Our Staff

Mrs Massheder

I am very proud to be the Headteacher of this fantastic school. I joined the staff in September 2015 and very soon realised that the children are wonderful – polite and hardworking; the staff are fabulous - dedicated and highly skilled; and the parents are terrific – supportive and welcoming.

I have over 28 years of teaching experience during which time I have taught every year group from Year 2 to Year 6. I have 22 years of Senior Leadership, having been an Assistant Headteacher and a Deputy Headteacher. Cross in Hand is my second Headship. My philosophy of education is that all children have the right to be happy, to reach their potential and to be treated with respect.

In my spare time I enjoy walking in the beautiful East Sussex countryside and going to the theatre and cinema. I also absolutely love to read, which I do every day. Since September 2021, we have also been thrilled to introduce Winnie Whippet, our School Dog, so much of my spare time is taken up with training her.

If you wish to contact me via email, please do so using office@cross-in-hand.e-sussex.sch.uk.

Mrs Williams-Finch - (Inclusion Manager and SENCo)

After spending 13 years as a classroom teacher, with experiences in Early Years to Upper Key Stage Two, I have spent my time, since January 2010, focusing on Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. I love learning about the specific needs of individual children and thinking creatively how best to provide the support they need. I also enjoy leading, and working in partnership with, a fabulous team of adults at Cross in Hand who really do have the best interests of our children at heart.

In my spare time, I love gardening, playing the piano and all things art related. I am currently part way through a five year Classical Art course topping up my degree knowledge. I’ve also recently discovered fitness (thanks to Joe Wicks in Lockdown 1!) and now regularly cycle for 5 miles before school in the mornings. I’m passionate about mental health and have learnt how important it is that we nurture our own wellbeing so that we can be the best we can be for the children in our care.

If you wish to contact me about matters of SEN and Inclusion, please do so using this email address: mwilliams-finch@cross-in-hand.e-sussex.sch.uk or by telephoning the school office on 01435 862941.

Mrs Codd (Lewes Class)

I am so pleased to have joined the fantastic team at Cross in Hand School. The staff, children and parents are so friendly and welcoming. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead.

Since graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University, I have taught EYFS or Key Stage 1. I love working with this age group, being at the beginning of a child’s school journey and watching how they grow and blossom as they progress through the school.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my friends and family. I enjoy cycling in the countryside as well as watching different sports but Formula One is my favourite! Should I find a quiet moment to myself, I also enjoy reading a book.

Mrs Banfield (Lewes Class)

I am delighted to have joined such a caring and friendly team at Cross In Hand. All the staff, children and parents are so welcoming and supportive.

I have been teaching for just over 10 years now, prominently within EYFS classes. I absolutely love teaching this age. I see it as a privilege to be part of such an important milestone in the children’s lives. It is wonderful to watch the children grow and flourish throughout their first school year.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I can often be found pottering around in the garden, going on long walks or day trips out. I also enjoy baking with my two children; we love trying out new recipes and making family favourites.

Mrs Gardiner (Hever Class)

I joined Cross in Hand in 2009 and have mainly taught in Key Stage 1 and Early Years, which I thoroughly enjoy. It gives me great pride to be involved from the start of the children's school journey and watch them progress through the school into Year 6. I have a strong passion for history and reading; I can often be found curled up at home with a good book!

In my spare time, I enjoy pottering in the garden and going on picnics with my family.

Mrs Kerrigan (Hever Class)

Coming soon...

Learning Support Assistants:

- Mrs Cottingham

- Mrs Wicker

- Mrs Bousell

- Mrs Thomas-Pickett

Mrs Bailey (Bodiam Class)

I joined Cross in Hand in January 2014 as a Year 2 teacher. I have loved teaching at the school, the children are so responsive and the other staff very supportive. It is a very happy place to be working in. With my recent background being in Early Years, I looked forward to being able to move to Year 1&2 and to all the challenges of being part of one of the first chapters in a child’s school career!

When not working, I spend time with my family. We love to go walking on the Ashdown Forest – especially if the ice-cream van is there! I also love gardening and cooking.

