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

Year 2

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This term Year 2 will be focusing on habitats (extending their class learning) and will identify different habitats at school and the different animals that are found there.

It being winter, the hedgehog, bat and dormouse are hibernating; others go animals go into a state of torpor where everything slows down.

Many birds migrate. Insects survive as egg, larvae or adult and some contain like an antifreeze.

Climate Change is affecting insects as many struggle to adjust to extreme temperatures or conditions, making them vulnerable.

The children looked for animal tracks and signs of the animals we share our school with.

When they found holes they measured the diameter. Was it a rat, rabbit, fox or badger?

We also set up the nocturnal camera and were thrilled to learn that we share our school with badgers, who live in setts which are underground burrows with long tunnels and one large sleeping room.

An animal’s habitat must provide: food and water, warmth, shelter and protection.

A badger’s main food is earthworms, which make up 80% of their diet.

We found out that they can eat several hundred each night.

They are omnivores and have a keen sense of smell.

Did you know a badger’s sense of smell is more than 700 times stronger than ours!

Year 2 will also be making animal homes and adding to others, with a particular focus on the pond area.

In addition, they will be working alongside Year 6 on a pond mural using recycled materials.


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Some beautiful quotes from Earthclass questionnaire.

How does being outside in nature make you feel?

Year 1

Brogan: I feel calm because the birds are twitching and singing and the autumn leaves are changing colour.

Alfred: I feel happy because of the fresh air.

Year 2

Rosanna: really happy and joyful

Isabelle: In the summer I stood with my eyes closed. Just me and the wind. I was being friends with nature.

Teddy: calm and resilient

Cooper: Happy because I like nature a lot. I saw a fox close up and its tracks in the snow. That was my first time.

Year 5

Maria: It makes me feel calm and happy hearing the singing of the birds. If I am near a lake I watch the ripples and the wind in my face makes me feel free.

Myles: Calm and like I connect with nature.

Zhasmin: Happy, creative, sometimes cold, always calm.

Onyi: It makes me feel happy because nature is peaceful.

Year 6

Lucas B: Very relaxed with the beautiful surroundings, scents and people.

Dexter: I enjoy myself in nature and love wildlife and learning about it.

Do you understand how important it is to look after Earth?

Year 5

Ogonna: Yes, because we only have one Earth.

Zara: Yes and I am scared some people don’t.

Year 6

Emily: Yes, because let’s say you are littering. Well, the animals could die of it. I saw litter all over my park and I picked it all up.

Have you grown to care more for the flora and fauna?

Year 5

Ronnie: Yes, definitely! The more I hear what PEOPLE are doing, the more I care.

Year 6

Luca B: Yes, I have realised how precious the Earth is.

Maisie: Earthclass shows me how important it is to look after Earth.

Are you more appreciative of how nature helps and heals us?

Year 5

Hannah: Yes, for example… I got stung by a stinging nettle and I got a plant called plantain and healed it.

Alex: Yes, nature is the key to our lives.

Do you engage more with and protect nature outside school?

Harry W: I move animals out of the road, plant trees and recycle.

Harry H: Yes. I plant trees, help animals and care for our garden.


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Year 5

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The last few weeks we have been learning about first aid and how to treat: burns; stings; bites and splinters.

We’ve also been learning about wild first aid.

Growing on lawns and tracks, the crushed leaf of greater plantain is fantastic for insect bites & stings, allergic rashes, cuts & wounds and infected cuts.

Its leaf blades can be round or long and narrow; its veins are always parallel.

They run from the bottom to the top without visibly branching

The first photo is greater plantain, with round leaves.

Yarrow (Achilleum millefolium), makes an excellent first aid poultice for deep cuts and wounds.

In Greek myth (Homer’s Iliad), this member of the daisy family was used by the hero, Achilles, to heal his soldiers in the Trojan war and this plant is named after him.

Millefolium means ‘thousands of leaves’ and refers to the profusion of small, feathery, fern like leaves.

Apparently, it symbolises everlasting love.

Year 6

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The most sustainable compost is homemade.

It helps the planet as waste is not sent to landfill where it will rot and release methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.

Shocking fact: about a third of all food produced is wasted.

When we waste food we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport and package it.

We have been learning how our hot box works to make compost.

Hot composting is an aerobic composting technique, which is actually the same process that works in a cold compost bin.

The compost is made by natural micro organisms in the garden waste breaking down the organic material, releasing heat, water, and carbon dioxide.

It is a natural process.

The difference between hot and cold composting is that the heat produced in this process is trapped inside the hot compost bin.

The heat accelerates the composting process, it helps the micro organisms break down the organic matter faster, and that is why the compost is ready much earlier than in cold composting.

Garden Gang collect the waste fruit and veg from the classes and mix it with strimmed paper from the office; mix and add a few handfuls of bulking agent (wood mulch) to allow space and oxygen.

Bacteria work inside the thick insulation system to break the mix down and the by product is heat.

In just over three months we have compost.

We also compost leaves and chicken waste.

The latter is high in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium: rots down and in six months will be good for soft fruit.

With cheery signs that early spring is on its way we are busy repairing and preparing the outdoor areas as well as begin or continue with projects.  

Emily: We had to refix fences. We got hazel and used the axe to make a point at the end and a mallet to knock them in. We shortened the rods so they are shorter and more sturdy.

Jack: I used a sharpie to draw the green king, a bow saw to cut. We used a hammer and nails to connect the pieces.  I made a Kubb piece.

Riley:  I made a cross because my Great Nan died yesterday. I’m going to put it in my garden.

Kristian and Blake: I improved on my design from last time. We put a pattern on the knife.

Maggie, Millie and River: We improved the kitchen and the bridge and we made a wall to block that hole. We all contributed to different designs.

Henry: We’ve made this gate and you can just unhook it. We are going to improve this bit next week.

Josie: I enjoyed playing Viking Chess because it was fun and we were working as a team and encouraging each other.

Maria: When we got really close, even though we didn’t get it down, we were encouraging each other and cheering.

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