Vinelines 24 may 2024

The Ryan Mitchell Pavilion

The opening of our new pavilion today, in memory of the dearly-loved and highly-respected Ryan Mitchell, is a celebration of all that is Vinehall. Those who speak of Ryan, relay the kind and talented colleague and teacher he was, the epitome of the qualities that shape the Vinehall spirit.

Ryan's family are being joined by previous and current governors, staff, parents and pupils. This beautiful new space marks a significant addition to our school, providing a versatile environment for learning, sporting, social and community gatherings. The Ryan Mitchell Pavilion is a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing the educational experience for our children, symbolising the collaboration, hard work, and dedication of everyone involved in its creation. I believe Ryan would be very pleased.

Liz and I wish you all a wonderful half term break with your children.


The Magic of Pre-Prep

Nicky Whittaker - Head of Pre-Prep

The children have shone during the last week of term as they have taken part in so many wonderful events to celebrate the last six weeks of learning.

It was a joy to watch the progress the children in Kindergarten had made during their seven days of balance Bikeability training, as they rode around the tennis courts for their final sessions with great confidence.

Year 1 parents were offered a selection of delicious goodies the children had made and waiter service during the Year 1 tea party on Tuesday, as they sported a variety of costumes from around the UK, including a Welsh Dragon!

On Wednesday morning the whole of Pre-Prep were treated to an uplifting performance of the brilliant "Reception Express", written by Louisa Bennett. The children shared the stories they had written and sang their favourite songs with great confidence - it was a joy to watch.

Finally on Thursday afternoon parents and families arrived at the Smoothie Bar to be offered a delicious variety of drinks the children had created to share with them.

Wishing all our children and families a most enjoyable half term!

Nursery - 5 4 3 2 1 Blast Off!

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

The Nursery children have been learning the rhyme ‘Five Little Men In A Flying Saucer.’ This rhyme opens up so many learning opportunities from Knowledge and Understanding Of The World to Maths, Literacy and using their imagination. The rich language the children have learnt is just remarkable. For example:

“I’m an astronaut and I fly so fast to the planet Saturn .”

“ You must not fly to the sun because it is so hot.”

“Our planet earth is green for the land and blue for the sea; we need oxygen to breathe.”

Who would have thought a simple rhyme could offer so many learning outcomes and such engagement!


Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher

This week the children have been blasting off into space. We started the week by reading the book ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy. We then created our own rockets. The children showed great curiosity and were really interested to find out what is inside a rocket and how astronauts live in space. We enjoyed researching this and it was amazing to watch some videos of life inside ‘The International Space Station.’ We were all fascinated by watching the astronauts eat and seeing their food floating in the air. After this we wrote lists to show what we would take on a space picnic. We also enjoyed looking at the live web cam from ‘The International Space Station’ and watching videos of rockets launching.


Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Reception have had a fabulous final week to our half term. The children were all amazing in our assembly themed around transport. Even though some of the children are not always comfortable talking in large groups, they used their big voices and entertained the whole of Pre-Prep and some very special loved ones. They all sang beautifully and were encouraged by a little crowd participation. The perfect ending to a fabulous term!

Year 1

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

It was a very enjoyable end to our topic of ‘United’ this week, as the Year 1 children welcomed their guests to a special tea party. The morning was very busy, with children using their many baking skills; they worked collaboratively to perfect the most delicious Victoria sponge cupcakes and cheesiest cheese straws ever! Wild flowers were arranged beautifully on top of their printed William Morris designs. Best of all was the performance of the United Kingdom song, together with all the magnificent facts the children had learned about their countries. Well done Year 1 for making this Learning Journey topic so special!

Year 2

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 2 have been busy little chefs recently. We have looked at the different food groups in the recipes and have spread, chopped, rolled, mixed and poured to create puff pastry wheels and fruit smoothies. The children have really enjoyed making these and, unsurprisingly, have loved tasting the finished products!

This term we have been learning about life-cycles and were lucky to have some caterpillars in the classroom. We watched them get bigger, turn into a chrysalis then emerge as butterflies. We have now released them all and the children were very gentle when getting them out of the mesh habitat.

Year 3 - Beans, beans, beans!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 planted their bean seedlings at Gardening Club this week, kindly helped by Louise Waters. They have completed their Science investigation to find out what requirements plants need for healthy growth, and are now keen to see if their plants will produce a crop of beans to eat.

