Vinelines 2 February 2024

Finding our place. Knowing ourselves.

With the pastoral theme this fortnight continuing with being ‘Respectful’, I asked the children to view our four personal values as a firm foundation for who they are and for who they wish to become. As a visual aid, I used stacked cups to build a pyramid of personal qualities ... only to collapse the structure in an instant to signify the effect should we fail to be kind or respectful. Strengthening their awareness of how one’s kindness, confidence, ambition and respect is viewed by others, has triggered wider discussion in Form Time around our roles within our community, our reputation and, most importantly, our sense of self worth.

We now look ahead to Children's Mental Health Awareness week, where being kind to ourselves will take centre stage. The days are getting noticeably lighter as we enter the last month of winter. We give thanks for the warmth radiated by our families, our friends and our wonderful Vinehall community spirit.


Thank you so much to Charlotte Lyon, Nina Mahaffey, Chef Gemma and all their helpers for the most wonderful Ceilidh last Saturday. Spectacular decorations, delicious dinner and brilliant musicians made it a night to remember enjoyed by all those parents and staff lucky enough to be a part of the event of the season.

Pre-Prep: Dress For Digits Day!

Today, Pre-Prep celebrated "Dress for Digits" Day. They came to school wearing a wonderful array of costumes and took part in many different activities, appropriate for their age and stage. The children loved sporting their costumes; some had designed their own t-shirts, covered with numbers and mathematical symbols.

Special mention must go to Aayat, Shahaan and Tashfeen K and to Quinn SA for original designs. Meanwhile, Oscar B came dressed as a human calculator!

Reception and Kindergarten enjoyed a carousel of different activities put out in tuff spots in the hall, ranging from building a superhero city with numicon to measuring the longest wiggly worm (thankfully made from wool!) Rey K and Eva SC were absorbed in carefully measuring the worm - whose would be the longest?! Meanwhile Mienna S, Margaux R, Romilly C, and Freja C were practising drawing digits using brushes in a sensory mix of oats and rice strands. We had a great game of "Guess the number!"

The children have had a great day - thank you for your support. Meanwhile, we have raised the profile of maths and "digits" and raised money for the worthwhile cause of the NSPCC.

Nicky Whittaker - Head of Pre-Prep

Nursery - Introducing Chef Bear to our Little Vines Community

This week we introduced Chef Bear to the children - many of you may remember him from pre-Covid days!

Chef Bear supports our children in their understanding of the importance of a varied diet and gives them the opportunity to bake/cook a variety of foods. Each week, Chef Bear will go home with one of our Little Vines to cook something healthy and nutritious. The recipes are then shared in our Chef Bear's recipe book for all the community to be able to share and enjoy.

This week the children and Chef Bear loved baking carrot cake muffins and what brilliant bakers they all were!

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Kindergarten Superworm

This week we have been exploring the book 'Superworm'. On Monday, whilst we were hunting for worms in the Pre-Prep garden, we met ‘ Walter Wormington’. He told us many facts about worms and we enjoyed asking him questions. We have been looking after worms in our class wormery and everyone has been very curious, just like Cassie Cat. We have learnt about a worm’s habitat, what they like to eat and some of us even enjoyed holding the worms! In our phonics sessions our focus has been the letter ‘w’. What a wonderful worm-filled week.

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher


Reception have had a super week exploring 'Superworm'. On Monday when the children came into school there was a worm terrarium on the side. The children were then visited by Walter Wormington, who told them how to look after the worms. Reception also made a terrarium to give to Nursery and posters on how to look after the worms. We also looked at the story of 'Superworm' and wrote our own versions of Superworm saving different insects. We finished the week by creating our own super hero capes.

Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1

Year 1 had the pleasure of meeting Mary Anning on Tuesday, who taught us all about her life as a fossil hunter. The children had many interesting questions for Mary and really enjoyed the experience.

In science, we experimented with different substances to test which would melt our frozen dinosaur fossils the quickest. Lots of laughter could be heard from the Year 1 classroom as the children became real paleontologists excavating their fossils!

