Vinelines 3 May 2024

“Mental health is not a destination, but a process.

It’s about how you drive, not where you are going.”

Vinehall’s Mental Health Awareness week was celebrated in style and launched with a lively and competitive House assembly led by Ally Linney, whose care of our children’s well-being is dedicated and unrivalled. Form times and lessons have focussed on a theme of ‘get moving’, as children have enjoyed exploring our beautiful grounds, admiring the spectacular bluebell display, playing traditional games and mixing with new friends from different year groups.

Staff and children have thought about 'courage’ with great enthusiasm and creativity and, as ever, have risen to the challenges they face. This week our potential academic scholars have visited their chosen senior schools for assessment, supported by our brilliant teachers. Whatever the outcome, we are hugely proud of their academic rigour and hard work.

Special weeks certainly help to focus our activities, but I am confident that every week at Vinehall is a Mental Health Awareness week, as all members of our community support each other to ensure that life’s journey is smooth, healthy and happy.

“We can’t control the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”


Vinehall's Mental Health Awareness Week

Nicky Whittaker - Head of Pre-Prep

This week was Vinehall’s Mental Health Awareness Week. During the week Pre-Prep held a talk for parents on Supporting Wellbeing, which looked at the power of connection as the antidote to dysregulation in children. The theme of the official week is all about movement and moving more for our mental health; the “Get, Set, Go!” walks done by Pre-Prep to start the day twice weekly have proved to be popular with children and staff alike!

On Tuesday morning, Jennie Cashman Wilson delivered a series of wonderful workshops entitled “Becoming Brave” to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Jennie’s recently released book is based on a true story of love and loss, courage and hope, and the children explored their feelings of being brave, scared, happy and sad through the creative medium of drama. Jennie took the children on a journey to the jungles of Malaysia, where they met the jungle animals of the night, joining in with the strange cacophony of sounds and stepping over fallen trees. All of the children engaged brilliantly with Jennie and totally immersed themselves in the creative power of the compelling narrative.


Sarah Wolford - Head of Nursery & Kindergarten

Every Monday morning our Nursery and Reception children come together to work collaboratively just like our Pre-Prep Pal, Billy Bee. This week Louisa Bennett talked about growing sunflowers and each child planted their own seeds. They learnt about how we should care for the fruits and vegetables we are growing in our vegetable patch and the Reception children were such kind and helpful friends; thank you so much Reception Class.

Working together just like Billy Bee in our garden


Catherine Garlick - Kindergarten Teacher

The children were so immersed in our boat theme last week that we have continued to explore boats this week. They have thoroughly enjoyed using the interactive whiteboard to look at the website ‘marine traffic’. Everyone has been fascinated to see the types of boats that are travelling close to our coastline and we have all been interested to see where they are going.


Louisa Bennett - Deputy Head of Pre-Prep

The sunshine on Monday provided the perfect weather for our gardening session with Nursery. We planted sunflowers and created crowns celebrating such a beautiful flower; now we just wait for them to start growing. The highlight of the week was our Forest School session in the woods; from flag making to swinging in the hammock, the children always have the most amazing time. They picked nettles very carefully for nettle tea, which they had with crumpets cooked over the fire; a perfect way to end the session.

Year 1

Jacklyn Garwood - Year 1 Teacher

Year 1 had a busy week working collaboratively in their United Kingdom country groups. They began research on the physical and human features that are unique to their country and enjoyed forming the physical features out of sand. We practised counting forward and back in 2s, 5s and 10s and made visual representations of numbers in Maths. Well done to the children for being curious to want to research more about the United Kingdom and for working so well together!

Year 2

Louise Hawtin - Year 2 Teacher

We travelled back in time to 1854 to visit Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War. The children had to find ways to improve the hospital to help make the wounded soldiers better. The children loved cleaning, getting fresh food and water, sorting out beds and putting bandages on the soldiers; thankfully they did such a good job that everyone made a full recovery!

Year 3 - Fruit, shoot, leaf or root?

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 were happy to discuss their favourite foods and discovered that many of them come from plants. They loved classifying plant foods according to which part of the plant we eat. An added bonus came at tea time when they consumed a large amount of the produce!

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we also 'got moving' when we played a game called 'Fruit or Veg?' which was fun!

Year 4

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Another busy week - traffic survey in humanities, more fractions in maths and electrical circuit investigating! What a fun week.

Year 5 - Singing bowls and Mandalas in RS

Carina Everist

Year 5 are continuing to learn about Buddhism this term. They have begun to consider how mindfulness and meditation can help us to focus on the 'here and now'. Mrs E filled a jar with clear water (the mind) and spooned in some soil (unhelpful thoughts). We watched as the soil sank to the bottom and the water became clear again. The children also concentrated well when playing the Singing Bowls and they enjoyed starting to colour their own mandala.

Art - Vinehall School Art Exhibition

Tracey Konyu - Head of Art

In 2023, our artists exhibited at The blackShed Gallery in Robertsbridge. It was our first year at this fantastic venue. It proved to be a success and the feedback was positive.

This year, we wanted to take things to another level and wished to involve a local school to share the experience of having their work displayed in a professional gallery.

We were very pleased when Salehurst School CE Primary School accepted the invitation to join the exhibition.

The exhibitors from both schools produced designs on the theme of ‘Dark and Light’ and displayed a vast range of ideas and processes. The standard was very high and the reaction was positive. Having two schools working together was truly inspiring.

A very big thank you to everyone came to see the exhibition, to the gallery for their excellent curation, to everyone at Vinehall and Salehurst who supported this venture and to the exhibitors for their creativity and dedication.

The exhibition is open until Wednesday 8th May 2024. The gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday 11am-3pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; closed Sunday and Monday.


