29th March 2019
It really felt as though Spring had sprung this weekend. The bikes were dusted off, tyres pumped up and oil squirted in the right places!
On Saturday the Easter bunny paid us a visit and the boarders then ran around the lawn finding little goodies which he’d left behind!
On Sunday after Chapel the children enjoyed more time outside on the astro, zip wire and bikes again.
After lunch we headed off to Southborough to Temper Temper Chocolate. This is a wonderful outing where the children got all creative and made things out of chocolate. The idea is that these are gifts for families, but I think quite a lot of it has been eaten!
Well, all that is left to do is get the boarders packed and ready to go and then Mr Coles and I will be heading to Heathrow for our long-awaited holiday to Australia.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!
22nd March 2019
Last weekend was quite an unusual one. We had a lovely group of taster boarders on Friday and they were treated to a disco and games run by the Gappers. There was an Easter theme to the evening and mini eggs where hidden in the drawing room for the children to find.
Saturday was spent here doing our usual mix of prep, play and relaxing.
Here comes the unusual bit – our plan was to go to Catsfield Church for their family service but we got the timing wrong. So finding ourselves with an hour to waste in Catsfield, Mr Coles and I had the slightly mad idea of taking 27 children to our house in Skinners Lane! Some of the children thought we were mad too – Will S said ’Sir you’re going to regret this’. I can honestly say the children were as good as gold; they took their shoes off and settled in front of the TV for an hour. We then went to church where they continued to behave impeccably.
As a treat for being so good when we got back to school they had some gaming time on their phones, something that is normally rather restricted.
After a delicious roast beef lunch we headed off to Urban jump in Heathfield, where the children bounced for a couple of hours.
Thoroughly exhausted we got back to school for toasties, nit checks, nail cutting and bed!
Now it is full steam ahead to the end of term. Mr Coles and I are very excited about our impending holiday in Australia, where we are meeting up with most of the last eight years of gap students who have worked for us!
8th March 2019
The children loved last weekend’s outing so much that they have requested we do it again next term!
We had a peaceful Saturday with our usual favourites: astro, sports hall, movie and tuck shop.
On Sunday Mr Powis took Isabel T to The Conquest hospital to entertain patients and visitors with her amazing musical talents. We had planned to walk around the grounds appreciating God’s creations but the heavens opened and it poured with rain, so I thought I’d spare the children a soaking wet walk!
We did prep and music practice, then games in the sports hall. After lunch we headed off to Hastings for Battlezone. Battlezone is an outside battlefield where the children run around with laser guns. The weather still wasn’t great but the children loved their two hours of fun. We then walked along a very windy seafront to Eatto, a Chinese restaurant where the children could eat all they can and they DID!! They loved it, although there were a few tummy aches on the way back to school!
Now I’m planning the children’s travel for another exeat; they seem to come round so quickly but we’re not complaining!
1st March 2019
True to form the children returned on Sunday night in good spirits, happy to see their friends.
What amazing weather we have had over half term! Now we have a return to real February weather – rain!
It’s been a fairly quiet week in the boarding house, with no illness – HOORAY!
We are all looking forward to a fun weekend.
To see the boarders cookery club updates please click here
15th February 2019
Firstly may I apologise for the reduced Vinelines from the boarding house last week; illness and the impromptu exeat took over normal proceedings!
The children enjoyed their trip to Tunbridge Wells and Wagamamas on 3rd February. I stayed at school to look after two poorly boarders but Mr Coles, Mr Powis and the gappers made sure the outing went ahead. I did asked Mr Coles to take photos but I think that was one task too many for him!!
We also had to postpone our trip to Urban jump, which will happen later in the term; also the taster boarding disco, which will have an Easter theme now rather than Valentines.
This week I have been making travel arrangements for the boarders’ half term – a timely break to give everyone a chance to recover and knock these pesky bugs away!
I hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy the sunshine!
8th February 2019
It was a snow weekend at Vinehall and for the boarders that meant plenty of opportunities to get out into our 50 acres of grounds. With all manner of sports equipment taken out onto the slopes we soon resembled Val-d’Isère rather than Robertsbridge. It was lovely to be joined by the families of our day children after the Headmaster sent a call out for everyone to enjoy our snow!
It was Chinese New Year on Tuesday and Carole in the kitchen made us an amazing Chinese banquet for supper. It was delicious. We even ate with chop sticks! The challenge by the end of the meal was to see if we could pick up a lychee stone with the chop sticks; not many managed!
Many thanks to the catering staff from all of us in the boarding house.
1st February 2019
Our exeats are timed so well! Just as everyone is suffering with bugs and in need a break, we all get some time off. Unfortunately the weekend didn’t stop the spread of germs; hopefully the impending snow will sort out them out.
