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Co-educational independent day preparatory school for children aged 3-13 years

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Making the Grade

Two musical children with good reason to celebrate the start of 2019 are Stephanie and Adnan.  Stephanie, who’s currently in Year 6, completed her Grade 8 piano exam in the Autumn and recently found out that she had scored 141, which is one of the highest marks obtainable for that grade!  Stephanie, who is doing her Grade 6 on the violin this term also passed Grade 4 in singing last term and hopes to gain a music scholarship to Wycombe Abbey in High Wycombe or The Abbey in Reading.

Stephanie piano

Year 8 pupil Adnan, who also achieved 141 in his Grade 8 violin exam, found out recently that he had successfully renewed his place in the National Children’s Orchestra.  Having been in the Orchestra for 4 years already, Adnan had to audition once again and this time chose two pieces to play, Praeludium and Allegro by Kreisler, and Romanze by Beethoven.   He then got an email at the start of the Christmas holidays letting him know that he had been successful for the fifth year running. “I was absolutely thrilled” exclaimed Adnan, who hopes to gain a music scholarship to Eton.

Adnan violin

Answers on a Postcard

Over the Christmas holiday, Year 4 pupil Ishaan received an unexpected postcard from children’s author Lucy Strange.

 

Not your everyday occurrence of course, but the postcard was congratulating him and letting him know that he had won a writing competition that he had entered back in November. “I was so surprised when I received the postcard from Lucy Strange,” said Ishaan, “as I don’t normally get any post!”

 

Ishaan had visited the Museum of London with his family, and entered their ‘London at War’ competition that was running as part of their Remembrance activities, and which also celebrated Lucy Strange’s new book, Castle by the Sea.  All Ishaan had to do on the day was write an opening to a book, which he named Gunshots, and then didn’t think much more about it. “I’m very pleased, and didn’t expect it at all.”

 

Ishaan’s entry was one of three winning book openers and he has received a signed copy of Castle by the Sea which is set in England during the Second World War. Congratulations, Ishaan!

Ishaan book competition

Christmas at Crosfields

As the school term drew to a close, Christmas was in full swing at Crosfields with tinsel, jolly jumpers and sparkles all over the School.  After a festive lunch with all the trimmings, the children were treated to lots of end of term treats that included a pantomime for Year 2, Christmas parties for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 and even a visit from the man in red himself.  The last day of term also included Carols around the Christmas Tree in the Quad; despite the freezing cold temperatures, the mood was merry and bright as children and teachers sang their hearts out to Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer and Jingle Bells, to name but a few!


 Carols 
Reception and Father Christmas 

Friday Flutes

Crosfields Crafters Create Magic

Four pupils from Crosfields travelled to UTC in December to compete in the Rotary Club Technology Tournament, a local competition arranged for children aged 11-16.

Designed to challenge the children’s knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Crosfields entered Year 8 pupils Monty, Yasmyn and Torsten along with team captain, Tom, to compete against other schools in the Reading area. The brief was to create a small model crane on wheels, which then had to lift a magnetic drum, as well as produce a written portfolio showing their ideas and plans. They came up with a team name, discussed ideas, and, for a while, struggled to join everything together. “I felt slightly intimidated by the older, more experienced children,” explained Yasmyn, “and I thought we’d never get there.” However, by applying their knowledge from DT, maths and physics lessons, they started bringing their ideas to life and ‘Hermione Crane-ger’ was born!  “I wanted the name to be funny and to have a pun in it” proudly exclaimed Monty. “Plus, we all like Harry Potter!”

DT Comp crane

A few hours into the tournament and the Creative Crosfields Crafters were ahead of schedule and feeling quietly confident with their crane.  Then, disaster struck.  The crane didn’t fit on to its track, and to the team’s horror, some parts of the crane came away. Not one to be beaten, Tom set about making the necessary repairs and Hermione was ready to go again, much to everyone’s relief.  With the written work completed by lunchtime, the team then discussed ways in which they could make their crane better, before it was ‘judgement time’. 

DT Comp judging
The Crafters’ demonstration of their work to the judges went perfectly and the team was feeling quietly confident, having made a quick assessment of the other teams in the room. After a grueling 30 minute wait for the results, and to their sheer delight, the Crosfields Crafters won the contest and were awarded certificates from the Mayor of Reading.  Well done Team Crosfields!

