Vinelines 1 March 2024

Whilst on a parental tour in the midst of another event-packed week in the life of our school, I found myself able to stand back to reflect on the entireness of the Vinehall provision presented to our families. From the preparations for the wonderful Bear Hunt for the under 4s, to the Moving Up evening when we discussed the benefits of Year 7 & 8 experience, the irreplaceable value of a Nursery to 13+ prep school model became inspirationally visible.

Supporting this holistic offering is an overwhelming sense of pride for all that is Vinehall at present and I thank our children, our staff and our parents for this ongoing dedication to the childhoods we enhance and protect.


Pre-Prep: Bake Off 2024

Last week saw the return of the Pre-Prep Bake Off, and this year it had an “International Flavour.” The quality of entries did not disappoint, and each class chose a country with whom they had a personal connection.

Nursery chose South Africa, the nationality of our lovely new practitioner Anja, and set up a stunning display of plants, animals and books.

Next came Kindergarten, who used their Swedish heritage as their inspiration, led by Mr H and Pia T. The international flavour extended into the birthday celebrations, when Mr H modelled and then encouraged the children counting up to 20 in Swedish!

Reception chose a Mexican theme; Year 1 represented the United States of America and Year 2 focused on all things Spanish.

At the end of a day and a half of intense baking, all of the dishes were complete, and samples were ready for tasting.

But what of the judges? Chefs Gemma and Ally had a challenge on their hands!

Nursery came in third, with their delicious Lepelsteeltjies, with the judges saying “we loved the savoury-sweet-mixture.”

Nicky Whittaker - Head of Pre-Prep

Nursery: Pre-Prep Bake Off

Every year the Little Vines children and staff look forward to our Pre-Prep Bake Off. We had to choose a different country and learn about a traditional food. We chose South Africa as that is where our new Early Years Practitioner, Mrs Pommeroy is from. We baked South African cakes called Lepelsteeltjies which were absolutely delicious as well as creating a wonderful learning board all about South Africa.

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Kindergarten ‘The Three Little Pigs’

Our book of the week was ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and the children have thoroughly enjoyed making houses for the pigs. We read the story and discussed the different materials used to build the houses. We then enjoyed making houses in which the pigs could live. The children then continued their building during our afternoon woodland time and they used a range of natural resources to make houses. We wanted to investigate the different shapes that were used in buildings, so we went on a shape hunt. The children used the iPads to take photos of what they found and then enjoyed looking at the pictures they had taken.

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher


Reception have had a great week as many of our children have returned from feeling unwell. The children have been exploring 'The Three Little Pigs' and were intrigued by the sensory mud tray in the classroom this week. We have also been thinking about how the pigs would build a house using 3D shapes.

On Monday, one of the children asked how we clean shoes, so we got out the shoe polish and tried polishing and buffing.

Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1

Year 1 made the most of the sunny day on Tuesday and journeyed back to the maple tree which they visited back in the Autumn. They noted the many changes, describing what the tree looks like in the Winter. Each child took a photo on the iPads and added it to their seasonal wheel, comparing the photo that they took last. Most importantly, the children had a little run around breathing the fresh air and enjoying the Winter sun!

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 2

Year 2 have been finding out about maps and the geographical features included on them. We went on a walk around school and noted down the geographical features which we saw, before coming back to the classroom to make our own maps. The children had to include a key and also added on minibeast locations, to help others know where to look for minibeasts around the school.

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 3: Magical Magnets!

Which magnet is the strongest?

Are big magnets more powerful than small ones?

Are magnets just as powerful under water as they are in the air?

Year 3 have been investigating. They planned, predicted and worked well in groups to find out the answers to their questions. Some of the results surprised them!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 5: The Titanic

The Year 5 children were invited aboard the Titanic this week. They were given a ticket which was either, first, second or third class. They then received a suitable welcome snack depending on their ticket! We talked about all the things that went wrong and caused so many people to die. The children created a diamond nine formation putting the most important things at the top and the least important at the bottom. We struggled to agree, but decided that there were lots of factors that caused the disaster.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Year 6: Forest School

Year 6 had a fantastic time in Forest School this week. They carried out a huge range of activities, including making paracord cobra knots, chopping wood to create spines for books, building dens, cooking a noodle dish over the fire and enjoying the freedom of a morning in our beautiful woods.

Art: Reaching for Sustainability

Art is a materials-heavy subject, and it is difficult to be totally sustainable. We would not claim to be. However, we are trying our very best to promote the ethical and responsible use of resources by creating some imaginative pieces. Here are just a few examples. They are woven pieces from scraps of wool, products made from used corrugated plastic, Hunderwasser sculptures created from wire/wood offcuts and press-prints produced from discarded bubble wrap.

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art


As we continue to hope for better weather and suffer the disappointment, we have not yet been able to spend much time outside. Hopefully this will change soon. We spent Saturday morning doing the usual activities and then some prep. Saturday afternoon was for movies and tuck for some while the others played hide and seek around the school. After dinner we opened the swimming pool and played a very competitive game of water polo and Marco Polo.

Sunday was an early start. The Year 7 boys were invited to a birthday party, so we all went to Tunbridge Wells where the younger children went to see 'Migration' at the cinema and the older ones went bowling. After the bowling session they all had time in the arcade with some very animated reaction to a virtual reality game. We returned to school for burgers for a late lunch and then spent the afternoon practising for the talent contest or chilling out in the library.

Katherine Kirkwood – Head of Boarding

Don't forget ... Reminders for Next Week!

On Monday morning Rushton will be staging a Charity Event Talent Show "Vinehall's Got Talent!" Remember to bring along £2 for the entrance fee and popcorn!

Children will be coming into school on Thursday in World Book Day costumes! There are lots of activities celebrating Word Book Day planned throughout the week.

Coming Soon ...

Book tickets at this link: Book here

On Saturday 25th May, we are offering Year 4 and above the opportunity to join animator and graphic novelist, Norm Konyu, for a day of comic book creating!

Norm is a BAFTA and EMMY award winning animator with two comic titles published internationally with Titan Comics and a third being released later this year. On this day, he will teach attendees how to tell a story visually and help them plan and construct their own book. At the end of the day, children will take home their creations, together with enough materials to finish them off. Children need only bring a simple story idea but if they don't have one, they can create one using story prompts on the day.

Ticket price: £45 per child - book online at this link:

The day is limited to 16 places - so book quickly to reserve a place!