We will be taking the boarders to Tunbridge Wells next weekend for another meal out and shopping – lucky things! You see can how much they enjoy a meal out with friends from the photos taken in Simply Italian.
25th January 2019
Our second weekend was another relaxing and fun time.
After lunch on Saturday we headed off to the Tunbridge Wells Odeon to see Bumblebee and Mary Poppins – which sadly was very disappointing. Bumblebee was a hit for those that watched it.
We had booked a table at Simply Italian in Battle for our supper. They are so good there, always so accommodating and friendly. The children were perfectly behaved and ate really well.
By the time we had finished it was straight back to school and into bed!
On Sunday Mr Powis took Year 7 and Year 8 to Mountfield Church for their Eucharist service, whilst I took the juniors around the golf course with Woody for a brisk walk. We re-convened in the library for prep, followed by lunch.
The afternoon was spent making model aeroplanes and tanks and painting ceramics. There was a lovely peaceful atmosphere in the dining room whilst they all got stuck into their various projects. This was followed by tuck shop, supper and some football on the flood-lit astro!
A good weekend for all!
18th January 2019
Our first weekend back was lovely.
On Friday night there was a swim, Wii dance or floodlit Astro on offer – something for everyone!
The children enjoyed roller blading for a few hours in Eastbourne on Saturday afternoon. Once back at school we had supper and then introduced the tuck shop to our new gappers, who though it was ‘really cool’. They enjoyed being shopkeepers and helping the children with their maths by adding up the sweets they’d bought.
On Sunday, after a much-needed lie-in, we went to chapel where Will read very well and Mr Powis centred his service on the three kings; the boarder who found silver under his seat was duly crowned king for the day. This happened to be our reader, Will, who was given the chance to choose the boarders’ activities for the rest of the day.
Will was a very popular king as he chose football on the astro, followed by an hour of gaming, followed by tea and movie.
We taught the lucky gappers how to do nit checks on Sunday night so now their induction is almost complete!
11th January 2019
Mr Coles and I collected our new Gappers Mr Daly, Mr Ryan, Miss Buckley and Miss Grundy, very early one morning last week. The poor things were shattered and couldn’t keep their eyes open on the way home, despite us both talking non-stop to them! They were then duly wined and dined by Mr Gregory, Mr Powis, Mr Borrows, Sister Kate and Mrs Payne over the week and have all now settled in very well and look very smart in their new boarders’ hoodies.
We have one new full boarder this term – Alex – who seems very at home already. We also have three converts to weekly boarding – Henry, Connie and Sam – so the boarding house continues to thrive.
Our lovely new matron Nicola has found her feet and is whipping everyone into shape! Mrs Barrett will do her first nights next week and I expect all the children to behave impeccably for her!
The children (and staff) will all be tired this weekend so we are having a fairly quiet one – just an afternoon roller skating on Saturday, then a lazy Sunday after Chapel.
14th December 2018
We had an excellent and very busy last weekend. After the wonderful Carol Service we had the boarders’ Christmas party. The children played good old traditional games such as the chocolate game, Chubby Bunny (filling your mouth with marshmallows and saying ‘chubby bunny’) and eating doughnuts with no hands! The gappers got the disco revved up and they danced all the sugar away!
On Sunday we had a very quiet morning; the children stayed in their pjs all morning. Then after lunch we went to the panto in Eastbourne to see ‘Cinderella’. This was great fun, typically cheesy and highly entertaining!
It’s a sad day in the boarding house as we have to say goodbye to our four wonderful Gappers today. Mr Arnold, Mr Kellick Miss Viney and Miss V-T have all been AMAZING! Hard working, huge fun and brilliant with the children. We will really miss them. For Mr Coles and me it is not goodbye for ever, as we will be visiting them down under next Easter; in fact we’ll be catching up with most of the gappers who have worked with us over the last seven years!
It will also be very sad to bid farewell to Genie, Mariana, Eugenia, Jacob and Rafa, who will all return to Spain speaking amazing English and having made lifelong friends here!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!
7th December 2018
On Friday night most of the children disappeared to the flood lit astro for a game and a few put on the Wii Dance in Hurricanes. They then had hot chocolate and toast in Hurricanes before bed.
On Saturday the children had a relaxed afternoon, choosing either games in the sport hall, swimming or chilling in front of the TV. After tea they decided the whole house should play sardines, followed by hid and seek! The evening was lovely – very happy and peaceful.
It was very busy at Bluewater on Sunday but the children didn’t notice and buzzed around buying presents. Mr Coles and I even managed to buy a few bits for the family. Laden with shopping bags we returned to school for toasties and soup.
