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Crosfields School

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Established  1957
Religion  interdenominational
Chairman of Governors  Bob Sutherland
Founder  Roy Stillman
Number of students  500
Staff  67
Type  Independent
Headteacher  Craig Watson
Phone  +44 118 987 1810
Founded  1957
Local authority  Wokingham
Location  Shinfield Road Reading Berkshire RG2 9BL England
Address  Shinfield Rd, Reading RG2 9BL, UK
Similar  Leighton Park School, The Abbey School, Maiden Erlegh School, Kendrick School, St Joseph's College

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Crosfields School, commonly and colloquially known as Crosfields and initialised XF is an interdenominational preparatory day school on Shinfield Road in the civil parish of Shinfield, near the border of the boroughs of Reading and Wokingham in the English county of Berkshire.


Established in 1957 when it gained independence from Leighton Park School as Leighton Park Junior School, it is set within 44 acres (180,000 m2) of ground. The school is now fully co-educational.'Co-Ed' Crosfields currently has over 500 pupils aged between 3 and 13. A Nursery class opened in September 2008. Boys and girls (in the Pre-Preparatory School) are selected through interview and assessment at all ages starting with Reception. It is less common for people to join at the top end of the school (Year 8) and certain interval years (Year 4, 6, 7). An extra class is created in Year 5 and 6, making it 4 classes, to allocate more pupils. Some pupils take examinations at 11 which take them on to senior schools but most pupils tend to stay on until they are 13 and sit Common Entrance exams set by the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) which will take them on to independent senior schools. However, there are exceptions from Common Entrance such as acceptance to grammar schools (notably nearby Reading School) and other independent, public and private schools that require slightly different methods of examination.

Among the most recent policy changes was the acceptance of girls and a co-education policy which took effect in September 2007 for the Pre-Preparatory School with the whole school taking part in the policy from September 2008 onwards.


The current Headmaster is Craig Watson, who took over from Jonathan P. Wansey in 2015.
Originally a junior school for Leighton Park School, Crosfields was founded as a preparatory school in 1957. However, its roots can be traced back to a school in Castle Street called Marlborough House, established in the first half of the 19th century. The school was originally on Bath Road but in the 1920s moved to Parkside Street of which the location is now a YMCA centre.
After World War II, Leighton Park purchased the nearby Goodrest Estate (the estate was thought to have been named after a quote of Charles I during the English Civil War saying he "had had a good rest") and the Junior school settled there in 1946.
When the number of day and boarders at Crosfields had reached 100, a consideration was taken in January 1957 that the school should become an entirely new school. And in January 1957, Crosfields School officially became an independent preparatory school with its own Trust Fund and Board of Governors. Crosfields School Trust Ltd. became and independent organisation from Leighton Park School on 31 May 1957. The logo of an Oak Leaf is commonplace all over the school and is the origin for the school magazine, OakLeaf.

Origin of Name

Crosfields was named because of a boy's suggestion, after Hugh Crosfield, an old boy and former Leighton Park governor who had been killed in an air raid in 1944 during the war. Crosfields School shares its name with a Junior Football Club, participating Warrington League as well as the largest amateur Rugby League Club in the country with participants aged from 3 to 93 - Crosfields first team play in the National Conference League and are the current National Conference Division 3 champions Club History Evidence shows that Crosfields where playing rugby during the 1901-1902 season in inter-works competitions. Formed by the workers from Joseph Crosfield and Son's, Crosfields ARLFC has developed into one of the leading amateur clubs in the country. Crosfields have been competitive right throughout their history winning honours in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Present day the crosfields side continue to win honours the most recent being the National Conference 2nd division champions in 2001-2002 season. The whole club continues to thrive and with Rugby League being played at every age group and level we have some very solid foundations to build upon


Basic subjects include Mathematics and English. As pupils progress they take up a wide variety of subjects.

From the first year of education (Reception), pupils are required to study the basic subjects such as Mathematics, English, ICT and French.
If pupils are in the top set from Year 6 onwards (known as the Z set), they have a choice of taking up another language alongside French, either Latin or Spanish. Most people tend to take Latin as it is required for a number of prestigious independent schools in the local area. In the top end, Year 5-8, new subjects such as Design and Technology and PHSE are taken. GS or general subjects or sessions is only applied to Year 5.

Common Entrance Examinations

Arguably the most exams in the top end of the school taken, Common Entrance examinations are produced by the Independent Schools Examination Board or the ISEB.

Some pupils depart at 11 rather than 13 due to the acceptance of places at local grammar and independent schools that require different methods of examination.


Compulsory subjects for Common Entrance examination at 13+ are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Compulsory subjects for Common Entrance examinations for 13+ at Crosfields are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Time keeping
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Latin (Only Z Set pupils in year 7 and 8 learn Latin)
  • Spanish (Only Z Set pupils in year 8 learn Spanish)
  • Geography
  • History
  • Cornwall

    About a week after Common Entrance Examinations are completed, Year 8 are sent off on an activity week to the Manor House Activity and Development Centre and have done for the past 23 years. This is in St. Issey, near Padstow, Cornwall. Activities include a coastal walk, kayaking, orienteering, sailing, climbing a cliff and a day trip to St. Ives. The trip is free and expenses are paid for by the Board of Governors. It is a common case that pupils who fail to meet a certain standard of behaviour before the excursion are excluded from the trip.