DT Comp mayor

Seeing Stars

The Year 7 girls and boys were very fortunate to be treated to such a full programme at the Winchester Science Centre recently.  Upon arrival our pupils had the venue to themselves, allowing a quick look at the exhibits and an opportunity to consider what they would return to later.  The next port of call was a trip to one of Europe’s largest planetariums and a visual guide around the known galaxy, with no mention of the Shinfield Road!  There were two other workshops to take part in; making slime, and adventures in space.  

 Year 7 Science centre

When asked what their favourite parts of the day were, Fifi explained, "I really liked the workshop and the planetarium because we could see all the planets and I learnt many new facts that I did not know before", while Sakhi and Helen went on to say, "While exploring the Science Centre we discovered some amazing games.  Our favourite was the mind game where we had to use our mind to control a ball!"

 Yr 7 Science Centre

It was a terrific day out that left our pupils full of awe about the universe in which we live, and of course better prepared for the challenges of Common Entrance.

Good Job, Juniors!

The Junior School worked tirelessly to bring festivity to Crosfields with their Christmas Cantata recently.  

From the minute parents walked into the theatre, they were transported to Santa’s grotto, with decorations, suspended Christmas trees and twinkling lights.  The children brought the story of the nativity to the audience as never before, with choral verse, humour, hand bells and an array of contrasting songs and dances.

Junior Christmas Cantata 2

It was wonderful to see the children really take ownership of their production and they truly did themselves proud.  The energy and enthusiasm they brought to the stage was just fantastic and it left everyone with smiles on their faces.

Christmas with Alice in Wonderland

Christmas finally arrived with Year 2 as the last of the Pre-Prep Christmas plays took place in the Theatre recently.  In a lively and fun performance, the girls and boys of Year 2 took to the stage to tell the story of how Christmas blended with Alice in Wonderland.  There were some really stand out performances, along with fantastic singing and humour in all the right places; LAMDA club 2019 might be a busy year!  Well done Year 2! 

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An Update from Uphill

The older boys and girls at Crosfields were pleased recently when Max MacDonald, Chairman of the Uphill School Trust in Uganda visited the school and joined them for Collect.  Max proudly updated the children on how the school, in the village of Uphill, in Uganda has been doing.  It was terrific to hear that mud floors are slowly being replaced by concrete as the school improves, and Max recognised that at the same time as we had opened our Artificial Turf Pitch, Uphill School had opened a new play area with Crosfields' help.  What's more, the strands between the two schools have got even closer recently as, for a small amount of monthly funding, Crosfields now sponsors two disadvantaged children.
 
The Senior School quietly listened to Max as he told them about Sophia, aged 6, and Gab, aged 9 who would not have otherwise been able to go to school without the help and generosity of Crosfields.  Crosfields has supported this charity since 2014, and when the school refreshed its PE kit in 2015, the obsolete kit was taken out to Uphill Junior School in Uganda by Max, who at the time, was an airline pilot.  The children there were delighted to receive the kit which they still wear today.  Children from both schools exchange photos and letters which gives them an insight into each others' lives, and with this latest bursary from Crosfields, the children will be thrilled to hear from two new scholars at Uphill Junior School.

 

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Take them to the River

Year 8 visited the Fieldwork Centre in Amersham recently to complete the practical element of their Common Entrance coursework for Geography.  They looked at a variety of techniques including collecting data on river velocity, flow rates, float rate and river discharge which will then be used to write a 1000-word project.  This accounts for 20% of their overall exam mark.

Year 8 Geography trip G

David Sanchez, commented "The experience was great and I am very glad that we got the chance to study the River Chess in the detail that we could.  We got some very good results and it will certainly help us with our exams throughout the year!"

 

Mr. Clark, Head of Geography agreed and went on to say that, "The boys and girls worked really well together throughout the day, and despite having wellies full of water and extremely cold feet at the end of it all, they all had a very successful and interesting day."

Yr 8 Geography trip B

A Little Nativity

The Reception children could barely contain their excitement recently when they finally got the chance to perform ‘A Little Nativity’ to their parents after weeks of rehearsals.  The children took to the stage with smiles on their faces and enthusiastically sung, danced and acted their way through the story of the first Christmas.  There was lots of laughter and perhaps a few tears  from the audience but we ended on a high with the family dog, who had waited so patiently to deliver his line.

"Merry Christmas everybody. . .WOOF!"

Reception Christmas play image
 

Busy, Busy Nursery

The Nursery children took to the stage recently to retell the very special story of ‘Busy, Busy, Bethlehem.’  Having met the angels and the innkeepers, Mary and Joseph were led to a small stable and they stayed there for the night and welcomed their very important baby king into the world.  The angels, the shepherds and the royal party soon travelled to join them there.  The stable animals were so excited to have so many guests they treated us to a wonderful happy dance!  The children sang gloriously, spoke out clearly and moved around the stage with a confidence that belies their young age – what a proud moment for us all!

