Academic News September 2018

W/E 16th November 2018

Technology – At the lower end of the Prep School the children have been set a mission to complete the coding for their game. they are making it from scratch bu memorising code and learning “if” statements. In juxtaposition our Year 8 students are continuing with their project to achieve their own fully interactive website using html code.

Geography – After the academic rigour of exams last week Year 8 pupils enjoyed a craft lesson this week making volcanoes. Our Year 5 geographers enjoyed using ice lollies as a way of exploring glacial erosion.

French – Year 7 have been translating “Ma Routine Quotidienne” – how well can you do with this short extract?

D’habitude, tous les matins, je me réveille à six heures et demie du matin et je me léve vers sept heures. Ensuite, je me douche, je m’habille et je prends le petit déjeuner. Je n’oublie pas de me brosser les dents! Je vais à l’école à huit heures et demie. Parfois je vais à l’école à pied, mais, si je suis en retard je prends le bus.

Latin – Our year 4 Latin students have been completing their Minimus workbooks looking at colours, animals, adjectives, verbs and nouns.

History – Year 3 visited Mountfield Church as part of their learning journey into local history.  Jackie Spriggs kindly showed us around and the children were great at listening and asking thoughtful questions.  The pianists amongst us went into the organ loft to see how the organ is played!

W/E 9th November 2018

Maths – National Young Mathematicians’ Awards  On Tuesday 6th November four of our Year 6 students entered the first round of the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards.

This is a new competition for Vinehall students so we talked about what will be expected, the format the competition would take and did a practice problem.  This meant we were now ready to leave after break and travel to Ashford.

The national competition is focused around problem-solving and gave the pupils opportunities to display their collaborative skills and their fearless approach and resilience to problem-solving; trying a solution, improving on it and seeing whether there are other solutions.

The problem itself in this first round was a never seen before challenge using dice.  Francesca, Matilda, Henry and Bertie were praised for their teamwork skills and we eagerly await the results to hear whether Vinehall School are through to the second round in December.

Science  – Year 3 investigated whether those who did a lot of sport might have a bigger lung capacity than those who did less.  This triggered a lot of discussion and, when they looked at the data they had collected, the children found that one of the smallest in the year group had the biggest lung capacity of all, and she did in fact do an awful lot of gym and swimming each week!

Fractions (are fun!) – In maths this week Year 3 have investigated which numbers can be split into thirds and quarters, hopefully seeing the link with times tables.  One group had a challenge to see which numbers over 60 could divide equally into thirds, quarters and sixths.  Brains were buzzing!

Literacy – Year 3 visited the Pre-Prep this week to read their own ‘Just So’ stories to the Year 2 children.  Miss Bidwell was delighted to read these super compositions that her previous class had written after visiting Bateman’s in October.   Mrs Everist and Mrs Hawtin were impressed with how well the Year 2s listened – thank you for letting us visit, Miss Bidwell!

W/E 19th October 2018

Science – Electricity Mayhem! To finish their electricity topic, Year 4 made switches for a simple circuit to set off buzzers.   We then had a quiz all about what they had learned and they buzzed me when they knew the answer.  It was very difficult to decide whose buzzer was actually going off, but they are all quite knowledgeable about electricity. – LB

Year 8 have been studying photosynthesis and learning how to test a leaf for starch, usually a GCSE assessed practical. Our children enjoyed the experience and were all successful in their experiments. Year 7 have been studying cells and cell structure and the differences between plant and animal cells.  Year 6 have been looking at combustion reactions and how to present data derived from experiments in a graphical form.

Latin – Year 8 have been preparing for their exams by looking at the imperfect tense and the subjunctive. Year 6 and 7 have been looking into myths and legends with Odysseus, Cyclops cave and Circe’s palace.

History – Crazy Celts, Year 4 have started to learn about the Celts in their learning Journey lessons.  On Wednesday we marched up Mount Caburn in Lewes to visit a Celtic hill fort.  The views were stunning.  We compared modern life to how it might have been when the Celts lived in the fort.  We had a good view of the river and the children used their geographical language to talk about its features (without prompting).  Miss Bridges was impressed by their knowledge.  We saw where the Celts’ houses once stood, talked about the ramparts and had a battle between 4B, who were defending their fort, and 4P, who were attacking it!  A lovely way to spend an afternoon. LB

Maths – Year 8 have been revising fractions and algebra for their mock exams which take place after half term. Year 7 have been continuing with number investigations. CC

EAL – Last Friday all of the overseas children had a trip to Hastings.  We started off by visiting The Smugglers Caves, which was fascinating.  Then we headed down to Di Pola’s for some delicious ice-creams.  Finally, because it was such a lovely afternoon, they played in the park next to the beach. AN

French – Year 8 have been revisiting the perfect tense and Year 7 have been looking at reflexive verbs “washing ones hands” JA

History – Shell Shock, Norman and Camilla B surprised me last week when they brought me part of a deactivated shell from a WW2 anti-aircraft gun that they had discovered in their back garden!  I am delighted to see that they are both being super inquisitive outside of the classroom. CB

W/E 12th October 2018

Science – Year 6 have been taking their test in order to obtain their Bunsen burner licences. We are pleased to say that they have all passed and now can progress onto more advanced practical work in science.

