W/E 29th March 2019
In French in Year 1 we talked about “La Fête des Mères” this coming weekend and how to say “Je t’aime, Maman”. Year 4 thought ahead to “le premier avril” and coloured an April Fool’s fish, “poisson d’avril” to take home.
Further up the school, Year 5 have been enjoying short stories and songs in French to consolidate what they have learned this term and hone their listening skills.
Year 6 have been imagining “ma ville idéale” and have created some lovely posters to express the conditional tense and what there would be in their perfect town: “elle serait située sur une île tropicale. Il ferait toujours du soleil et il y n’aurait pas de pollution.”
Year 7 are looking forward to their stay in Normandy in June in the Château de la Baudonnière” and under the heading of “mettons la table!” have been learning how to ask for cutlery and different food and drink they will be able to enjoy in France.
Year 8 are fine-tuning their exam technique in all four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as vocabulary learning for their oral test topics for mid May. Bonne Chance!
Bonnes vacances et Joyeuses Pâques tout le monde!
Year 6 have been programming with MIT App Inventor to build fully functional Apps on tablets. The drag and drop coding blocks allowed the students to create active buttons, images and text. Empowering the students to move from technology consumers to technology creators.
On Tuesday, children from Years 3 and 4 had the opportunity to show off their work and their books to their parents at the Juniors Open Morning over coffee and cake. Children whose parents could not make it enjoyed serving cake to our visitors (any parents who could not make it – please do feel free to make an appointment next term to come and see your child’s books and work!)
Year 5 have completed their newspaper articles and are fantastic! Pretty much all of them completed with semi-colons, colons, direct and reported speech with a stand-first, main body and conclusion. Year 6 have been studying the poem ‘Hope’ and produced some excellent analysis. Year 7 have been enjoying reading storm catchers analysing character and language and Year 8 are producing some very persuasive speeches to encourage more pupils to come to Vinehall; some of them are extremely creative and funny!
Year 5 have been looking at world flags!
Year 6 were examining the effects of microclimates.
Year 7 have been comparing the growing of flowers in Kenya to Salad production in Thanet Earth.
Year 8 worked on consolidation of their case studies.
There is nothing which Years 7 and 8 do not now know about Boudicca’s Rebellion, according to Messrs Peter and Dan Snow, at least! Except where the big battle actually took place; but nobody is really sure of that … One of the great turning-points in history, perhaps: what if Boudicca had actually won?!?
The re-enactment ground was provided by the grass slope outside the Classics Room. The remnants of the Rocket tree and the old steps became the woodland protecting the Romans’ flanks, and the Stable Courtyard and astro paths became the intersection of Watling Street and The Fosse Way. The vastly superior numbers of the Britons were made to count against them by the Roman choice of ground, weaponry and discipline.
Hopefully someone may remember that when it crops up as a Non-Linguistic Question in June!
Scarab beetles have appeared on the windowsill of 3E … must be from Ancient Egypt!
EAL students visit Year 3
We had such fun with the EAL seniors who came to show us some new reading games. The older children had to use their English to explain the rules of different games to little groups of Year 3 children. They left somewhat exhausted by the enthusiasm of the younger ones, and declared that it had been ‘easier’ when they had visited Reception! Thanks to Sue De Vine for organising this great hour of learning.
W/E 1st March 2019
Year 5: Identification of famous buildings in major cities eg. Shard in London, Eifel Tower in Paris
Year 6: Effect of the jet stream on our recent warm spell of weather – how long will it last?
Year 7: Continuing study of farming in GB
Year 8: The debate over HS2 and whether it is worth the money.
The Year 8s in my class have been studying the top four most famous persuasive speeches in history, as well as attempting to improvise their own speech when studying Sojourna Truth’s transcript of an unplanned speech campaigning for women’s rights in 1851.
Year 5s and 6s have been giving feedback on each others’ BBC 500 words and Year 7 are completing their 500 words next week.
EAL students from 7S have been over to the Pre-Prep to help Ms De Vine explain how to play “Trugs” (teaching/reading/using games) to Pre-Prep staff. This helps our EAL students to learn imperatives so they can give clear, concise instructions. This was so well received by both parties that a further date is in the pipeline.
