Vinelines 22nd September 2023

‘And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul…’ – John Muir

We should need no reminders of how beneficial outdoor learning can be for our children.

Despite the tail-end of Hurricane Lee whipping up a little inclemency, our intrepid forest schoolers headed off to our woods with their heads down and smiles broad. Incredibly exhilarating for all... we could not have planned it better!

We are delighted to welcome Amy, Laura and Sophie from Hatch to our ever-strengthening outdoor learning provision. Outdoor learning aligns with our commitment to nurturing the holistic development of our children by supporting their physical and mental health in conducive learning environments, and Hatch at Vinehall adds another golden string to our bow.

‘Chapeau’ also to our courageous parents for turning out to support the hockey, netball and football matches this week. I know the Vinehall match teas made the experience all that more worthwhile and it was lovely to see you all.

Joff Powis, Headmaster

Nursery - Gym class

It is not only the physical aspects of a child’s body that benefit from physical play - it’s also great for their mental health and by the looks on the children’s faces they thoroughly enjoyed their very first lesson with Mrs Towner.


This week in Kindergarten we have been exploring our wonderful grounds.

The children have been busy building structures to transport water, sticks and stones and in our woodland area they’ve enjoyed climbing, collecting items from nature and playing imaginary games.

We were all very excited when one of the class spotted a caterpillar and we have been finding and watching ladybirds too. It’s been a wonderful week enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Reception - Forest Fun!

On Thursday, Reception had their first Forest School session with Amy, Laura and Sophie. From the wild kitchen to the hammock, all of the children found an area that interested and excited them. The children were waiting with anticipation for the bananas and chocolate to cook on the open fire. The children had a fabulous time exploring the provision in the woods and are looking forward to returning!

Reception have been incredibly busy this week and away from the forest, have being enjoying a host of other activities. We have been sorting and matching in maths and the children have been able to group and set a range of objects based on different criteria. We have also been reading the book ‘Happy to be me’ and learning about body parts.

Year 1 - All about Me Museums

Lots of laughter could be heard from the Year 1 classroom as the children learned about their friends by visiting each other's "All About Me Museums."

We spent time looking at each other's photos of when we were born through to the present day observing the similarities and differences. Well done Year 1 for being curious like Cassie Cat and in asking some fabulous questions about one another.

Year 2 - Fire Fire!

As part of our Fire Fire topic, Year 2 visited Battle Fire Station. The fire fighters talked about fire safety at home, as well as how fire fighting has changed since the Great Fire of London.

They then showed us all of the equipment they use to put out fires and rescue people.

We finished the morning off by putting out pretend fires with the hoses, which was definitely the highlight of the trip!

Year 5 - Interview with Mr Powis

The Year 5 pupils had a surprise visitor in Life Skills last Friday. Having missed their planning session on Wednesday due to the unfortunate school closure, Mr Powis arrived ready to be interviewed - only the pupils had no idea of this very important visit.

They were very courageous, confident and inquisitive as they learned about Mr Powis's journey to becoming the Headmaster of Vinehall School in 2017. We learned that teaching, having lunch with the children and being outdoors are a few things that bring him joy each day.

Year 7 - Conflict and Paul Nash

As reportage artists, the Year 7 pupils sketched the beautiful trees which surround our school. Their studies were based on the work of the landscape and war artist, Paul Nash.

As part of the experience, they were asked to imagine how difficult it can be for war artists to record the scene on the front line.

Having to work in adverse conditions, with a narrow window of opportunity is part of the job. Although Mrs Konyu tried to create a challenge for our pupils, the sun shone, and the conditions were just too good.

Year 8 - First House meetings of the year

We were very pleased by the efforts of our Year 8 pupils who worked together to lead House meetings this week. They were asked to showcase their leadership skills and get to know the younger children in the Prep School.

Many of our Year 8s are putting themselves forward with the aim of becoming a House Captain this year. We wish them the very best as they prepare for the upcoming hustings.

Boarding - Ninja Warriors!

Last weekend the boarders went to Ninja Warriors in Eastbourne. They especially enjoyed the climbing wall and the monkey bars. After all that activity they wandered around the shops enjoying all the new sights.

Saturday evening was spent watching football and relaxing and Sunday morning was prep time. We had planned an outdoor treasure hunt just in time for the rain, and judging by the look on the boarders faces we took the decision to do some indoor activities instead. Some boarders spent the afternoon in the pool, while others watched a movie and went to the sports hall.

Katherine Kirkwood, Head of Boarding

The boarders are feeling more at home and this week we welcomed our flexi boarders back into boarding. To book in for any flexi boarding sessions, please click the button below.


It was great to be back out on the pitches this week. The girls took on MHS and the boys faced Claremont on Wednesday afternoon, with several matches home and away. It was great to hear from all the coaches on their return, especially Mr Higginson, who was so proud of the 4th Team football side's efforts against a rather bigger squad than his own.

On Thursday the U8/9s took on Claremont, with the girls in Year 3 experiencing their first away matches for the school. The cross country team are in action this Friday at Saint Ronan's and I will fill you in on how they get on in next week's Vinelines.

Please do remember that all match reports from this week's fixtures can be found on our school sports website. If you click on the fixtures and results tab on the school website, followed by News and then Match reports, where you will find all the relevant reports.

Matt McKinnon, Director of Sport

Looking ahead to next week...

  • Tuesday 26th September - Curriculum and Study Skills Talk for Year 7 and 8 pupils and parents - 6.30pm
  • Thursday 28th September - Handwriting Exploration for Early Years Parents - 3.00pm
  • Friday 29th September - Year 5 and 6 Overnight Tipi Camping and Star Gazing (Collection at 9.00am on Saturday from the campsite)
  • Saturday 30th September - International Classical Concert - English Chamber Orchestra - 7.30pm

Road Safety

Just a reminder that parents should please turn left when leaving the school