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

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Record Breaking IAPS

Twenty Crosfields pupils travelled to the London Aquatics Centre recently to take part in the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) National Swimming Finals. 

After months of preparation and qualifying rounds, 4,600 competitors from 285 Prep Schools around the world came together at the famous London Olympic swimming venue to compete in individual and team races, and the atmosphere was electric.  "It was loud but so exciting", one pupil exclaimed.  "We felt so proud to be representing our school" said another.  However, the tension was broken fairly early on in the morning as the girls, who were swimming first, happened to bump into Olympic medallist and diving superstar, Tom Daly while they were walking around the centre.  Tom happily posed for a photo (below) and the girls also got to watch him train.     

This was the first year that Crosfields had a girls team qualify for the finals; something that all the girls had been working hard on over the last year.  They shaved 3 seconds off their personal best for the medley relay, and in fact, it was a record breaking year for Crosfields as Year 7 pupil Anna won a Gold medal for her 50m backstroke. 

 IAPS Girls outside pool

 Girls with Tom Daly edites

The boys put in a strong performance, too, with Year 8 pupil David winning a bronze medal for the U13 backstroke. Alan made it through to the final ten in the U11 butterfly and finished 7th, and in the U12 freestyle Eshaan also made it through to the final ten and he finished 7th, too.  All children made improvements to their individual and team times, with David, Alan and Anna breaking school records.  Year 8 pupil Louis summed it up by saying "The day was amazing and a great experience.  It was a real privilege to be part of it and in such an impressive and inspiring place."  Well said, Louis! 

Anna Sanchez podium 2 edited

 David Sanchez podium 2 edited


Groups boys edite

Pupils Wow Audiences

It's been busy in the Crosfields Theatre recently as both Year 4 and Year 5 have put on their annual performances.  

Girls and boys of Year 4 performed The Wind in Willows.  The audience delighted as the children confidently delivered their lines and sung their songs, and got through their set changes.  It was a fun performance that both the children and audience will remember for years to come.  

Wind in the Willows

Year 5 then performed The Wizard of Oz to another packed theatre audience, and what a show it was!  All the children had clearly worked hard as the performance was bright, energetic and funny and had the audience clapping loudly by the end.  Our thanks go to Mrs. Sercombe who wrote and directed the performance.  Well done Years 4 and 5!   

Wizard of Oz

Oar-Inspiring Day Out for Nursery

The children of the Crosfields Nursery enjoyed a wonderful day out together recently at the the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

The day started with the excitement of a coach journey, their bags packed with picnic lunches and plenty of drinks!  Upon arrival at the museum, the children took part in some activities based around the story of The Wind in The Willows, as well as going through the museum's movable story trail.  The highlight of the day though had to be the wonderful boat trip that the Nursery children took down the River Thames.  The girls and boys saw all sorts of birds and lots and lots of nests; some children were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a nest full of babies! 

Nursery R and R Museum

The children were beautifully behaved and it was a super day for all of us.

Green Fingered Reception

During the springtime months, Crosfields girls and boys in Reception have been working hard in the School's polytunnel which contains planters of vegetables and flowers. 

Before Easter, they planted potatoes, pumpkins, purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, chard, dwarf French beans, marigolds, beetroots and courgettes.  When they returned after the Easter break, they were thrilled to see the fruits of their labour and enjoyed harvesting the lettuce and tasting it. 

Reception Polytunnel

They also supplied the kitchen with lettuces which were served on the salad bar for lunch and enjoyed by the whole school!  Many thanks to Mrs. Jenkins for her enthusiasm and hard work in getting the polytunnel up and running.

Flying the Flag for Crosfields

During their art lessons in the Spring term, girls and boys throughout the school have been busy designing their entries for this year's Crosfields flag competition, and we are delighted to announce that the winner has now been chosen!  

The annual flag design competition originated from the School Council and this is the second flag that the School will have made to fly outside The Oaks building.  Just like last year, the standard of entries was incredibly high with so many colourful creations to look through.  The judging panel then had the unenviable task of selecting a shortlist and the ultimate winner was a design by Tejas, Sophia and Freya from Year 1 which can be seen in the picture below, top right position, along with some of the other finalists from the Nursery, Year 5 and Year 6. 

You can watch the flag being raised here: 

Flags montage


Setting up Camp at Norman Court

Crosfields girls and boys in Year 3 had a wonderful time at the outdoor learning centre, Norman Court recently. 

Their one-night residential trip to this historic estate in Salisbury provided an outdoor experience that included fire lighting and singing songs around the camp fire - and of course, toasting marshmallows!  A packed two-day schedule provided the children with an invaluable educational experience of the outdoors that they will remember for years to come. 

Year 3 residential return

Adventure at PGL

Year 2 headed off on their one-night residential trip to outdoor activity centre, PGL, in Liddington, Wiltshire recently and what a fabulous time they had!

Upon arrival, the Crosfields group was met by their two group leaders, Scarlett and Sophie, who promptly showed the children to their rooms and the wait was finally over as to who was going to be room mates!  The afternoon consisted of two activities, one of which involved abseiling down a 30ft tower.  This was followed by a healthy and hearty dinner and time to chat with friends.  An evening of singing and dancing round the campfire, before bedtime, made a great end to the first day.

Year 2 residential PGL

The next day was an early start as many children were awake by 6am!  Then it was time to pack, stuff sleeping bags into bags (a feat in itself for an adult, let alone a 6 year old!), strip the beds and move bags to a holding area.  Breakfast gave children the chance to refuel their bodies for a morning of activities which included archery and swinging high through the air on a giant swing before having a hot lunch and boarding the coach back to school.  The children were amazing and all demonstrated great determination, independence and teamwork.  They had a huge amount of fun and made lasting memories.

Year 2 PGL

Marvellous Malaga!

46 pupils and 6 members of staff departed Crosfields recently for their football and netball tour to Malaga, which turned out to be a tour of a lifetime!

The tour was split into two sections; the boys took part in football training sessions, provided by professional coaches from Malaga FC, and the girls had their very own ex-super league player as their coach for the trip.  The children absolutely loved every minute of the sessions, providing them with all the fun, entertainment and technical/tactical advice needed to add both excitement and skills to their respective sports.

Girls netball


As well as the training, there were 6 competitive football and netball fixtures against local opposition, which were evenly matched and thoroughly entertaining for both the spectators and players.

Away from the football and netball, children were able to enjoy the facilities at the resort, including basketball, volleyball and swimming.  They also got to experience a day at Tivoli Theme Park, where they enjoyed having their own independence for the day, testing the many rides on offer.  The girls had an amazing time on their day trip to Gibraltar, climbing a mountain via cable car and spending some bonus time with the local wild monkeys!  The boys travelled into the centre of Malaga and enjoyed a guided tour around the very impressive Malaga FC football stadium, where they had the opportunity to spend their money on gifts for themselves, family and friends.

The tour was an incredible experience for both staff and pupils.  Pupil behaviour was exemplary throughout and they were a credit to both their parents and Crosfields.

Boys football green kits

Incredible International Week!

Crosfields School recently celebrated cultural diversity with its bi-annual International Week, where the Languages and Music departments provided girls and boys throughout the school with an amazing array of experiences.

Flags for IW

The week started with an extended Collect (assembly) led by Mme Baldwin and some Year 7 pupils who shared their heritage with the rest of the school, as well as discussing the plethora of languages that they can speak as a year group.  You may be surprised to know that more than two thirds of pupils are competent, if not fluent, in another language!  Other Collects throughout the week had international themes that included local judo teacher Mr. Small coming in to discuss Japan, its history and schooling, and of course, judo!  

Children from across the school participated in wonderful International Music and Dance Showcases for pupils and parents.  Orchestra, Strings from all ages, 2 Cellos, Jazz Group, Flute Group, Chamber Choir and other small ensembles took us on a global musical journey that included Italian, Russian, Norwegian and Chinese music to name but a few.  There were also stunning performances from dance groups to give us a flavour of the culture of these different countries, too. 

    IW orchestra


IW dancers

Throughout the week, Years 6, 7 and 8 pupils taught their languages to their peers and younger pupils and we could begin to see some wonderfully confident teachers in the making!  It was just delightful seeing the engagement and enthusiasm on both sides.