In conjunction with Mrs Everist’s history lessons and shield-building activities, Year 4 marched outside for a spot of fun-in-the-sun drill. Real legionaries did that in all weathers – because they had to. They had a go at basic tactics and weapons, too. They were seen marching and following commands such as: ‘Equaliter ambula’, ‘Testudo’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Sinister’ and ‘Claudio’! Mrs E particularly liked ‘Silentium!’
Years 6, 7 and 8 are in the aftermath of exam feedback. No, I couldn’t believe you wrote that, either! But then, that is why they are called ‘Mocks’, I suppose.
Various forms had a go at Patricians to Plebs, a mobile Vocabulary and Grammar game in which pupils are promoted or demoted according to how much they can remember. This is quite important!
Year 8 have been planning their court cases as they are going to be putting King John on trial next week. King John, played by Will S in one group, made a few dubious decisions in the past and we are going to decide if he deserves the reputation that Disney and others have given him! Photos and the trial results to follow next week!
Year 8 have been practising analytical chemistry by standardising solutions. Year 6 have started to cover series and parallel circuits and Year 7 have moved on to studying the law of conservation of mass in chemistry.
On Wednesday Year 3 were keen to discuss which position in the social pyramid in Ancient Egypt they would have wanted to hold and great excitement followed when they picked randomly from ‘Carter’s pith helmet’! Orlando G held the top spot of Pharaoh, helped by his vizier, priest and scribe. Others decided they preferred being a soldier, farmer or craftsman anyway. Only the slaves were unhappy!
The theme of Ancient Egypt has also continued in English lessons this week, as the children plan their writing for an ‘explanation text’ poster, which will present facts and opinions (including their own!), posing the question: Was Tutankhamun killed?
On Tuesday, the children were lucky enough to be visited by Mr Ken Brooks, a local historian and geologist, with a particular interest in Ancient Egypt. He brought some artefacts with him and Mrs E was once again impressed with the curiosity and attentiveness of this year group.
W/E 15th February 2019
Year 8 have been looking at speed distance and time as well as quadratic sequences. Years 7 and 6 have taken their exams this week and applied themselves well.
Year 7 have been studying the Norman Conquest and 1066. In particular, the Feudal system that William the Conqueror introduced. In order to fully understand the structure of the system they have been creating their very own mobiles.
Year 3 absolutely loved making their own Ancient Egyptian Snake Game in Learning Journey this week. It was good practice at being collaborative (Billy Bee) and a real accomplishment (theme of the week!)
Year 4 were young Legionaries in Learning Journey this week. Mrs Barrett was in command! The children followed her commands in Latin, marching around with the magnificent shield they had designed and created earlier.
Children have been taking their exams and then reviewing the results of their exams! The senior children have been looking at the plu perfect passive, subjunctive and subordinate clauses. Year 4 are working studiously to come to the end of minimus and Year 5 are enjoying exploring myths and legends.
To celebrate Year 8 finishing their exams the children took a fun quiz based on French general knowledge. The Juniors have been describing (and drawing) their pets, with Year 6 spending time creating menus for their restaurants. These make “fantastique” wall displays. The Pre-Prep continue to enjoy their singing and absorbing all things French.
The children are writing up their BBC 500 Words, creative writing pieces. This is an opportunity to concentrate to imaginative content and has become a wonderful tradition at Vinehall.
Year 7 have been studying the use of the death penalty and have used that knowledge to write a discursive essay, with many children becoming very engaged with the reasoning! Year 8 debated animal testing recently. They tackled the subject with enthusiasm and produced well-researched arguments. At the end of the piece of work most children were (perhaps surprisingly) in favour of it!
Year 5 continue to enjoy playing the singing bowls in RS, as part of the topic on Buddhism.
Are all coins magnetic? This was the question that Year 3 set out to answer in their Science investigation. All the children made predictions and then discovered that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to which were magnetic and which were not. After a lot of discussion they suggested it might be to do with how old the coins were. This proved to be correct!
Before 1992, 2p and 1p coins were made from non-magnetic bronze, but since then they have been made from steel coated in copper which is magnetic. An Internet search revealed that a similar situation exists with 5p and 10p coins, which were made of a non-magnetic alloy before 2011. Since 2011, the Royal Mint began using steel in the manufacture of 5p and 10p coins so newer coins are magnetic.
