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 Elphinstone (Hever Class)

In 2016, I was delighted to become part of the Cross in Hand team. It quickly became apparent to me what a supportive and friendly bunch of people the staff and wider school community are. The children at this school are certainly happy learners who are keen to do their best.

Having experience of being a class teacher in each of the primary years from Nursery to Year 6, I am delighted to be back in Key Stage One; it is where my heart is. I find helping the children right at the start of their school life is wonderful, plus you get the added bonus of seeing how they progress and grow as individuals as they move through the school.

Outside of school, the majority of my time is spent enjoying getting out and about with my family. I have a particular passion for History and Archaeology, often dragging my family to various historical sites whatever the weather. I also enjoy going to the theatre and listening to live music when I possibly can.

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.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Ms Greenaway

- Mrs Cottingham

- Mrs Wicker

- Mrs Bousell

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.

Miss Walter (Camber 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.

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 Harding

- Mrs Gatt

- Mrs Williams

- Mrs Chandler

- Miss Carter

- Mrs Siggs

- Mrs Benford

Mrs Cooper (Rochester Class) - Senior Leader

I am delighted to have accepted the job at Cross in Hand as it didn’t take me long to realise what a magical learning environment it really is. The children are blessed with such a full and creative curriculum with so many challenges, that life is never dull! I am very much looking forward to steering my team for a lovely long stretch, helping the children to reach their full potential.

When I am not working, I am lucky enough to have a little time to bake, sew, knit and even sing with my children and grandchildren. I also enjoy nipping to the Kino to watch a film or to eat out with friends.

Miss Rankine (Scotney Class)

Coming soon...

Miss Bax (Amberley Class)

Since joining Cross in Hand in 2015, I have had the pleasure of teaching a range of age groups within Key Stage 2. I love the ethos of the school and enjoy the opportunities for creative, engaging and immersive learning with the children. The school has great ambitions and it is amazing to be part of such a high striving team of professionals.

As well as teaching Year 3/4, I also lead the Computing curriculum within the School. I’m particularly excited about sharing the use of engaging technology with staff and pupils to help enhance children’s learning and really enjoy seeing the benefits that a creative curriculum allows.

When I’m not working, I enjoy home improvements and spending time with my friends and family. Having competed in swimming at both county and national level, I still enjoy a dip every now and then as well as the gym and walks in the country.

Mrs McDonnell (Amberely Class)

Coming soon...

Miss Thomas (Arundel Class)

Since joining Cross in Hand in 2019, I have had the pleasure of teaching Arundel class. I am happy to be part of such a caring and supportive team at Cross in Hand. I recently completed a PGCE at the University of Sussex and I feel very proud to have been accepted to start my teaching career at such a wonderful school. It is fantastic to see how happy and enthusiastic the children in this school are.

Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. You can normally find me reading a good book or attempting to paint.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Mrs Neve

- Mrs Derbyshire

- Mrs Oliver (Thrive Practitioner)

- Mrs Lawrence

- Miss Cowell

- Mrs Thomas-Pickett

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 am delighted to have joined the wonderful team at Cross in Hand. There is a tangible sense of happiness, pride and support from all at the school, including the children. The large majority of my twelve years 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 play tennis for a local club and love watching lots of sport whenever I get the chance.

Learning Support Assistants:

- Mrs Pryke

- Mrs Vincent

- Mrs Jeffery

- Mrs Keyte

Mrs Harrison - Thrive Practitioner

Mrs C Howells

Mrs Jenkins

Mr Baird

Miss Ritman-Meer - Maternity Leave

I feel very lucky to have joined Cross in Hand Primary school and have been overwhelmed by the kindness and enthusiasm for learning from the children and the staff. It feels fantastic to be a part of a team who clearly strive to do their best for the children and value every subject area equally.

I have taught as a primary teacher for ten years in London and Kent. I have spent most this time in Key Stage 2, with a three-year stint in Year 2. I studied English Literature at University and have a particular passion for the subject.

When I’m not working, I play netball once a week for a league in Tunbridge Wells. I love to cook and particularly enjoy making Iranian food as well as making cakes with my daughter. I like to read, play my guitar and sing. I also come from a big Arsenal family so there is always a (frustrating) match on at the weekends.