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.

Forest Blog

Year 3

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For the next few weeks we will finding signs of spring and observing early flowering plants in nature and in art.

Year 2

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We all agree: worms are fascinating, ecosystem engineers; wiggly and wonderful.

Yalding Beekeepers visit

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Last Friday, Graham Osbourne from Yalding Beekeepers visited Year 3 at Forest School to explain all the elements of a bee hive and teach us about honey bees.

It was such a brilliant morning and we all learned so much.

He also left us a leaflet with the names of the best pollinating plants and this will be invaluable when sowing seeds for our wildflower area in our new butterfly and bee garden.

Thank you, Graham!


For further information:

Interesting facts:

* Poppies are great pollinators and their bright colours draw insects in.

* Last year one hive made 100 pounds (45 kg) of honey

* Every 3rd mouthful comes from pollinating insects.

* Bees collect pollen nectar, which has protein that the young bees mix with honey to make bee bread.

* Bees collect tree sap (sticky like glue and bees use to repair hive and it also has medicinal properties, like antiseptic).

* Bees are very clean and poo outside their hive.

* There is 1 queen bee in the hive (laying 1000 eggs a day), 1000s of female worker bees and 500 or so male drone bees (in autumn the females kick the males out and they die).

* The young worker bees have wax glands on their heads, the queen comes along, lays eggs and the white sausage larvae they develop into is fed by young bees to fatten them up.

* Queen lives up to 5 years, worker bees 6 weeks (in winter live longer – up to 6 months – sit in hive over winter and vibrate wings very gently to keep hive warm)

* The queen flies the highest as has the biggest wings.

* Female bees can fly up to 3 miles (5km) to find food. They have many jobs:

        * take food, store and cap over

        * eat some of the honey

        * clean the hive

        * feed the queen

        * make wax

        * repair cells

Eco Club digging out our new butterfly and bee garden

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A large wildflower area full of pollinators will attract the bees and butterflies.

Each class will have a plot and will decide what to plant and how to manage it.

Harvested vegetables will be given to the school cook, Mrs Cooper, or used by the children in recipes and others will be sold to parents.

Once all the top soil has been removed we will be following the ‘no-dig’ approach, covering each plot with cardboard, then mulching with organic matter and not digging up the plots each year.

There are many benefits to this method:

* Undisturbed soil structure and happy living organisms – earthworms, fungi and bacteria aren’t disturbed.

* Strong healthy plants

* Fewer weeds due to surface mulch and lack of bare soil. Weed seeds aren’t brought to the surface to germinate.

* Reduces surface evaporation

* Easier

* Sequesters carbon and retains moisture. It is so important that carbon stays in the ground and not in the atmosphere. We are therefore doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint.

Summer Fete - Forest Stall

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