15 May 2020

In English this week, Year 1 have been exploring Animal poetry. They have creating rhyming pairs using descriptive language. Throughout topic this week we have been discovering more about plants including using herbs in recipes, looking at plant structure and then making a 3D version. They then used the growth of a seed to create an expressive dance. Many of the children have created Big Cat quizzes after learning more about them, do you know how far lions can jump?

7 May 2020

Year 1 read ‘How to hide a lion at school’ this week and this theme ran through all of our subjects. The children started by playing hide and seek at home to see how difficult it is to hide in each room. They then used their knowledge of the school to write their own version of the story hiding a big cat in different areas, such as hiding a tiger under Mrs Stenton’s desk in the library. In science the children found out about adaptations of different animals to see how they were suited to their environment, this led to them trying to camouflage themselves in the garden! On Thursday we had a giant Live game of Phonics Bingo, this is one of the children’s favourite games at school and was enjoyed by all.

13th March 2020

Rock Formation

Mr Brooks was here again on Wednesday.  He talked about all the different types of rocks and how they were formed.  He had some great photographs and lots of different rocks and fossils that the children could handle. It linked in perfectly with the work we have been doing on Volcanoes. I hope the children have told you all about the Plasticine earths they made?

Louise Barrett


Y4 Science

This week the children have made a switch.   They will use it in a circuit, with a buzzer, next week in science when we have a class quiz.  They used their knowledge of conductors and insulators to help them.  Some were quite ingenious.

Louise Barrett


What’s inside our planet?

Year 4 followed instructions to make the earth using Plasticine.  They had to include all the layers that make up our planet.  Once they had finished they cut them in half to reveal all the different levels which they then labelled.  Great team work Year 4.

Louise Barrett

Year 3’s Wonderful Wednesday

Vinehall Junior Science Update


6th March 2020

Bronze Reading Badge

Two Year 4 children have been awarded their Bronze reading star this week which is wonderful.  They have read 10 books from the Junior reading list.  Once they have read 20 they can get their silver award and 30 books their gold.

Well done Isla McL and Isobel F.



Year 5 have been thinking about how to separate materials.  They asked questions and then investigated to help answer their questions.  They used a variety of methods including filtration, magnetism and sieving.

Musical Maestros

Miles F and Kingsley N played their pieces for me that they will perform for the house music race.  I can’t wait to hear a few more.  Such talented little things they are!  We are waiting to see who is through to the next round.

Conductors or Insulators?

Year 4 were investigating which materials were conductors and which were insulators.  They also tested a theory that not all metals were conductors.  They found out they were wrong, but that some metals were better conductors than others.

Louise Barrett

The Pharaoh rules in 3E!

Year 3 learnt about hierarchy in Ancient Egypt this week. To understand the ‘social pyramid’, Hannah W’s name was picked out of a pot to play the part of a pharaoh, while the rest of the class took on the role of viziers, nobles, priests, craftsmen, soldiers, farmers and slaves. Thanks to Miss Roberts for holding the pharaoh’s chair and keeping it stable while it was balanced on the table! (see photo!)

3E were petrologists

In Science this week 3E were petrologists; they conducted fair tests to find out whether different rock types were igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. The three tests included finding out if they ‘fizzed’ when acid (vinegar) was dropped on them, seeing if water soaked into them (permeable) and discovering how hard or crumbly the rocks were by scratching them with nails and sandpaper.  All great fun and a super lesson, helped by Mrs Lomas and an ‘old’ gapper, Miss McCulloch, who just popped in to say hello!  We kidnapped her for the hour in Year 3!

World Book Day in Juniors

Year 3 were so excited about picking a favourite story or book and illustrating it on World Book Day this week.  Mrs E was delighted to hear them all chatting in an animated way about the plot and characters in their chosen text.  They also enjoyed the poem by Jane Baskwill, ‘Open a book’.

Thank you to Miss Roberts for giving us all the idea of decorating our English room doors like this!

28th February 2020

Rock Stars!

