Gifts & Legacies

Vinehall School Foundation Projects 2016

The Board of Governors at Vinehall School have approved two key projects in the year ahead, for which donations towards the Vinehall Foundation are now welcomed.

NOV86100-2Following the tragic passing of Ryan Mitchell, a much-loved member of Vinehall staff, the decision has been taken to build a new pavilion overlooking the 1st XI cricket pitch. This will be named in Mr Mitchell’s honour and be known as the ‘Mitchell Pavilion’. Ryan Mitchell was a teacher of Games and mathematics, whose first love in teaching was his sport, especially cricket and rugby. He was an inspirational coach to the boys in his various teams, but also a compassionate, caring and energetic classroom teacher and form tutor.

There have been a considerable number of requests from parents for a project which could reflect the contribution made by Ryan Mitchell to the lives of so many Vinehall children in recent years. It was therefore felt that a new pavilion would be a fitting memorial.

00278At the same time as announcing The Mitchell Pavilion development, the Governing Board have decided to completely refurbish the Science laboratories in the De Beer block of the school. This will bring the laboratories up to the highest standards, fully equipping them for modern science teaching and learning methodologies. Recognising that parents often wish to contribute to differing projects for different reasons, The Board has decided to provide the opportunity for this project to also be supported externally through parental donations.

00068In addition, many parents already make regular or one off contributions to the Vinehall Foundation, which provides an important level of financial support for bursaries. These bursaries assist with the provision of education for children who otherwise would not be able to attend the School, and at the same time provide an essential aspect of Vinehall’s public benefit which is important to maintain our charitable status. At the same time as inviting donations to The Mitchell Pavilion and science laboratories, donations to the Vinehall Foundation for bursary support would be equally welcome.

The Mitchell Pavilion

Mitchell PavilionWe have appointed Tate Harmer to work with the School to produce a brief for a new cricket pavilion. It will be a flexible building, accommodating an attractive space that can be used for school functions and private events, as well as providing changing space for pupils and visitors.

The design prioritises the function room, by giving it a glazed double height space overlooking the stunning surroundings.  The design is sympathetic to the woodland setting using well-detailed natural materials, such as timber cladding and timber shingles for the roof. It includes a kitchen for catering events such as Cricket Teas, Sports Day and a place for parents to relax and have a coffee whilst waiting for their children.  The layout separates the function room and kitchen from the changing room, giving it the flexibility to be used as a dual function space when required.

Tate Harmer is an international architecture practice based in East London, specialising in healthy, sustainable designs that work with nature. Founded by Jerry Tate and Rory Harmer in 2007, the practice works on residential, cultural and leisure projects that require innovative construction methods in some of the most sensitive natural and historic contexts. They strive to create low-energy, low impact projects with the highest design standards carefully integrated into local communities. Their award-winning work has been published and exhibited around the world, demonstrating that their architecture has both a local and global context.

“Tate Harmer has the vision and experience to deliver a fresh approach to sustainable architecture. I expect it to become one of the great design firms of the future.” Tim Smit CBE, Chief Executive, Eden Project

Vinehall and the Vinehall Foundation

00217Vinehall School was founded in 1938.  The School has developed into a leading co-educational day and boarding preparatory school for children between the ages of 2 and 13. We exist to provide an excellent all-round education for children so that they can be fully prepared for a successful future.  Our pupils benefit from a broad range of opportunities and are nurtured in a positive, have-a-go culture.  They have, we believe, the very best start in life.

Young people at Vinehall benefit especially from expert tuition in music, opportunities in sports, performing and creative arts.  The children are provided time to develop in these areas that simply would not be available to them in maintained schools.

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We are inspired by our school motto, “to do our best for the benefit of others”.  We believe that it is our collective duty to serve others and through our Foundation we hope to widen access to the School as well as to enhance the opportunities that all our pupils have.

Funding our school for the future

The funding of Vinehall School is principally from school fees.  The majority of costs are attributed to staffing the School and the Governors have agreed that annual fees should not rise any more than is necessary to run the School. Therefore, in order to develop and improve, we look to parents and other friends of Vinehall to gift funds towards projects including capital projects such as the Mitchell Pavilion and science lab projects, as well as the provision of bursaries. We’ve outlined our capital plans elsewhere in this brochure and give more details on bursaries here.

Bursaried Places

Unfortunately, school fees put a Vinehall education out of the reach of many who might otherwise benefit and it is our policy to widen access by providing means-tested bursaried places to more children, where there is space. These children are nurtured and developed towards places in senior schools.

00129To do this, we need to sustain funding on a large scale.  It costs approximately £75,000 for one child to spend five years at Vinehall.  Bursaried places can be part-funded by the school and partly by benefactors and each case are judged by need through thorough independent means-testing which is repeated annually.  Bursaries can be for 100% of fees but many are for less than this.

How to make a difference

We appreciate all support, at any level.  Monthly, annual or single sum donations are all gratefully received. Covenants are an effective way to maximize support, enabling givers to spread a gift over a number of years.

Tax-efficient giving

For every £1,000 donated, Vinehall can receive a further £250 at no cost to the donor because we have charitable status. Higher rate tax payers can claim additional relief, reducing their tax bill.

Enquiries and Contributions

Please address Foundation correspondence to:

The Bursar

Vinehall School


East Sussex

TN32 5JL

Tel. 01580 880413                        Email: