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

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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

Choir Raises the Roof

Eighteen girls and boys from the Middle School were fortunate to attend Wellington College’s Prep School Choral Day recently, an annual event that is always an uplifting experience for everyone involved. 

This year’s event broke from tradition as it was held in the GW Annenburg rather than the Chapel.  The Crosfields pupils, along with children from ten other schools were coached by the dynamic conductor and Artistic Director of the London Youth Choir, Rachel Staunton who gave the day a real sense of joy and fun.

Antigoni “liked the exercises” which immediately energised the room and set the tone for the day.  Rachel’s expertise was noticed by Tiana who commented that she “explains the music to us and she shows us what to look for.” 

The music was so varied in content and style.  Girls and boys sang an eight-part round about “Black Socks” and put body percussion to “L’il Liza Jane as warm ups.  The five main songs featured “It Was A Lover and His Lass”, a madrigal style song using Shakespearean text, Shosholoza, a traditional and powerful South African piece, the challenging “Keep Your Head Held High” with such a heartfelt message, the crazy “Mad Moon” with its swooping effects and as a finale “You Raise Me Up” sang beautifully and with great feeling, leaving no dry eye in the house.  Rachel mentioned that the choir was a 'disparate' group from many schools but singing enables us to unite and have a common goal, to make music.

Wellington Choral day

Ski Trip 2019: What a Blast!

Twenty three excited children and four staff members took off from Crosfields recently and headed to the Italian resort of Pila for the School's annual ski trip.  Trips abroad are a key part of the curriculum for Crosfields pupils as they contribute to children's broader education and help to develop different skillsets, such as helping them to overcome their fears and encouraging them to learn independently. 

Ski trip 1 Ski trip 2

Following a busy ferry ride, and a lovely breakfast stop in France, the group were soon checking out their skis and checking into the hotel; the same hotel that awarded Crosfields 'Best Group of the Season' last year.  The hotel owner, Luige, was pleased to see Crosfields again, and it was not long before he said that he wished he could have Crosfields pupils every week!

Day one on the slopes is always a bit daunting, but all of the Interski staff, the wonderful Co-ordinator Louise, and the four instructors made it all seem easy; even those girls and boys who had never been skiing before were happy as they got to grips with the pointy things called skis!  There were lots of bright sunny days (several reminders to apply sunscreen), the children worked hard (lots of reminders to drink plenty of water), and they enjoyed pasta, pizza and chips (with only some reminders to eat full breakfasts!) 

The children also enjoyed a full programme of activities after skiing each day.  Matthew, in Year 5, enjoyed this part of the trip very much.  "Bowling, karaoke and quiz nights were my favourite things after a day outdoors." he said.

The mountain scenery was beautiful, and good for morning reflection each day about what the children were looking forward to.  All of the skiers had a good week, the top group contained some very stylish skiers, the beginner group listened carefully, and the two middle groups really improved their skiing.  From Interski personnel to coach drivers, instructors, and hoteliers, they all reported, “Crosfields pupils are polite, they say please and thank you, and they look out for each other.  They are also really good on the ski slopes!”  

For Cynara, a Year 5 pupil, it was her first time on the slopes.  She proudly reported that it was the best holiday that she'd ever had.  "I just watched my friends do it and I gave it a go" Cynara said.  Well done, Cynara! 

Ski trip 3 Ski trip 4

A-capella at Bradfield

The Junior children experienced a real treat when they visited Bradfield College for a choral workshop run by the brilliant a-capella group ‘Apollo 5’, as well as young leaders from Bradfield College. 

The children enjoyed a terrific morning, learning new warm-ups as well as a variety of songs that all culminated in a fantastic finale that was topped off by a performance by Apollo 5.  The highlight for many children was the ‘fruit’ warm-up, where they had to adopt the characters of different fruit with contrasting personalities.  This had them all in fits of giggles!  The girls and boys were energetic and focused; their ability to memorise so many different things and then put in a confident performance was simply brilliant.

Bradfield Juniors choral day

Putting a Spring in their Step

Girls and boys from Years 5 to 8 delighted a packed audience in the Theatre recently as they performed in a Spring Concert.

The concert included a special orchestral performance that showcased some very talented violinists, with children also performing on cellos, saxophones, flutes and clarinets to name but a few. 

Following the orchestra, the girls and boys not only sang in their choir groups, but together as well, and they were all encouraged by an enthusiastic audience that joined in with clapping.  Together, the children demonstrated not only their musical talents but resilience and determination with their performances.  A memorable evening had by all!   

Spring concert girls

Spring concert boys

Singing Proud

A group of children from Year 6, 7 and 8 were fortunate enough to attend and sing at the Young Voices event at London's O2 arena recently.

Having been told that it was the “Largest School Choir in the World” and “The Biggest Pop Concert” before signing up to the experience, the teaching staff all agreed that the show organisers certainly weren't wrong!  There were almost 9,000 children attending from schools around the UK who all experienced a live band, professional singers and legends like Tony Hadley.  They all came together to create a magnificent spectacle for a packed O2 audience.  What an incredible experience for our 40 lucky singers, who had to learn over 50 pages of music plus countless choreography steps and dances to perform to such a high standard with the other 100 schools! 

o2 picture 2 amended

The children were ecstatic over their unique experience; Paula loved “the energy from everyone”, Raphael “the positivity”, Peter “the opportunity”, Madeleine “the enjoyment” and Fabienne mentioned “the cheering when people have done well”.  Alan summed it up brilliantly by telling us “the atmosphere was incredible.” 