Year 3 - Chronology and Timelines

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 put their thinking caps on this week and worked well with a partner to sort some important 'Three Ages' dates, ranging from 10,000 BCE to 2024 CE in chronological order.

Year 3 - Early Cave Painting

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

The Year 3 pupils have been planning their collaborative cave painting and were asked to consider the age of the oldest cave drawing. Tracey Konyu had to use Google for this fact and we discovered that the oldest painting could be found in Indonesia and is approximately 45,000 years old. Incidentally, the oldest drawing is apparently 73,000 years old and can be found in South Africa.

One pupil put their hand up and asked, ‘How do we know if this is the oldest painting?’ Good point.

Year 7

Acorn Clayton - Head of Modern Languages

Year 7 took part in a special online meeting today thanks to The British Council. We were able to meet Ken Hay MBE, a 98 year old veteran who took part in the Battle of Normandy following D-day in 1944.

He was a fascinating man who answered our questions and advised us about our visit to Normandy next month. What a wonderful opportunity to bring history to life!

We will think of Ken when he returns to France for the 80th anniversary on 6th June.

Ken’s story is on the British Normandy memorial website.

Year 7 – Forest School

Annabel Newcomb - EAL Teacher and Year 7 Form Tutor

Despite the relentless rain, 7N had a thoroughly good time at Forest School. They enjoyed the mud kitchen, building shelters and pressing leaves onto cloth. They finished off the session by having Quesadillas with a choice of onion, peppers, cheese and nettles!!


Mary Alderson - Head's PA and Director of Drama

On Friday afternoon, pupils from Years 3-8 entertained their family and friends in the Chaplin Theatre in a wonderful Showcase event. Pupils are busy preparing for their LAMDA examinations on 21st June and this was the ideal opportunity to practise in front of a supportive audience. LAMDA lessons were introduced at Vinehall in September 2023 and we were pleased to recruit and welcome a very experienced actor and teacher, Ellie Ward, to support the children as they prepare to be assessed in either Acting; Devising Drama; Speaking Verse and Prose; or Speaking in Public. We were delighted by moving duologues, hilarious monologues, speeches on an incredible range of interesting topics and some very original stories. The children amazed us with their talent, confidence and pure love of performance.

If you would like to enrol your child for lessons, or receive further details of LAMDA provision at Vinehall, please email me at and I can put you in touch with Ellie.


Petra Campbell - Gapper

On Saturday the boarders enjoyed a relaxed day around the school. Matt McKinnon held his annual Tennis and Golf Day, so some children joined in the fun, whilst others enjoyed free time to chill out, watch movies and play games. In the afternoon, the pool was open for those who wished to swim, and some children were lucky enough to visit the Powis puppies. After dinner a big game of hide and seek was played.

Sunday was spent in Hastings playing mini golf and having fish and chips by the beach in the sunshine. We then spent a lovely sunny afternoon outside back at School and made ice cream sundaes. After dinner everyone joined in a big water fight before it was showers and bed time.

Ashton House Charity Event

Written by Ricky W

On Friday 17th May, Ashton House held its Charity Event - Escape Rooms and a Tombola. We were raising money for our amazing charity “Age UK.”

For the Escape Rooms, there were timings of 10-minutes for groups of 6-8 children to escape. In the Escape Rooms, we had four small parts - Spot the Difference; Card Games; Scrabble; and Jigsaw Puzzles. As the children solved each problem, the person in charge of that game would give them a number for the padlock. They escaped once they had worked out the correct number combination to unlock the padlock! The Year 8 girls took the least time in the school, less than five minutes!

The tombola was a massive success, much helped by some generous prize donations. Thank you so much to those people. We estimated that by the end more than one hundred prizes had been won!

We raised an amazing £485 for our charity “Age UK” - a huge success! Thank you very much to everyone who helped and raised money.

Vinehall Venturers

Acorn Clayton - Head of Modern Languages

What better end to a busy Monday than a game of Sardines with the Vinehall Venturers in our beautiful grounds!

Coming soon ...

Repton International Photography Competition 2024

We are very excited to have been invited to take part in the Repton International Photography Competition 2024. This is open to all Vinehall pupils.

The theme is ‘The Future’ and the deadline is Friday 14 June. All entries should be sent to Tracey Konyu at

Please limit your entries to three photographs. If you have any questions, please contact Tracey.