In addition, some parents came in to teach whole year groups, which included Polish, Korean and Gujurati.  Another parent displayed a wonderful French juggling show on a unicycle, along with some French language workshops.  Some teachers at Crosfields have international backgrounds, too, and shared their heritage and languages with groups of pupils.  Mrs. Gupta invited her son (a former Crosfields pupil), her nephew and his friend to demonstrate Bhanghra dancing to Reception and Year 1, and on Thursday, Mrs. Chatterjee, who is the parent of another former Crosfields pupil, demonstrated the Indian classical dance of Bharatanatyam to children in Nursery up to Year 2.

IW Bhangra


IW Indian dancing

An 'Escape Room' for Years 7 and 8 was set up to transport the children to France and provided 40 minutes of 100% French speaking.  Once they entered the tent the pupils were in France but stuck at the border; the only way back to England was working out clues and cracking codes to be able to open the safe to get their passport back!

Escape room

Children from Years 3, 4, 5 and 8 were fortunate to enjoy an interactive experience of African percussion and drumming, pictured below.  Andy Warn from the Crotchet Factory produced four entertaining and informative workshops in his own enthusiastic and engaging style.  At the heart of the hour’s music was the importance of learning rhythmic patterns that could then be transferred to the instruments.  Each pupil had the opportunity to play a variety of drums, shaker percussion, xylophones and bells.  This produced a vibrant and colourful ensemble with authentic sounding music.

African drums

The week concluded with a special visitor who spoke in French and acted out the story of Les Mousquetaires (The Musketeers, pictured) to Years 5 and 6, as well as telling the story of the Three Little Pigs in French to Years 3 and 4. 

 Les Mousquetaires

And They're Off!

The weather was perfect for the annual Crosfields Cross Country races which took place recently.   

All girls and boys, from Nursery to Senior School took part in the running races which, this year, had all-new routes owing to the installation of the new artificial turf pitch behind the Sports Centre at the end of last year.  Each course varied in length according to the age of the children and all had a starting point on the rugby pitches next to the White Building.  The routes for the older children were a mix of woodland and grass, with some challenging hilly areas for the Seniors! 

Although running may not be for everyone, each and every one of the children took the run in their stride and showed great determination and perseverance to get round their respective courses and across the finish line.  Crowds of parents and supporters came out to watch and lined the final stretch of the course, cheering the children on as they sprinted to the finish line.  There was a happy atmosphere and a strong sense of camaraderie at all of the events. 

Cross Country montage


A Terrific Day Out At The Tate

Thirty Senior School children with a keen interest in the arts went to the Tate Britain recently for a full day of art activities and adventure. 

They explored art from the 1500s to art in the present day, and investigated how art themes and movements have changed and developed over time.  As well as admiring the more traditional works, they explored abstract and modern styles looking at how artists develop work based on their thoughts, beliefs and emotions.  We then explored the extensive and captivating Turner exhibition.  They investigated how Turner painted light and perspective to create remote and thrilling landscapes clearly depicting man’s insignificance in the sheer scale and power of nature.  The day ended with the children taking part in a fun workshop led by working artists which helped them to form their own opinions and develop their own ideas.

Senior art trip

There was lots of positive feedback from the children on the day, too.  Marie commented, "I really liked seeing the difference between pictures from the 1500s to the modern day. It’s changed so much!" and Hajrah said, "Seeing the contrast between Turner and Constable was fascinating. I loved Turner because of his ability to paint light and the fairy-tale colours he used."  Alexia said, "I loved Turner’s skill at painting light over a landscape.  Oh, and the detail in the tree!"

Senior art trip 2


Maths Challenge Success!

This term the Middle School celebrated results from Bonus Round, the final leg of the Primary Maths Challenge run by the Mathematics Association. 

The international competition started back in November, and Crosfields was among 1,600 schools and 67,000 pupils that took part to enjoy maths challenges.  Five pupils from Crosfields then received invitations for the Bonus Round.  The children worked on this in February, along with 2,300 pupils that were also selected to take part, and these children were not only from the UK, but also from America, China, Singapore, Japan, India, Italy and Russia, among other countries around the globe.

When the competition closed, we were informed that two of the children had got through to the final 1,000 participants and were selected for special awards.  Congratulations go to all the children for working hard and taking part in this competition, but special congratulations go to the children that won the bronze and silver awards.  

