Children learn best by exploring both inside and outside the classroom. So we ensure all of our Prep School students make full use of our facilities and teaching staff by moving their learning environments and adapting our approach to their changing needs. Our Independent Prep School in West Sussex provides a unique environment for your child to grow in so many different ways.
The confidence of the children grows enormously in their time in the Junior School at Great Walstead. This is the department that covers our 7-9 year olds or Years 3 and 4. The children become more independent socially and academically and many older pupils look back fondly on this time as a magical two years.
The children in the Junior School are mainly taught by their form teachers. This gives teachers opportunities to nurture each individual effectively, and makes it possible to build and maintain cross-curricular links. However, specialist teachers teach some of the subjects (Music, Art, Sport, French, ICT).
The children join Middles in Years 5 and 6 and have an incredible zest for life and learning. Our teachers have high expectations for their students and work hard to ensure that lessons are stimulating, creative and differentiated to suit particular needs. The teachers view the students in their care as individuals, each having something to bring to the learning environment. We encourage our older children to work alongside the younger ones. Above all, we listen to the children and we value their contributions.
Children join the Senior School in Years 7 and 8 (11-13 years of age) and they follow the curriculum leading to Common Entrance and/or Scholarship: the exams children take in order to move to their secondary schools. Students in Years 7 and 8 are allocated a personal tutor whom they will meet twice a day for registration. The tutors are responsible for the children's academic and pastoral care and will look after a group of no more than 10 students.
Pupils are placed into ability sets for different subjects and are taught by specialist teachers. Alongside a busy academic schedule are wonderful opportunities in the performing arts, in all things creative, in sport and perhaps most importantly, in leadership, as the children take on responsibilities as monitors and prefects, house captains and Heads of School.
Our Environment & Grounds
We’re also very lucky to have over 260 acres of beautiful Sussex forest and fields to call our own. The soul of our school and our outdoor classroom, we spend countless hours enjoying it — we run everything from Forest Schools and mini-beast hunts to nature walks and orienteering. What more could you want from an Independent Prep School in West Sussex!
For an impartial view on our school, you can read a recent 'Muddy Stilletos' review here.