Year 3 began their new Science topic this week – Rocks and Fossils.  They played a game called Hard Rock Challenge, classifying various rocks, before settling down to try their hand at detailed observational drawings of six different types of rock.  Finally they had to work as a team (Billy Bee) to read definitions of the rocks so that each could be labelled correctly.  One ‘rogue rock’ caused a bit of a stir amongst the group with Henry W, Teddy L, Issy DD, Zara SW and Hannah W, but all was well in the end!  Mrs E was impressed with their focus today.

Year 3 Scribes

As part of their Learning Journey topic on Ancient Egypt, 3E ‘scribes’ each created their own ‘cartouche’, adding hieroglyphs of their choice.  They planned first before drawing these pictures and symbols onto papyrus.  Mrs E loved the way they worked so independently in the lesson, accompanied by some very atmospheric music.

14th February 2020

They’re Electric 

Y4 were exploring with the electrical equipment on Tuesday.  They had to work out which circuits would make the light, buzzer or motor work.  They predicted first and then built the circuit to test their theories.  They were very good investigators.

Louise Barrett


We have been looking at architectural features by drawing parts of the school, from ceilings to drainpipes.  It is amazing what you can see when you spend time looking closely at the things we pass every day.  Gargoyles are features added to churches for the purpose of scaring away evil spirits. Year 4 used clay to model their creatures – perhaps a little too convincingly!


7th February 2020

Saving Water Collaboration

The Year 4s visited Year 2 to teach them all about the importance of saving water.  They shared their posters and then Mrs King and Mrs Barrett quizzed the Year 2s on what they had found out.  Year 4 loved being in the Pre Prep, especially as there were so many Pirates about!

Louise Barrett

Find Your Brave

As part of Children’s Mental health week across the UK this week, Years 3 and 4 have been encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and be brave and courageous like Maisie Monkey.  They have listened to a story, thought about what things they are proud of doing and being, and listened to ‘This is me’ being rehearsed by the bearded lady from the film ‘The Greatest Showman’. She was scared at the start but braved these fears and by the end of the song – wow!  We also reminded the children whom they can talk to, at school or at home, should they want.
Carina Everist

Lots of Juniors were included in this week’s Good Copy Break.  The children loved the pancakes and ice-cream served with chocolate sauce and golden syrup. As the sun was shining so beautifully the children played in the Melon Garden garden with the dogs and chickens.

Liz Powis

31st January 2020

The story of Zacchaeus

As part of their RS studies on Christianity, Year 4 have written their own script for the story of the tax collector whose life changed for the better when Jesus met him in Jericho.  Characters included butchers, bakers, fishmongers, silversmiths and a fruit seller, together with a couple of narrators, some fearsome guards and, of course, cool celebrity Jesus and a friendless Zacchaeus.

We performed the play outside as the sun shone on us!  I was so impressed with the ‘villagers’ as they improvised convincingly during tax collection time; Zacchaeus (Isla M) climbed a real tree safely in ‘Jericho’ (phew!) to catch a better view of Jesus (Victor J) over the crowd.  Finally Jesus persuaded ‘him’ to change his lifestyle and all was well.  We even captured the attention of a Year 5 class who came out to watch!  Well done 4B.

Carina Everist

Poles Apart in Year 3 Science

3E continued their magnetic investigations in science this week by doing six activities in which they explored ‘attraction’ and ‘repulsion’.  Billy Bee collaborative skills were put to the test, as well as Ollie Owl as they reflected on what they had discovered.

Nuclear Learning for Year 4

24th January 2020

RS – Singing Bowls

As part of the Year 5 studies in RS this term, the children are learning about Buddhism and have really taken to playing the Tibetan singing bowls at the start of their lessons.  This requires focus and persistence, like Terry Tortoise, never giving up; there is a definite skill needed which means it may not happen instantly!

Mummies, Mystery and More

Learning Journey: Are all coins magnetic?

This question really got the Year 3 brains buzzing this week!  It led to a further investigation from Archie M:  ‘Are cleaner coins magnetic while dirty ones are not?’  Frankie F thought it might be to do with the age of the coin, so another investigation followed and we discovered much about how the Royal Mint have changed the material from which coins are made, thus meaning we had to look at the year each coin was minted.

Great thinking like Ollie Owl, curiosity like Cassie Cat and teamwork like Billy Bee – well done 3E!

Carina Everist

17th January 2020

May the force be with you!