The Juniors are also looking into how sound travels and what we can use to block the sound waves; cue some rather loud cymbals being crashed in the De Beer block on Friday afternoon!
W/E 18th January 2019
English – Year 4 have been having fun drawing dragon pictures and thinking up alliterative names inspired by our reading of “How to Train your Dragon” by Cressida Cowell. My favourite dragon name so far is one created by Sophia D: “Fiona the Furious”!
Science – This week in science Year 8 have been studying the displacement reactions of metals and the reactivity series. Year 7 have been consolidating work on the particulate theory of matter and its consequences for the behaviour of materials. Year 6 have been extending their study of forces by considering the phenomenon of floating and sinking.
Year 3 set up a fair test in science, to try to find out how different surfaces affected the amount of force a toy vehicle needed to move. They had some interesting predictions and results.
Year 6 Explorers!
Year 6 will be studying the theme of ‘Exploration’ in History lessons this term and they had the opportunity to explore the school grounds this week whilst taking part in an orienteering activity. It didn’t take long for the children to recognise quite how big our school grounds are, with one learner calling ‘I didn’t know we had so many hills here’ as they ran to find their next flag. Once a checkpoint was found, teams had to stamp their card, run back up the hill and answer a historical question in order to receive the next checkpoint location. Overall, a thoroughly good time was had by all, with lots of exercise, fresh air and exploration on a beautifully crisp winter’s day!
Year 7 decide who has the X Factor
Year 7 have just started looking at the Norman Conquest and they are analysing which person had the best claim to the throne in 1066. Learners acted as judges and had to represent their contestants at a live studio final, and 7CB’s Dermot O’Leary was played by Arty L who had a blast presenting the show! All three Year 7 classes decided on a different winner, though they soon found out that Harold Godwinson won the real thing. Year 7 fully embraced this activity and I am excited to explore what happened next over the coming weeks!
Year 5 have begun to learn about Buddhism in RS and Mrs Everist brought in her Himalayan singing bowl to play them. Clearing the mind is challenging!
W/E 11th January 2019
Bonne Année 2019!
French Department updates for the first week back at school
In Pre-Prep we began the year by tasting some “galette des Rois”, a sweet flaky pastry filled with “pommes” to celebrate the visit of the Three Kings at Epiphany. Pupils in each class learned how to say “Je voudrais de la galette, s’il vous plaît”, “merci” and “mmmm, c’est bon!” They took it in turns to wear the “couronne” (crown) and eagerly looked out for the “fève” (charm).
We were able to share another galette in the Prep School, this time filled with “frangipane”, and this linked well with the Year 6 topic this term of “Au Restaurant” and food and drink.
Year 8 are focusing on “chez le médecin” and “les maladies” and we have started with revision of “le corps”. Year 7 will be learning how to describe where they live, their families, homes and towns/villages. Year 5 are extending their ability to describe themselves using different adjectives and Year 4 are revising parts of the body through songs before learning clothes
W/E 14th December 2018
EAL – Year 8 EAL pupils show Year 3 how to make stained-glass window Christmas decorations, using ‘bossy’ imperative verbs.
RS – Year 3 have been revisiting the story of advent and the nativity; they have enjoyed using their creativity this week to produce some imaginative and original artwork.
W/E 7th December 2018
Geography – Year 8 pupils are doing the groundwork about cities in preparation for their visit to the Greenwich Peninsula next term. Year 7 have studied the floods at Boscastle and Robertsbridge examining the cause, effect and response to these events. Year 6 have looked at the cost and effectiveness of coastal protection schemes along the Holderness coastline. Year 5 have been summarising their work on denudation and consolidating their knowledge ready for a test!
Maths – Year 3 investigated multiplication and division in maths and some were starting to see the connection between these inverse operations.
Learning Journey – In preparation for Christmas and linking with the theme of the week, Year 3 learned about the history of the advent wreath before creating their own designs. Year 4 enjoyed learning about Celtic warriors in their Learning Journey. They had their faces painted with blue ‘woad’ and insisted on keeping this war paint on for their hockey and rugby sessions straight afterwards!
Science – 5G dissected lambs’ hearts! They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and really explored the inside of the heart.
