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30th September 2022

And so to the Senior School!  I think we are sometimes guilty of assuming our parents know more than they do about Year 7 and beyond. 
It is tempting to think that the new building alone is the Senior School.  In fact, a series of projects over the last few years supplements this:  a new art room, a creative arts IT suit, a new state of the art DT workshop, a science lab for each of the three disciplines, the extra playing fields, as well as a strength & conditioning centre.
To accommodate the levels of demand, a simple classroom building, behind the new build is planned which in turn will create a separate outside space for the older pupils to relax in (don’t worry it is not a massive building project!)
If you think the staff your child currently has are the senior school staff, then think again!  In the Senior School there is a whole, separate, different staff for each and every subject, all GCSE options.  Indeed, roles you may not have thought of such as Careers, Exams and KS3 co-ordination are included.
There is a significant step up in academic expectations, as you will appreciate.   Most of the new, different subjects such as Economics, Business Studies and Psychology are sampled in Year 9.  The addition of Classics in Year 7 is one change, but different also are the embedded activities which are aimed at older children. There are options such as entrepreneurship, youth politics, human rights think tank and sports leadership.
Years 7-9 have the ‘Extension and Facilitation Programme’ (XFP) within their weekly timetable which offers curriculum extension on various topics. All students are looking at the ‘FOSIL’ (Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning) course this term with our librarian Miss Nilsson. This then progresses into topics such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) and financial literacy later in the year.
Wider academic skills such as research, critical thinking, creativity, and public speaking run through the Senior School curriculum. These will be explored in lessons in a subject specific way in Year 7. In to Year 8, we have our internal ‘Ian Michael’ award where students choose a topic to research and present.  Year 9 can then embark on the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) which allows students to develop their skills further still and would lead to an extra GCSE level qualification for those who see it through to Year 10.
We have developed a metacognitive ethos in the Senior School, which gives the students the skills and processes they need in order to be independent learners. Staff are now using the VESPA (Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice, Attitude) model when presenting information in class, tutor time, and collects. The students benefit from this consistent approach as well as having specific sessions covering study skills from Elevate Education.
Extra Curric
We have two completely different programmes in Years 7 & 8 and Years 9,10 & 11, the Mighty Oak and the Giant Sequoia respectively.  Hence, in Year 7 you might expect to see students broadening their participation across a number of areas of academic, citizenship, community and service, creative and cultural, leadership and responsibility, and physical development. Year 9 you will see them focusing in and showing a sustained commitment to the opportunities available to them. A good example of this is the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Year 9 is currently in Biarritz, Years 9 and 10 were wild camping in Morocco!  Some of the future trips are:
Years 7 & 8    - Football trip to Barcelona – half term
Year 10           - Berlin and Poland - November
Year 7             - Seville (language) - March
Year 8             - Lake District - Outward Bound – Summer
Years 8, 9, 10 - New York: Drama, Art and Model United Nations
Sport continues to have an important role.  Whilst secondary school do less sport to facilitate the academic timetable, we still do more than any other day schools whilst recognising not all teenagers want to be team players!  Hence, we have have two afternoons of games per week and the option for students in Years 9-11 to follow a multi-sports programme. Year 9 also has one hour of PE per week where they follow a curriculum that underpins the GCSE PE programme, enabling an informed decision when deciding on GCSE options.
Pastoral Care
Pastoral Care is an area we take incredibly seriously.  This term we have mobilised our student buddies to ensure anyone new to our community has been supported; we’ve held an anti-bullying workshop and several pastoral forums to gather the views of the children; staff, parents and students have had various external speakers related to our inaugural RaiSE Day covering topics including self-harm, mental wellbeing and sex education; and the pastoral team has been working hard to ensure that those students in need are receiving the right support.  We are also geared up to try and achieve a Wellbeing Award!

Junior School includes Nursery to Year 6 and Senior School includes Years 7 to 10. 

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Crosfields School Trust Ltd. · Shinfield Road · Shinfield · Reading, Berkshire RG2 9BL · United Kingdom