One more busy weekend to go; this is one of my favourites as we have the Carol Service – which is such a magical event.
Mr Coles has finished painting Squirrels, which looks amazing; please feel free to come up and have a look!
30th November 2018
After a much needed exeat, the boarders returned with their usual excitement; it really is heart-warming to see smiling faces coming back into the boarding house on a Sunday night.
Thank goodness it’s nearly the 30th November; I have been looking forward to this date primarily because Mr Coles and the gappers can shave all the horrid hair off their faces!
My boarding committee have been helping to plan our weekend activities for next term; they do make it easy for me by choosing what they’d like to do! I also helped all the boarders choose their after school clubs, so that’s another thing ticked off my list.
We’ve got one of their favourites this weekend and the one that adds a few years and wrinkles on – Bluewater!
I’d like to say a big thank you to Aly O’Sullivan for all her hard work in the laundry looking after the children’s clothes as she leaves us to go back to her law firm. You will still be able to find her in pre-prep twice a week. Nicola Evans joins us on Monday to take over the reins. You can find her here every day for second uniform but please call or email her to make an appointment.
23rd November 2018
I am very sad to announce that Dalene Viljoen is retiring from her Assistant Housemistress role at the end of this term but delighted to announce that Louise Barrett is taking over. Louise knows the boarders very well and will be a welcome addition to our family!
On Saturday night Louise and I took Year 7 and Year 8s to Benenden School to a disco. The children love this event and come back with phone numbers written up and down their arms.
On Sunday after lunch the children spent a couple of hours racing round the Aqua Challenge at the Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne. Most spent more time in the water than on the inflatable assault course!
This week my boarding committee have been busy planning next term’s outings and activities, as well as conducting food surveys for Chef.
We are all looking forward to the exeat and a big thank you to all of you who have invited our overseas children to stay this weekend – I know their parents really appreciate it!
16th November 2018
We had 57 children sleeping in the house on Saturday night after our ever more popular Halloween Roller Disco. Out came the costumes, on went the face paint and roller blades then the party began!
Tim Wheels (yes that is his real name!) ran the evening superbly, with his various games, prizes, lights and loud music.
Thoroughly exhausted and with a few blisters, the children scrubbed off the face paint in the showers and flopped into bed. All our guests and regular boarders were very good and the house soon fell silent. However I gather there were ‘dorm raids’ first thing on Sunday morning – all part of the boarding experience!
Once we had said farewell to our guests, we all walked around the golf course with Woody to appreciate the beautiful Autumn colours and God’s creations.
The rest of the day was spent ‘chilling’ – watching TV, playing games and eating!
A perfect Sunday!
9th November 2018
Fresh and rested, the children returned ‘full of beans’ on Sunday night – I loved how excited they all were to see each other!
Woody was excited to see the children too – he’s had a very quiet half term with me and Mr Coles. We did lots of very long walks together and I couldn’t get enough of the amazing Autumn colours.
Jenny and William joined our busy boarding house on Sunday; both are delightful children and I am sure they will soon make lots of friends.
Year 8s came back straight into exams, poor things! They have worked very hard all week and are looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend.
The photos that were taken at the photo shoot before half term have arrived and look brilliant.
19th October 2018
Whilst Mr Coles was travelling around the war memorials and graves of the Somme and Ypres in a 1911 Thornycroft, we had a lovely time here in the glorious autumn sunshine.
On Saturday the children got their prep done after lunch then spent the rest of the afternoon outside playing. After chapel on Sunday I took a few children down to a horse chestnut at the bottom of the golf course tree to collect conkers – Mr Powis’ drill and string was found and conker matches began again!
Around midday we set off for Frankie and Benny’s and the Odeon in Tunbridge Wells. We had a good lunch and the children were very well behaved; we then strolled next door to see ‘Johnny English Strikes Again’. It was such a funny film; I managed to stay awake and actually laughed out loud.
Now we are on the home straight towards a restful half term. I hope you have a lovely break!
12th October 2018
I had a particularly exciting exeat weekend. I went to London to see Sister Kate’s eldest son James’ latest play ‘Hedgehogs and Porcupines’, which was performed in a pub in Islington. It was brilliant; a great script performed by two people in a tiny theatre. My two children met me there as they’d known James since they were in the Vinehall Pre-Prep together.
All the boarders retuned on Sunday night in high spirits.
Eugenia celebrated her birthday on Thursday with a party and cake in Hurricanes.
The boarding hoodies arrived this week and look brilliant. The refurbishment of the two dormitories are continuing and there will be a big reveal of Eagles soon.
We’re all looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend ahead.
5th October 2018
We had four children to stay for our Open Weekend to experience the delights of Vinehall boarding.