Debating in Year 3 – George Stephenson (aka Mrs Alderson!) visited Year 3 to listen to their views on the invention of the railway as they debated the pros and cons in role as inventors, farmers, politicians, the upper class, factory owners, canal workers, railway workers and campaigners.
W/E 30th November 2018
RS – Year 4 and The story of Zacchaeus
4P and 4B have been acting out the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, in RS. The most exciting part was when they performed the story as a play outside, acting as peasants who had to pay tax to Zacchaeus (Albie and Charlie P). Zacchaeus had to climb a tree! Jesus (Sebastian and Elizabeth H) was greeted like a celebrity as he came into ‘Jericho’ and managed to persuade Zacchaeus to change his ways.
English – Year 4 were stretching their imaginations today as they imagined themselves soaring through the air like an eagle over the Scottish highlands. We watched an amazing two-minute clip of a golden eagle with a camera attached to its neck swooping and soaring over a snowy landscape as part of a lesson on “How to train your dragon”.
The children then completed a challenging crossword which included words like “mythical”, “legend”, “wingspan” and “soar”. Year 4s are enjoying imagining themselves as Hiccup, the unlikely hero of the book, entering a cave to catch his dragon. Next week, we will be drawing pictures of dragons! Watch this space…
Year 3 have been stepping back in time and discussing the invention of the railway. They have been taking on the roles of all parties; campaigners, workers, politicians, inventors and factory owners to debate the pros and cons.
Science – Years 6 have been investigating balanced and unbalanced forces. Years 7 and 8 have been looking at respiration and lung function, in particular, the effect of smoking on a healthy lung.
STEM – Children have been looking at building emergency relief shelters out of limited resources as well as the need for water filtration systems in disaster zones.
EAL – Year 8 have been preparing for their Cambridge PET exams. Children are also looking at Sherlock Holmes and The Three Musketeers in guided learning.
French – Year 6 have been learning parts of their bodies. Year 7 & 8 have been explaining their characters when using the perfect tense. There was help from Lady Gaga this week when the children watched this youtube clip of “Three Little Pigs”
W/E 23rd November 2018
RS – Year 5 have been learning about Judaism in RS. This week they tasted some of the food that is eaten at the festival of Passover – a special Seder meal. The children were interested in why certain foods are chosen (for example, horseradish is eaten to remind Jews of the bitterness of slavery that the Israelites had to bear in Egypt).
French – The children were learning using the interactive white board. Click here to view the short video of their lesson.
Latin – Taking PJ day to the maximum, our seniors enjoyed some Friday afternoon classics time watching “The Odyssey” movie.
English – Metaphorical Magic – The Year 7s had an inclusive, lively and challenging lesson taught by Francis C.
History – Year 6 have been learning about Bloody Mary and spent time this week looking at how childhood nursery rhymes can sometimes have a historical basis. Did you know that Mary Mary Quite Contrary was in fact based on Bloody Mary and referenced her inability to have children?
W/E 16th November 2018
Technology – At the lower end of the Prep School the children have been set a mission to complete the coding for their game. they are making it from scratch bu memorising code and learning “if” statements. In juxtaposition our Year 8 students are continuing with their project to achieve their own fully interactive website using html code.
Geography – After the academic rigour of exams last week Year 8 pupils enjoyed a craft lesson this week making volcanoes. Our Year 5 geographers enjoyed using ice lollies as a way of exploring glacial erosion.
French – Year 7 have been translating “Ma Routine Quotidienne” – how well can you do with this short extract?
D’habitude, tous les matins, je me réveille à six heures et demie du matin et je me léve vers sept heures. Ensuite, je me douche, je m’habille et je prends le petit déjeuner. Je n’oublie pas de me brosser les dents! Je vais à l’école à huit heures et demie. Parfois je vais à l’école à pied, mais, si je suis en retard je prends le bus.
Latin – Our year 4 Latin students have been completing their Minimus workbooks looking at colours, animals, adjectives, verbs and nouns.
History – Year 3 visited Mountfield Church as part of their learning journey into local history. Jackie Spriggs kindly showed us around and the children were great at listening and asking thoughtful questions. The pianists amongst us went into the organ loft to see how the organ is played!
W/E 9th November 2018
Maths – National Young Mathematicians’ Awards On Tuesday 6th November four of our Year 6 students entered the first round of the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards.
