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The Explorer newsletter Summer 23

28 Oct 2023 |

By Chris Calvey


Read all about it! News from the Summer term 2023

Our music festival ‘Walstock’ was a wonderful, sell-out success! 

From ‘Scorching Sons’ to ‘Phoenix Fires’ our Walstock Music Festival was really hot hot hot this year! With the ‘Year 8 Samba Band’ transporting us to the streets of Brazil and the ‘Walstead Jazz Band’ jumping aboard the Tijuana Taxi…it was a journey through sound not to be missed!

The Chamber Choir gave a West End worthy delivery of songs from ‘Matilda’ the musical. The Year 3 Choir took to the stage and thoroughly entertained us as they sang and danced through their musical performances of ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ and ‘Do Re Mi’ from ‘The Sound of Music’. The ‘Da Capo Band’ performed on stage for the first time together and gave rock-solid performances of ‘Razza Sazza’ and ‘Movie Buster’ demonstrating there are truly exciting things to come from this talented bunch of Year 4 musicians.

The ‘Jitterbugs’ performed songs with the Year 1 and 2 Choirs taking us from the Appalachian Mountains to the African plains with their performances of ‘The Cup Song’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ with rhythmic accompaniment on the Djembe drums.

With exceptional performances from the Walstead Orchestra, Jazz Band and Brass Group and the Music Scholars Band, the children provided six hours of fantastic musical entertainment, performing with great enthusiasm and connection with their devoted audience, creating musical memories to treasure for a lifetime

"Everyone was having fun, dancing and singing along"
Martha S


It’s been another busy term for the FOGWA team, with a charity bag collection, a disco, a first aid workshop for parents, activities for the Coronation Party, a second-hand uniform & kit sale and our widely anticipated Summer Party which was enjoyed by all.

We have sadly said goodbye to 5 members of FOGWA as their children move on to their Senior Schools. They have been a wonderful part of our team and have helped to plan and organise many events for the children over the years for which we are very appreciative. Just before they left, however, we were very excited to be able to spend a large portion of the funds raised on the new Outdoor Classroom which can be found near the Astro. This is going to be a great addition to the facilities for both lesson time and playtimes.

If you would like to get involved with what FOGWA does, please email
gwfogwa@gmail.com. We are always looking for more people to join our team

Egyptian Day

The annual Egyptian Day saw Year 4 come to school resplendent in colourful Egyptian costumes, ready to take part in a range of art and craft activities. They moulded clay animal heads for canopic jars, which they decorated with hieroglyphs, then created superb self-portraits as Pharaohs and Pharoah Queens, using collage and photography. Their enthusiasm and knowledge were infectious and have underpinnned our learning in Humanities for the rest of our Ancient Egypt topic this term. Well done, Year 4!

When we go off to the woods today…

On a warm Summer’s day, the Squirrels, Foxes & Rabbits classes enjoyed taking their parents and grandparents off to the woods for a delightful picnic.

It started with a ‘Woods safety briefing’, which most of the children could recite from memory. Then, they took their parents off, picnic blanket in hand, to show their guest what they love to do – hang out in the woods.

All the families enjoyed the cool relief from the hot sun in the dappled shade amongst the trees. There they could watch their children take off to climb logs, hide in dens and run around to their heart’s content just as they do with us. Every now and then the children would come back to their picnic blankets to graze on a wonderful picnic, before excitedly heading off for more. It gave parents an opportunity to see how much the children’s confidence has grown and the freedom they thrive on at school.

Who's who? Get to know Victoria Pearce, Room Leader, Pre-School.

What do you wish you’d done at school that you didn’t choose to do or couldn’t do?

I wish I had learnt more languages at school – they’re much harder to grasp when you’re older!

Would you rather have a cat or a dog as a pet?

I am definitely more of a cat person – I admire their laid-back lifestyle! 

If you could be anyone in the world, who would it be?

Not to be cliché, however, I’m happy being me! Why would I want to be anyone else?

What did you enjoy most when you were at school?

I enjoyed the time with my friends, lunch and anything music-related.

Summer in the Walstead Woods

From ‘Mudlarks’ for the Juniors and ‘Woodlanders’ for the Middles to ‘Q-Day’ for the Seniors, every Walstead pupil has a memory made during the legendary Summer woods programme.

Team building activities, lunch cooked over campfires and toasting marshmallows, den building and learning survival skills.

These events perfectly capture the core values of Great Walstead. Perhaps this is the reason they remain so long in the memories of our children.


All of our Walstead dog owners and their pooches had a great time at our dog show, Woofstead! We raised £300.00 for Guide Dogs UK which has gone towards supporting three guide dogs – Skye, Archie and Hope. Thank you for your support and to Hamptons for sponsoring this fun-filled event.

Fire Fire!

A massive thank you to West Sussex Fire Service for coming to talk to Reception, Year 2 and Year 5 about how to contact them in an emergency, the importance of smoke detectors and the sort of incidents that they get called out to. The children were also able to try on some uniforms and have a go with the hose!

YeAR 8

Congratulations to all our Year 8 pupils who have successfully gained entry to their chosen senior schools. We also collected 16 scholarships this year including 4 Academic, 6 Sport, 1 Art, 2 Drama and 3 Music. It was lovely to see us achieve so many across all the different disciplines. Wishing you all the very best of luck for the future and please do keep in touch.

Sporting success

As ever, this Summer has been packed with sporting action. The term began with some less than favourable weather but once the sun shone, it really did shine! Cricket at Great Walstead continues to go from strength to strength with our girls in particular impressing many coaches on the local circuit with their bowling technique and accuracy. It was an unforgettable season for Mr McCrea and the U13A boys, who picked up a number of huge wins against the New Beacon School and Seaford College amongst others to go all the way to the IAPS finals in York. A fourth place finish in the country was quite an achievement.

The sun also shone on our sports days this year. Our Pre-Prep pupils proudly showed their spectators all of the skills that they have developed over the year and Prep school sports day saw a superb balance of competition and sportsmanship throughout. The commitment of all pupils was a wonder to see, with records being broken across all ages and Livingstone coming out as overall winners this time around.


Great Walstead welcomed residents from Walstead Place to join in celebrations for the King’s Coronation. Pupils enjoyed face painting, rock painting, inflatables and a photo booth along with some amazing coronation themed snacks!

The School sang the National Anthem and planted a tree on the Headmaster’s Lawn to commemorate the Coronation. Many thanks go to FOGWA for the incredible inflatables that the pupils loved and to Linden Homes for providing the tree to mark the occasion.

Music Lessons

We are lucky to have such brilliant visiting music teachers here at Great Walstead. Music lessons take place weekly on a rotational basis, to ensure that different academic lessons are missed each week. Anyone who is interested can fill in a form on Firefly, or email our Head of Music Jemma.Packer@greatwalstead.co.uk for more information.

The music lessons offered at Great Walstead are:

Bass Guitar

French Horn








Double Bass






Singing for Musical Theatre

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