Vinelines 13TH OCTOBER 2023

‘Grandchildren are the crown of the aged’ Proverbs 17:6.

‘We have so much to be thankful for’, was the resounding message to be taken away from our Harvest Festival service. The school community was at its finest, with instrumental performances and hymn singing of the very highest of standards in front of a captivated and proud gathering of Grandparents. Tours conducted by the grandchildren followed, to which the feedback was wholeheartedly thankful for the environment and opportunities available to our Vinehall children.

I am very grateful to Rev Matthew Phipps for conducting the service. One of our very own Vines, we were delighted that he was able to return to us for the first time in many years to speak to the children. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing the school in such good spirits and to finding his Shield in the Dungeons.

Joff Powis


The community of Vinehall came together on Thursday morning to celebrate the harvest and to give thanks for our food. Pre-Prep children bought in so many wonderful donations and were united in their desire to help others. The donations will be sent to Dom's food mission, to support the needy and the vulnerable in our local community. But what if we could have honed this support further? What if there was an app to tell you what each of our local food banks needs at any given time and what there is already a surplus of?

This week I discovered (through a conversation with Joe H, father of Oscar in Kindergarten), that www.Donation-Genie.co.uk does just this-it tells kind donators exactly what the local foodbanks and warm-spaces need. It is so simple that it merely requires you to type in your postcode-and then brings up a list of local food banks and what they need. If you, like me, are always keen to help, but don't always know what to donate, use this app to support your local community. Joe and his team are sending a van to Hastings Foodbank today. Let's help the children really come to understand their school motto-Pro Aliis Optimum Agere-to do our best for the benefit of others.

Nicky Whittaker, Head of Pre-Prep

Nursery - Harvest Celebrations

Nursery - Harvest Celebrations

The Harvest Festival is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the seasons, farming and the importance of being grateful for the food we have. We read the story of The Little Red Hen and learnt about the sequence of events to enable us to bake bread. This led us on to baking our own bread and the aroma of freshly baked bread filled the whole of the Pre-Prep, the children said “It is delicious and tasty,” and it certainly was!

Sarah Wolford, Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Harvest in Kindergarten

We’ve had a wonderful few weeks exploring Harvest. We enjoyed listening to the story of, ‘The Enormous Turnip’ in the Pre-Prep garden and retelling the story through play. We’ve been printing patterns with vegetables and pinecones, exploring colour by making autumn leaves, role playing with our very own kindergarten shop and we even harvested many delicious vegetables from the Pre-Prep garden. The children learnt about the importance of Harvest and giving away to others.

Catherine Garlick – Kindergarten Teacher

Reception: Pumpkin Soup

Reception have had a fabulous time exploring the book Pumpkin Soup. We started by acting out the story and talking about being kind friends. We then used our sense to discover lots of different pumpkins including ghost and green pumpkins. The children then made pumpkin soup from natural materials outside and we have saved the seeds to grow next year. We finished the week by making spiced pumpkin tray bake and roasting some of the seeds for snack time.

Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1 - Bexhill Museum

Year 1 had a fabulous day at the Bexhill museum this week learning all about ‘The Past.’ The children are working on writing 'Non-Fiction Recounts' of their day including: "First we went on a scavenger hunt trying to find different articles from the past. Next , we experienced what it was like to be in a Victorian classroom and finally, we played with toys from the past. The children cannot wait to show off their recount writing next week when you visit for parents evening. Well done Year 1 for your lovely manners and for being like Cassie Cat in wanting to learn more about the past!

Jacklyn Garwood – Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 - Drama

Year 2 were lucky to participate in a drama workshop, linked to our English and Learning Journey work. The children travelled back in time to 1666 and imagined what it was like to see the Great Fire of London. They performed some mime to show the fire starting, took part in improvisation to escape the burning buildings and tried to put the fire out. They finished off by reciting some dialogue and thinking of actions whilst singing 'London's burning'. There was some great acting and there are definitely some budding thespians in the class!

Louise Hawtin – Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 - Do we have a bigger lung capacity if we do more sport each week?

3E spent their Science lesson investigating this. They had already collected data which told them how many sport sessions they do per week, so it was on to a fun practical task. They found out their lung capacity and decided that there was not always a link between the most sport and the biggest capacity. However, when Mr McKinnon arrived, they started to think again!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 - Tasting Time in 3E!

On the day before our Harvest Festival assembly, Year 3 tasted some of the foods that were growing in Israel at the time of Jesus. There were mixed reactions to the grapes, pomegranates, figs, olives and dates but everyone was courageous (like Maisie Monkey) and tried them all. Thank you to Chef Gemma and Mrs Stone for providing the food for us.

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 5 - Drama in RS!

Year 5 were keen to act out the story of the near sacrifice of Isaac on a mountain top! We are exploring Judaism and were talking about Abraham and the challenges of trusting someone. Mrs E was impressed with some of the groups who collaborated so well in this dramatic task!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Years 3 to 8 - Wonderdome Planetarium to celebrate World Space Week

On Friday morning last week, excited children in Years 3 to 8 enjoyed a wonderful planetarium show from the Wonderdome company. A huge, inflatable, silver dome filled the old gym and when the children climbed inside, they were transported on a journey through Space. Our knowledgeable and entertaining presenter, Steve, captured the children’s imaginations and provided an awe-inspiring learning experience to celebrate World Space Week.

