Vinelines 29th September 2023

Contribution to the community is our focus for the children over the coming weeks.

Not only will we be asking children to collaborate over charitable activities within their Houses, we have also been inviting children of all year groups to find the courage and conviction to put themselves forward for leadership and committee membership roles.

In a school where each individual child is known and celebrated, it remains as important as ever to ensure that we are listening closely to their voice. Their opinions, their wishes and their experiences are highly valued, and the children are able to see how their contribution triggers positive action and creates exciting change. The School Council, the Academic Committee, the Eco Committee and the Boarding Committee are looking forward to another busy year.

We are building towards the elections for our House Captains and there is a healthy buzz of competition, anticipation and expectation. Year 8 candidates are tasked to deliver an election speech to their Houses before each child in the school makes their vote - democracy in action!

As always, a huge thank you for the untiring support and contribution of our parents through the Friends of Vinehall. If you have not yet had the chance, please read their welcome letter sent out on Tuesday.

Highlighted in all your diaries must be our first whole family event of the year – APPLE DAY! We look forward to sharing the incredible spirit of our Vinehall community with you on Saturday 7th October, 12.30-3.30pm.

Joff Powis

Nursery - Marvellous Me!

Here at Vinehall we are very fortunate to have the wonder of the most beautiful grounds which our Little Vines children access every day. Our outside world plays a crucial role in helping children make sense of the world around them and grasp the basic concepts of science, as well as providing opportunities to be creative thinkers. This week, the children produced some amazing pieces of art using natural materials; they found sticks to use for frames and their art creations related to the topic of ‘Marvellous Me.’

Sarah Wolford, Head of Nursery and Kindergarten

Year 1 - International Day of Languages and Salt Painting

Year 1 were excited to have a special visitor on Tuesday to teach them some Chinese words to help celebrate International Language Day. Thank you Mrs Wu for coming in to support the children on this special day!

Many Year 1 children have joined Art Club on Friday afternoons this term. Last week we experimented with 'salt painting' and the children were all very creative in their designs.

Jacklyn Garwood, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 - 1666 London

To help the children imagine what life was like in 1666, they used giant blocks to build the City of London.

They added pine cones to represent people and leaves to show how dirty the streets were. They had to imagine what life was like, including using an open fire on which to cook their food. There were some great conversations about how smelly and horrible it was!

The children also looked at properties of materials and investigated whether they could change the shape by twisting, squashing, bending and stretching them.

Louise Hawtin, Year 2 Teacher

Nadia Shireen visits Vinehall

Last week children from Years 2 to 5 enjoyed meeting well-known author, Nadia Shireen. Nadia has written a variety of books, but is most famous for 'The Grimwood Series', of which many of the children are passionate fans.

Within a minute of starting to talk to the children, Nadia had them captivated and enthralled by her humour and engaging manner. By the end of the hour, every child was holding up their own illustration of her favourite character 'Eric Dynamite' and feeling proud of their achievement and excited by the possibility of being able to create their own characters and write their own stories.

Our time with Nadia was over far too quickly, but not before each child had the opportunity to meet her and have their book signed; a book which will be treasured for many years to come.

Nicky Whittaker, Head of Pre-Prep

European Day of Languages

This week we celebrated the European Day of Languages, which takes place on 26th September each year. French and Spanish classes took part in a Language Challenge.

We also had an international food tasting where children sampled delicious food from countries including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and Austria.

Acorn Clayton, Head of Modern Languages

Paxton Beach Clean

Last Friday, Paxton headed to Bexhill Beach to do a beach clean with the Marine Conservation Society.

The beach looked pretty clean when we arrived, but the children managed to find a lot of small pieces of rubbish.

They also found a boat, a 2m plank of wood, a flip flop and a sheep's head! After a busy morning, we finished off with a trip to Zac Atwood's ice cream kiosk!

Louise Barrett, Head of Juniors

Boarding - Hollywood Bowl!

The boarders' weekend started off with a leisurely morning, before prep and sports. Saturday afternoon was spent watching a movie and enjoying the last of the good weather before the impending gloom.

On Sunday morning we had a lovely chapel service about leaves and how they are different and unique. After lunch we went to Hollywood Bowl, where the children played in the arcades before an extremely long game of bowling. It took an hour and twenty minutes for one game. We returned to the bus overloaded on sugar and fun. We settled in for the evening and made sure we were ready for the week ahead.

Katherine Kirkwood, Head of Boarding


Last Friday the cross country teams travelled to Saint Ronan's for their annual Brenchley relay. A timed event, both the girls' and boys' teams did brilliantly against a strong field. The girls' team - Indira H, Beth D, Frankie F and Isobel F - finished an impressive 6th place out of 13 teams. The boys' team - Harry M, Charlie C, Iden N and Henry C - also had a fantastic afternoon, finishing 5th out of 18 teams.

The stand-out performance of the day was Charlie C's incredible lap. Losing a shoe after one step, he raced on and completed his leg as the fastest Year 5 and 6 runner - an amazing achievement. Next Thursday sees a slightly larger group of runners taking part in the regional cross country event at Somerhill School.

Week 4 has been another busy one on the sports fields. The senior girls travelled to Marden to take on Dulwich in four very evenly-contested matches. The same could be said for the U11 and U10s, who played at home against the same opponents, impressing both Miss G and Mrs Robinson with their determination and all-round play. The junior girls travelled to St Andrew's for an enjoyable afternoon of Netball.

The boys took on Saint Ronan's in seven matches home and away. It was pleasing to hear how they got on, with the 4ths playing out an exciting 0-0 draw away from home. The Year 3 boys experienced their first away fixtures of the term with a trip to Saint Ronan's. With a pre-match team talk about not being distracted by the donkeys, the boys did very well and are starting to spread out a bit more and beginning to pass.

As with every week, please do visit the fixtures and results section on our school website to read the match reports from the past week.

Matt McKinnon, Director of Sport

Looking ahead to next week...

Saturday 7th October - Family Apple Day - Vinehall Autumn Fete - 12.30pm - 3.30pm

A reminder...

Thursday 12th October is Grandparents' Day and Harvest Festival.

This is a wonderful annual event and will run from, 9.30am - 11.00am. Please share the invitation with Grandparents who are asked to RSVP by Friday 6th October 2023.