Year 3 have been thinking about forces in Science.  They planned fair tests to find out the answers to questions like these: Which is the strongest magnet? Are magnets as powerful under water as in air? Most of them worked super hard with their group, just like Billy Bee.  Well done, 3E!

Carina Everist

Science – Year 4 have learnt a lot about sound over second half of last term.  To complete the topic they made ear defenders to muffle sound.  They were very creative and scientific.  To start with they investigated which materials were best at muffling sound and then they created the ear defenders using the materials they thought were the best.

Louise Barrett

10th January 2020

The Gift of the Nile

13th December 2019

Imperative Verbs in Year 3

This week we have been using ‘bossy’ imperative verbs a lot! Miss Roberts organised a cooking session where the children had to follow a recipe, and on Wednesday the EAL pupils came to tell us how to make decorations. As well as this, Year 3 had to follow written instructions in English to make a special Christmas card. Mrs E has also been heard recently using quite a few imperative verbs herself! I wonder why!

Coloured beams of light

Year 3 investigated coloured light in Science, using different coloured acetate sheets to discover how the filters changed what they saw. They also mixed coloured beams of light with torches that were covered in coloured acetate. Fun!

EAL and Junior Collaboration

6th December 2019

George Stephenson (aka MA) visits Year 3!
In role as different characters from the late 1800s, Year 3 put forward their viewpoints on whether the railway was a good or bad idea. Inventors, factory owners, railway workers, politicians and upper-class ladies were all in favour. However, the farmers, canal workers and campaigners were up in arms at the monster ‘Rocket’ locomotive.  Thank you to Mrs Alderson who was, by some strange coincidence, in role herself that day!

The Force was with Year 6

In Year 6 we have been experimenting with forces, concentrating on speed, distance and time. For this we measured the time taken for a golf ball or table tennis ball to travel a measured distance on an inclined ramp to investigate the relationship between the height of the ramp and the speed of the ball.

Advent wreaths in Year 3
The theme of the week is Peace and the children have been thinking about how we can all have a peaceful and calm end of term. We have talked about the four candles in an Advent wreath, representing Love, Joy, Hope and Peace. The afternoon was spent fairly calmly (!) making individual wreaths and creating characters for a class Nativity scene. Links to our Light topic in Science were found, as we remembered Christians who believe in the Light of the world.

Year 5 Experience Passover

29th November 2019

Mission Impossible

Year 5 spent the afternoon perfecting parachutes that would help them in their secret mission!

They thought about the best material to use, the shape/size and the length or type of string.  They tested the flying ability of each parachute having changed one variable at a time.  They timed the drop three times and then worked out the average.  The aim was to create the best parachute that would allow a raw egg to fall to the ground safely.

Sadly the rain and the wind meant that the eggs fell out before the flight even began!  Oh well as scientists we are always learning!  Lucy P and Christopher N’s was the most successful, with a flight time of about eight seconds inside the building.  Well done to them and an extra good copy to their houses.

Louise Barrett

Historical Mountfield

Mountfield Visit for Year 3

22nd November 2019

Year 3 Maths

Frankie F explained and demonstrated her method of subtraction to 3E (see picture below).

Pulleys and levers and telephones

Lots of exciting science this week.  Year 5 experimented with pulleys and levers and Year 4 built string telephones and tested lots of theories with them.  Such a creative group of children.

Year 3 Poems

White Tiger

White Tiger prowling the mountains

On a dark night

The white terror of the mountains

Fishing in the river

The animals shiver

As he lumbers onto the scene

Fluffy is his fur

Growly is his voice

A white tiger

Is he the mighty one?

The Silver Birch

Down in the valley,

You gently sway

To the soft breeze in the evening,

The sun gradually fading

To a heartbeat in the distance.

Your trunk swaying slowly,

In the wind it sounded lowly,

Swaying slowly,

Swaying slowly.


Wolf as black as night

Wolf as scary as a lion

Wolf claws as big as a bear



White tiger

A white tiger up a mountain

He said

I’m getting thinner and thinner

I must find my dinner!


15th November 2019

Following Instructions:

Year 4 had a lot of fun and did exceptionally well following recipe instructions in English/cookery on Wednesday.  They worked in teams to make chocolate cakes, gingerbread men and garlic bread – all in the nick of time to take a portion of each home! The lesson was following on from studying recipes and finishing the book ‘Horrid Henry’s Birthday Party’.

