27th November 2020

Year 3

Year 3 and Year 2 had a meeting on Teams this week; it was lovely to see each other remotely! 3E told Year 2 about their ‘Just So’ stories.  Charlie C, Amelia A and Rosie A read theirs out. Then one of Year 2s read her story to us!  Mr Eglington was on hand to help with any technical issues. Thanks Mrs Garwood and all the lovely Year 2s; 3E hope to see you again soon.

For some of Year 3, this week was also their first visit to our Children’s Chapel at Vinehall; they have been learning about the features of a church in Learning Journey. They liked the calm, peaceful atmosphere and were excited to see twinkling lights on the outside, which our lovely groundsmen had just put up while they were inside!

Year 4

The story of the tax collector, Zacchaeus, was acted out with great emotion by both Year 4 classes this week, in their RS lesson.  Zacchaeus (Max P and Freddie F) can be seen up a ‘tree’ (aka Barry!) in Mrs E’s classroom.  The crowd in Jericho are truly shocked that Jesus (Archie M and Tom G) has said he is popping round to Zacchaeus’ house!

Year 4 have are investigating what speeds up evaporation.  They have some good ideas already.

Year 5

Year 5 have been exploring Judaism this term and in their last lesson they had a chance to taste some of the foods that would be eaten at a Seder meal, in Passover. There were mixed reactions to the horseradish!  Thank you to Chef Matt for preparing the food – we are so lucky to have him at Vinehall!

Year 5 worked on pulleys and levers.  They did lots of investigations and there was some really good team work.

20th November 2020

Year 3

Scissor Control!

Year 3 have been endeavouring to improve their cutting skills while making their own mini jigsaw of the British Isles. Then some of 3E wanted to use the Maths Dienes blocks to construct a ‘skyscraper’.

O Best Beloved, once upon a time, many, many moons ago when the first shooting star fell, there was a fabulous, fantastic form called 3E who composed their own Just So stories.

‘How the Slug got his Slime’, ‘How the Toucan got his Beak’, ‘How the Peacock got his Feathers’, ‘How the Rainbow Fish got her Colours’

…These are some of the titles Year 3 chose when asked to write in the style of Rudyard Kipling. Repetition, alliteration and humour were all included, and they read them to everybody with great confidence. Mr Kipling would be proud – Mrs E certainly is.

Year 4

In Year 4, we have been thinking more about supporting local businesses for the fictitious restaurants that we are creating.  This resulted in a lesson about carbon footprints.  We thought about the things we could try to improve upon and we reflected on the ways in which we already care for our blue planet. We are learning to use the term ‘sustainable’ and thinking about how we can keep our natural world going in a healthy way.  Turns out we have some wonderful sustainable practices at home!

We have also begun to focus our learning on the past!  We are still working hard on designing and preparing our fictitious restaurants. This week in History, we considered a famous historical person who we might like to invite to our restaurant.  We realised that they may not be interested in cheese burgers and pesto pasta, so we researched the time periods of the Romans, Ancient Egyptians and Tudors and then designed a delicious menu that included food from each era.  We look forward to having Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Henry Tudor to our restaurants in due course!

This week in science the Year 4 children were exploring what happens when you heat up or cool down a solid, liquid and a gas. We had coloured ice cubes, salted ice cubes and thermometers. I wonder if the children could tell you why I showed them salty ice cubes and what happened?

Year 4 also spent some time thinking about Anti-Bullying week and what it means to be a true friend.

13th November 2020

Year 3

Mrs E and Mrs Lomas had to lend a helping hand to cut the carrots! Thank you to Chef Matt for supplying us with the biggest carrots ever.  3E discovered there was more than one way of solving a problem, as they listened to each other’s ideas in this Life Skills lesson.  Although some groups seemed to gel more easily than others, they all learned a great deal as they designed and created their cars.

3E have continued exploring their Science topic ‘Light’.  They predicted which colours would show up more easily in the dark before carrying out an investigation.  This involved a ‘dark den’ – very popular!  Crawling into another dark den and shining a torch on high visibility materials, mirrors and reflectors showed the children how important it is to wear the correct clothing and gear if they are walking or riding a bike in the dark.

They have also been learning how to play chess in their after school activity.

Year 4

This week we were investigating gases.  The children blew up balloons and weighed them; they tried to crush sealed and unsealed bottles; they played a game to smell Vicks; and they watched air escape from sponges and from rocks.  It was great fun and even the children working from home managed to investigate.

Year 4 have been learning about food miles.  They have calculated how far some of our food travels to get to us – a long way!  We have learnt how to read the packaging of food and used this lesson as an opportunity to think about what we decide to buy.  We know that food miles have a great impact on our environment.  A close friend of mine runs Mini Mouthfuls, the fudge shop in Battle.  Juliet makes the fudge in her shop and buys all the ingredients locally.  She gave us some fudge to share so that we could sample some local delights.  It was yummy!

Year 5

Y5 are learning all about Forces. They have several missions to complete, but their first is to design a parachute to allow an egg to fall safely to the ground!  The photos are of their prototypes.  They are doing lots of testing first in order to create the best parachute with all the knowledge they have learnt before dropping their egg.

6th November 2020

Year 3

New Science topic for Year 3 – Let there be light!