This is a new competition for Vinehall students so we talked about what will be expected, the format the competition would take and did a practice problem. This meant we were now ready to leave after break and travel to Ashford.
The national competition is focused around problem-solving and gave the pupils opportunities to display their collaborative skills and their fearless approach and resilience to problem-solving; trying a solution, improving on it and seeing whether there are other solutions.
The problem itself in this first round was a never seen before challenge using dice. Francesca, Matilda, Henry and Bertie were praised for their teamwork skills and we eagerly await the results to hear whether Vinehall School are through to the second round in December.
Science – Year 3 investigated whether those who did a lot of sport might have a bigger lung capacity than those who did less. This triggered a lot of discussion and, when they looked at the data they had collected, the children found that one of the smallest in the year group had the biggest lung capacity of all, and she did in fact do an awful lot of gym and swimming each week!
Fractions (are fun!) – In maths this week Year 3 have investigated which numbers can be split into thirds and quarters, hopefully seeing the link with times tables. One group had a challenge to see which numbers over 60 could divide equally into thirds, quarters and sixths. Brains were buzzing!
Literacy – Year 3 visited the Pre-Prep this week to read their own ‘Just So’ stories to the Year 2 children. Miss Bidwell was delighted to read these super compositions that her previous class had written after visiting Bateman’s in October. Mrs Everist and Mrs Hawtin were impressed with how well the Year 2s listened – thank you for letting us visit, Miss Bidwell!
W/E 19th October 2018
Science – Electricity Mayhem! To finish their electricity topic, Year 4 made switches for a simple circuit to set off buzzers. We then had a quiz all about what they had learned and they buzzed me when they knew the answer. It was very difficult to decide whose buzzer was actually going off, but they are all quite knowledgeable about electricity. – LB
Year 8 have been studying photosynthesis and learning how to test a leaf for starch, usually a GCSE assessed practical. Our children enjoyed the experience and were all successful in their experiments. Year 7 have been studying cells and cell structure and the differences between plant and animal cells. Year 6 have been looking at combustion reactions and how to present data derived from experiments in a graphical form.
Latin – Year 8 have been preparing for their exams by looking at the imperfect tense and the subjunctive. Year 6 and 7 have been looking into myths and legends with Odysseus, Cyclops cave and Circe’s palace.
History – Crazy Celts, Year 4 have started to learn about the Celts in their learning Journey lessons. On Wednesday we marched up Mount Caburn in Lewes to visit a Celtic hill fort. The views were stunning. We compared modern life to how it might have been when the Celts lived in the fort. We had a good view of the river and the children used their geographical language to talk about its features (without prompting). Miss Bridges was impressed by their knowledge. We saw where the Celts’ houses once stood, talked about the ramparts and had a battle between 4B, who were defending their fort, and 4P, who were attacking it! A lovely way to spend an afternoon. LB
Maths – Year 8 have been revising fractions and algebra for their mock exams which take place after half term. Year 7 have been continuing with number investigations. CC
EAL – Last Friday all of the overseas children had a trip to Hastings. We started off by visiting The Smugglers Caves, which was fascinating. Then we headed down to Di Pola’s for some delicious ice-creams. Finally, because it was such a lovely afternoon, they played in the park next to the beach. AN
French – Year 8 have been revisiting the perfect tense and Year 7 have been looking at reflexive verbs “washing ones hands” JA
History – Shell Shock, Norman and Camilla B surprised me last week when they brought me part of a deactivated shell from a WW2 anti-aircraft gun that they had discovered in their back garden! I am delighted to see that they are both being super inquisitive outside of the classroom. CB
W/E 12th October 2018
Science – Year 6 have been taking their test in order to obtain their Bunsen burner licences. We are pleased to say that they have all passed and now can progress onto more advanced practical work in science.
Geography – The Year 8 Geographers are writing up their fieldwork reports following their visit to the Bexhill Beach last week. Year 7 are carrying on with their topic on rivers, Year 6 theirs on coastlines and Year 5 their topic work on denudation.
RS – Last week in RS Year 3 were finding out how the harvest would have been at the time of Jesus. One of the things they did was taste figs, grapes and olives – foods that were grown two thousand years ago and still are today! Thank you, Chef Ian!
