25th March 2022

Our boarders had a lovely trip to Temper Temper chocolate last weekend – it’s always a firm favourite as lots of chocolate is involved!

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

18th March 2022

Over the last week, our boarders have been busy making smoothies, celebrating birthdays, visiting London and enjoying lots of Sport using our fantastic facilities.

4th March 2022

Last night, Miss Sinclair was found tucking a number of hot water bottles into the Y8 girls’ beds as a treat – Don’t forget the housemistress! Thank you for thinking of us Miss Sinclair.



We are also very lucky to be joined by Mr Anandarajah, an old school friend of Mr Nash, who has kindly agreed to be a gapper for us until the summer holidays.  He has made an excellent start and
on Friday night the children went for a swim before toast and hot chocolate.

After clubs on Saturday, the boarders completed their preps and then decided they wanted to cook again, so I took half the group to make chocolate crispy cakes, whilst Mr Nash and Mr Anandarajah had the other half doing a scavenger hunt, we then swapped groups.  The boarders then relaxed in Hurricanes until supper.

Sunday morning was very relaxing too, we had our Pyjama breakfast followed by hockey on the astro.  After lunch, we headed off to the Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne where the children had a wonderful time scrambling over the aqua challenge (a floating bouncy castle!)

We now have an exeat which seems very close to half term due to the power cut but I don’t think the children mind!


11th February 2022

Last Saturday we split the boarders into two groups; one made chocolate chips cookies with me and the other group did arts and crafts with Mr Nash, before swapping.  The evening was spent relaxing and playing games in Hurricanes.

On Sunday morning we joined the congregation at Mountfield Church for their Candlemas service.  Our boarders pretty much ran the service: Iciar read the lesson; Henry and Charlie P read a piece explaining Candlemas; and Pablo, Maria, Paula, Ysabel and Patrick all read the prayers.  I was so proud of them all as they read so beautifully and I know some of them found standing up to read in public very scary.  So well done all.  Mr Powis has awarded them all extra tuck after half term!

After lunch we went to Ordinary Climbers in Hailsham.  Such a good place; children love it there and the people running it are so nice and friendly.

I hope everyone has a great half term.  Mr Coles and I are off to Portugal for our twice-postponed holiday, where we will be celebrating his 60th birthday in the village where he grew up in the Algarve!

4th February 2022

We managed to pack quite a bit in last weekend.  After clubs and lunch the boarders completed their various preps and, as the sun was shining, we took them around the golf course for a walk with Woody.  Mr Coles, Mr Nash, Pablo P, Charlie P and Henry P all headed off to Bedgebury to make the most of the dry weather and to have some fun on the mountain bike course.

After a hearty supper of spaghetti carbonara, the children devoured the tuck shop and settled down for a movie.

Sunday began with a lovely breakfast; just the kind of fuel ones needs to face Bluewater!  The children were very good, we didn’t lose anyone and they all had a great time shopping.   Luckily it was still light when we got home so they were able to enjoy some fresh air and play outside for an hour, before they all flopped into bed for a good night’s sleep!

28th January 2022

The children came back from the exeat rested, re-fuelled and excited to see each other.  Ysabel joined us from Spain and she has settled in really well, probably helped by the fact that Berta and Paula gave her a virtual tour of Elephants and Hurricanes last term!

We have opened up again for flexi-boarders, which has been great this week; it adds a new dimension to the house and our full boarders really enjoy it when their friends come in for a night or two during the week.

We’re off to the glorious Bluewater this weekend – back on the list by popular demand!

If the weather stays dry Mr Coles and Mr Nash will be taking a few keen cyclists to Bedgebury for some technical mountain biking too.

21st January 2022

Last weekend was a perfect mix of fun and rest.  A few of the boarders and Mr Nash were delighted that the shooting club was on.  They had a great morning shooting – all doing really well.

On Saturday after lunch the children completed their prep.  This was followed by a scavenger hunt prepared by the gappers.  This involved working out clues and taking photos of the answer.  This did cause some discussion as to who won – the group who took a long-distance photo or the group who got up close to the final answer!

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing before tuck shop was opened; Patrick earnt himself extra tuck for wiping tables after meals without being asked.

On Sunday we had a very chilly chapel service during whichIciar and Pablo read very well.  This was followed by some card making in Hurricanes.

After a delicious roast lunch we headed off to Urban Jump where the children and gappers bounced for a couple of hours!  After toasties, nit checks and Covid tests we all flopped into bed ready for a good night’s sleep.

14th January 2022

Due to our Spanish boarders staying at home to celebrate the Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Magos (the Festival of the Three Magic Kings), our boarding house started the term very quietly!  However, we were delighted to welcome Kenneth in Year 4 as a weekly boarder and he has settled in very well.