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Anti-Bullying Week at Crosfields

This article was written and submitted by Oscar McCarthy in Year 8 to share information on anti-bullying with parents.

National Anti-Bullying Week was last week at Crosfields, it is anti-bullying every week.  We learnt how some people do not just deal with bullying in real life but in the online world.  People who bully over a screen are called cyberbullies.  They hide behind a screen and post mean comments or pictures.  Social media is their playground.

 

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is bullying online.  While there is no physical hurt, there is mental hurt. They offend you, embarrass you and ruin all your fun.  Breaking down the word cyberbullying, you get cyber and bullying.  Cyber means computers, technology and virtual reality. Bullying means doing the same bad thing repeatedly.  Bullies only bully because they are most probably insecure about themselves.  So, for example, if someone says you are not funny, they are probably jealous of you.  They may physically hurt you to try to show superiority.

 

We at Crosfields have a system to help you if you are being bullied.  Use TAG. T = Tell them how you feel.  For example, “Please stop I do not like the way you are treating me”.  A = Ask them to stop. For example, “Stop, please”.  Lastly G = Go tell a responsible adult. For example, “Teacher this boy/girl (state their name) is bullying me, I asked them to stop but they will not stop.”

We learnt the difference between being a bystander (somebody who witnesses bullying but does not act) and an upstander (this involves making sure you stop, speak and support people who are being bullied.”

Anti Cyber Bullying reduced

Aliens land at Crosfields!

Christmas has arrived at Crosfields!  Its arrival was marked with the Year 1 Christmas production of ‘Christmas with the Aliens’, where some very helpful children offered to tell the story of the very first Christmas to some aliens that accidentally landed on planet Earth in a broken spaceship!
The alien visitors, along with the packed theatre, were entertained with wonderful singing, expressive speaking and amazing acting. The Year 1 children put on a truly colourful, energetic and entertaining performance leaving the audience in awe, and ready for Christmas!

Yr1 Christmas play reduced

A Celebration of Sport

Crosfields was excited to welcome England Men’s Hockey captain Phil Roper and Women’s Hockey team squad player Ellie Rayer to the School recently to officially open the brand new Artificial Turf Pitch (ATP) after 4 months of construction.  

The school, which is set in over 40 acres, made the decision to enhance its facilities further last year to increase space and to give the children a greater opportunity to play more sports throughout the year.  The new pitch provides a 100m x 60m full size hockey/football playing surface that can be split into 2, 3 or 4 smaller pitches as required for hockey, netball and tennis.  The floodlighting around the pitch will allow the children to continue to play sports during the darker afternoons and evenings through the autumn and winter months, meaning that the school is able to offer a broad programme of after-school sports activities all year round. 

The PE Department at Crosfields School, which has strong links with both the Men and Women’s Team GB Hockey players, were thrilled when Men’s captain Phil Roper and squad player Ellie Rayer accepted their invitation to officially open the new facility. Roper and Rayer then stayed on to give some of the children a special coaching session.  In 2015, Team GB’s Paralympic swimming gold medalist Ellie Simmonds opened Crosfields School’s new swimming pool.  The significant investment in both the ATP and the swimming centre demonstrates the school’s commitment to the promotion of inclusive, competitive sport for all. 

ATP opening

Craig Watson, Headmaster, said, “The new pitch is an exciting development for Crosfields and puts us at the fore in terms of the vast amount of space and first-class sporting facilities that our children can enjoy. We proudly hosted the Girls Under 9 Football Festival a few weeks ago which saw 30 local primary schools visit Crosfields for an afternoon of competitive football. Sport is an integral part of children’s education and this new investment holds us in good stead for extending the age range of the school to 16 in 3 years’ time.”

ATP opening 2

Whizz Bang Pop at Wellington

It was Wellington College’s annual Chemistry Spectacular recently and our Year 5 pupils had a unique opportunity to take part in a thrilling and gripping event that kept them on the edge of their seats for a whole hour!  Wellington College, in Crowthorne, hosts the Chemistry Spectacular in order to inspire and encourage pupils to consider a career in Science, and more specifically, in Chemistry.  The children enjoyed an afternoon filled with pops, bangs and flashes of colour as experiments demonstrated the key principles of chemical science, which lead them to evaluate the importance of Chemistry in things that happen around them.