Maths Challenge certificates

Chick Out Reception!

They'd watched them hatch, sleep, grow and play in their special box for 10 days, but recently the children in Reception had to say a reluctant goodbye to the little chicks that had come to visit their classrooms. 

A significant part of the 'exploring the outside world' topic, ten eggs were delivered to the classroom in March for the children to watch hatch when the time came.  They then continued to observe them until the chicks were old enough for the children to handle.  The children were naturally curious about the chicks coming out of their box and couldn't wait to hold them to see how soft their feathers were.     

'It's using my arm as a stick to climb on!" one little girl said excitedly.  Cute! 


Interhouse Swimming

The Crosfields swimming pool was livelier than ever recently as the Middle and Senior schools took part in their interhouse swimming galas.  

Over 230 children participated in a set of thrilling competitions that saw them test their swimming abilities to the limit, with demonstrations of different strokes, speed and endurance.  There was a real sense of camaraderie as the children cheered on their friends, with spectators raising the noise levels that little bit further!  It was simply nailbiting for the parents and family members that had come to watch a demonstration of some fantastic swimming.  

Crosfields excellent swimming facility was built in 2012 and has, without doubt, contributed to pupils' swimming success as Crosfields is currently ranked 4th in the country with the Independent Association of Prep Schools.  

IMG 6972 cropped

Good times at Ufton

Girls and boys in Year 4 completed their two night residential trip to Ufton Court recently. 

Ufton Court, not far from Reading, is an Elizabethan manor house where school children can learn outdoors and fully immerse themselves in the history topics that they may be learning about in school.  The Crosfields trip this year saw the children re-enacting the Battle of Reading, dressing up for a full Saxon Feast, learning about Saxon crime and punishment, life on the farm and hunting for their dinner in archery! 

The children were engaged in practical, hands-on learning of Saxon History for three days and were able to build up a real understanding of the similarities and differences from life today.

Ufton group in boat

 Ufton small group

IAPS Swimming Qualifier

The atmosphere was absolutely electric on poolside at Crosfields swimming facility recently as eight schools took part in an IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) qualifying swimming gala.  

The annual competition, which is held amongst independent schools who are registered with the IAPS involves a series of qualifying galas held at schools around the UK, and Crosfields was fortunate to host for our region this year.  Girls and boys in Years 5 to 8 who are in the Crosfields Swim Squads, battled it out over a couple of hours with the ultimate aim of getting through to the final which is held at the prestigious London Aquatics Centre on Saturday 8th June.

Last year, Crosfields made history by reaching the final and were placed 4th in the country; an incredible achievement that saw them improve on their 2017 position by one place.  Crosfields swimming is going from strength to strength, and no doubt our state-of-the-art swimming facility is a significant factor in this. 

IAPS swimming gala

Officially opened by Paralympic gold medallist, Ellie Simmonds OBE, in February 2013, the 25m pool has a variable depth floor at one end which means that the children can swim within a depth that is suited to their age and ability.  All children from Nursery to Year 8 have timetabled swimming lessons, as well as the opportunity to join the ‘Crosfields Swimming School’. 

We won't know the results of the IAPS qualifying swimming gala until after Easter, but the children put in a strong performance and were incredibly determined; we wish all the participants the best of luck. 

Pennie swimming pool

Jacaranda Trust Update

Following the carol service collection at Wellington College back in December, Crosfields was delighted recently to have received a letter of thanks from The Michael Project in Zimbabwe.

As parents and long-time supporters of Crosfields will know, Crosfields has worked with charitable organisation, the Jacaranda Trust, for nearly two years now.  As recipients of our donation, the Trust helps to support many different projects across Africa, distributing money raised to projects which help children at risk.  The Michael Project, based in Harare, Zimbabwe, gave our donation of £362 to the Shalom Children's Home.  Shalom is presently home to 19 orphaned children; 10 boys and 9 girls aged between 11 months and 16 years.  The children live in three family units and enjoy life going to school, playing with friends and working in the garden. 

The Home were pleased to inform us that they used the money to improve their security by installing burglar bars, as well as purchasing materials for a chicken run.  There was also some remaining funds which will be chanelled towards internet subscriptions once their computer room is set up, and the construction of a laundry room.