Matt McKinnon - Director of Sport & Head of Co-Curricular

It has been another very busy week on the sporting front. The Year 3 & 4 swimming team travelled to St Andrew's on Tuesday evening; the senior boys and girls played cricket against Holmewood House on Wednesday; the junior boys also faced Holmewood House on Thursday afternoon and the junior girls played Beechwood at home.

Derek Guy and Katie Walker could not have been more pleased with the Year 3 & 4 swimming team. For many it was their very first gala and, although no points were taken, everyone swam well and will have learnt a lot from the experience.

Once again Keith and Craig did a fine job to ensure all the home games were able to be played and, although some matches had to change from hard ball to soft ball games, nearly everyone from Year 5 to 8 played in a fixture. There were some very close games, with the 1st XI boys doing well against the Holmewood U13B team.

Notable performances from this week were Iden N's 50 not out (1st XI); Henry C's 41 (1st XI); and Penelope DB, who took five wickets in one over for the 2nd team - an amazing achievement.

Next week sees the girls take on Marlborough House and the boys challenge Saint Ronan's, Skipper's Hill and Beechwood schools. We are also looking forward to the athletics at Dulwich on Friday evening .

Each week we feature a different Sporting Spotlight


This week Year 2 started their harp lessons - it took a lot of concentration!

Earth Day

Sebastian R - Year 8 Eco Committee Lead

As a way to celebrate Earth Day, our Eco Committee decided to do some things around the school to show our care for the planet. From 8-9am we had a period where the entire school had no electrical devices working - no computers or anything of the sort. Instead, we used that hour to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. The main thing that the Eco Committee organised was a lovely, natural and peaceful walk around the school grounds. Once we got to the copse, we sang a beautiful hymn to truly embrace Earth Day.

Vinehall Mental Health Awareness Week

Movement for Mental Health

Ally Linney - Assistant Head (Pastoral)

While the official Mental Health Awareness Week is a few weeks away, Vinehall decided to get in motion this week! We acknowledged the importance of movement to care for our overall well-being and nurture healthy minds.

From strolls down in the bluebells, to Joe Wicks fitness, to Yoga Bananas, the Prep School children had a great time moving for their mental health in Form Time this week.

So what are you waiting for? GET MOVING!

Yes! It's Yoga with Ms Linney!

Carina Everist - Year 3 Teacher

Year 3 spent their Form Time doing Yoga Bananas with Ally Linney on Thursday. Mrs E found she needs to practise getting up from cross-legged to standing without using her hands! All 3E showed they can be mindful of others when asked. Thank you to Ally for a wonderful start to the day.

Years 3 & 4 Beach Day

Louise Barrett - Head of Juniors

Well, it wasn't really the weather we were hoping for, but the children were happy and enjoyed themselves and at least we didn't have to worry about getting sun burnt! We had a very busy day which involved litter picking, creative English work, weighing of rocks, playing in the playground, mindfulness and stone skimming. We became too cold sitting writing the poems so Mrs E used the words the children came up with to write a Juniors poem.

Saxton House Beach Clean

Kevin Higginson - Head of Mathematics

The sun just about made an appearance on Tuesday for the Saxton House Beach Clean on East Parade Bexhill.

Louise Barrett, ably assisted by Mary Alderson, Carina Everist and Kevin Higginson, took 22 pupils to Bexhill to take part in the Marine Conservation Beach Clean. The group covered an area of beach 100m wide, searching for general litter such as plastic bottle tops, lolly sticks, glass and machined wood items. They did a wonderful job and really took this volunteering seriously.

Louise Barrett said, ‘They were all really interested in finding and recording the litter collected and were a credit to the school’.

After a strenuous hour searching for litter, the children were given a well-deserved reward of an ice cream from Zac Attwood’s kiosk on the promenade, just in time before the rain appeared and they made their way back to Vinehall.


Katherine Kirkwood – Head of Boarding

On Saturday afternoon the boarders had to plan for a talent show which they performed on Saturday evening. We had some amazing acts. James showed us how to make paper planes; we had a very funny rendition of ‘Baby Shark’; and the Year 8 boys did a very romantic proposal and dance. The winner was Josh who showed his talent for recalling all the Capital cities of obscure countries. In second place were the Year 8 girls, who gave an accurate portrayal of bedtime in the girls' section of boarding. In third place were Ludivine, Amanda and Kelly who played violin, drums and guitar respectively. Good fun was had by all.

On Sunday we went to Laser Tag in Eastbourne and then to Hampden Park for a picnic lunch. The pigeons and seagulls were a particular nuisance and wanted to be fed, but Artiom managed to tame a few. Despite it being a little muddy, the sun came out and it was warm and very pleasant sitting in the park. Then it was time to return home and get ready for the week ahead.


Under 9 Hastings and Bexhill Rugby Club!

Last weekend was the final tournament of the season for the U9 Hastings and Bexhill Rugby Club! The team includes four Vinehall boys: Caspar, Hugo, Jack and Buzz. Buzz and Jack’s Dads (James and Dan) are also part of the coaching team..

They have played a great season and performed brilliantly in the past two months of tournaments!


On Saturday 25th May, we are offering Year 4 and above the opportunity to join animator and graphic novelist, Norm Konyu, for a day of comic book creating!

Norm is a BAFTA and EMMY award winning animator with two comic titles published internationally with Titan Comics and a third being released later this year. On this day, he will teach attendees how to tell a story visually and help them plan and construct their own book. At the end of the day, children will take home their creations, together with enough materials to finish them off. Children need only bring a simple story idea but if they don't have one, they can create one using story prompts on the day.

Ticket price: £45 per child - book online at this link: