for the 10 sessions.  There is a family discount of 50% for the second child (children over the age of 18 months) who wishes to attend.

The Caterpillar Crew runs on the following days and times: Tuesdays at 9.00am, Tuesdays at 10.30am and Fridays at 9.00am
Please contact Mrs Sophie Bell for more details or to book your sessions:   Tel: 07803 147 652  Email: caterpillarcrew@copthill.com