The Crossley Heath School, Halifax, West Yorkshire
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Review of "The Crossley Heath School, Halifax, West Yorkshire"
I'm just about to graduate, and looking forwards to finding out what life has to throw at me.
The Crossley Heath Grammar School, known to most as "Crossleys", is a victorian edifice, situated at the top of Saville Park, The Moor to locals, in elegant grounds. The facilities have changed little since their victorian days, but recent expansions include a new Technology wing, a language wing, a new porta-cabin for the sixth form and current plans include a sports' hall with facilities for teaching, thus creating more teaching space within the school building.Do excuse the slight cynicism when it comes to Crossleys, I'm currently in my seventh year there, familiarity breeds contempt. This does not mean that I dislike the place, I love it to bits, enough to wear my school jumper out and about when it gets cold.
Crossleys is a selective school, so admission is by 11+ exam only, unless you move into the area at a later date, in which case you can take the exam when a place becomes available. I've been in the school twice for 11+ exam day, once when I took it, once when I helped out. The atmosphere that day is quite scary, so if you're thinking of putting your child in for it you need to be sure that they want to do it, because it can be a terrefying experience.I have never, ever regretted taking the exam. My dad went to Heath, one of the two schools that formed Crossleys, and he was in Queens House, the nearest things that Saville House (the house that my brother and I are in) has to an ally, mostly becase they didn't win much either. Crossleys retains the house system ofthe two original schools; Saville and Porter houses come from the Crossley and Porter School, whilst Kings and Queens are from Heath. Whilst it's true that the house system breeds rivalry amongst the students, it also provides wonderful opportunities for taking part and for making friends, because nothing brings you closer together than stuffing last years' winners at rounders. Saville is, of course, the best house, despite the fact that we never win anything.
The house system comes complete with House Officials, who are elected from the lower 6th to serve until their exams the following year, when the next lower 6th take over. As well as the house officials, who help to organise all the house events, there are also school officials, who help out with the day to day running of the school, from organising the prefects for dinner duty, to organising volunteers for school events and even running the charity commitee.Charity is very important at Crossleys, we get two non-uniform days a year to support charities, and the charity commitee regularly organises events and bun-stalls to raise money at other points through the year.
Crossleys does have quite strict uniform regulations. Up to the 6th form, the uniform is blazer and tie in the school colours of black and gold, with a white shirt and black trousers or skirt. Once you get into the 6th form it's smart-casual, with collars compulsary for the lads and hoodies and jeans a definite no-no.The sixth form do get priveleges, apart from not having to wear a blazer and tie. We have our own computer room cum study room as well as the common room, which has a kitchen, quiet study area, table-tennis table and TV with an N64, on which Mario Kart is a constant. We also have more freedom to move than younger students, we're allowed to make the ten minutes' walk down to Tesco, use the back staircases and go past the dining hall at lunchtime, which comes in useful.
Although we complain about them quite a lot, the facilities at Crossleys are pretty good. Because we're a selective school, and the government don't exactly approve, we don't get as much funding as some other local schools, but we make do. The school is on three floors, except the wings, which are on two, and has eight science labs, five computer rooms and an extremely well stocked library, with a fantastic range of fiction and non-fiction alike.If you're stuck for something to do at lunchtime and don't fancy the library, there are plenty of alternatives. As well as plenty of sports teams, most of which I'm probably blissfully unaware of, there are computing clubs, a chess club, a film club, Young Enterprise groups for the 6th form and year 11, technology clubs and two lunchtime music clubs, the choir and the string group, with windband rehearsing after school on Tuesdays. As well as the three ensembles, the school do productions and trips abroad on alternate years; this year saw a sell-out production of Les Miserables.
Crossleys does, of course, have its down sides. There is segregation between the ethnic groups, particularly once you get to the sixth form when there is an influx of students from oterh schools and an "outflux" of students from Crossleys. There arealso problems with bullying, but from personal experience I can say that it's usually fairly ineffectual and if you do have a problem, there are plenty of people around to help, be it 6th formers, teachers or non-teaching staff.The teaching is generally of an excellent quality, especially in the Geography department, which has been my favourite subject since my first year.
If you're thinking of applying for the year after next, results for next year are already in, how time flies, I won't be around, because I have six weeks left. My brother will still be around though, so if you're feeling lost just ask for Titley, whoever you ask they'll probably know who you mean.And I hope that future students enjoy the place as much as I have.
Product Information : The Crossley Heath School, Halifax, West Yorkshire
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Listed on Ciao since: 09/04/2008