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.