"The Science Spectacular was so cool, I loved the indoor fireworks!" exclaimed Georgia, and Andres said that he "liked it when they put a balloon in a bucket of nitrogen and when it came out at it looked like the balloon had deflated but what really happened was that the air got frozen".  

 Wellington Chemistry

Poetically Speaking

The Junior School children were enthralled recently by a visit from children’s and adult poet, James Carter, who spent the day working with each class helping them to form animal riddles and shape poems.  The children delighted as Carter’s uniquely humorous workshops encouraged them to think about the English language, the use of adjectives and sound repetition.  They then went on to write their own riddles.  Year 3 pupil Rajan C wrote a poem about a gorilla, and by first thinking about what type of animal a gorilla is, it then enabled him to think of some clever adjectives to use in his poem.  “I also liked it when he played his guitar”, he added. 
At the end of the day, Carter signed copies of his books The World’s Greatest Space Cadet and Zim Zam Zoom for children to take home.  In the words of James Carter, “please say, thank you for entertaining us!”

James Carter poet

Working it at Kidzania

Year 3 pupils were fortunate enough to take a trip to Kidzania recently, as part of encouraging them to become independent learners.  Kidzania is an indoor experience that involves children in a number of real-life activities and professions, where they can independently choose which jobs they would like to try out and earn money from, the money being 'kidzos', Kidzania's very own currency.  Chris found that his favourite job of the day was window cleaning as "...[he] liked squirting the water, mopping it up and drying out the windows", while Imogen liked being a paramedic when she was called to a fire emergency.  "I really enjoyed giving oxygen to patients and wrapping clingfilm around their burns" she exclaimed.  A good day at work for everyone!

 Kidzania

Going Berserk on Viking Day!

Year 5 enjoyed a special visit recently from the guys at Thrift Music Theatre, who, once again, made our annual Viking Day another stand-out event on the school calendar.  Kitted out in their Viking (and Monk) costumes throughout the day, the children enjoyed a broad range of both outdoor and classroom-based activities that included fire building and storytelling outside in the Forest School area, as well as indoor activities which saw them berserker training in the theatre and baking bread in the home economics room. 
 
The rain certainly didn’t put a dampener on the outdoor activities as the children listened to stories around the fire, sang songs and learned how the Vikings discovered beer (‘mead’); to their delight they even got to taste a little of the (non-alcoholic!) version of mead, too.

 Viking day outdoor

It was a practical and hands-on day that helped to consolidate the children’s learning through creative workshops and jolly good fun!  

The Future is Floodlit

With great excitement, Years 5 and 6 were the first pupils to run onto Crosfields' brand new Artificial Turf Pitch after 4 months of construction.  A significant investment that enhances Crosfields' leading sporting facilities even further, the ATP replaces the grass pitches adjacent to the swimming pool and provides a 100m x 60m full size hockey/football artificial surface that can be split into 2, 3 or 4 smaller pitches as required for netball and tennis, which is great for inter-school competitions and tournaments.  

Gareth Edwards, Director of Sport at Crosfields, stated "Until now the feasibility of running outdoor sports after school between October half-term and February half-term has been compromised by the lack of daylight.  Pupils will now be able to benefit from the floodlighting on the ATP as it will enable the PE Department to run a larger and more diverse programme of co-curricular activities when the days are shorter.  What's more, this new facility enables the school to run a more comprehensive training and fixtures programme in Hockey and Netball, and will be a key factor in the development of sport as Crosfields extends to Year 11." 

New ATP with children

The significant amount of space that we have gained, along with the investment in the new facility continues to put Crosfields School at the fore as we will have one of the largest outside sports facilities in the area.  Plus, our state-of-the-art swimming facility has undoubtedly contributed to pupils’ swimming success as we currently rank 4th in the country with the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) following the 2018 IAPS Championships held in June. These sporting opportunities, without question, place Crosfields in an enviable position amongst other Prep schools in the county.

Interhouse Excitement

Nothing signifies the end of term like interhouse matches, and the Junior, Middle and Senior schools have been battling it out for the coveted house trophies for handball and basketball.  This was a welcome distraction from exams for the older children.  Friends became foes as the children donned their respective house-coloured vests and went head to head, with victory going to Marlborough for both Years 5 and 6 basketball, and School for Years 3 and 4 handball.  A nailbiting end to the term! 

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Contact Us

  • Crosfields School
  • Shinfield Road
  • Reading, Berkshire
  • RG2 9BL
  • Main Office: 0118 9871810
  • Bursar's Office: 0118 9862535
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