Vinehall Venturers is a fantastic mix of self-development, teamwork and understanding of the greater world around us. With enviable facilities, we have the opportunity to explore nature and bushcraft, as well as develop a better understanding of the different needs of the society in which we live, enabling us to play a responsible role within it.
10th December 2021
Christmas has inspired our last few weeks of Vinehall Venturers, with intricate snowflakes last week and the more messy iced Christmas trees this week. With carefully mixed green icing, the children became very creative with ‘tinsel’ and ‘baubles’ to create their edible masterpieces. Some even made it home!
26th November 2021
The Vinehall Venturers are getting into the swing of Christmas by creating their first decorations of the year. The idea is to work in reverse to remove the coating of the card cut outs to create the lines of their own design. It took a few attempts for a few to get the idea that less is more in this situation, but all persevered and created lovely designs. Some are even hung already around the lockers in anticipation for the run-up to the festive season.
12th November 2021
The Vinehall Venturers investigated the significance of Remembrance and the poppy and it was lovely to hear of their involvement with parades in uniformed clubs.
They were given the challenge of creating their own poppy using crepe paper and pipe cleaners. Lots of wonderful methods were used, with many creating more than one to take home to commemorate those who have contributed to wars past and present.
5th November 2021
The Vinehall Venturers were excited to get back to their adventures. They showed excellent knowledge of the background of Guy Fawkes night before making their own edible sparklers. They did this so brilliantly they were rewarded with an extra special treat! Gloves donned, safety talk given, water bucket filled and the darkening November sky allowed for some spectacular air drawing with real sparklers.
15th October 2021
With Half Term and Halloween approaching, some traditional seasonal games were brought back to celebrate a great first half of term. In their Houses, the children first battled out the apple bobbing; for some it was their first experience! The added twist was emptying and refilling the water between each child, making the race even more intense and water-soaked! After all had success in bobbing for their healthy snack, the treat of the afternoon was the donut on the string. With the risk of no 5-minute rule – if it dropped it was out of play – hands were carefully poised underneath to catch any potential losses. No precious sweet treat hit the floor. So much fun was had, it was unclear who the winning House was and all were content in their victories!
1st October 2021
With Harvest approaching, and on a rather rain soaked day, the Venturers looked at how farmers saved the last of the crop to make woven patterns. These were kept and planted the following year in the hope of producing another bountiful crop. This week they practised with raffia, which is a little more forgiving than the traditional wheat or rye. They used lots of resilience to learn a technique to weave the four pieces together. Many also showed excellent collaboration in helping others who were still mastering the pattern of the weave. Next week we are hoping to complete our weaves ready for the Harvest festival.
24th September 2021
As the summer fades into Autumn, the Vinehall Venturers got out to explore a different area of the ground for striking their shelters. Undeterred by stinging nettles they eagerly explored the new terrain need the golf course. The task proved more challenging in the unfamiliar area and they drew on the dispositions of collaboration and resilience to complete their shelter before the ‘rain’ arrived. The girls team made excellent use of the large tree and even set about tweaking interior design elements with tyres and moss. One of the groups of boys were a little less decisive and after trying out a few locations. The ‘rain’, forced them to use themselves as emergency tent poles! Thankfully the ‘rain’ was short-lived and their arms survived the experience. I’m not sure if they would have survived the night however!
10th September 2021
It is wonderful to be back for Vinehall Venturers. As the Paralympics were coming to a close, it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the amazing achievements of the Olympians. We first watched a clip of the sport we were going to try, and the children had to work out what it was and how it was played. It was easily named as blind football but understanding that the Goalie would have to be sighted for the game to work was harder to comprehend. The excited Venturers rushed down to the astro and set up the dividers (or the ball would have got lost very quickly!) and made an impressive effort at finding the ringing ball. They quickly realised that gentle movements were needed. We are going to have another go next week to see if more goals can be scored now they have got the hang of it.
9th July 2021
This week we explored Matariki, the Maori New Year, which this year has fallen between 19th June and 11th July. The children were surprised to hear it isn’t just one night, like our New Year, and that it is moved every year. We also learnt about a few of New Zealand’s indigenous traditions, including the origins of the Haka. After listening to one of the legends about six daughters depicted by stars, we all made our own stars. We also looked at the Te Reo language.
2nd July 2021
With a little dampness in the air, it was the perfect time for the Vinehall Venturers to practise their bivouac making skills. All got off to a hurried start as the rain (three bottles of water) was due to fall any second. After a few testing locations, all groups settled on their final construction sites. I was very impressed with the children’s ingenuity, trying out different sticks and trees to support their structures. Thankfully when it did ‘rain’ all groups came away mostly dry! Well done in particular to Monty P, Max P, Felix G and Freddie F who used excellent communication skills throughout to discuss their plans and therefore finish their shelter well ahead of time.
25th June 2021
To bring activities week to a close, the Year 4 Venturers tried making their own ice cream using cream, sugar and vanilla as a base with a few extra options of chocolate, strawberry or caramel sauce. Securely sealed in a ziplock bag, the mixture was then shaken in a larger bag of ice and salt – which made it exceptionally cold. After 15 minutes of chilly movement, they were rewarded with a cone full of freezing ice-cream goodness, topped off with the obligatory hundreds and thousands!
18th June 2021
Clingfilm wrapping is one of the most found products on our beaches. As part of World Oceans Week last week, the Year 4 Vinehall Venturers had a go at making their very own reusable food safe wrapping. They first chose their material and then painted them with melted beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. They were then ironed between greaseproof paper to spread the wax out evenly and left to set. They now are the proud owners of their very own reusable beeswax wrap that can be used instead of traditional Clingfilm.
21st May 2021
Last Friday, with the wind whipping through the trees, it was best to relocate to the safety of the classroom and this gave us the perfect opportunity to put our team-building skills into practice.
Split into 3 groups and equipped with a piece of plastic piping cut in half, the task was to transport a very light golf ball from one safe zone to another on the opposite side of the room. Sounds easy … until you realise you cannot move your feet – not even to pivot! Eventually the trick of turning sideways before accepting the ball prevented a lot of contortion and they quickly transported the ball across the room.
The second task was to transport a tin can using just a piece of wood and four pieces of string. There were some amazing knots in the first attempt which led to a new rule – no string must touch the can – and now the challenge began. After a lot of varied attempts, it was found that keeping the rope taught might be a cunning secret to the task. Equally, another group found that keeping the string exceptionally short can also work.
They all found different ways to solve the same problem and that the initial mistakes help to guide the way to a solution.
14th May 2021
For Deaf Awareness Week, the Vinehall Venturers investigated what it is like to communicate without sound. They first tried to arrange themselves in a line in order of their birthdays without talking. This proved to be quite a challenge to not even whisper but special mention goes to Lorelei who managed to create her own code to successfully communicate her birthday to others. We had a guess at some common words using British sign language – can you guess what is being shown in the photos? After a little practice with the alphabet, everyone had mastered their own name. We finished off with guessing spelled out words and I was really impressed with how quickly they identified the letters used in these.
7th May 2021
The De Beer garden outside the Juniors is looking fantastic and to encourage more birds to come and say hello, the Vinehall Venturers took on the challenge to make some eco-friendly bird feeders. Scooping out the insides of half an orange, lemon or lime took a lot of care to not tear the skin, but everyone managed to create a solid container. Adding the twine through little holes made in the sides took perseverance and patience but once filled with the bird feed mixture, all were eager to find a hanging spot on the trees, the bay tree being the favourite. Thankfully, despite a windy weekend, they were all still safely hanging on Tuesday morning ready for the birds to feast on.