W/E 5th October 2018
STEM – We have got off to an exciting and very relevant start this term. We have been looking at different types of natural disaster and their effects and are starting to think about the recovery from such an event. Looking at Hurricane Florence and the recent Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia, the high profile recent natural disasters, has been very helpful to forge a greater understanding. We have used current news reports and video clips from different sources,including some elements of social media. In our discussions about the aftermath and recovery, we have looked back at Hurricane Katrina and in particular how we could use our Sports Hall as a recovery centre. We have been to the Sports Hall to measure its total area and calculated the surface area required by one person with a sleeping bag, pillow and holdall, so we can see how many people we could accommodate in the event of a natural disaster. I have been so impressed with the pupils’ knowledge, open-mindedness and desire to question and understand this new subject.
Poetry Day, Year 3 had a treat when Mrs Alderson came to read Roald Dahl’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears as part of World Poetry Day. The children warmed up this drama session with some fantastic games, using their bodies to make pictures of a magical forest, the big and little bears and the naughty Goldilocks, as well as group shapes to represent a bowl, a chair and a bed! They listened very well, were very creative and enjoyed themselves enormously.
Maths – Last Thursday, four Year 5 pupils – Faris A, Lorcan G, Clara F and Elizabeth G – travelled to Christ’s Hospital School for a maths challenge. Just as we arrived, the CH children were marching into lunch to the music of the school’s marching brass band, which is daily tradition of long-standing; it was very impressive. We then went into a magnificent hall where lots of challenges had been prepared. The children worked in pairs solving puzzles and completing other mathematical problems. They appeared to enjoy the event and came 14th out of 46 teams. Well done, Vinehall!
French – This week the European Day of Languages was celebrated on Wednesday 26th September. Amongst various linguistic experiences and songs, Year 4 learned a little Spanish and were intrigued to notice the similarities between the contents of their pencil cases in both languages. Year 6 learned how to greet, say their names, thank and bid goodbye in German and some pupils shared their knowledge of Danish (thanks to Daisy F) Russian (Eric R) and Greek and Gaelic (Delilah G). We are fortunate to have in our community several speakers of languages further afield than Europe and in due course we hope to celebrate our global linguistic diversity.
Geography – Our geographers have certainly been fulfilling two of the five dispositions this week, with ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Inquisitive’ coming to the fore with the Year 8 trips to Bexhill Beach and the Year 7 trips to the River Line in our school grounds. The Year 8 fieldwork is part of their Common Entrance coursework examining the relationship between stone size and proximity to the sea. Year 7 pupils were seeing if our local river met the criteria for a model river in its upper stage. All great learning and fun.
EAL – It was such a beautiful day that I decided that it would be a great idea to have our prepositions of movement lesson in our stunning grounds.
W/E 21st September 2018
We were delighted to see so many parents at Mr Borrows’ talk on our core values and changes to Common Entrance. For those of you that missed it, you can find the accompanying handouts here in the parents section.
In French, our younger linguists in the Pre-Prep have been learning about colours, numbers, pets and ages using songs to help embed their language knowledge. Bravo! We hope they are entertaining their parents on the journey home.
Our senior scientists have been looking at plant cells and were tasked with creating a 3D model as prep. The photos below show how successful this was with models being made in many mediums, including cake! Well done Year 7.
In Geography our intrepid Year 4 have been to learn about the features of a river at the Cuckmere valley. For more please click here
Year 5 have completed some amazing science prep on their topic of Space. These are displayed in the De Beer corridor and outside Mrs Gearey’s room. Please come and see it if you have a moment to spare as they have put a lot of effort into it. Mr Powis thinks it’s amazing and a big thank you to Mrs Walker who displayed it so cleverly.
Our EAL students are enjoying our new language lab facilities. These are in use by all students and we are extremely grateful for the donation of the computers.
W/E 14th September 2018
In Science, Year 5 are learning to use compasses to draw the planets. Year 3 investigated diet and grouped food according to type.
In History Year 3 visited Battle Abbey to learn all about the Battle of Hastings Click here for more
W/E 7th September 2018
Wealden Times Maths Article
See our Assistant Head, Academic’s article in the latest Wealden Times below.
SATIPS Poetry Success – for full article click here