Vinelines 15th September 2023

Welcome back!

We give an especially warm welcome to the forty-five new children, eleven new staff and thirty new families joining our Vinehall community. Happiness of the children comes first at Vinehall and I have received many wonderful messages telling of new friendships and tired but fully contented children this week. Long may this continue.

The incredible weather has enabled the children to make the very most of their outdoor surroundings, off and about in our grounds. It is exciting to see our Forest School taking shape, the Mitchell Pavilion reaching its final stages, and of course the sports pitches and golf course looking as lush and picturesque as ever. The children are incredibly fortunate.

I hope you will enjoy this week’s Vinelines and encourage your children to read it through with you. With a gentle nudge, they often have so much more to share than they would normally offer!

Joff Powis, Headmaster


The learning journey has begun at the bottom end of our school as we welcomed our new Little Vines children into the Nursery.

We are just so proud of each and every one of them and their mummies and daddies! Choosing a Nursery is probably one of the biggest decisions you will make as parents and leaving them in our care is such an emotional journey!

The children have been exposed to lots of fun activities and the staff are spending time getting to know each unique child through positive interactions and observations.

What a fabulous start!

Sarah Wolford, Head of Nursery and Kindergarten

Nursery and Kindergarten enjoying being back at school!

Pre-Prep - Construction Club

Pre-Prep had lots of fun in their first Construction Club of the term.

First everyone explored all the resources available before deciding what to build in pairs and small groups. I was impressed with their creativity and there were some rather large structures by the end of the session!

Year 2 - North American Indian Folk Tale

Year 2 have been reading the North American Indian folk tale 'How the Rabbit Stole the Fire'. They wrote character descriptions and enjoyed acting out the story, passing the fire between the animals until they hid it in the trees. It's always great fun to bring stories alive, especially when doing so outside.

Year 3 - RHS Wisley

On Tuesday, Year 3 set off bright and early for RHS Wisley to take part in a Plant Hunters workshop, run by one of the RHS Wisley staff in the Clore Learning Centre. After taking their own cutting of a Tradescantia and exploring the many varieties in the fascinating education room, they moved to the Rainforest and Desert biomes, led by Charlotte and ably assisted by Louise Waters, who has recently joined Vinehall as our gardening expert. We spent time in the afternoon walking to the Hilltop centre and exploring the sensory garden and the fruit and vegetable garden before ending up (inevitably!) in the wooded play area.

Year 4 - Herstmonceux Science Centre

For the first trip of the academic year, Year 4 enjoyed a lovely day at the Science centre! The children particularly enjoyed the water play and the show all about sound.

Vinehall Boarding

It has been lovely to welcome all our boarders this term and we are looking forward to the flexi boarders joining us from next week.

It has been a busy time getting everyone settled in, but we have had some fun along the way.

As summer made a late appearance last week and we were all wilting in the heat, we decided not to go for our planned walk at Firle beacon but instead went to Bewl water aquapark. What better way to start the weekend activities than by jumping off inflatables into the cool water.

The warm evenings meant that meals were eaten al fresco, and the children were given free time to get to know each other and their new school. We also brought out the slip and slide and had a water fight.

We have also played ‘Wacky games’ to help the children work collaboratively and make new friends.

This weekend we will be doing some shopping (requested by the boys) and Ninja Warrior in Eastbourne.

Katherine Kirkwood, Head of Boarding

Sport Update


The U8 & U9 boys and girls enjoyed a fantastic start to their season with small-sided games against Rose Hill and St Andrew's. With the sun shining and plenty of goals scored, those who were present witnessed an enjoyable afternoon of football and netball. It was wonderful to see so many parents on the sideline and fingers crossed the fair weather continues for a few more weeks.

Matt McKinnon, Director of Sport


We welcomed St Andrew's for a lovely afternoon of Bee netball. The Year 4s were fantastic team leaders to help guide the Year 3s in their first match for Vinehall.

Miss Gould, Mr Peters and I were impressed at how the girls got stuck in, collaborated well with their team and showed resilience. For some of the girls, they played with confidence; however, all girls were kind and respectful towards each other and the opposition and they should be proud of themselves.

Laura Percy-White, PE


It was wonderful seeing all the pictures from our pupils wearing their WeAreVinehall T-shirts during their travel over the summer break - here are some of the highlights...

Looking ahead to next week...

  • Monday 18th September - Reading Talk for Reception Parents - 8.40am
  • Thursday 21st September - Paul Roberts Concert - 7.30pm
  • Friday 22nd September - Rwanda Action Quiz Night - 6.30pm - 10.00pm
  • Saturday 23rd September - Family Golf Day at Vinehall - 9.30am - 1.00pm

Please note that the Year 7 and 8 Curriculum Talk on Tuesday 19th September has been postponed. The Year 8 Study Skills Talk for Year 8 parents and pupils will still be going ahead on Tuesday 26th September at 6.30pm

Paul Roberts Recital Information

He plays a range of examples of their work and explores the threads between them, engaging his audiences through his deep knowledge and love of the composers. Paul will be playing the wonderful Bösendorfer grand piano in Vinehall's comfortable and acoustically excellent theatre.

Paul Roberts is an exceptional musician, a fine and deeply sensitive pianist, teacher and an author of the greatest distinction. His books on Debussy and Ravel are quite simply the most outstanding and perceptive I have read. I felt privileged to review the Ravel book recently in the Gramophone magazine - Bryce Morrison

Tickets are £25, including interval refreshments and can be bought here. Also available on the door or from Judges Bakery in Robertsbridge.


We are taking in any unwanted shoes this week for the charity ‘SALS SHOES’ where any types of adult or child shoes (inc school shoes, wellies, sports shoes, flip flops etc) get sent to people that need them.

All you need to do is wipe them clean and ensure they have laces (if applicable) and wrap each pair in an elastic band and drop off in to the large cardboard box in the entrance hall at main school reception.

You will also need to give £1 per pair you donate so that the costs of sending them on to their new owner are covered. Please pop this in to an envelope with your name and leave at main reception.