Vinelines 7 June 2024

A huge thank you to all our pupils, staff, Governors and parents for their support this week during the ISI Inspection.

In showing the inspection team around our school over the past few days it has given me the opportunity to see Vinehall through their eyes. My overwhelming emotion has been such pride in our children and the whole school community and recognition of how much Vinehall means to each and every one of us.

So, as we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that the pressure of the past few days is behind us, we can also reflect how lucky we are to be part of such a wonderfully vibrant, caring and amazing community that is Vinehall School.


From all of us at Vinehall, a very Happy 50th Birthday Joff!

Nursery - Visit from Battle Fire Brigade

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

This term our a Little Vines children are learning about ‘People Who Help Us’ in our community. We were so excited to welcome the Battle fire crew, who were just so brilliant with our little ones. They talked about how they help to keep the community safe and showed the children their uniforms and kit. The highlight of the visit was being able to climb inside the engine and, of course, using the hose to squirt water!

Kindergarten Animal Magic

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher

This week we have started our new topic ‘Animal Magic’ by exploring African animals. The children have been particularly engaged with using the watercolour paints. They have been very observant when creating their pictures and have looked carefully at the animal’s features and any patterns they may have. We have been reading the book ‘The Animal Boogie’ and the children created dance movements and chose African percussion instruments to accompany the story. One of the children in our class had recently visited South Africa and it was wonderful for her to share photos, toys and her experiences of her visit with the class. We then finished our week with a wonderful ‘Tiger Who Came to Tea’ party.


Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Reception have had a fantastic return to school and boogied into our new topic about animals. We read Animal Boogie and acted like the animals in the story, we then made our own animal shakers to shake like the bear. All the children then picked their own animal to research using non-fiction books and the internet; all the animals were so different, from wombats to king cobras. They then wrote fact files using the information they had discovered. We also created our own play dough birds.

Year 1

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 1 sprung into their new topic of ‘What a Wonderful World’ with a week full of fieldwork! The children were visited by Buzz Lightyear who asked if they could make a map of important school landmarks so that he could duplicate them on his home planet. Despite the windy day and photos blowing around the grounds, the children persevered creating fabulous maps complete with a key and instructions for Buzz. Needless to say, Buzz was very impressed indeed!

The week would not be complete without a treasure hunt! We used our ‘position and directional language’, which we learnt in Maths, together with compasses to navigate our way to the clues. The children were very surprised to discover a ‘Bog Baby’ at the end of the trail who will take us on many more adventures as we explore the world around us .

Year 2

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

Year 2 ventured into the woods and found Little Red Riding Hood's Grandmother. She explained what had happened to her then asked the children if they would like to re-enact the events. The children made objects from the story using their bodies, practised sounds and movement, created a woodland tableau and enthusiastically mimed parts of the story, before performing a short scene in pairs. Lots of fun was had by all and there are definitely some budding thespians in the class.

Year 3 - Flower Power

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 chose whether to be a botanical illustrator or an artist like Georgia O'Keeffe in Science this week when they learnt about the reproductive parts of a flower.

Year 3 - Money, Money, Money!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

In maths this week Year 3 have been exploring the value of different coins and notes. They worked well with a partner to puzzle out some tricky challenge questions.

Year 3 - Stone Age Boy

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Having written their own endings to a story by Satoshi Kitamura, Year 3 reviewed each other's work. They told their partner one thing they liked and made a suggestion on how to improve their next masterpiece.

News from 5P French lessons

Acorn Clayton - Head of Modern Languages

We have been writing to pen-pals in France this year and this week we "met" them in a live classroom link.

Aujourd'hui (mercredi) nous avons parlé avec nos amis en France.

Nous leurs envoyons des lettres et des cartes en français et en anglais.

Nous avons rencontré la classe par Teams dans les salles de classe à Vinehall, en Angleterre, et à Orgeval, en France.

Chaque enfant a dit "Je m'appelle ...", son âge et son sport préféré.

C'était l'anniversaire d'un ami français donc nous avons chanté Happy Birthday ensemble!


Today (Wednesday) we spoke to our friends in France.

We send them letters and cards in French and English.

We met the class by Teams in classrooms in Vinehall, England and Orgeval, France.

Each child said their name, age and favourite sport.

It was the birthday of one of the French friends so we sang Happy Birthday together!


Matt McKinnon - Director of Sport

With the Year 8s hard at work with their CE exams, it was just the Colts that took to the cricket field on Wednesday afternoon. The three girls' teams travelled to Skipper's Hill. After the fun of parking, the teams did a great job, winning all three games.

The Colts A boys had the privilege of playing on the main square and started well; however, having a few extras, allowed Saint Ronan's to score 66 runs in their innings. They had a good attack and, although Harvey P put up a good fight, we were unable to reach the target, falling 11 runs short. Missing a number of players through illness and injury, the six remaining Colts B boys travelled to Saint Ronan's for an enjoyable and friendly match.