   Collage combined 2

World Book Day Celebrations

Children in the Middle and Junior school were treated to some very special guests on World Book Day.  Bella and Freya, who are two beautiful golden retrievers were brought into school by well-known children’s author, Megan Rix.

The dogs demonstrated how to retrieve and assist people in need, and Megan explained how to interpret body language from the dogs to understand different emotions, which the children transferred to their writing.  Megan Rix’s books feature dogs or animals as the main protagonists, and usually have a historical setting.  Children in Year 6 had a workshop on how to write a storyboard for a television series, and Year 5 wrote stories from the perspective of a dog.  Some wonderfully imaginative writing was produced and a fun time was had by the children.

 Megan Rix dogs     

For their World Book Day celebrations, children in the Senior School were treated a very different author visit.  Chris Bradford, author of The Bodyguard series of books, as well as The Young Samurai series, demonstrated some exciting self-defence techniques to the girls and boys, as well as manoeuvres used by bodyguards. 

By his own admission, Chris is a 'method writer' and fully believes that in order to give his stories and characters credibility, he immerses himself in their world.  To that end, Chris is a trained bodyguard, and is qualified in the art of jujitsu, as well as having had training in Japan as a samurai!  He created quite a buzz with his exciting reading and re-enactment of scenes from his books, as well as his impressive spy gear and martial arts moves.  Some children even had the privilege of being Chris’ bodyguard and protecting him from some potentially crazed fans!  It was a visit by a dynamic, engaging author which the children will remember for quite some time!

Chris Bradford 2

Singing at the Hexagon

Twenty pupils from Years 6 and 7 took part in the annual 'Let’s Sing' Competition at the Hexagon Theatre in Reading recently.  The competition is run by the Mayor of Reading and features select choir groups from around the Reading area.  With their own backstage dressing room, the girls and boys were thrilled to be taking part in this special event, and although the Crosfields choir did not progress to the final stage of the competition, the reaction from the audience to their singing spoke volumes. 

Richard Adams, Director of Music at Crosfields, commented, 'The choir were simply magnificent in their performance of 42nd Street and showed great versatility by singing and moving simultaneously.  I have complete admiration for what they have achieved and they should be rightly proud of themselves.  The Reading Community Gospel Choir were worthy winners.'

The children also received some very nice feedback from the Arborfield Military Wives Choir and the Music Director of the Aldworth Philharmonic via our Twitter page.

Lets sing Lets sing 2

Shooting for success

U11 and U13 girls travelled to the recent IAPS Netball competition at Cranleigh and Queen Anne's schools as Crosfields netball continues to go from strength to strength. 

The IAPS competitions are extremely competitive with hundreds of schools across the country attending many venues to compete.  As expected, the standard of netball was extremely high and Crosfields had a hard but very enjoyable day.  The girls played four games in the morning and faced St. Hilary’s and Newton Prep during the first two games.  During these games the girls struggled to get going and find their feet which unfortunately allowed the competition into the game and we conceded both games.  However, they fought back, playing with determination, tenacity and fluidity as a team and had a well deserved win over Edgeborough School. 

In our final game Crosfields faced Portsmouth Grammar School and the game really was end to end.  The girls fought hard for every ball and to find space on the court but unfortunately Portsmouth pulled ahead and won the game 3-1.  This meant we did not progress to the next stage of the competition but the girls learnt a lot from the experience and had a great day playing and being together as a team.

The U13 A team then travelled down the road to Queen Anne’s for the regional IAPs qualifier.  This was the first time in four years we have taken a team.  The girls fought hard in every match challenging the opposition while linking some textbook netball play.  The team played with passion and determination all morning, but unfortunately we had not won enough games to go through to the afternoon session.  However, the girls now have a greater understanding of what is expected and will be ready to challenge again next year.  

 Girls IAPS U11 netball tournament

Contact Us

  • Crosfields School
  • Shinfield Road
  • Reading, Berkshire
  • RG2 9BL
  • Main Office: 0118 9871810
  • Bursar's Office: 0118 9862535
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Crosfields School Trust Limited | Registered in England No. 584278 | Registered Charity No. 309108
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