W/E 15th November 2019

As we enter production season, we very much look forward to our C S Lewis double bill of ‘The Horse and His Boy’ and ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.

“Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”

And the magic of Narnia links well to the Anti-bullying week that has just passed, which has seen much discussion on how each child must control their own story.  Easier said than done of course; however, each of us can focus on our role in achieving a collective harmony and bring about the warmth of Spring in ours and others’ lives.  Our children have responded brilliantly to this and Vinehall flourishes.

We all love a great story, especially those where good may struggle before it prevails.  Please join us in the Chaplin Theatre in just under two weeks to enjoy our victory over the White Witch of Winter!

W/E 8th November 2019

The second half of the term kicks off with the two parallel pastoral themes of ‘dissent’ and ‘anti-bullying’. My challenge to the children in this week’s assembly was to pull together, to be supportive and to show unlimited kindness and tolerance in all that they do. I have asked them to be bright, warm and colourful in character – each of them adding to the whole-community picture of positivity and charitable spirit.

It is a time to step out of the shadows; it is a time to be heard; and a time to do your best for the benefit of others.

W/E 18th October 2019

Following the courageous and wonderfully executed ‘Eco’ presentation on Monday by three of our senior warriors – Milly D, Freda H and Izzie S – I would like to challenge the school over the half term break to make a difference.

Every small effort in each one of our homes will surely go a long way.  As our girls reminded us: How could we save on energy? How could we cut down on our use of plastic? Could we compost and recycle more?

I look forward to hearing of the children’s ideas and efforts on their return.

Have a wonderful half term break!

W/E 11th October 2019

‘Is it hard to be really good?’

A wonderful and deeply searching question posed by one of our 7 year olds to our visiting Olympic gold medallist on Tuesday.

Helen Richardson-Walsh’s response was so refreshingly natural – ‘Yes, I suppose it is hard.  You see, it takes a long time to become good.’

Inspirational advice and a reminder that our children will not just happen upon success, but will need to put in the long, hard graft and will need to experience the many disappointments and failures along the way.

In the instant society that our children are growing in today, we need to remind them that it is ‘OK to be slow’ and it is ‘Good to wait’.

After all, the tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in the dirt, covered in darkness and struggle to reach the light.

W/E 4th October 2019

With the Harvest Festival around the corner, we certainly have so much for which to be thankful; not least of course for our Grandparents, whom I look forward to welcoming to Vinehall on Thursday.

The clear message to our children this week from David Chaplin, former Headmaster and founder of Rwanda Aid, was to look to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves.  Let us all use our skills to participate in charitable events this Autumn, just as Clara F has done in completing her triathlon.

A reminder that the Conker Competition will be starting soon, so get out and about to collect your stash over the weekend!

W/E 27th September 2019

Despite the poor role-models and shenanigans in Westminster at present, you will be pleased to hear that democracy is alive and well within Vinehall.  Over the past couple of Tuesdays we have held hustings and elections for our House Captains, where candidates were tasked to deliver an election speech and where every child made their vote.  The results of the votes are now in and the following will receive their titles and badges at the full school assembly on Monday.

Ashton – Mary K-B and Curtis Y

Paxton –   Boude I and Dexter B

Rushton – Lara S

Saxton –   Azilis de la T and Billy M

May the House rivalry continue in earnest under such fine young leaders.

Talking of fierce competition, I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing you all here tomorrow afternoon at our biennial Pet Show extravaganza!

W/E 20th September 2019

Ahead of our fortnight on a pastoral theme of Rivalry, I have been asked where I stand on the subject of competition within our school.  I replied that if we as a school were ever to dampen the competitive spirits within our children, we would not be best preparing them for their futures. Fundamental to the personal development of a child’s character and self-confidence, is a carefully managed balance between seeking success and building resilience.

At Vinehall, it is our responsibility to encourage an ethos of positive, cooperative and modest competition.  Our children will only reach their potential if they are to experience challenge and healthy competition along the way.  Therefore, and although not wishing to bring this wonderful late summer spell to an end, I ask the children to keep an eye out for their nearest Horse Chestnut trees – not long now until the Autumn battles can commence!

W/E 6th September

The blend of excitement and apprehension on a first day of a school year will ever inspire.  Our new staff were quick to comment on the happiness, warmth, insatiable energies and unifying camaraderie. The children’s return has been a sensation and I know that once any apprehension has settled, the excitement will remain, allowing for limitless opportunities to be enjoyed.

Whilst the children are listing what is new to them this year, I have challenged them to approach these changes with open minds, a have a go attitude and an awareness of how they can support others who find new starts more difficult.  ‘Pro alis optimum agere’.

I was delighted to see so many at the coffee morning on Thursday and look forward to catching up with your thoughts and news over the coming weeks.

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