Rebecca Prior, Head of Science


It has been another extremely busy week o the sporting front. On Tuesday we hosted St Andrew's for a Year 3- 6 swimming gala. In sweltering conditions the entire squad did brilliantly and although the team did not win, many conquered their fears and can be proud of their performances.

On Wednesday the Girls played Claremont in a number of very evenly matched games. The 1sts were unlucky not to score, playing out a goalless draw, with the 2nds and 3rds doing well for their wins. The boys played Skipper's Hill. The matches against Skipper's are always tightly fought affairs and the 1st and Colts A both had scorelines that could have gone the other way. The 2nds did very well in scoring a number of very well taken goals in their good win.

Thursday morning saw the touring Aldwickbury teams take on our senior boys. The 1st, 2nds, 3rds and 4ths tried valiantly against a strong group of boys and although the scorelines may have not been what we wanted, some really good football was played across the squads.

The U8 & U9 boys played their first football matches as separate teams and it was pleasing to see the enthusiasm and movement on show. We still have a tendency to tackle each other, something we will work on next week. The Girl travelled to Claremont for their Bee Netball fixtures. The focus this week has been on improving their catching and Miss Gould was extremely happy with the improvement seen from the group. Their next target is to start to pass the ball sooner after receiving it.

Matt McKinnon, Director of Sport


The lovely warm Autumn weather meant that we had a wonderful Apple Day at school last Saturday. The boarders spent the morning apple bobbing, apple peeling, toasting marshmallows on the bonfire and having a competition to see who could manage the longest apple peel.

The highlight was the toffee apples that immediately caught the attention of the children and there were many sticky fingers and hands but happy faces.

Saturday afternoon was lazy, and the children had free time out in the sunshine, making the most of the lovely weather. On Saturday evening Mrs Powis took most of our boarders to the Catholic service, when they returned there was hot chocolate with little marshmallows and cream and a slice of carrot cake.

Sunday was for prep and music practice and free time in the gardens.

Kath Kirkwood, Head of Boarding

Introducing our Head Boy and Head Girl

We are delighted to congratulate Isobel F on becoming Head Girl and Ricky Wang on becoming Head Boy for this academic year.

"Being made Head Girl is such an honour; I have been here since Year One. I have been at this school longer than anyone at this school currently, so this duty means this much to me. Although the responsibilities are lengthy, my experience as Head Girl has been incredible. I love helping others and looking out for younger children is such a joy.

My plans for School Council are; more play equipment, more charity fund raisers, more awareness raised about specific themes of the week or month e.g., Pride Month and Black History Month." Isobel F

"How do I feel after I become a head boy? My responsibilities have become much more after becoming a Head Boy, especially for being a good example for the young children.

In the future, I’ll try my best to lead School Council in fixing the problem of the equipment in the school, getting credits & drills and so on." Ricky W

We wish them every success as we are confident that both Isobel and Ricky will do us, their peers and themselves proud this year.

Ally Linney, Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Vinehall Apple Day

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a common English-language proverb that appeared in the 19th century, advocating for the consumption of apples, and by extension, "if one eats healthful foods, one will remain in good health and will not need to see the doctor often." Going on this saying, and the enormous number of apples which were consumed on Saturday afternoon, I think it is safe to say the Vinehall community will remain in very good health.

Blessed with the quite incredible weather, it felt like more like a summer fete than an autumnal fete. Between apple tasting, apple arts and crafts, an apple themed FoV food stall, apple bobbing, toffee apples, apple peeling and apple pressing, the Vinehall community came together to celebrate the simple but delicious apple. Our fiercely competitive apple peeling stall produced two very clear winners; for the children's category, Guillaume BL's apple peel was 121.5 cm and for the adults, Mr Des Moore peeled 126 cm.

Liz Powis, Admissions Coordinator

#HELLOYELLOW - World Mental Health Day

At Vinehall, we know that mental health matters so this year, we warmed the corridors with splashes of yellow in our recognition of World Mental Health Day (10th October).

This event, promoted by YoungMinds explains,

'By wearing yellow today [...] you can show young people that you’re with them. Show them that they matter and deserve the support they need, when they need it, no matter what.'

On Tuesday, we encouraged everyone to 'Get Talking' about mental health. Pupils were given a new type of homework, to 'Get Talking' about their worries, fears, and troubles. Talking about our issues can help to reduce the anxiety we feel. If talking is not your thing, try writing or drawing about it!

Ally Linney, Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Looking ahead ...

Pumpkin Carving Competition

Don't forget to bring your carved pumpkins into school after Half Term on Monday 6th November to be judged in our Pumpkin Carving Competition!



Our school uniform supplier, Simmonds, is offering 20% off everything in store and online between 16th October 2023 and 22nd October 2023. Please use code DEAL20 at the checkout or in store. simmonds-ltd.com