Vinelines 9 February 2024

As we reach the half-way point in the academic year, may I take the opportunity to express my delight at the reports I have read about how open our children are to their learning. They seem to be enthused by life, which is surely what Vinehall is all about. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Parents’ Evenings, when we will further share in their progress.

In a week when we focus on the mental health of our children, I am incredibly reassured (as I know you our parents are), that our school offers just the right ingredients.

Many incredible plans for the half-term break were being shared at lunch today. I wish you all a wonderful time with your families.


A Splash of Colour for Mental Health
Some of our Pre-Prep children with their collection for Dom's Food Mission

Nursery - Celebrating Chinese New Year

Hung Hay Fat Choy to you all!

The Little Vines children have been fully engaged in celebrating The Year Of The Dragon. This week has been a wonderful opportunity to introduce the children to different cultures and traditions. We learnt about the colour red and how it is considered to be lucky; we also tried using chop sticks to eat rice, which was quite tricky for little hands.

On Thursday we performed our Dragon Dance to everyone in Pre-Prep; we made our own creative music - what a fabulous sound!

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Kindergarten SuperTato

This week we finished off our ‘We are Super’ topic by enjoying the book 'SuperTato!' Everyone was very keen to make their own SuperTato or Super Vegetables.

We practised our fine motor skills and we were just like Ollie Owl showing great concentration throughout. We then enjoyed playing with our creations and using our early writing skills to think about what they might say to ‘Evil Pea’.

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher


Reception have loved creating their own Super fruit and vegetable stories. They decided on a villain and a problem that their super-hero would have to solve. We learnt about a famous artist called Guiseppi Arcimboldo who used real life objects to create portraits. We tried making our own portraits using fruit and vegetables, then different objects. We have also been potato printing and carrot stacking this week.

Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1

Thank you to all who watched Year 1 perform in their Dinosaur Museum this week. The children all worked hard to learn about their dinosaurs and were amazing at performing to their live audience! To finish off our topic of Dinosaur Discovery, the children worked collaboratively in small groups following instructions on how to make a dinosaur fossil; these will be brought home as a memory of their topic.

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 2

On Tuesday Year 2 braved the winds to head to the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings. First we stopped at the Lifeboat Station and talked about the role of lifeboats. Luckily the doors were open so we could see how big the lifeboat really is.

Then we headed to the museum to look at artefacts and learn about local shipwrecks. The children loved using the ropes and pulleys to lift a 10kg weight and also had a go at cleaning, preparing and firing a cannon (without the actual gunpowder!) We listened to a volunteer telling us all about the Amsterdam and why it was shipwrecked off the coast of Hastings. The children showed great curiosity, asking many interesting questions, just like Cassie Cat.

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 - Soil Detectives

Year 3 played a guessing game, learning some amazing facts about soil and the crucial role it plays in supporting life. Then they observed a soil sample very closely, listing and classifying the constituent parts. They discovered all sorts, including a spider which crawled up Percy's arm! Then they compared three different soils and their properties before recording their findings. With support, they drew conclusions for the variation between the soils. Thanks to Louise Waters, our School Horticulturalist, for helping me source the soils!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 - Fake Fossils!

Part one: As Year 3 have been learning about rocks and fossils in Science, we ended the topic with a fun activity and a bit of danger in the mix! After the children made their moulds out of plasticine, they used different things (shells, toy dinosaur foot, pencil sharpeners, lego brick) to make an imprint on the base.

Then Dr Moore kindly invited us up to the Science lab where he mixed some plaster of Paris and poured it into their moulds. Great excitement ensued!

Part two to follow after half term ...!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 - Rainforest Adventure

Year 4 have been learning about the job of the Shaman in the Rainforest. Coralie's Grandpa canoed through the Rainforest in Peru and came to talk to us about his adventure. The children loved having a Grandpa in school. Thank you for coming Mr Fairbairn.

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors


Over the last week, the EAL pupils have been retelling the story of The Great Race and how the Jade Emperor placed the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Some have been finding out which animal they are and what characteristics they might have. We have also enjoyed decorating our classroom with lanterns.

Annabel Newcomb - EAL Teacher and Year 7 Form Tutor

Art - Year 6 Art Scholars 'Create and Animate' at Eastbourne College

Our Year 6 Art Scholars attended an exciting day of animation, hosted by Eastbourne College. Amelia A and Lily F each created an animated clip inspired by Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge's galloping horse was the focus of the project. Our children joined other prep school pupils and experimented with a range of different materials.

The results from all schools were outstanding and ranked high on the creative scale.

A big thank you for the Eastbourne College team for a great day.

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art


Last Friday we had the Year 5 taster evening. We did a jungle themed evening, complete with wiggly worm cake and pannacotta eyeballs. The activities involved mystery boxes which the children had to put their hand in an identify what was inside. One of the boxes had baked beans! There was also an obstacle course and a quiz. We watched Tarzan and reluctantly went to bed.

On Saturday morning it was activities as usual. In the afternoon the boys went to the Astro while the girls helped me come up with some decorating plans for the girls' side of boarding. Saturday evening was movie night, and it was quiet and relaxed.

On Sunday morning Mr Powis took some of the children to a church service in Salehurst, whilst the others had some prep time. After lunch we took a trip to Hawkhurst where the boarders were able to paint pottery. Some of the boys were less than enthusiastic at the start but agreed that in the end they really enjoyed it. It is always fun to see who has a creative streak and we look forward to getting the pottery back after half term.

I hope everybody has a great half term and we look forward to lighter evenings and mornings.

Katherine Kirkwood – Head of Boarding

Donations warmly welcomed!

If you find yourselves doing a bit of a clear-out this half term (or over the upcoming Easter holiday), we would be most grateful for old board games (full sets, please). Chess, drafts, puzzles, Risk!, Connect 4 ... you name it, we would appreciate it!

In Form Time, our Prep School pupils enjoy board game sessions. Not only are they a fun way to bond as a group, but they also promote social skills and help our children learn the art of winning (and losing!) If you have any old games, please drop into the Front Office.

Our Boarding House would be most grateful for any bicycles that are in fairly good condition. Our boarders love cycling round the grounds in summer and our bike shed is in need of your good will!

Many thanks in advance for any donations you can provide.

Ally Linney - Assistant Head Pastoral and DSL

Coming soon ...

The Next Chapter: Moving Up To Year 7

Our Moving up to Year 7 evening is open to parents and children in Years 4 to 6. Reserve a place at this link: The Next Chapter

Talking Heads 2024

Reserve a place at this link: Talking Heads 2024

Book tickets at this link: Book here