Vinelines 20th October 2023

As the first half of term comes to a close, there is no doubt that the Vinehall community is well and truly ready for a well-deserved break. The children have conducted themselves wonderfully over the past two months, with their courageous appetite for curiosity and challenge. Time for a rest and refresh.

We have been delighted to welcome many guests to Vinehall during our Open Week. As always, it is your children who make the most incredible first, and mightily positive, impression on our visitors. What your children are wonderfully good at (and endearingly unaware of) are the little things - holding doors open for others, standing up when an adult enters the room or simply smiling as they pass. These effortless and habitually natural acts of kindness add up over time to create the warm and respectful environment which is clearly making a very meaningful difference to everyone it touches.

Joff Powis

Nursery - Mathematical skills in the Early Years

Maths is an important part of the EYFS Framework and an essential life skill for children. As well as developing numeracy, it supports skills such as problem-solving, understanding and using shapes and measures and it improves children’s special awareness.

We based our mathematical learning this week around the story of 'The Runaway Pea'. The children used the peas to count with, as well as learning about quantity. They used the green play dough to create the round shape of the peas and remained very focussed and engaged. Luckily, none of the peas ran away!

Sarah Wolford, Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Kindergarten - Funnybones

Our book focus this week has been 'Funnybones'. This children have enjoyed learning about the different bones in our bodies by exploring skeleton models, pictures and x-rays. They have used their creativity and fine motor skills to recreate skeletons using different resources. We’ve also been singing and dancing to the Skelton song, ‘Dem Bones’ and we are sure the children would love to show you this at home.

Catherine Garlick, Kindergarten Teacher

Reception - Funnybones

Reception have had a fabulous final week of our half term. The theme of this week has been skeletons and the children have loved reading 'Funnybones'. From skeleton building to dancing around the classroom to ‘Dem bones’, the children have all really engaged with learning more about the bones inside our bodies. The x-rays we looked at helped us think about how skeletons help us with movement and support.

Louisa Bennett, Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

Year 1 - Pumpkins, apple trees and a Blast from the Past!

In Science this week, Year 1 found the pumpkins they planted when they had their Year 1 taster day back in July. We looked carefully at the life-cycle of the pumpkin and compared it to the lifecycle of an apple tree and noted similarities and differences. The children will follow the apple tree outside our classroom throughout the seasons and observe the many changes that it goes though.

Some spectacular ‘olden day’ costumes were worn by the children on Wednesday which allowed us to make a ‘human timeline’ of the different times of the past. What a fabulous end to our ‘Blast from the Past’ Learning Journey this half term!

Jacklyn Garwood, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 - Fire Fire

To conclude our Fire Fire topic, Year 2 have made moving fire engines. They had to saw the axles to make them the correct length, attach wheels, paint their fire engines and add extra details, such as ladders, hoses, lights and sirens. The children have loved creating their fire engines and they look fantastic!

We also spent a morning in the woods, collecting sticks and twigs before weaving them together and adding mud to create wattle and daub walls. Everyone had a go at using a fire steel to create sparks, before starting their own mini fire using their fire steel and a piece of cotton wool. The children showed great perseverance, just like a Terry Tortoise.

Louise Hawtin, Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 - Just So Jaunt

Earlier this week, Year 3 visited Bateman's, the home of Rudyard Kipling. The weather was kind to us and we enjoyed the beautiful gardens before exploring the house. The children asked the National Trust volunteers some interesting questions (like Cassie Cat), and all of us had a wonderful time.

Having walked to the mill, playing Pooh Sticks on the way, we had our lunch and break in the wooded playground before heading back to school. Finally, we watched the original film of 'The Jungle Book' in our classroom, with biscuits and popcorn! This was a super day out to end Year 3's successful first half-term in the Prep School! A big thank you to Mrs Walker for driving the minibus for us.

Carina Everist, Year 3 Teacher

Year 5 - Trip to Kent Life: The Victorians

Year 5 had a wonderful day at Kent life last week. They dressed up beautifully and collectively we looked brilliant. Thank you to everyone who helped them. Our trip started with a visit to Florence Nightingale; we then learnt about life below the stairs and some of the jobs for poorer people. We visited a Victorian house, had a ride on a tractor, saw some birds of prey, patted some pets and played in the playground. We then went to Victorian school and finally made some rag rugs. What a full and excellent day.

