Vinelines 23 February 2024

An Introduction from the Head

Welcome to Lent when, as is traditional, our Vinehall children have the exciting opportunity to focus on kindness and friendship. Selfless acts of thoughtfulness are abounding as Ally Linney and her helpers launch this year’s Lenten Friends. Surprise presents in book lockers, anonymous messages of praise, and spontaneous offers of help are cropping up all over to the delight of everyone involved.

We have hosted many taster days this month, as families look to move their children to our wonderful school. Once again, the observations on the positivity of your happy, confident and respectful children have been plentiful. The warmth of our community is reassuringly tangible and leaves a lasting impression with all who visit.

Footprints (In the Mud)

Inspired by the kindness, collaboration and huge muddy enjoyment in my Year 7 Geography classes studying our very own river system in our Gully today, I was reminded of this lovely tale of faith and friendship. I will share this with the children in next week’s assembly, but in the meantime, please do share it with them at home.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with God. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to him and the other to God. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned God. “You said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me alone.” God replied, “My precious, precious man, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

(Mary Stevenson’s Footprints in the Sand)


Reserve a place at this link: Talking Heads 2024

Nursery: Our story of the week

'Handa’s Surprise' by Eileen Browne covers a wide range of learning opportunities for our Nursery children. This week the children have been deeply engaged as they learnt about different cultures, used their senses to explore unusual fruit from Africa as well as participating in challenging mathematical skills.

We had a vote and the children decided that they liked the taste of the mango the best!

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Kindergarten: Goldilocks and The Three Bears

This week we have begun our new topic, ‘Into the Woods’. We have enjoyed exploring the story of ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears’ through a variety of different activities.

We started the week by making a picnic for the bears and sorting the items they needed depending on whether they were small, medium or large. The children immersed themselves in this activity and there have been teddy bears’ picnics happening all week!

During our daily trip to the woods, we’ve enjoyed reading the story and counting with little bears.

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher


Reception have had a fabulous return to school. The pancake races started the week off with lots of energy and excitement. The theme of food has carried through the classroom this week. The children have enjoyed exploring the story of the Gingerbread Man and writing our own version of the biscuit people. This linked to our Pre-Prep Bake off where the children made Conchas, Tortillas and guacamole to celebrate food from Mexico. We also made porridge for the three bears and tried lots of different toppings.

Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1

What an enthusiastic start to our new topic of ‘Amazing Animals!’ The children worked very cooperatively in small groups, cutting, pasting and using atlases to locate and stick the seven continents onto their large ocean sheets. Well done Year 1 for being like our Pre-Prep Pal, Billy Bee!

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 2

Year 2 have begun their new topic 'Creepy Crawlies' and have been using the vast school grounds to hunt for minibeasts in our local area. They were amazed by the number of worms we found but also spotted woodlice, centipedes, millipedes and slugs, as well as a couple of sleepy bumble bees. They were all very keen to dig in the dirt and were very inquisitive, just like Cassie Cat.

We have also taken part in Pre-Prep Bake Off this week; the theme was 'International' so Spain was our country of choice. The children worked well together like Billy Bee to make Spanish lemon and olive oil cake, as well as Spanish crackers. Hopefully they were enjoyed by our judges!

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 3: Hip Hurray for Arrays!

Year 3 have been exploring multiplication and repeated addition in Maths this week. Mrs E was impressed at Barnaby's independent learning as he also discovered the link with division and repeated subtraction. Super Maths Mastery, 3E!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 - Furious Forces!

The children engaged enthusiastically in this fun, fast game as an introduction to our new topic in Science.

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 - May the Force be with you!

Year 3 planned and conducted an investigation to compare the amount of force needed to move a toy vehicle on four different surfaces. The children came up with a number of ideas for rough and smooth surfaces, including Lego, carpet, table top, lino, coats, Numicon grids, grass and stones. The weather restricted us to working indoors! They had to to measure the 'pull' and decide how to keep the test fair. Mrs E and Mrs Walker were really proud to see some of them start to think more independently and even begin to accept that predictions may sometimes be wrong.

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 7: Geography

Our Year 7 Geographers used our very own Vinehall Gully to study fluvial geomorphology on Friday. Following the downpours on Thursday, the winterbourne springs were gushing forth, creating a perfect upper river stage scenario.

Their task was to measure the channel size and the velocity in order to calculate the flow rate at three sites along the Gully.

Muddy fun - yet another definition for active learning!

Joff Powis - Head

Art: Experimental Printmaking

Printmaking at Vinehall is enjoyed by all pupils. It is a way of experimenting with colour, texture and design.

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

Vinehall Venturers

Now that the evenings are getting lighter again, we are able to be outdoors as much as possible in Vinehall Venturers. This week we were inspired by the paintings of Arcimboldo to create a nature picture together. The children made a woodland scene on the ground of trees, a rabbit and a bird, all made of items they found. They were proud of their work and asked me to share the photo. Super teamwork by the Vinehall Venturers!

Acorn Clayton - Head of Modern Languages

Scholarship Success!

Congratulations to our latest pupils who have achieved amazing scholarship success:

Skye R for achieving a Drama Scholarship and Art Excellence Award to The King's School, Canterbury
Henry C has been awarded the Nigel Wheeler Sports Scholarship to Eastbourne College
Arlo K has been awarded a Music Scholarship to The King's School, Canterbury

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

Book tickets at this link: Book here

Reminder ...