Vinelines 17 May 2024

To do our best for the benefit of others

The Vinehall motto encapsulates the essence of our community spirit and helps us to focus on the many qualities with which we wish to equip the children.

The onus is on the children in their House groups to lead our charity work, and this they are doing wonderfully this year. From Beach Cleans to Escape Rooms, the charitable activities have been hugely enriching for all involved.

Knowing that they are contributing positively to a local charity has led to a tangible sense of purpose and personal fulfillment. The experiences have also built stronger relationships throughout the year groups, working together for a common good.

By committing to doing our best for the benefit of others, we can create a ripple effect of positive change, making both our school and the world a better place, one action at a time.


Ashton House Escape Rooms Charity Event: Friday 17 May

Nursery: Mark-making in the Early Years

Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Our Little Vines children have lots of opportunities to explore mark-making using a variety of media and materials. This week the children used the interactive whiteboard to draw and write on. They learnt how to programme the board to change colours, shapes and fonts and created the most wonderful pictures of themselves. Some of the children have been learning the letter sounds in their name and demonstrated their writing skills too.

Kindergarten Bikeability

Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher

This week has been Bikeability balance week and all the children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in our cycling sessions. They have developed their ability to use the balance bikes by learning how to scoot, glide and keep control of the bike. Some of the children have begun to use pedal bikes and they have learnt how to start off without support, pedal, use their breaks and go around obstacles.


Louisa Bennett

Reception have had a great week with Denise Lomas doing Bikeability. The children have been improving their balancing and cycling skills through a range of different activities. We have been so lucky to have a full week where the children have cycled for around 45 minutes every day. The Naughty Bus visited Reception this week and was very mischievous, so the children then took their own naughty bus on a journey around Pre-Prep. We then used the pictures to write our own class book called ‘Vinehall’s Naughty Bus’, of which the children were very proud.

Liz Powis also brought one of the adorable puppies to visit our class, which was very exciting.

Year 1

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Building upon our Science lesson on seeds, the children worked diligently to transplant their sprouting seedlings into cups. Over the next couple of weeks, they will make observations of its growth and be confident in explaining the lifecycle. Maths brought a lot of ‘hands-on’ practice with multiplication of 2s, 5s and 10s. The children studied ‘The Strawberry Thief’ by William Morris and created their own design, which they then used to print their own interpretation. Fabulous work this week Year 1!

Year 2

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

On Tuesday Year 2 went to Pizza Express in Tunbridge Wells. The children found out about all the different ingredients involved then had a go at shaping the dough, before adding the tomato sauce and mozzarella. We watched them being cooked very quickly in the enormous pizza oven then headed to a nearby park to enjoy them. Everyone loved making their own pizzas and there wasn't much left over at the end!

Year 3: Data and Rainbow Tulips!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

3E are nearing the end of their investigation to discover what plants need to become strong and healthy. There was great excitement as one group measured their bean plants and found one to be 201cm tall!

Mrs E was thrilled that the white tulips turned various rainbow shades within twenty minutes of setting up the experiment to show how water is transported around the plant by the stem.

Year 3: Pebble Power!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

3E are enjoying reading 'Stone Age Boy' by Satoshi Kitamura. To help them understand about the power of interesting sentence starters, each child drew a picture on a pebble representing something from the Stone Age then, clustered around 'our fire', they composed their own descriptive sentence to 'paint a picture' which they can use in their creative writing next week.

Year 3: Forest School - The Great Mossy Stone Age Settlement!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

The rain beat down, the sticks tapped, our feet stamped as the magic began ...

- Mixing paints from natural resources to create an artwork;

- Foraging for nettles to add to our vegetable soup (Chef Sia did a great job chopping);

- Building dens from 'animal skins' (aka tarpaulins);

- Cooking 'woolly mammoth stew';

- Making spears, bows and arrows;

Wow! Thank you, Amy and Laura, for a wonderful, wild time in the woods this week. Despite the rain, Year 3 loved it all.

Year 4: Maths

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

The children have been learning how to divide by 10 and 100. They loved the sliding place value charts which helped them to understand the concept of moving the digits to the right.

Year 4: Science

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

The children had fun making wire buzzer games. They were rather challenged, but were resilient like Terry Tortoise and got there in the end. The ear defenders were needed as the buzzers were very loud with the power packs!

Year 5: Humanities

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

We have been learning about Fairtrade and so Mr Leslie (who trades in cocoa beans) visited Year 5 to talk about his job and what his company and other chocolate companies do to support the Cocoa growers in poorer parts of the world. We learnt some interesting facts and Y5 asked some great questions. Mr Leslie also bought us lots of different types of chocolate to try! Thank you very much.

Year 5: Art and The Landscape

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

In the Summer Term, we explore the theme of ‘The Environment’ and Year 5 have been looking at the work of artists who make links between humans and their surroundings. We follow art related news stories.

This is the headline which Year 5 have responded to:


Here are just a few examples of their Gormley inspired works, exploring different materials and, as always, thinking about the responsible use of materials.

Year 7s Visit Pre-Prep

Written by Jack L, 7C

On Thursday mornings, our Year 7s are now visiting the children in Pre-Prep as they get ready to become Year 8 leaders next year. 7C have partnered with Nursery, while 7N are with Kindergarten. They have been reading books and playing with the little ones together. Nursery still need to get used to 7C coming into the classroom and still feel a little shy but they are very brave. The little ones love being with the big children. This will carry out through the term until the end of the year.