Louise Barrett, Head of Juniors

Year 6 – Film in a Day – Eastbourne College

Eight lucky Year 6 pupils visited Eastbourne College on Tuesday for their 'Film in a Day' initiative, with children from three other local Preps. They enjoyed an 'acting for screen' workshop, before visiting different locations around the school and its grounds filming scenes from their 'Cluedo' style Murder Mystery under the guidance of Year 9 drama scholars. Over lunch there were swimming, art and debating activities. The children then learned about iMovie editing, putting together their very entertaining episode of the series, the script for which had been provided by the Eastbourne drama department. Enough time to play some group drama games before the tea and grand red carpet premiere and the big 'who dunnit' reveal. I was hugely proud of the children's behaviour, their skill and enthusiasm. What a fabulous trip - great fun but hugely educational.

Mary Alderson, Director of Drama


Mr Hollamby's Year 5 Brass Boys were buzzing with enthusiasm during this week's rehearsal!

Sue Glossop, Director of Music


Having postponed the London trip we decided that, even though the weather was cool, we would head down to the beach on Saturday and play some mini golf.

There were a few very good shots and a few very bad shots and even some balls in the water. The day was bright, and all the children were happy. Afterwards we enjoyed ice creams and posed for pictures with a double rainbow in the background. There was a little bit of shopping time, although Hastings is not known as a shopping destination. A few children took advantage of the autumnal weather and bought fluffy jumpers and even a very green Grinch outfit.

Sunday was a much quieter day. We did prep and then a treasure hunt which was not entirely successful as the children ran off before the gaps could explain the rules; this resulted in much confusion. The prize was extra dessert to be given out when we have their favourite. We opened the pool for a swim and then it was time to get ready for the last week of the half term. I hope everybody has a lovely break.

Katherine Kirkwood, Head of Boarding

Book Fair

Pupils from Years 3-8 were delighted to visit the Book Fair in the Drawing Room on Tuesday this week. Rosie Hill, our local bookseller, brought a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction to appeal to all ages and interests.

We look forward to receiving the books pupils have ordered very soon!

Emily Platt, Head of English

Introducing our Year 8 House Captains

Ashton, Paxton, Rushton and Saxton recently held hustings in their House meetings.

Congratulations to the Year 8s who will help lead House meetings this year and support the pupils in their Houses. They are:

Ashton - Alessandra K is supported by our Head Boy, Ricky W

Paxton - Ethan E and Theordora G

Rushton - Joshua G and Skye R

Saxton - Henry C and Arlo K

Ally Linney, Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Introducing our Year 8 Committee Leads

Many thanks to the Year 8 pupils who have put themselves forward and will help run our Committees this year. Pupil Voice is celebrated at Vinehall through the Academic Committee, the Eco Committee and School Council. This year, they will be led by:

Academic Committee - Theodora G, Kingsley N, Joshua S, Harrison W

Eco Committee - Alex D, Joshua G, Isla M, Sebastian R

School Council - Isobel F (Head Girl) and Ricky W (Head Boy)

Ally Linney, Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Good Copy Break

On Tuesday break time, I welcomed the first Good Copy break children to the Melon Garden. It has taken a few weeks for the children to accumulate their good copy points, so huge congratulations to Poppy O, Albert P and Matilda B for being the first over the line. I look forward to welcoming more children after half term to the Melon Garden for pancakes and the famous Rob's Chocolate sauce (the recipe is a fiercely guarded secret!)

Liz Powis, Admissions Coordinator

Vinehall Venturers

The Vinehall Venturers are an intrepid group of explorers and adventurers. With a programme loosely based on Scouting-type skills, we meet weekly to make the most of our wonderful outdoor space. So far this term, we have learned tracking signs to lay and follow a trail; learned about pioneering; lashed tripods to be the base of camp gadgets; built mini ballistae; and started to create bivouac shelters in the woods. Outdoor activities boost confidence and help children to be collaborative, resourceful, resilient and inquisitive, while learning to respect nature. Such an energising and exciting way to end the day!

Acorn Clayton, Head of Modern Languages

Looking ahead ...

Whole School: Pumpkin Carving Competition

Don't forget to bring your carved pumpkins into school after Half Term on Monday 6th November to be judged in our Pumpkin Carving Competition!

Years 3 and 4: Harry Potter Flexi Boarding Evening

Years 3 and 4 are invited to a Harry Potter themed flexi boarding evening on Friday 17th November. Harry Potter fancy dress, fun activities and dinner in the school hall! Stay over - collection Saturday morning.

Save the date ... more details to follow!

Nursery: Submit a Review

We would like to invite the parents of our Nursery children to submit a review on Day Nurseries website.