On Thursday both the U8 & U9 boys and girls played at home against Beechwood and Saint Ronan's. It is so pleasing to see the continued progress they are making and I particularly look forward to the first mixed matches of the term next week against Marlborough House away.

Next week sees both the junior and senior athletics teams take part in the Sussex Prep Schools Championships. Vinehall have always done very well at these events and I look forward to reporting how this year's cohort get on.

Good luck to our Year 7 Swimmers, Honor H, Alara K, Mia G and Fleur L who are taking part in the IAPS National swimming finals at the London Aquatic Centre on Saturday. I am sure you will splash it!!

Great House Run

The first half of the summer term culminated with The Great House Run which started and finished in front of our beautiful new Ryan Mitchell Pavilion. Congratulations to Henry C! This year our Pre-Prep children led the way with their own fun run - definitely lots of brilliant runners for the future!

Afterwards we welcomed past pupils, staff, governors and parents to the grand opening of the Pavilion. Ryan's extended family were simply thrilled by this wonderful memorial to such a valued member of Vinehall staff which has taken nearly eight years to realise. Please do visit to admire its beauty and it will be a fantastic addition to our facilities.

Collaborative learning in the Life Skills Room

Ally Linney - Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Collaborative learning is an integral part of our Life Skills. Covering a range of topics, pupils often appreciate discussing their thoughts with peers ahead of choosing what they wish to share in our circle time discussions. Occasionally pupils will be put into groups, often groups of three as research shows that this is the optimal number that ensures all involved will share their voice equally and participate more actively. In groups of two, one individual may dominate; in larger groups, some pupils feel overwhelmed and less willing to put their voices forward. So, with this in mind, three is our magic number.

Recently, the Year 7s have moved on to the unit Healthy Me, a statutory component of the PSHE curriculum. We have been exploring mindfulness to a greater depth. The pupils have learned about three working areas of the brain: the thinking, the emotional and the instinctive.

Pupils have learned that when the instinctive brain is in charge and if fear or threat is perceived, the brain will either fight, flight or freeze. It is challenging to learn when in such situations.

The emotional brain is responsible for how we feel and, when overwhelmed with powerful emotions such as sadness, frustration or anger, it is challenging for the brain to listen with reason, which is why conflict and considering the ideas of others can be challenging. If this part of your brain ‘feels’ the emotion ‘fear’, it might tell your instinctive brain to take over.​ If this part of your brain ‘feels’ the emotion ‘calm’, it will allow the third part of your brain – the ‘thinking’ part – to start working.

The thinking brain processes and is responsible for decision-making, speaking, listening and focusing. When there is a feeling of safety and a sense of calm, the thinking brain can work to its full potential.

Mindfulness comes in many forms and practices. It can be immersed in music, drawing/doodling/painting/creating, stretching, physical activity, breath work, tapping, or focusing on the senses. All of these practices promote self-regulation and allow the thinking brain to take over the command centre and allow us to do what we do very well here at Vinehall: learn!

Forest School - Year 4

This week it was Year 4's turn to enjoy Forest School - with lots of den-making, cooking, crafting and really enjoying the freedom of the woods.

Visit by past pupils from Kings Canterbury

Mary Alderson - Head's PA and Director of Drama

On Tuesday 4th June five students from King's Canterbury visited Vinehall. All had been pupils here, four leaving in 2020 and one in 2022. They were thrilled to tour their old stomping ground, chat with favourite former teachers and see the new Ryan Mitchell Pavilion, as some had been involved in the fund-raising. Tom Moore even gave an impromptu guitar recital in the science lab. They then met up with Years 6&7 in the Chaplin Theatre to talk about the transition to senior school and answer a wealth of interesting and thoughtful questions. After a lunch filled with funny anecdotes and reminiscence, they found their shields now displayed in the Pre-Prep.

Boudie, Thomas, James, Norman and Camilla were simply delightful, articulate and amusing and a credit to their old Prep school. Current pupils listened and responded beautifully and very much enjoyed the session. The Vines promised to come back next year, A Levels permitting.


Many, many congratulations to Isla M for gaining both Academic and Drama Scholarships to Sevenoaks School. An amazing double achievement! We are all so proud of her.

Vine - Luke Hames-Brown

Luke Hames-Brown is one of our Vines who left Vinehall in 2000 at the age of 11. Luke was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and on the 8th June he is starting a challenge to walk Hadrian’s Wall to raise awareness and funds for two Motor Neurone Disease Charities.

Luke's resilience is inspirational and we would encourage you to read his story in his own words on his fundraising page:

Luke will walk the 84 miles from the West to East coast of Britain over 8 days from 8th-15th June.

We would be grateful if you could share this with anyone who may have known Luke during his school days.

Coming soon ...

Repton International Photography Competition 2024

We are very excited to have been invited to take part in the Repton International Photography Competition 2024. This is open to all Vinehall pupils.

The theme is ‘The Future’ and the deadline is Friday 14th June. All entries should be sent to Tracey Konyu at

Please limit your entries to three photographs. If you have any questions, please contact Tracey Konyu.