Maths: Adding with renaming and regrouping

Year 3 continue to develop good communication skills as they use the base ten Dienes blocks to show the addition of three digit numbers.

Science: Year 4’s Day Out

Click here for the full story

Drama in RS with Year 4

As Year 4 continue to explore the miracles of Jesus, as part of their lessons about Christian beliefs, they acted out the story of The Paralysed Man.  Needless to say, no holes were made in the roof of the De Beer block!  Arthur G was very trusting as his ‘four friends’ (Max, Kingsley, Alessandra and Grace) lifted him on his ‘bed’ and took him to the house where ‘Jesus’ (Orlando) was holding forth, ably assisted by one of his friends, Theo.  The ‘crowd’ were all narrators and improvised very willingly, as ever in role play lessons!  Hopefully this story will now be one that the children remember for a long time.  Mrs E certainly will!

Just So Stories  – Year 3 visit Year 2

Having composed their very own ‘Just So’ stories, Year 3 visited the Year 2s this week to read them aloud, as Rudyard Kipling intended his own to be read. The Year 2s were very appreciative and offered some positive comments:

‘I like the beginning – Many, many moons ago …’

’That was a good part where the parrot got his colours in the tree’

‘I liked: It was a magical, misty morning …’

Thank you Year 3, and also Pre-Prep and Mrs King, for allowing us to come. It was ‘JUST SO’!

8th November 2019

Let there be Light!

Year 3 have begun to explore a new topic in their Science lessons – LIGHT.  They undertook a variety of investigative tasks this week discovering, amongst other things, that ‘Darkness is the absence of light’, ‘Light travels in a straight line’ and ‘We need light in order to see’.  Much interactive learning took place in the classroom, involving torches, boxes, bubbles and more!  They particularly enjoyed seeing white light refracting into seven colours; thank you to Dr Moore for setting up the prisms and lamp in the Science ‘dark room’ upstairs.

18th October 2019


Year 5 pupils enjoyed an ice lolly whilst learning about glacial erosion.  Quite a current issue with the recent visit of HRHs William and Kate to Pakistan.

Nick Butcher


Shadow experiments for Year 5 with the only bit of sunshine we have had all week and edible homework.  Space themed biscuits – what a delicious lesson we had!  Thank you Year 5.

Charlie P very cleverly made a very realistic moon out of a poppadom.

11th October 2019


Muscles need oxygen – Year 3 discover how much their lungs hold!

Breathing deeply in Year 3 was part of Science this week, as part of our topic, ‘Animals including humans’.  Setting up our own equipment (helped by Sister Kate’s sterilising Milton to clean the tube each time!), the children measured their own lung capacity.  Thanks to Mrs Lomas for ably controlling the five litre bottle and long tube! Collecting data is such fun!

Dem Bones, Dem Bones …

Year 3 have been finding out about bones in Science and, along with new vocabulary and facts, they have made their own dancing skeletons! Next it will be muscles …

Life Skills

Year 3 had to cooperate and work as a team this week to make carrot cars.  We had to discuss ideas, listen to each other and take turns to build our cars, before testing them out to see which ones rolled the furthest.  Some were more successful than others but we all had lots of fun and enjoyed working as a team.


The Cuckmere River

Finally Year 4 managed to go on their trip!  The sun didn’t quite shine, but it didn’t rain and it was a mild day and perfect for our visit.  However, it was rather muddy (sorry about the tracksuits) and quite flooded, but we could still see the features of the river.

We had lunch on the beach and then the children sailed the cork boats they had made in the morning.  On our return we found the ‘best conker tree ever’ and the children doubled the weight of their backpacks with conkers.

They were all beautifully behaved and it was a pleasure to be in their company.