Heroes, Villains and Magic - Eve Wersocki Morris wows Vinehall!

Emily Platt, Head of English

This week, we enjoyed a visit from the author, Eve Wersocki Morris, who wrote "The Bird Singers" and "The Wildstorm Curse" and is currently writing her third book, "Forest of Forbidden Magic". Eve spoke to pupils from Years 3-8 in the Theatre about how she managed to realise her life-long ambition to become an author and the key ingredients which make up a mystery-adventure novel.

This week, we are focusing on one of Vinehall's core values, resilience, and Eve perfectly embodies that quality. She told us how, aged 15, she bravely approached many publishers with her first novel, and how she received multiple rejection letters before finally getting a book deal in her twenties.

Eve also told us how, despite dyslexia, she loves story-telling and writing; her story of success was heart-warming and inspirational and she was an engaging and animated speaker, welcoming pupils' questions at the end.

The pupils were agog hearing all about how Eve became a writer and about the elements that are integral to a mystery-adventure story. All the pupils enjoyed an opportunity to do some hero-posturing and had fun suggesting ideas to create a mythical villain.

We also loved hearing Eve read an extract from "The Wildstorm Curse", which had the audience hooked from the start.

Many thanks to Eve for journeying from North London all the way to Vinehall to speak to us and sign her books! Copies of both of her books will be in our Prep School Library soon and we look forward to her third book which will be published in July.


Matt McKinnon - Director of Sport

It was another extremely busy week, with an Athletics meet against Dulwich last Friday (see separate report) and the U8, U9, U10 & U11 swimming teams competing at the same venue on Tuesday. No points were scored, with Derek Guy and Katie Walker once again very pleased with the performances from all the swimmers.

Henry & Alex 1st XI fifty makers

On Wednesday the 1st XI took on Claremont away in what proved to be one of the most exciting games I have umpired in ages. Batting first, both Henry C and Alex D rode their chances, accelerated when needed, both retiring with well-made fifties and the team making 145 for 1 in their 20 overs. Henry has been very good at sharing out the bowling load, and he did this again, giving nine of the team a bowl. Claremont rode their luck brilliantly and with some powerful hitting from their number 3, were able to get the winning runs with four balls to spare. Mr Extra came back to haunt us, with the team gifting Claremont 50 runs. An exciting game.

1st team Girls v Claremont on the main field

The Girls 1st XI took on the same opposition on Main field. Jon Newman was full of praise for the group and, although the team lost narrowly by 15 runs, he was extremely pleased, stating it was by far their best performance of the season. Catching seems to be an issue, something they will be working on next week.

The Colts all travelled to Claremont for an exciting afternoon of cricket. The Colts A boys enjoyed a good 31 run win, with Masa M picking up a fantastic hat trick bowling his leg spin and Charlie C top scoring with 32. The rest of the Colts teams all played soft ball pairs games, the Girls B & C teams winning two very close affairs.

The rain once again spoilt the U8/9 matches on Thursday afternoon, with all the games against St Andrew's and Claremont having to be cancelled.

Next week is another extremely busy one; let's hope it stays dry and we can finish this half of the season on a high.

Athletics meet against Dulwich

Laura Percy-White / Jon Newman

Last Friday, we sent a squad of athletes from Year 4 through to Year 8 boys and girls to compete in the annual Dulwich Prep athletic meet. They raced in track events against Saint Ronan's, Holmewood House and Dulwich and we had some pleasing results, with many second and third placements. Congratulations must go to Arya E, Beth D, Charlie C and Tymofii L for winning their events. The relay teams also performed very well. This meet is always a good indicator for the upcoming Sussex/ National Championships.

Saturday Art Sessions

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

During these sessions, we try to cover one theme and extend the children's ideas as far as they will go by using a variety of materials.

The theme for the Year 7 Art Scholars’ project is ‘The Ocean’, which is a theme for the mock GCSES exams this year. For those Year 7 pupils applying for scholarships next year, using this time to prepare their portfolios is very important. For other pupils, they follow the same theme as the Year 7 pupils.

To help everyone gain greater confidence, we all worked on a very long roll of paper, donated by Mary Alderson. The idea was to draw as large as possible and as quickly as possible. If that wasn’t enough, to work with the longest paintbrush you could find.

Other pupils attending club, created bubble textured backgrounds and illustrated sea creatures.


Sue Glossop - Director of Music

Here is the Year 5 Brass Ensemble (with a few older additions) giving a rousing start to the week ahead during Joff Powis's assembly


Petra Campbell - Gapper

A highlight weekend for the boarding house, with the stunning Spring weather and a trip to Drusilla's Park.

On Saturday, we enjoyed an outing to Drusilla's Park. Everyone had a great time looking at the zoo animals, going on the rides, purchasing some treats and enjoying the sunshine. Saturday afternoon was spent playing games and relaxing in the fresh air outside. We finished the day with an alfresco BBQ dinner and banoffee pie for Juan's birthday.

Sunday was spent enjoying the beautiful sunshine, each other's company and an alfresco style lunch. To wrap up the weekend, we had homemade pizzas for dinner and watched 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.


Many, many congratulations to Isobel F who has won an Academic Exhibition to King's Canterbury. We are all very proud of her and wish her lots of success in the future!

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.