    Exceptions from Common Entrance Examinations

    As mentioned, not all pupils go on to senior UK independent schools, some may go on to grammar schools, in some cases comprehensive schools, public schools and even other independent schools.
    Everybody on the day of examinations takes the papers, but certain schools, depending on their Common Entrance policies do not mark or do not take into account pupils results.


    Set in about 40 acres (160,000 m2) of parkland the school has teaching blocks housing the Languages department, science, information technology, art, craft and pottery while the Chestnuts building houses the Reception year and the Acorns building the Pre-Prep Department and the Junior School.

    Pupils have use of the Sports Hall, indoor heated swimming pool and the music school. There are also tennis courts, a six-hole golf course and outdoor and indoor cricket nets. The entire school was originally housed in the White Building but over the years was expanded.


    Most buildings in the school have been built in the last 50 years, although the White Building, also known as the Old House was constructed in the 19th century on the site of another Old House which had been built a long time before the current building.


    Acorns was opened in 1995, providing teaching areas for Years 1-4. It has two library areas, an IT facility, and a hall where pupils assemble twice a week. Following the opening of a new educational facility called Chestnuts in 2002, this continued to care for the lower end of the school.


    This building which opened in 2002 after half a year of construction caters for Reception. It has a cookery room, a play area and numerous classrooms with apartments on the second floor for various members of staff.


    Hence named in 1981 because of the school's silver anniversary, this building has Science, Art and IT facilities, the IT and Science being on the floor above. Because of the new building Oaks, the Art facilities are moving to the new building. The current new Art buildings will be the new Year 8 common room.

    Music School and Theatre

    Opened in 2000, this building has music practice rooms, 2 main teaching classrooms and is linked to the theatre. On 17 May 2005, the theatre part of the complex was re-opened by former Headmaster Frank Skipwith and renamed the Skipwith Performing Arts Centre. School plays are performed here and have enough seating for 129 people.

    Dining and Assembly Hall

    Used for lunches and late stay snacks, provided are hot meals and a salad bar and every Monday and Friday, the Senior School gather here with the Junior and Senior School gathering on Wednesday.

    Sports Hall

    In 1999, a new sports facility was opened to replace the old hall (which in 2000 was converted into a theatre, now the Skipwith Performing Arts Centre. It has 5 badminton courts and a foyer and numerous other areas.

    Stillman Building

    Named after former Headmaster Roy Stillman who was headmaster from 1957 until 1986, this building is host to Modern Languages, Mathematics, History, Geography and numerous classrooms. Because of the Oaks, many of the History and Geography facilities will be moved to the Oaks.

    Swimming pool

    The 25 metre indoor swimming pool at Crosfields is used weekly by all years up to year 5 in the school. All year groups from foundation up to year 5 have a timetabled swimming lesson once a week. Year groups 6 and up have Swimming one half of a term, and then P.E. for the rest of the year.

    The pool is self-contained with its own changing and showering facilities. It has five lanes and diving blocks at both ends. With also the 2 metre deep end and a shallow to deep end with a moving floor.

    As well as being well-used in curriculum time, Crosfields runs swimming squads in Years 3-8, and swimming hobbies for any children in year 3-8 who are keen to swim in their spare time and improve their skills in the water.

    On weekday evenings and Saturday mornings the pool is used by 'Ducklings to Dolphins', a local swimming organisation who teach many local children and adults to swim in the Crosfields pool.

    The white House

    This is the original country house and the main focus point of Crosfields. It was built in the 1800s on the site of another Old House. It is commonly referred to as the "White Building" and in some ways, the "White House". This houses numerous classrooms, the headmaster's study, Design and Technology laboratory, library and office.

    The Naming of Buildings

    Overall, most new buildings have been named after certain types of trees. This includes Acorns which houses the Junior School, Chestnuts where Pre-Prep children are situated and the new building, The Oaks.
    However, some facilities have been named after past headmasters such as the Stillman Building, the Skipwith Performing Arts Centre (colloquially known as the Music School) and the Jubilee building which was named for the 25th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

    The Oaks

    When the Stable Block which housed the Year 8 common room was nearing its old age, plans were proposed to demolish the building and replace it with a new building housing new IT facilities, a new art room, a Design and Technology workshop, English, Geography and RS classrooms. It was approved and demolition of the old Stable Block (which in the early years was the classroom) occurred in May 2006. Construction was completed in June 2007, and it was shown on Speech Day. It took educational force in September 2007.

    Crosfields Golden Jubilee

    As the school was established in 1957, in 2007, it is Crosfields golden jubilee. Among the celebrations were the construction of the Oaks, a June 2007 Old Boys day and a temporary logo.

    There has been an Old Boys' Association set up to track old boys down to invite them to the event. However due to the new co-educational policy, it is likely that this association may be called Old Crosfieldians.


    In late 2006, a proposal by both the Headmaster and the Board of Governors to make the school co-educational rather than single sex was decided and approved.
    This was announced in morning Collect (rather than assembly due to early links from Leighton Park School, an independent school and Quaker institute) on 20 November 2006 and the initiative was proved successful among an overwhelmingly majority of both boys and teachers.

    Mr Jonathan Wansey, Headmaster, said:
    "I am really looking forward to welcoming our first girls in September and I am sure they will be as happy and successful here as our boys have been to date."

    Girls will be attending in the Pre-Preparatory school (4-7) from September 2007 and co-education will be implemented in the rest of the school from September 2008. This will result in significant uniform design for the girls and slight changes in Pre-Prep uniform, equal ratios of boy-girl attendance and other minor changes.

    Notable alumni

  • Ian Stillman
  • References

    Crosfields School Wikipedia

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