Geography – The Year 8 Geographers are writing up their fieldwork reports following their visit to the Bexhill Beach last week. Year 7 are carrying on with their topic on rivers, Year 6 theirs on coastlines and Year 5 their topic work on denudation.

RS – Last week in RS Year 3 were finding out how the harvest would have been at the time of Jesus.  One of the things they did was taste figs, grapes and olives – foods that were grown two thousand years ago and still are today!  Thank you, Chef Ian!

W/E 5th October 2018

STEM – We have got off to an exciting and very relevant start this term.  We have been looking at different types of natural disaster and their effects and are starting to think about the recovery from such an event.  Looking at Hurricane Florence and the recent Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia, the high profile recent natural disasters, has been very helpful to forge a greater understanding. We have used current news reports and video clips from different sources,including some elements of social media.  In our discussions about the aftermath and recovery, we have looked back at Hurricane Katrina and in particular how we could use our Sports Hall as a recovery centre. We have been to the Sports Hall to measure its total area and calculated the surface area required by one person with a sleeping bag, pillow and holdall, so we can see how many people we could accommodate in the event of a natural disaster. I have been so impressed with the pupils’ knowledge, open-mindedness and desire to question and understand this new subject.

Poetry Day, Year 3 had a treat when Mrs Alderson came to read Roald Dahl’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears as part of World Poetry Day.  The children warmed up this drama session with some fantastic games, using their bodies to make pictures of a magical forest, the big and little bears and the naughty Goldilocks, as well as group shapes to represent a bowl, a chair and a bed!  They listened very well, were very creative and enjoyed themselves enormously.

Science – Year 3 learned about invertebrates and vertebrates in science, before creating their own human skeleton.  The results can be seen in the De Beer corridor.
W/E 28th September 2018

Maths – Last Thursday, four Year 5 pupils – Faris A, Lorcan G, Clara F and Elizabeth G – travelled to Christ’s Hospital School for a maths challenge.  Just as we arrived, the CH children were marching into lunch to the music of the school’s marching brass band, which is daily tradition of long-standing; it was very impressive.  We then went into a magnificent hall where lots of challenges had been prepared.  The children worked in pairs solving puzzles and completing other mathematical problems.  They appeared to enjoy the event and came 14th out of 46 teams.  Well done, Vinehall!

French – This week the European Day of Languages was celebrated on Wednesday 26th September.  Amongst various linguistic experiences and songs, Year 4 learned a little Spanish and were intrigued to notice the similarities between the contents of their pencil cases in both languages.  Year 6 learned how to greet, say their names, thank and bid goodbye in German and some pupils shared their knowledge of Danish (thanks to Daisy F) Russian (Eric R) and Greek and Gaelic (Delilah G).  We are fortunate to have in our community several speakers of languages further afield than Europe and in due course we hope to celebrate our global linguistic diversity.

Geography – Our geographers have certainly been fulfilling two of the five dispositions this week, with ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Inquisitive’ coming to the fore with the Year 8 trips to Bexhill Beach and the Year 7 trips to the River Line in our school grounds.  The Year 8 fieldwork is part of their Common Entrance coursework examining the relationship between stone size and proximity to the sea.  Year 7 pupils were seeing if our local river met the criteria for a model river in its upper stage.  All great learning and fun.

EAL – It was such a beautiful day that I decided that it would be a great idea to have our prepositions of movement lesson in our stunning grounds.

W/E 21st September 2018

We were delighted to see so many parents at Mr Borrows’ talk on our core values and changes to Common Entrance.  For those of you that missed it, you can find the accompanying handouts here in the parents section.

In French, our younger linguists in the Pre-Prep have been learning about colours, numbers, pets and ages using songs to help embed their language knowledge. Bravo! We hope they are entertaining their parents on the journey home.

Our senior scientists have been looking at plant cells and were tasked with creating a 3D model as prep. The photos below show how successful this was with models being made in many mediums, including cake! Well done Year 7.

In Geography our intrepid Year 4 have been to learn about the features of a river at the Cuckmere valley. For more please click here

Year 5 have completed some amazing science prep on their topic of Space.  These are displayed in the De Beer corridor and outside Mrs Gearey’s room.  Please come and see it if you have a moment to spare as they have put a lot of effort into it.  Mr Powis thinks it’s amazing and a big thank you to Mrs Walker who displayed it so cleverly.

Our EAL students are enjoying our new language lab facilities. These are in use by all students and we are extremely grateful for the donation of the computers.


W/E 14th September 2018

In Science, Year 5 are learning to use compasses to draw the planets. Year 3 investigated diet and grouped food according to type.

In History Year 3 visited Battle Abbey to learn all about the Battle of Hastings Click here for more


W/E 7th September 2018

Wealden Times Maths Article 

See our Assistant Head, Academic’s article in the latest Wealden Times below.

SATIPS Poetry Success – for full article click here