The very popular Bubble Boys returned on Saturday; thankfully the weather was perfect so we were able to use the Astro, which is ideal for this activity. The children had two hours of fun in the bubbles.
After a swim, free time and supper, the children enjoyed shopping at our re-stocked tuck shop. Movies were chosen and the house fell silent. I was able to nip into my flat and catch up with a bit of ’Strictly’, which is very exciting as one of my school friends is dancing this time – Susannah Constantine!
On Sunday the children made the most of their lie-in and devoured a huge breakfast. David J read the lesson very well in chapel and Mr Powis talked about ‘fighting the good fight’. This was very fittingly explained with conkers; we then joined him on the terrace where he had a huge box of conkers, a drill and string and explained the rules of conker fighting! It was a lovely scene, with all the children having such fun with this great traditional game.
We had planned a creative morning with Airfix models and art & crafts; sadly the models didn’t arrive in time but it didn’t matter because there were plenty of arty crafty things to be made. The children got so engrossed it was difficult to stop them for lunch!
The parents of our four guests joined us for a Sunday roast and then we said farewell; it was lovely to hear comments such as ‘this school is amazing’ and ‘I love it here’ as they left!
We had a fairly quiet afternoon; the children finished their prep then chose between Wii games, swimming or just chilling.
28th September 2018
After a much-needed exeat, the boarders returned on Sunday night refreshed and excited to see each other.
During the week our senior boarders attended the revision talk held by Mr Borrows in preparation for their forthcoming exams. We will be using the suggested techniques in the revision/prep sessions held every night.
We have an exciting weekend ahead with six new children coming to stay for our Open Weekend to experience the delights of Vinehall boarding.
21st September 2018
Last weekend the weather was perfect for all our outdoor activities. Saturday was spent playing football, table tennis, swinging on the zip wire and riding bicycles. We had a new order of tuck for our shop which the children enjoyed after supper. Mr Coles and Miss VT took some of our children to Catholic Mass in Battle. The house then settled down to watch a movie.
On Sunday everyone enjoyed a nice long lie-in and a cooked breakfast was devoured at 9am. Will read very well in Chapel and Mr Powis talked the children about being kind and considerate to each other.
After lunch we set off for Bedgbury Pinetum where we split into 3 groups; 2 cycling and 1 walking. I took the walkers off with Miss VT and Woody, and they played on the adventure play things around the forest. The cyclists had a great time too. We all met up at the visitors’ centre and had ice creams before heading back to school.
Kayden celebrated his 13th birthday on Tuesday with cake and treats.
It’s been a very busy start to the new term and staff and children are quite tired and looking forward to the exeat.
I hope you all have a relaxing weekend – I know I will!
14th September 2018
We have had a very busy first full week in the boarding house. I forget how much there is to learn for our new boys and girls but they all seem to get it relatively quickly!
Our first weekend was spent largely outside. On Saturday the children played in the grounds, enjoying the zip wire, football pitches, ping pong table and bikes. After supper we opened the tuck shop and the children settled down to watch a film in Hurricanes and a football match downstairs.
On Sunday we had an early PJ breakfast then set off to Groombridge where the children learned to rock climb. We had three excellent instructors and the children all had a lot of fun. It was lovely to see the children scale very sheer rock faces; sometimes they thought they couldn’t do it but, with encouragement from their friends, they managed to get to the top.
Some of the children wanted to try and climb all the rocks and would have carried on climbing all day if we hadn’t dragged them away. The sense of achievement is quite addictive.
Rather dirty and totally exhausted we shipped them all back to school for a lovely hot lasagne, showers and bed!
7th September 2018 Vinehall welcomes its new boarders
Another record-breaking start to the Michaelmas term, with 33 full boarders in the house!
We welcomed back Isabel dl L and Azilis dl T. We also have siblings of ex boarders Lucas A, Jacobo C and Miguel F. The other new boarders joining our happy house are Thomas C, David J, Eugenia D M, Eugenia G, Mariana D, Jeffrey H, Helen T, Clovis T, Rafael T, Kayden W and Jason X.
Their first supper, which is usually a quiet affair, was very buzzy with lots of excited chatter! We spent the first evening showing the children where everything is, such as fire escapes, Sister Kate and her dispensary, how to find an adult at night etc to ensure they all felt happy and safe.
The excited chatter carried on a bit after lights out, but they soon nodded off. Everyone looked so smart on the first morning in their new uniform, though we had to give a few lessons on how to tie ties!
The weekend ahead will be a mixture of relaxing at school and exploring the grounds and fantastic facilities on Saturday. Then on Sunday we are going rock-climbing in Tunbridge Wells; we did this last year and it is a great team-building activity and also very challenging.