Performing Poetry

Year 6 delighted audiences in the Theatre recently by sharing their own versions of a variety of narrative poems.  Having rehearsed thoroughly, the children spent time learning their poems and really got under the skin of their characters.      

They performed a feast of music and drama to family and friends that explained and demonstrated the importance of keeping stories alive.  The performance ended with a creative and modern version of The Highwayman involving the whole year group.

 Year 6 performing arts 2 Year 6 performing arts

Swimming Success!

Crosfields has celebrated phenomenal success in the last year with its swimming, and currently being ranked 4th in the country with the Independent Association of Prep Schools is a definite highlight.  That success continued recently as six Crosfields pupils qualified for the County Swimming Championships.  


Alan, Oliver, Eshaan, Anna and David all reached the final in their respective events, with nail-biting finishes in many of their competitions.  The swimmers were supported at the event by family and friends from their swimming club in Tilehurst and were absolutely thrilled with their achievements.  Eshaan achieved the bronze medal for his age group for the 100 freestyle and Anna achieved bronze and gold medals in the 50 backstroke, where she is now ranked 5th in the country for her age.   

David, our Crosfields Swimming Prefect, achieved an exceptional nine gold medals and was crowned Junior County Champion in three of these events.  A real credit to his determination and hard work, David commented afterwards,"I was really surprised with my achievement as I didn't do as well last year.  It was so challenging but having my swimming club there to cheer me on really helped."  Gideon, who qualified for Hampshire as he swims with Rushmoor Swimming Club, sadly did not take part as he was unwell on the day. 

Swimming is a strong sport for Crosfields, and our state-of-the-art facilties have without doubt contributed to our children's successes.  As we move forward in extending the school to age 16, children's swimming talents can continue to be supported in our own environment for years to come.  

County swimmers 2019

Stars of the Screen

Year 5 explored screen-printing recently and, using an Aboriginal theme, they created a collaborative textile piece with the help of visiting artist Tim Davies.  

The children explored Aboriginal dreamtimes, pattern design, symmetry, drawing and cutting skills before putting it altogether for their screen-printing.  ‘I loved experimenting with cutting out shapes and laying them down to create a pattern!’ exclaimed Evie.   

 Year 5 art day girls

Tim, who can be seen in the picture below holding up the screen printing, provided a superb workshop that was engaging and a lot of fun.  It was wonderful to see the children’s faces as their screen-print appeared.  ‘My favourite bit was using the squeegee!’ said Rory, a thought that Eleanor echoed; ‘I thought it was really good because we got to learn a new skill!’ she also said.

Tim Davies has been offering art workshops across the country for the last 20 years, as well as working as an artist.  His school workshops cover a range of themes and media, with sculpture being his favourite.  As an artist, he has created some absolute masterpieces that use inflatable sculpture techniques; it is well worth looking at his websites to see the giant octopus and his robotic spider costume!

  Year 5 art day |

Bird Watch at Crosfields

In advance of the RSPB's national 'Big Garden Birdwatch' weekend, Crosfields children were out around the grounds recently making a note of the different types of birds that we regularly enjoy here at the school.  Crosfields is very fortunate to have a healthy population of Red Kites, as well as magpies, gulls, blackbirds, and even a robin who regularly visits the children at our Outdoor Classroom! 


The Year 3 children then went on to make their own bird feeders from pine cones, lard, cereal and fruit which they then hung in the trees around the Outdoor Classroom.  It really encouraged them to think about how we can help look after the birds that live around us to survive during the colder spells of weather, and they worked together nicely to choose the best spots to hang their feeders from.

Red Kites in tree Year 3 girls bird feeder

Bird feeder

Stone Age Drama

Year 3 welcomed The Drama Hut to Crosfields recently to help them learn about the Stone Age, their new History topic for the first half of the Spring term. 


The children explored many different aspects of the period including; a timeline of the Stone Age, how Stone Age people communicated with each other, what family life would have been like in a Stone Age settlement and some of the inventions that happened throughout the period.  All this work was completed through the medium of drama, which involved freeze frames, presentations and hot seating to allow the children to gain a much broader understanding of what it would have been like to live at this time in history.

Drama workshop  

The girls and boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it will really help them with their future learning of their History topic. 

Snow Business

Crosfields children of all ages had enormous fun this week as the recent snowfall dusted the school grounds like icing sugar on a cake.  The girls and boys were excited to spend their breaktimes building snowmen, and the new Artificial Turf Pitch saw a different kind of ball rolling along - a snow ball!  Some children who had recently moved to Crosfields had not seen snow before, so it was a real delight for them! 






Tea and Talk with a Police Officer

Following a special tea, the Senior School pupils were treated to a particularly engaging talk from TDC Catrin Edwards recently, who has worked with the Metropolitan Police Service for five and a half years. 

Having been confidently introduced to the pupils by Year 8 pupil Avalon, Catrin, who is training to be a detective, talked about her work in the Gangs Unit and her time as a uniformed PC in the Emergency Response Unit, but no one was prepared for the gravity of her talk. 

Tea and Talk

Catrin spoke with great authority on the ‘daily’ experiences of life in the police force, from the riots of 2011 to intervening when the TV remote control is not being shared!  Towards the end, questions and thanks were formally wrapped up by Robert Smith and a great buzz could be heard around Acorns Hall as many girls and boys left considering a possible career in the police force.  

Shreya reflected, ‘I have always wanted to help people, and Catrin made me feel that being in the police force would be a cool way of doing that.’  

‘I could not believe the good sense of humour Catrin brought to her talk; I could see that work in the police force must be very rewarding.  I particularly enjoyed being handcuffed and examining the riot gear.’ remarked Eshaan.

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

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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