Mrs Elphinstone (Camber Class)

I was delighted to join the Cross in Hand team in 2016 after having spent the previous 11 years working at a primary school in London. I have been fortunate enough to teach in all the primary years but I have to say my heart is with Key Stage One and Early Years. This year I am going to be teaching Year One and I couldn’t be happier. Cross in Hand is a warm and welcoming environment to work in but the most wonderful thing is that the children are happy, content and encouraged to be individuals.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, going for long walks with my children and my dog. I also enjoy visiting the theatre to watch a play, visiting museums and popping into an art gallery.

Miss Read (Leeds Class) - Senior Leader

I joined Cross in Hand in 2020 as Year 1/2 Class Teacher after working for 10 years in a primary school in St Leonards on Sea. It was an unusual start to my time at Cross in Hand as we spent a large amount of time in lockdown. I love teaching here - the staff are incredibly supportive and the children are so engaged and ready to learn. The school has a clear vision and child-centred approach, this was one of the reasons why I wanted to work here. I have taken on the role of Early Years and Key Stage 1 lead and I am looking forward to challenges this will bring.


In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family. We often visit the beach for long walks and scooter rides (I am not the one on the scooter!). I enjoy visiting markets and then cooking (and eating) everything I buy there.

Mrs Barden (Hastings Class)

I joined Cross in Hand as a LSA in 2014, and now find myself back in the same classroom I first started in, this time as a very proud teacher of Year 2. It is a truly magical place to work and I enjoy being able to play a part in delivering a rich and varied curriculum to the children. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with such engaging and fabulous children who are always ready to learn.


Spare time, as a teacher and mum to three teenagers, I have quickly found is something to be cherished. When I do get a spare moment, I enjoy nothing more than a long walk in the beautiful Sussex countryside with my frankly very badly behaved but very lovable Staffie, Kenny.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Mrs Thomas

- Mrs Changleng

- Miss Hill

- Mrs Chandler

- Mrs Jones

Miss Walter (Rochester Class)

I joined Cross In Hand after a two-year break from the classroom, having attempted a little travelling before lockdown brought my plans to an end! I then worked in a local residential home for children and young adults. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my role supporting some wonderful people, I couldn't wait to get back to teaching again!

It is a privilege to become part of such a caring and compassionate school where the focus is on the whole child, nurturing them to be safe and happy so that they can achieve their full potential. I have taken on the lead of our Life Skills curriculum and I love the way that Jigsaw supports each year group to develop and grow together, supported by our Thrive approach.

As a home grown local, I love to walk in our beautiful area with my ever mad but slightly aged boxer dog and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Mrs James (Scotney Class)

I joined the school in 2021 as a supply teacher and, fortunately, I was asked to stay! I originally trained in secondary English over twenty years ago and was head of department before taking time out to be a full time mum. During this period, I worked as a private tutor; and GCSE and A Level English examiner before making the decision last year to return to the classroom via a Masters in Education. I came in to Cross In Hand in a voluntary capacity to experience primary education and support my studies. Immediately, I warmed to the positive and caring ethos alongside a truly inclusive culture.

I have little spare time as my children play a lot of sport and am mainly found down at Horam rec watching my children play football or helping out in the kiosk on Saturday mornings. On Sunday afternoons, I enjoy a family walk with our beloved dog followed by a well earned flop into the hammock or sofa, depending on the time of year, with a decent book.

Mrs Simpson (Scotney Class)

Coming soon...

Mrs Bristow-Diamond (Amberley Class)

I was delighted to join the Cross in Hand team in January 2022 after teaching in Tunbridge Wells for the past five years. I love the welcoming feel at Cross in Hand and it is such a supportive, caring and friendly school to be a part of. Most of my teaching experience has been in upper Key Stage 2, but I am thoroughly enjoying teaching Year 4. It is a privilege to be teaching such enthusiastic children.

When I am not at school, I enjoy making scrapbooks full of pictures, which I enjoy looking back at and reminiscing past events. During the week, I like to tap dance and swim. I also enjoy going to the beach and walking by the sea during the weekend.

Mr Livingston (Arundel Class)

I am delighted to join the team at Cross in Hand, the staff are all caring, supportive, professional educators whom I feel privileged to work with and learn from.