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 2

Year 2 took part in a fabulous drama workshop in the Chaplin theatre this week, steered by the infamous Admiral Sir Russell Crowblower. First the children had to learn all the jobs for sailors aboard the good ship HMS Vinetory, from climbing the rigging, through scrubbing the decks, to firing the cannons. They then pretended to be the storm, making different soundscapes, before becoming the movement of the sea. After this the crew had to imagine being characters shipwrecked in a storm; they swam to safety, searched for food, built fires and made shelters before spotting a rescue ship through their imaginary telescopes. There was lots of fantastic improvisation and great acting.

In our Learning Journey we have been finding out about Christopher Columbus. After learning about his explorations, the children were split into two sides to discuss whether he was a hero or a villain. There was lots of thoughtful arguments, but most felt that he was a villain by the end.

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 - Mummies, mystery and more!

Year 3 visited Bexhill Museum this week to explore and learn more about life for Egyptians in 'ancient' times. Julian, the curator, is an Egyptologist and extremely knowledgeable. The children were able to see close at hand some artefacts such as pots, necklaces and tools. There was a chance to ask questions and Evie E proved she was very inquisitive, like Cassie Cat. The children then split into small groups to take part in different activities. They decoded hieroglyphs, looked at artefacts in the gallery and discovered some interesting facts about the religious beliefs of this incredible civilisation. The finale proved a great hit - Julian mummified a doll, much to the delight of all! Thanks to Karen Walker for driving the minibus, and to the volunteers at Bexhill Museum for guiding us. Perhaps a trip there at half-term would be a good idea; it is fantastic and close to the sea and park too!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 – Science

Year 4 were acting out parts of the digestive system (I will let the children tell you what they are acting in the photos!). They are quite knowledgeable now and can talk it through.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Year 4 – Science

This week we investigated what different types of liquids do to our teeth. We left white hard boiled eggs in coke, orange juice, apple juice, vinegar, pineapple juice and water. The shell acts like the enamel on our teeth.

The vinegar caused the most damage, dissolving the whole egg shell and leaving a bouncy egg behind. The water had no effect on the egg shell at all.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Year 4 Outdoor Classroom

What a wonderful morning. Den building, mandala making, stick whittling, candle creating, fire making, cinnamon apple fritter eating, charcoal burning and generally having a great time in the woods.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Year 5: Humanities

Year 5 wrote speeches as if they were in the Victorian times trying to get the vote for Women. They prepared them well and were clear and eloquent in their deliveries.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Year 5: Textiles

Our Year 5 pupils have been demonstrating their dexterity and patience, by weaving on their mini looms. They thought about sourcing only those materials which are available, including cardboard, string and wool. All pupils threaded their own needles to use as a shuttle and are now ready to move onto larger projects.

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

Year 6: Thermal Decomposition

Year 6 pupils continue to enjoy their chemistry topic, with another experiment called thermal decomposition. Confidently and independently the children set up their own experiment to heat copper carbonate to make copper oxide and carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide travelled down the delivery tube and bubbled into the limewater.

Becky Prior - Head of Science

Music: Year 8

Handbell ringing is an excellent skill for developing improved focus, concentration and internal pulse. Hear our Year 8 ringers rehearsing their 'Wiggly Worm Waltz' in addition to having a lot of fun! Sue Glossop - Director of Music


A lazy start to last weekend and then a trip to Eastbourne for some shopping and lunch. The plan was to go to Nando’s but it was fully booked so we had burgers instead. A long walk on the prom conveniently took us past the ice cream shop and we could not resist the temptation; so, despite the chilly wind, we continued down the prom eating ice cream in January. It was delicious.

Saturday night was movie night and the boys just relaxed in the Common Room to the sound of he bagpipes being played downstairs for the Burn’s night ceilidh.

On Sunday we went to Bedgebury and swung through the trees at Go Ape. We saw some very nimble footwork from the boys. Then it was time for a late lunch and a quiet afternoon.

Katherine Kirkwood – Head of Boarding

Coming up ...

Food Bank Friday

As you may have noticed in the calendar, Friday 9th February is Food Bank Friday in the Prep and Pre-Prep. Donations of fresh, packet, dried or tinned food should be taken to the main Prep School entrance or the Pre-Prep reception. This will be delivered to Dom’s Food Mission during half term and help those in need in Hastings.

The Next Chapter: Moving Up To Year 7

Our Moving up to Year 7 evening is open to parents and children in Years 4 to 6. Reserve a place at this link: The Next Chapter

Talking Heads 2024

Reserve a place at this link: Talking Heads 2024