Cokethorpe Junior School is an IAPS for boys aged 4 to 11 and girls aged 4 to 11, set in 150 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire parkland, two miles from Witney and ten from Oxford. It was established in 1994 and occupies the elegant Queen Anne Mansion House that is at the heart of Cokethorpe School. The Junior School retains its own identity, independence and distinct character, allowing the children to flourish, develop confidence and feel valued, whilst having the advantage of being part of a wider community with the Senior School.
About the school
Cokethorpe Junior School is a small, friendly and caring school that places a large emphasis on its pastoral care, sense of community and family atmosphere. We aim to provide an insight into a world that is rich and varied, exciting and stimulating and puts our pupils on a journey of discovery. As the pupils progress through the School they are equipped with the necessary academic and social skills to enable them to develop into confident children who are able to cope with all that school life offers. Traditional values and a modern approach, underpinned by a Christian ethos, provide the vital foundations for learning, nurture individual talents and develop broad interests. Children make the most of being in an environment which encourages them to aim higher, try harder, and expect more of themselves.
Cokethorpe Junior School celebrated one year of their successful book club with an extraordinary author visit accompanied by a formidable looking T-Rex
5th December 2017 — TV presenter, artist and now author Jay Jay Burridge arrived at the School with a 3 metre high dinosaur, which stood guard outside the School’s Mansion House, in order to promote his new book Supersaurs: Raptors of Paradise.
Readers are brought into the world of Supersaurs, a place where dinosaurs never died out and instead, live together with humans.
In a twist on a conventional book however, the book uses innovative new technology to expand the dimensions of storytelling. Augmented reality is used to show the characters and dinosaurs leaping off the page when the pages are viewed using the Supersaurs smart phone app, bringing storytelling firmly into the 21st Century.
Mr Burridge then gave a fascinating talk to the whole school about his writing process, the world he has created and even showed off the impressive technology used to bring his illustrations to life.
After the assembly, Mr Burridge generously signed and personalised copies of his book for the children.
The day was extremely successful, and Mr Burridge will be returning to Cokethorpe School later this term to discuss the story further with the Junior School Book Club. The Book Club has proved to be incredibly popular and has included exciting events for the children including Skype chats and visits from authors. The club’s success can be seen in the 300 extra books being read across the whole school.
Language was no barrier at Cokethorpe Junior School
Parent volunteers, teachers and children from the School shared the language and culture of their home country or somewhere they lived, at Cokethorpe Junior School Languages Day.
27th September 2017 — Ciao, Hola, Guten Tag, Salam - Marhaba, Kon'nichiwa, Kia ora, Sata srī akāla, Sawubona, Nǐ hǎo. That’s ‘hello’ in nine different languages, all of which were represented at our Languages Day in Junior School this week.
Whether it was counting up to 20 in Afrikaans, learning the Haka, playing traditional Spanish board games or dressing up in a Sari, Junior School linguists were taken to far off lands to learn about what other countries are like to live in. The children discovered how diverse the world is, but also realised there are some similarities that link us all through the different languages and cultures.
The activities put on by our volunteers were varied and diverse from making origami to taste testing biltong from South Africa and sweets from Jordan. Year 4 children had a go at playing traditional Punjabi instruments, Pre Prep looked at the traditional dress of the United Arab Emirates while Year 5 were show the costume of Bavria – Lederhosen and Dirndl. Year 6 were treated to a special presentation by a member of their own class who taught them Chinese and explained about the Chinese New Year.
The Happy Puzzle Company returned to the Junior School for another day of fun packed day of puzzles and challenges.
20th September 2017 — Without pencils and paper, children from Cokethorpe Junior School tackled an array of perplexing puzzles courtesy of the Happy Puzzle Company. Working in groups, the children were tasked with solving problems against the clock- from balancing pirate penguins on shaky ships to constructing 3D colourful cubes.
The children showed a great detail of perseverance as puzzles that initially appeared to be impossible were finally solved. There was a real sense of enjoyment and excitement, as the children chattered and talked about different strategies and tried them out with varying degrees of success.
The first activity, ‘Don’t Rock the Boat’, required a large number of penguins to be balanced at the same time on the deck of a rather wobbly pirate ship, without them tumbling off into the ocean. This proved to be much easier said than done. Different strategies were discussed and tested to find the best one. On many attempts groups came very close to completing the puzzle, but in placing the final penguin all came tumbling down, and they were back to square one! All the children showed real determination and eventually managed to successfully balance every single penguin.