Mrs E was delighted to be back in school with Year 3 on Monday.  The afternoon was spent investigating light; the children worked well like Billy Bee to explore and understand how light travels and how it can refract when shining on certain surfaces. Some comments overheard in the cloakroom after the lesson:

‘The dark den was so cool inside – the CDs went all colourful with the torch’.

‘My bubbles had rainbow colours on them when I shone the torch’.

‘I could spin my whizzy wheel!’

‘That was the best lesson’.

Thanks to Dr Moore for setting up some prisms to show refraction. There were some super diagrams after this!

Year 4

Year 4 have started their topic on solids, liquids and gases.  They explored different materials by touching, mixing and generally making a lot of mess.  They had to decide if something was a a solid or a liquid; it wasn’t always as easy as it sounds.  The jelly and shaving foam were particularly interesting!

Plus, Frankie F was the first to finish her rug in the Year 4 sewing club.

In Year 4 English, we have moved on to a non-fiction unit: Instructions and Explanations.  We have learnt that some verbs can be very bossy; they’re called imperative verbs and they tell us what to do. We have also talked about time connectives that order instructions in a sequential way. This week we enjoyed both following and writing instruction texts.

16th October 2020

Year 3

Remote learning has not stopped us in 3E. We have had an extremely frenetic week glued to our computer screens. Getting to grips with subtraction and renaming with our maths; spooky Calligram writing; finding out ‘How the camel got his hump’; and drawing gourds in Art. We even compared our very own Mr Dorman to Joseph of Nazareth and thought about the different carpentry tools each had.  Mrs Percy-White got us running around our houses so that we kept fit, which we know is very important for keeping us healthy having done our end of topic Science quiz.  We managed to squeeze in music and French … in fact learning remotely didn’t stop us at all. The book fair came to us virtually and we even entered out pumpkins into the FOV competition. We are looking forward to welcoming Mrs E back but there was no muting of our accomplishments this week! Well done team 3E!
– Harriet Parkin

We are also thrilled to announce that Carina (and ghost) are happily waving from home and feeling much better.

Year 4

To conclude our science work on sound, Year 4 have designed and made ear defenders to protect young ears from loud music. They used what they have learnt over this term to help them.

Year 5

In science for ‘no pens day’ 5F designed and made their own planets from Plasticine and then acted out the planets moving around the sun!

If you look carefully you can see Year 5 eating segments of a chocolate orange. They were learning about time zones and how the earth is split into segments so that midday in every country is when the sun is at its highest.

In Geography this term Year 5 have been learning about farming in the UK, focusing on factors that affect farming.  This week we have considered the opinions of farmers and conservationists, debating whether farmers should be allowed to remove hedgerows and whether they should be paid subsidies to protect the land.  The pupils quickly got into character and the debate became quite heated at times!

9th October 2020

Year 3

Harvest Time in Palestine 2000 years ago

In RS Year 3 have been learning about how harvest may have been in Israel at the time of Jesus. Our kind chef, Matt, prepared individual plates of olives, grapes, figs and dates for the children to try. Most were like Maisie Monkey and took a risk by tasting everything; some were not to be encouraged! Charlie C really wanted to finish off the leftovers but ‘Covid rules’ prevented him!

Year 4

Meanwhile, here are Year 4 playing games to help their mental adding of near mulitiples.

We were doing further investigations into sound, using cones to see if they made hearing better.  We also thought about why animals have larger ears that they can move.

2nd October 2020

Year 3

As part of their topic on Animals including Humans, 3E were learning about muscles.  They each collected data by counting swap jumps, then they worked out the number of sport sessions they did per week.  Recording all this in a class scattergram, they tried to answer the question ‘Do some people have stronger muscles because they use them more?’ and found out that this is probably true.

3E asked Mrs Chaplin questions in a Zoom call:

As Sally Chaplin was unable to visit and talk to Year 3 due to the ‘Covid rules’ at present, 3E were disappointed. To allow them to ‘meet’ Mrs Chaplin, Mr Eglington kindly helped Mrs E set up a ‘Zoom meeting’ with Sally in the classroom.  All the children had previously thought of and written down a question (some had several) they wanted to ask Sally about the history of Vinehall; some related to when Sally herself was the only girl pupil in Form One (c1953); others were more interested to find out about Lord and Lady Ashton living at Vinehall a hundred or so years ago.  Paxton were delighted to learn that their house is named after Joseph Paxton who designed Vinehall’s grounds.  Rushton discovered that William Rushton Adamson had owned Vinehall before the Ashtons, while Saxton were slightly miffed that their house name was just made up!  3E spoke with great confidence and all earned a ‘Cassie Cat’ sticker for their curiosity.  It was a wonderful example of modern technology at its best and we send our thanks to Mrs Chaplin for giving up some of her precious time.

Year 4

The Fabulous Fours have been working very hard on their story maps in English this week.  Using detailed drawings and vivid colouring and by adding descriptive devices, they are certainly well on their way to begin writing their ‘Stories in Familiar Settings’ – Horrid Henry style!

Year 5

The Fantastic Fives have really enjoyed immersing themselves in our first fiction unit, A Novel Study. While we are only four chapters in to Kensuke’s Kingdom, the pupils have demonstrated their love for rich literature both while reading independently and while listening to the story in class. This week we looked at the powerful descriptive language in which Michael Morpurgo captivates his audience.  We have really enjoyed sketching ‘The Island’ based on the beautiful description.


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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