We also welcomed Millie Wootton and Francis Nash  – it is the time during my tenure that we have no Aussie gappers.  It is unusual not having to debate Marmite versus Vegemite or discuss the Ashes over breakfast!

We had a lovely first weekend back at school.  Despite the vile weather on Saturday, we managed to entertain the children with games in the sports hall and Wii challenges in Hurricanes.

On Sunday we took the children to see ‘Encanto’ at the Odeon in Hastings, followed by a visit to Pizza Express – the film was great fun and everyone really enjoyed the meal.  After lunch we went for a stroll along the beach.

Berta, Iciar, Maria and Pablo all came back on Sunday evening and it was wonderful to see their smiling faces.

10th December 2021

Our last weekend was packed with lots of fun.  The children enjoyed toast and hot chocolate in Hurricanes on Friday night.  As there was only shooting club on Saturday, I took a few potters to finish off in the art room.

We then met up for lunch and to make plans for the afternoon.  The gappers had a group each, one to rehearse their play and one to go over to the sports hall.

After supper we threw our annual Christmas party, with games including ‘chubby bunny’, eating doughnuts hanging on string with no hands, the chocolate game and many more.  The children finished the party off with some dancing and balloon popping!  They then all fell into bed exhausted and happy.

We started Sunday off with a lovely lie-in, followed by a hearty full English breakfast.  This was followed by some pre-packing and dorm tidying.  After games of volleyball and basketball in the sports hall we were all ready for roast beef.

The girls then spent the afternoon in our flat having a pamper party whilst watching Grease; whilst the boys played Fifa – gender stereotyping by default not design!

Our boarders had a great night at the dinner dance on Thursday; they looked lovely and behaved impeccably!

We do hope our departing overseas pupils will make sure to keep in touch with us.  It has been delightful having you as part of our boarding family.

Happy Christmas to you all!

3rd December 2021

Last Sunday we braved the crowds at Bluewater for some Christmas shopping.  The children were immaculately behaved and checked in with us at the allotted times.  They shopped and shopped but I was delighted to see that all the gifts were bought for their families and not themselves.

The children decorated the boarding house tree on Monday night – sadly I missed the fun but it looks lovely.

26th November 2021

After a much-needed exeat we are now hurtling towards the end of term and all the festive fun that brings!

The boarders will be starting the season of good cheer with Christmas shopping at Bluewater this weekend.  The trip that used to give me sleepless nights and Mr Coles headaches has now turned into one of our (favourite is a word too far) more exciting days out!

19th November 2021

The boarders had a very nice Saturday; once prep was done they were entertained by the Gappers, who challenged them to a game of Taskmaster.  They could then choose to play games, watch TV or just chill out in Hurricanes.

On Sunday we had a mini Remembrance service around the flag pole.  Mr Powis played the Last Post on his trumpet and we observed the minute’s silence.

Then we set off for Brighton Amex stadium to watch the Brighton and Hove women’s team, The Seagulls, play Leicester City.  It was a terrific atmosphere and our pitch-side seats made it all the more exciting.  The match went into extra time and, in the last five minutes, the Seagulls scored (1-0) which rounded off the afternoon perfectly!  I must confess I know nothing about football but it was brilliant fun!

Follow this link to hear the chanting: Click here

We are all looking forward to the exeat weekend and a chance to re-charge ready for all the Christmas fun to come.

12th November 2021

The boarders have had an amazing week.

Last weekend we had a record 64 children in the house, who all had a great time at the roller disco.

They were very good at bedtime and didn’t wake too early in the morning.  Once we had said goodbye to our visitors on Sunday the boarders settled to prep and music practice.  We cancelled our bowling trip as everyone was tired and wanted to stay at school.  Miss Sinclair umpired a netball match in the morning, which was very successful; the boys won having never played before!  The afternoon was spent with a mix of games on the Astro and chilled time in Hurricanes with games, movies and tuck.

On Thursday Ms Newcomb and I took the boarders to London, where we visited the Harry Potter photographic museum in Covent Garden, followed by lunch and then to the Novello Theatre to see ‘Mamma Mia’.  The whole day was brilliant; the children absolutely loved it all and were very well behaved.  It felt so good to be in London again (I think I was last there two years ago!) and fabulous to be in a theatre with live music and dancing!

5th November 2021

It was lovely to welcome the boarders back to school on Sunday, night refreshed and happy to be with their friends again.  A few of our Spanish children were even sporting lovely suntans!

Blanca bought Woody some Spanish dog treats which he is very happy about.

We’ve got a busy weekend ahead with the fireworks tomorrow and the Halloween roller disco on Saturday.

15th October 2021

We changed our usual arrangements for the weekend and instead went roller blading on Saturday in Eastbourne.  The children really enjoyed their hour or two of skating.