Other challenges included correctly sequencing shapes to create particular patterns, assembling giant 3D jigsaw cubes and constructing towering trees without them toppling over! Despite first appearing straightforward these puzzles proved tricky to complete!
Cokethorpe Junior School Harvest the Fruits of their Labour
Year 1 and Year 2 children at Cokethorpe School have been harvesting the pumpkins from the School Kitchen Garden.
19th September 2017 — At the end of the Summer Term, the children from Year 2 at Cokethorpe planted some small pumpkin plants in the Kitchen Garden on the School grounds. Both Year 1 and Year 2 visited the garden together, and had the opportunity to see the fruits of their labour.
The children helped to harvest the pumpkins and to load them into a wheelbarrow. There were enough pumpkins for the Year 1 children to each take one home and for the Reception Class children to make pumpkin soup.
Whilst at the garden the children examined the ripe apples in the orchard and were able to choose a fruit each to enjoy. They also helped to prepare one of the planting areas by pulling up weeds and removing any stones.
Finally, they went inside the greenhouse to look at the plum tomatoes which are not yet ripe, and hope to harvest them soon.
Cokethorpe Grow Award Winning Links with the Community
Junior School children at Cokethorpe School designed and planted twenty floral hanging baskets, which were given to deserving members of the community as part of their Level Five RHS Gardening Award.
7th June 2017 — Forming part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, the scheme aims to inspire schools and encourage young people to get involved with gardening. There are five levels to complete, each with rewards for the School. To achieve the fifth and final award and become a five star gardening school, pupils had to create a project that involved the local community. During Environmental Studies Week, children across the whole School contributed to the hanging baskets, including budgeting, decorating, shopping, designing and planting the baskets.
Every child in the School nominated a worthy recipient of a finished basket, and the twenty lucky winners were selected at random in School assembly. Nominations were received for relatives, neighbours, members of the community and residential/care homes across Oxfordshire, including Marston Court Care Home: 'Thank you very much for the hanging basket donated to Freddie’s grandfather’s Home, Marston Court. Although Freddie’s grandfather is bed bound, a number of the residents were thrilled to be a part of the presentation.
Another pleased recipient said: 'I had the most wonderful surprise last week when I received a beautifully planted hanging basket courtesy of your pupils, and the efforts of the children at Cokethorpe School are really to be celebrated. I would like to convey my thanks and congratulate the school on the holistic enterprise of this fantastic project.'
Children in Reception Class and Year 2 made pipe cleaner and beaded butterflies to decorate each basket. Year 3 were involved in designing the baskets, thinking carefully about each type of plant available and making decisions on plant colour, price and size. Year 5 then used these designs and counted the plants using tally charts to find the total quantities needed and produced a very accurate shopping list. Year 6 worked on a budgeting task to find the total cost of the plants, baskets and compost needed. Another group produced wonderful handwritten labels to the recipients of the hanging baskets. At the end of the week, the Year 4 children planted up the baskets whilst the Year 1 children watered them.
Year 1 children started working towards the first level in September, and were rewarded with a Growing Year Calendar full of growing tips and activities. To achieve Level Two they had to submit evidence of the skills learnt in their gardening sessions, and received a copy of How to Grow Practically Everything. For Level Three, they used their Everyday Materials science topic to explore the curriculum through the garden, and received the first of three plant and vegetable boxes this year. Level Four meant planning a cookery session using their own produce. Year 1 children read The Enormous Turnip and made their own turnip soup! They were thrilled to receive a super seed bundle box. Following the completion of Level Five, the School is due to receive £200 in National Garden Gift Vouchers and two plaques to display.
The Kitchen Garden in the School grounds has proved an invaluable resource for enabling the children to get involved in gardening projects. Following the success of the RHS Campaign, the Junior School launched a lunchtime Gardening Club, which over half of the School signed up for. The garden is accessible to all pupils in the School, however Year 1 have their own vegetable bed and visit once a week. They also get to enjoy the tasty rewards of their hard work!
Four boys from Cokethorpe Junior School entered the Par 3 Prep School Midland Championship at Nailcote Hall.
16th May 2017 — The boys played nine holes in a Stableford format with the U11s forming one team consisting of Freddie Murfitt, Sebastian Wall and Theo Langford, and James Harris playing as an individual in the U10 event.
It was an incredibly tough, tight course but all the boys played well. At the end of a tough day the U11s were crowned champions, with Sebastian Wall and Freddie Murfitt finishing second and third respectively in the overall tournament.