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 5, 13th January

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Such a lovely day with Year 5!

This term we will be focusing on: whittling wood; first aid (including wild first aid – my favourite!) and fire skills.

These first few sessions we have been continuing a class project on bridges.

We are making a truss bridge and evaluating it.

The children learnt to use a tenon saw and measure and saw, including at 45 degree angles, which were more difficult.

Just as builders do: we measured twice, cut once.  

The children really got to appreciate how focused and precise builders have to be to achieve accuracy.

After discussion they agreed some lengths just weren’t accurate enough and were discarded.

Rather than feel despondent, they persevered, considered the difference at the end and were so pleased that they set high expectations.

We are using pine for this, a soft wood.

These come from conifers, that have cones and needles.

Hardwoods come from broadleaved, deciduous trees.

Amelia shared with us a poster she made about litter.

“I saw lots of litter around my home area so I thought I should do this poster about littering. I think it has made a difference as there is less litter now.”

For free choice, we had some wonderful creativity and use of tools to make: frog sticks, spears and spud guns.

There was a café selling watery tomato soup and bread.

I was charged £55 initially for this, which was kindly reduced by 75 percent as “You are a teacher”.

Ronnie said, ‘Really, you should have it for free!” to which Joey replied, “No way! How are we going to make any money?”


Year 6, 11th January

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Great to see Year 6 again!

This term we will be focusing on: classifying animals and plants using branching keys; climate change; waste and energy and natural navigation.

Of course, every session there will also be free choice as children navigate their own learning journeys.

This week we recapped vertebrates and invertebrates and looked at branching keys to help identify animals.

A classification key is a series of questions that determine an organism's physical characteristics.

We will continue to re-enforce this throughout the term as well as look at field guides.

We also played blindfold drum stalk.

Seth played the drum and the children, wearing blindfolds, had to listen and move towards the sound, as Seth moved around.

There was lots of environmental noise and they really had to focus.

By the end they were less like zombies, more stalking ninjas, kind of.

Lucas: I had to really focus during the drum stalk because I felt unsteady as I couldn’t see.

Olivia: It was kind of scary initially.

Harry: I had to live in nature for a while and trust my other senses, that became my eyes.

Lucas: I measured and cut the elder. I wanted to finish today, so used a glue gun, to be quick. There were frustrations and a blood blister but I am very pleased.

Children’s voice last week:

Maria: First I learnt how to make an elder whistle. First time wasn’t a successful as I broke it but persevered. Now I just need to add the reed, then I can have some fun.

Harry: Today I chose to make a spud gun. I thought it would be easy, it wasn’t. It took me two hours but it was fun. I am really happy I persevered. We started firing apple but when I get home I’ll grab a potato and practise.

More pictures from last term, Years 1 & 2

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Year 1

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What an exciting day!

It all began with a letter from Little Red Hen, that we found on the Talking Tree.

She was asking for help as she had made bread for our chickens (to welcome them into their new home) but someone or something was eating it before the chickens even got a munch or a nibble.

The children were unanimous, “We’ll help!”

What could it be?

“It could be a magic fairy that makes itself invisible?” (Quinn)

“I think it was a fox and it magicked the door open.” (Seb)

“I think it was my dad. He is soooo greedy!” (Anonymous)

What should we do?

“Something sneaky ate the bread when no-one was looking. We need to look for things that are suspicious.” (Benji)

“We could peak through the window and see who it is and set a trap.” (Aiden)

“I’m going to make a trap and tie it to the bench and the tree so whoever is eating the bread will trip on the rope and the bag will fall on its head.” (Alfred)

“We could set up the nocturnal camera.” (Lacey)

“I have found something suspicious….it is a bone. Maybe, whatever it is, is leaving clues for us to find. Listen! I heard something tumbling on the roof.” (Quinn)

Off they went armed with magnifying glasses, binoculars, clip boards and pens to look for anything suspicious.

Would they find any clues in the chicken shed?

Eyes were on stalks and mouths open as they noticed bread crumbs, warm eggs and red feathers.

After discussion they decided to: set up the nocturnal camera; carefully observe the chicken shed; leave letters for Little Red Hen and set up humane traps.

What on Earth (or beyond) will Friday bring?

Today was also Children in Need and Takeover Day.

“I enjoyed showing the little ones the chickens and looking for clues.” (Leo, Year 6)

“I enjoyed showing the Year 1s how to use a bow saw and how to pick up a chicken.” (George, Year 6)

Year 2

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The installation is coming together!

We also shared stories of successful recycling projects carried out at home.

Isabelle said, “When my dad’s sock had a hole in it we made it into a door stop and decorated it with a face and clothes. It was his birthday present!”

Connie shared, “At home, me, my sister and my grandad made a table. It is in our playroom.”

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