Sutton Valence Primary School,
North St, Maidstone, Kent ME17 3HT

01622 842188

Sutton Valence Primary School


Our mission is to ensure we all participate in the constant quest of knowledge, learning and adventure so that each individual can build upon their core strengths to aspire to make a real difference.

Earth Class


In September, our school was asked to take part in a promotional video for Wilder Kent Awards. Please take a look at the video!

Forest Blog

Silver Birch

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Having worked out its age and height we learned even more:

*It’s latin name is Betula pendula.

*There are 40 species.

*It is deciduous, losing its leaves in autumn.

*It has catkins and the wind spreads the birch seed.

*They thrive in full sun and moist soil as they have shallow roots.

*Usually, they live 50-80 years but up to 200, rarely.

*They grow about 12 m (Don’t camp underneath one!).

*Burns well when wet because of the oils it contains.

*Native Americans made canoes, bowls or wigwams from birch because the bark is strong and waterproof. It has been used as paper for centuries.

*Babies’ cradles made from it as it is the symbol of new beginnings and protection.

*Ancient name is ‘Lady of the Woods’ because it is hardy and strong.

*On a full moon the silver birches light up like beacons for fairies to gather.

There’s a gentle tree with a satiny bark,
All silver-white, and upon it, dark,
Is many a crosswise line and mark—
She’s a tree there’s no mistaking!
The Birch is this light and lovely tree,
And as light and lovely still is she
When the Summer’s time has come to flee,
As she was at Spring’s awaking.
She has new Birch-catkins, small and tight,
Though the old ones scatter
and take their flight,
And the little leaves, all yellow and bright,
In the autumn winds are shaking.
And with fluttering wings
and hands that cling,
The fairies play and the fairies swing
On the fine thin twigs,
that will toss and spring
With never a fear of breaking.

A year in the life of...

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What lives and grows in a chosen metre square and how does this change through seasons?

Medicinal and Edible

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In forest school we have been learning about plants and their medicinal qualities and also exploring edible parts of certain plants.

We have tried: wild garlic, garlic mustard, Jack in the hedge, lemon balm, nettles and yarrow.

The latter thrives in our clay soil.


Nettle and White Dead Nettle:

In Greek mythology the legendary warrior Achilles used yarrow on the battlefield to heal his wounded soldiers.

It is still used today in the treatment of wounds where is a powerful styptic, meaning it can staunch (stop) the flow of blood.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb.

It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic)

Foliage and Flowers

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Tracking through the seasons means we can catalogue all plants.

A flower press is great for this and everything will be referenced in a willow file.

Allotment Veg

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We have lift off!

After a slow start the vegetable seedlings are doing well.

We are keeping track using growth graphs.

See if you can identify these:

Chard, carrot, onions, peas and potatoes

The wild flowers, alpines, nasturtiums and sunflowers are also looking good.

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