Boarding Life at Vinehall

 5th July 2019

The final week has been as frenetic as ever and with wonderful weather!  The boarders have been enjoying long balmy evenings outside on bikes, playing cricket and kicking balls around.

On Saturday we set off early to Rye Water sports for a morning of windsurfing, sailing and paddle boarding.  It was perfect weather for this and the children had a lovely time; so much so that the boarders have asked to do a whole day there with a BBQ lunch next term!

Vines’ Day was also a lovely day.  The Leavers’ service is always one of my favourite events of the year – tinged with sadness and pride at how some of the children I have looked after for the last 3-4 years have grown up into such wonderful young adults.

Mr Coles and I spent the afternoon watching the cricket – another favourite of mine.  It is no nice to see the old boys back playing for the Vines.

A while ago we told the Year 8s that they could run the boarding house for a day.  After Vines’ Day they reminded us of this rather rash promise.  So on Sunday night the Year 8s ran the house and I have to admit they did it very well and made us laugh a lot.  A few quotes from the children – Miranda:  ‘Right – all the Year 6 & 7s are in bed with lights off!’  Miguel:  ‘I have just given Curtis a strike.’

So, sadly we will be saying goodbye to Will, Aron, Miguel, Royce, Dima, Henry, Clovis, Melisa, Isabel and Isabel, our wonderful Year 8s, who have been one of our nicest  years!  We will miss them and wish them every happiness and success in the future.

I will be heading home to Catsfield for the summer; my hammock is waiting for me!

I hope you all have a restful summer.


21st June 2019

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Jane, a lovely lady who has served our suppers and looked after the boarders in the evenings so well for the last 2½ years.  Jane always greeted everyone with a smile every night and took the trouble to learn all the boarders’ names.  Jane is carrying on working with children as a volunteer helping underprivileged children. We will really miss her but wish her well for her new ventures

Ice creams on the beach didn’t sound very appealing last Saturday as the grey clouds scudded across the sky!  So Mr Coles and Miss Buckley took some Year 8s to Tesco’s Extra or (Terminal 5 as Mr Coles likes to call it) to buy ice creams.

We had a very relaxing day all in all – it was good for the children to recover from their various trips away.

The excitement grew on Sunday as we drew nearer Thorpe Park.  The weather was kind to us and no rain fell once we actually arrived.  I parked myself on a comfy sofa in a café and the children went off to scare themselves on the rides.  Mr Coles and the gappers went on a couple of rides and Mr Coles returned slightly green announcing he was ‘too old for all this’.  Mrs Barrett escorted the juniors on various rides; they all had a lovely time, including Mrs B!

When we returned to school the children ran around outside, rode bikes and played games – such endless energy!  I just hope they’ve left some for Saturday’s Sports Day.

14th June 2019

To read more about the Junior Taster boarding experience please click here 

7th June 2019 

The boarders returned in high spirits after half term – all excited to be back with their friends.

The Year 8s seemed to be keen to get on with CE so they could enjoy their last few special weeks at Vinehall.  They have been brilliant at knuckling down in the evenings for extra prep whilst the rest of the boarders have gone out to ride bikes and let off steam.

We have been busy checking and packing their bags for their various residential trips next week. The excitement will grow over the weekend as their departure dates arrive!

We will have a mixture of down time and a couple of fun trips out this weekend so the children are well rested for next week.

Rather than having a quiet week with all the boarders away, I will be entertaining Year 3s and Year 4s on a special Harry Potter themed taster night and the Year 2s will be coming to make wands, play games and have some tea with us too!

24th May 2019 

Last Friday the lucky Year 2s, 3s and 4s had a visit from ‘Hedwig’, a Great Horned Owl, who delivered an invitation to a Harry Potter evening and sleep-over at school while all the boarders are away on their trips.  There are games planned, a feast in the Front Hall, a movie (Harry Potter!) in the theatre with popcorn (don’t tell Mr Whitehead!)

On Saturday we repeated the pattern of 40 minutes revision, followed by an hour playing outside.  The Gappers arranged games of kick the can and hide and seek.  The children decided to take their Saturday night tuck outside and carry on playing rather than watch a movie.

Mr Coles asked some volunteers to do some litter picking around the grounds – they filled three or four bags.   We then had a conversation about plastic as they thought it was wrong to pick up plastic and put it in a plastic bag.  Good point!

Izzie S read in Chapel and Mr Powis talked about being fair and kind to each other.  We had one more revision session before lunch and then headed off to Hastings for Battlezone and All you can Eat Chinese.  The children really enjoyed their afternoon and returned to school for showers, nit checks and a good night’s sleep ready for exams!

It’s unbelievable that it is half term already but I am not complaining!  I have been itching to plant out my veggie patch!

Have a lovely week’s holiday!

17th May 2019 

Rest Revision and Bluewater… Click here for the round up of last weekend

10th May 2019

Everyone had a lovely extended bank holiday exeat and came back refreshed.

I know the gardeners say we need it but that’s enough rain now isn’t it? Luckily it stayed away whilst we had the whole school and boarding house photos taken.  The boarders helped Mr Coles get Woody ready for the photo shoot!

This is the time in the term where I become ‘Mrs Unpopular’ as I make the boarders to an extra session of revision after supper.  They’ve been very good each night, quickly settling for 30 minutes so that they can fit in normal fun evening activities as well.

The weekend ahead will be rest, revision and relaxation, together with the dreaded trip to Bluewater!!

3rd May 2019

Our first weekend back, although the weather was cooler, was a good one.  On Saturday the children made the plan for the afternoon.  They sensibly decided prep should come first, followed by play outside, followed by some ‘gaming’ time.  This was a good mix and everyone was happy.

After supper we introduced our tuck shop to our new boarders; they were very excited when they saw what was on offer!

On Sunday in chapel Mr Powis talked about new beginnings, spring and his favourite flowers – bluebells.  Melisa read the lesson and we all enjoyed singing together.

After lunch we headed off to Bedgebury Pinetum for our biannual mountain biking and walking.  The weather was kind to us and everyone really enjoyed their afternoon.  My group of walkers loved playing on the swings and climbing equipment.  Matron Nicola joined us with her dog.  There were two cycling groups: one hard core group, who had their share of spills and thrills, including Mr Ryan who hurt an already damaged shoulder – ooops!  And one slightly more sedate group who got lost a few times!  We all met up at the café where everyone had an ice cream.

Back at school the children begged to go outside again after supper; I am not sure where the energy came from but it was lovely to see them out having more fun.

Now I’m busy making the children’s travel plans for the first long exeat!  I hope you have a good weekend; I’ve agreed to get on the back of Mr Coles’ motorbike and join the 1000s of bikers in Hastings on Monday (#midlifecrisis?)

 26th April 2019

I’m hoping the lovely weather over the Easter weekend is a sign of what’s to come this term – the best term of the year in my mind.  The children returned in good spirits and went straight out to play.

We welcomed Adriana, Beltran and Ines (sister of Andrew who was here a couple of years ago) from Spain and Agnes from France.  They have all settled well and seem to be enjoying Vinehall life very much.

Mr Coles and I had the most amazing three weeks in Australia; not only did we pack in a lot of travelling – Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne – but we caught up with our gappers from the last eight years!  We were totally spoilt by them and their families with parties, dinner at the Opera house, sailing in Sydney harbour, theatre and zoo trips and tours of Sydney and the surrounding areas.

We also met next year’s gappers who I’d appointed the week before we left (hope we didn’t put them off!)

I’ve included photos of them all – see how many you recognise! – Click here for story and photos

For historical updates from the boardinghouse please click here