25th September 2020

Year 3

We won the Junior Form Shield! 3E have had a great week and, despite a few blips along the way (we all make mistakes after all), Mrs E was very impressed with the kind, thoughtful way everyone was sharing and playing together at tea on a rainy Wonderful Wednesday.  It turned into a Golden Tea Time!

Year 3 also stepped back in time to the days when Vinehall was not a school, but the country home of Lord and Lady Ashton (1902-1938).  The children imagined how hard life might have been for the servants – lighting fires, gardening and polishing the floors (see the photo of them pretending to polish the Front Hall’s wooden floor!  They went up to see where Lady Ashton had her bedroom (now Hurricanes, for our boarders) and then descended the grand stairs again, imagining a party and ball about to take place in the Hall.  Mrs Lomas was spot on with the sanitiser and cloth, wiping everything as we went.  Thank you!


Year 4

In Science Year 4 explored sound using tuning forks and water, making a string telephone, elastic bands and straws.  They are learning how to record their findings and draw diagrams to help explain what they have been doing.

In sewing club the children are making rugs.  They have learnt how to make the knots and created their designs.  Next week we will start the real thing!

It was such lovely weather one day, Ms Linney put some tables up outside for the children to finish things off.  They loved it.

Freddie F’s reading book was telling us all about the size and strength of different animals.  We then investigated how tall a giraffe was. Four Year 4 children are the same height as a giraffe and Mrs Barrett is the height of a lion – surprising!

18th September 2020

Year 3

Year 3 stepped back to the 11th century this week when they designed their own coat of arms for a shield which they then painted. Some chose to adorn them with jewels, others not. Mrs E loves the photos!

In English the children have begun to compose their own story based on ‘I’ll take you to Mrs Cole’ by Michael Foreman. Focus has been on interesting adjectives and correctly formed beautiful cursive script. They know that they need to keep practising, like Terry Tortoise!

Science was spent creating an Eatwell Plate; hopefully this will encourage them to check that they all have colour and variety of food types on their real plate at mealtimes.

Mathematicians make mistakes, and we have had some excellent ones this week! Counting in fifties and comparing numbers has sparked off lots of discussion and we have had several ‘clever days’, where they have come up with more than two ways to solve a problem – great thinking, 3E!


Year 4

Year 4 thoroughly enjoyed the start to their Learning Journey, ‘What’s on the menu?’  They were welcomed to the Vines Café after break, much to their surprise.  The teachers had become waitresses and transformed the classrooms.  The children were given menus and had to choose the toppings for their pancakes.  They were delightful customers.

11th September 2020

Year 3

What a super start to the Prep school!  In Science Year 3 played a competitive, fun game called ‘Diet, Riot’ in the Sports Hall.  This was part of a lesson on ‘Diet and Nutrition’ for animals (including humans).  In Maths they have worked both collaboratively, like Billy Bee, and independently, reflecting (like Ollie Owl) on how they can challenge themselves.  Oh, and a little singing along the way has helped us too!

(Ollie Owl and Billy Bee are two of our five learning dispositions.)

Year 4

We have been super busy this week and have done very well getting used to all the new routines. In Maths, we have been counting into thousands and checking we know our place value.  Horrid Henry has been running riot in our classrooms and the children have been revising adjectives and learning to extend sentences using prepositions.  At the end of the week, they took a trip to the computer lab where they put their research skills into action; they collected facts, learnt about different characters, and some of the children even thought of their own character name.  In Science, we have started our topic on Sound with a silent lesson!  The teachers thought it was wonderful and the children did really well to work out what to do without speaking.  Our Learning Journey began with a trip to the outdoor classroom where we lit fires, toasted bread and made journey sticks.  Phew – we have made it, we are learning so much, and the children are wonderful.

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


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.

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!

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


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