Louise Barrett

4th October 2019

Year 3 collected data to answer the question, ‘Do some people have stronger muscles because they use them more?’ Year 3 counted their sports sessions per week, including the weekends, and then we counted (as accurately as we could!) how many star jumps they could do before collapsing in a heap!  Much scientific deliberation followed and we recorded the results in a class scattergram, but used stickers to mark the spots as it was No Pens Day! Great fun and a lot of learning – well done Year 3!
House Rivalry

The Juniors in Year 3 and 4 headed down to the outdoor learning area by the fire pit on No Pens Day for some collaboration and rivalry in the woods.  In their Houses, they worked well as teams to forage for a long list of items such as ‘something fluffy, something yellow, something beautiful’, before displaying these in an imaginative way for us to see.  Hot chocolate and marshmallows proved a popular treat as we sat around a flickering fire under the dappled leaves in our lovely grounds.


Year 4 have been learning about illuminated script this week and Mrs E was very impressed with their focus.  They designed some intricate and detailed patterns which they wove around their initials, to the accompaniment of some calming Latin plainsong.  The choir on the recording certainly helped them to stay in the ‘green zone’, ready to listen and learn.

Year 3 tasted figs, olives, grapes and dates as they imagined what it must have been like in Israel two thousand years ago.  Some children ate everything and some tasted things and then spat them out!  All a learning curve for them.  Oh the joys of being a Year 3 teacher – and not a writing implement in sight!

27th September 2019


This week we looked at how matter can change its state by adding heat or by cooling.  The children predicted what would happen to yellow and blue ice cubes and they all used a thermometer to read various temperatures around the classroom.


Year 5 have started exploring Judaism and have been revising stories from Year 4.  In 5PA Milo P was ‘God’ and Albie G ‘Abraham’, while Rosie D was an ‘angel’ telling Albie not to kill ‘Isaac’ up the mountain.  In 5PW Rafe acted as ‘God’, Alfie was ‘Abraham’, Lucy Platt ‘Isaac’ and Christopher N another ‘God’!


Please see our write up on the Junior mathematicians who took part in the St Andrew’s maths challenge this week. Please click here 

20th September 2019


We had a great Year 4 science lesson exploring gases this week.  We acted out how each state would behave, felt gases and even managed to weigh them!  It was great fun and the children worked hard (with a little nagging) to record what they had discovered.

Learning Journey:

In Year 4 Learning Journey we used the tablets to try to track a river from the mouth to the source.  It was rather challenging and not many succeeded, but they did learn a lot along the way.

After their trip to Battle Abbey School last week, Year 3 painted their own shields in Learning Journey this week, having studied some pictures first to look at the different designs possible.  Mrs E was impressed at how calm and ready to listen and learn the children were during this practical lesson (they were all in the ‘green’ zone!).  The results are shown below – what a variety of designs!

13th September 2019

Learning Journey:

Step Back in Time with Year 3

We travelled back in time to Battle Abbey school where ‘Brother James’ met us for a tour and quick history lesson on the Abbott’s Hall, the Battle of Hastings and weapons used at the time.  With some super-attentive children and chocolate rocky road for a snack, this was a great start to our Learning Journey topic of local history and geography.  Thanks to Mrs Payne for driving the time machine for us!


Science – Animals including Humans – Year 3

After a game of Diet Riot in the sports hall, sorting omnivores, carnivores and herbivores, Year 3 collected data from a fictional character before presenting this as a bar chart.  One group found out how much sugar in a week the person consumed, while the other group counted the number of portions per week of fruit and vegetables that she had in her diet.  It was an eye-opener to the children how much ‘hidden’ sugar is contained in different food types! Great team work, Year 3!

Y4’s Science topic is States of Matter – quite tricky!

We spent much of the lesson exploring different materials and talked about what ‘state’ they were in.  It was very messy, but great fun.  Thank goodness for Mrs Lomas (except for when she confused jam with honey!)

Louise Barrett

In Science Year 3 collected DATA to answer the question, ‘Do some people have stronger muscles because they use them more?’  Year 3 counted their sports sessions per week, including the weekends, and then we counted (as accurately as we could!) how many star jumps they could do before collapsing in a heap!

Much scientific deliberation followed and we recorded the results in a class scattergram, but used stickers to mark the spots as it was No Pens Day! Great fun and a lot of learning – well done, Year 3!

Y5’s Science topic is Earth and Space

What a great topic this is.  I hope everyone has handed in their slip about our trip.  By now all of Year 5 should have learnt the names and the order of the planets from the sun.  I wonder if they have found out any other interesting facts?

Louise Barrett