I am delighted to report that our pupils raised more than £460 last term in our sponsored Readathon for the charity “Read for Good”.  This charity raises money to pay for books and readers for children in hospital.

We were inspired to help this charity by our school motto, Pro alliis optimum agere (doing our best for the benefit of others), and we are very proud of our pupils and their generous fundraising work.

Please do take a look at Read for Good’s website to see more information about the valuable work done by this charity.


Books take us to places we would never otherwise go, introduce us to people we might never meet and give us glimpses into worlds other than our own.

This term, Year 6 have been looking at life as an outsider, considering what it can be like to be a refugee, a stranger, an impostor or even an alien! Through studying stories by key modern authors such as Shaun Tan and Morris Gleitzman, we are encouraging them to develop greater empathy and understanding of other lifestyles and cultures.


Year 7 have been taking a look at The Holocaust through the eyes of Bruno, one of the central characters in John Boyne’s novel “The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas”. This has led to heated discussions, independent research and a new understanding of the concept of stereotypes in fiction.

Books often inspire film and stage adaptations and one highly acclaimed example of this is the modern classic by Susan Hill, “The Woman in Black”. Year 8 have recently completed a six-week unit of study considering gothic fiction which is culminating later this term in a trip to London to see the stage version of The Woman in Black.

In the Juniors over in the De Beer block, Year 3 have been busy reading; they are becoming more confident and expressive when reading aloud. They have enjoyed their ‘group reading sessions’ with Mrs Alderson’s ‘A-Team’ and love their ‘Bug Club’ times online. Bug Club reading helps to improve their comprehension. Mrs Everist is reading the children ‘Beaver Towers’ as a class reader – always a favourite!

As well as reading, Year 3 have been exploring what life is like for children in other parts of the world, culminating in an extended piece of writing. They used paragraphs to describe their own life ‘at home, at school and at play’, then wrote a final paragraph about where they would like to live if they could choose, based on what they had read in the ‘e-book’.

Spelling and handwriting continue to be an important part of English lesson times, supported with regular practice for weekend homework.

Year 4 have been busy with Mrs Barrett studying the delights of Horrid Henry. Although he is a rather unpleasant character and has some rather undesirable traits, the children have thoroughly enjoyed looking more closely at this series of books. A highlight for Mrs Barrett was Seren K reading a short quote from one of the books which made everyone burst out laughing!

The children have been looking at many different features of writing, creating their own characters using alliteration and then writing their own stories about the mischief they got up to. They loved sharing their stories and of course had some very mischievous ideas.


Year 5 have been focusing their spelling work on homophones recently (including tricky words such as “aisle” and “isle”).

We have also just completed a project which involved the children exploring the fantastic poetry anthology “I like this poem” edited by Kaye Webb. The children have had great fun creating their own miniature poetry anthologies and writing their own Halloween poems.

To develop our pupils into thoughtful and exciting writers, we need to hone their skills as reflective and empathetic readers. In addition to our Junior Library, Vinehall’s vibrant and well-stocked Millennium Library offers readers a wonderful array of books to explore. The children are encouraged to read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction to develop their own taste in books. To that end, I am delighted to welcome Rosie Hill (our local bookseller) back to Vinehall for our annual Book Fair for the Pre-Prep and the Pre School on the 23rd and 24th of November. Please do look out for a letter about the Book Fair next week!

Emily Platt