Prior to joining Cross in Hand, I taught in Thailand for 5 years in both Key Stage 1 and 2, before returning to my hometown in Sussex to teach. Having travelled extensively and lived in another country, my students are able to gain an insight into the wider world.

I’m a keen sportsman and have played competitively in both football and cricket. I also enjoy running and weightlifting. I love animals, and at one point had 15 cats! I love to read, learn about anything and everything and thoroughly enjoy inspiring students to become life-long learners.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Mrs Gatt

- Mrs Rockcliffe

- Mrs Benford

- Mrs Derbyshire (HLTA)

- Mrs Siggs

- Mrs Walker

- Mrs Oliver (Thrive Practitioner)

- Mrs Gloria

- Mrs Bennett

Mr Lowe (Pevensey Class) - Senior Leader

Since joining the school in 2009, I have enjoyed every moment of working at Cross in Hand - no two days are ever the same! I have spent the majority of this time teaching in upper Key Stage Two, which I have loved as there is such a wide variety of things to look forward to through the course of the year. Although maths is my specialist subject, I love teaching at primary level with the opportunity of being able to enjoy such a wide range of different subjects.

When I'm not at school, in my spare time I like to play the guitar; photography and drone flying; mountain biking on the South Downs; or doing baking on a Sunday afternoons. Having once played for Sussex at county level, I also enjoy playing badminton or, when the sun is shining, getting out onto the golf course. Also, I am quite partial to an Oreo - or two!

Ms White (Bolebroke Class)

I am very lucky to have joined Cross in Hand school and be a part of a caring, dedicated and friendly team. It is also a privilege to be teaching such lovely, enthusiastic children. Their resilience and passion for learning is admirable. I have been working in education for over twenty years in different capacities both in the UK and in Turkey. During that time, I have taught in every year group except Early Years.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy going for long walks, dancing (especially Salsa) and swimming. I have always lived by the sea and enjoy swimming and doing water sports. If I am at home, I enjoy cooking, gardening and doing jigsaw puzzles during longer school holidays as I can not stop once I start!

Miss Rumsey (Chiddingstone Class)

I was delighted to join Cross in Hand in September 2017, after working in Crawley for 8 years. I have taught every year from Year 1 to Year 6 and have loved the challenges that each year group brings. The children and the staff at Cross in Hand are so friendly, kind and very supportive. It is a very happy place to be working in and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

When I’m not at school, I enjoy being a mummy the most. I love spending time at home doing fun and exciting things with my daughter as well as roaming around East Sussex trying to find a good trail to do. I also enjoy reading a good book, completing cross-stitches and swimming.

Mr Nickolls (Herstmonceux Class)

I have been very happy since joining the wonderful team at Cross in Hand in September 2019. There is a tangible sense of happiness, pride and support from all at the school, including the children.

The large majority of my teaching career has been in Year 5 and 6, where I find myself again. I love the challenges of teaching the 'top end' of the school and helping to prepare the children for their big move up to secondary.

When I'm not at school, I'm a husband and father of two young girls, who love getting outdoors and being active. I also captain a tennis team for a local club and love watching lots of sport whenever I get the chance.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Miss Crankshaw

- Miss Cowell

- Mrs McDonnell

- Mrs Jeffery

- Mrs Vincent

Miss Ritman-Meer (HLTA)

I feel very lucky to teach at Cross in Hand Primary school. It feels fantastic to be a part of a team who strive to do their best for the children and value every subject area equally. I love the ethos of the school and the focus on nurturing the whole child.

I have taught as a primary teacher for over ten years in London and Kent. I have spent most this time teaching Years 3 and 4 but have taught across both Key Stages. I studied English Literature at University and have a particular passion for reading and writing.

When I’m not working, I like to read, play my guitar and bake cakes with my daughters. I also love to get out into the countryside for long dog walks with my family.

Mrs Harrison - Thrive Practitioner

Maia Kennedy - School Counsellor

Mrs Harding - Thrive Practitioner

Mrs C Howells

Mrs Jenkins

Mrs McGarvey

Mr Baird