On Sunday we joined Pre-Prep children, parents and staff for their Children in Need/Countryfile ramble around the grounds.  There was an excellent turnout for this beautiful walk; I know I sometimes take it for granted as I walk Woody every day, but we really are lucky to have these splendid grounds.

The boarders were rewarded for their help with the ramble with a meal at Simply Italian in Rye.  They were perfectly behaved and didn’t leave a crumb of food on their plates!   We also walked along Rye harbour wall and had an impromptu talk from a man from the Sussex Wildlife trust about our oceans, plastics etc, which was very interesting.  The children then paddled in the freezing October sea!

Before we can disappear for a much need half term break the children will be dressing up for the Halloween day, which will be a dress rehearsal for the Roller disco on 6th November!

I wish you all a lovely couple of weeks.






8th October 2021

Once all prep was finished on Saturday, the boarders split into groups; one group decided to do some theatre skills with Mr Howard whilst the others went to the sports hall for a kick around with Mr Harrison.

After an early supper Mrs Powis took our Catholic children to Mass in Battle. She reported back that they all behaved impeccably. When they returned they collected their tuck and settled down to watch a film.

We tried another new venue last weekend – Ninja Warriors in Eastbourne. The children spent a frantic hour leaping from one obstacle to another or swingging from monkey bars.

I discovered that Ninja Warriors was in the Eastbourne shopping centre which had some decent shops, so the boarders agreed that we should do our bit for the planet and return there for Christmas shopping rather than driving all the way to Bluewater. Into the deal would be another session as a Ninja!

We returned to school for some free time and the boarders’ favourite meal – toasties!

1st October 2021

After the much-needed exeat, the children returned full and beans and with arms full of tuck!!

Alvaro and Paula were made boarding prefects on Monday and I’m looking forward to the continued help and kindness they have displayed in the house.

The boarders’ hoodies arrived and already I’m making another order for our ever-growing flexi boarding cohort.

Our Halloween Roller Disco was advertised on Monday and I am delighted to say the house will be full on 6th November; I am sorry for those who have missed out this time.

Next weekend we are off to sample Ninja Warriors in Eastbourne; judging by their website and recommendations the boarders are set for a fun day out.



24th September 2021

The weather is still amazing and the children are loving spending so much time outside – long may it last.

Most of our boarders tried their hand at clay pigeon shooting on Saturday morning; there were some excellent shots by all accounts. The afternoon was spent on bikes and chilling in the sunshine. The gappers took the children over to the theatre for a movie on the ‘big’ screen after supper.

On Sunday morning we joined Mr Powis for a slightly different chapel.  With some excellent team-work, we managed to empty the chapel and give it a spring clean after a heartily sung hymn and a prayer.

We discovered a great climbing centre in Polegate for our boarders’ outing after lunch – Ordinary Climbers.  It was really well run, as it had many different walls with varying grades of difficulty. The instructors were brilliant and the facilities were excellent – we shall definitely be back!

After celebrating Alvaro’s birthday, we have a much need Exeat to look forward to this weekend, with Jordi’s next week.  I hope you all have a lovely relaxing weekend.

17th September 2021

It has been a busy start to the term but the children have settled into a rhythm and look as though they have been here for years!

Our second weekend was spent playing on bikes in the sunshine and appreciating our wonderful grounds.  We had a surprise visitor in the afternoon, Donald Hayes, who was the first ever boy at Vinehall in 1938.  He was a lovely 90 year old man, with lots of amazing memories.  He made Mrs Powis and me quite emotional!  He enjoyed looking at the shields on the landing and recognised quite a few of his contemporaries.

The children enjoyed a lazy Saturday night with tuck and a movie.  After a much-needed lie-in and a delicious breakfast on Sunday, we went to chapel where Mr Powis talked about the Vinehall motto ‘To do our best for the benefit of others’.  We spent the afternoon at the Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne racing about on the aqua challenge and in their fun pool.

We treated the children to McDonalds for supper, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

10th September 2021

At last school life feels normal again and, once we’d got the PCR tests done, there was no more talk of the awful Covid.

We have given a very warm welcome to a lovely new group of boarders.  Everyone has settled in remarkably well and quickly.

Our first weekend was spent playing games on site; the children enjoyed getting to know the school and bonding with each other. Their eyes were like saucers when we got the tuck shop open after supper!

On Sunday morning Joff Powis took our Chapel service and we SANG; the children sang loudly and beautifully – it felt so good!  Mr Powis talked about us all being kind and looking after each other in our new family.

After lunch we went to Bedgebury; it was a lovely warm September afternoon.  Unfortunately Maria fell off her bike on one of the trails, but Mrs Powis came to our rescue and I got her to hospital where a greenstick fracture was diagnosed.  She was very brave and luckily the hospital were amazingly quick.

This week the house began to fill up with flexi boarders again and everyone seems to be in the rhythm of boarding life.

Quelli Coles

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