Headmaster Announcement

08 February 2021
Headmaster Announcement

Mrs Gillian Swaine, Chair of the Governors at Sutton Valence School, is delighted to announce that the Governing Body has appointed Mr James Thomas as the new Headmaster of the School, effective as of September 2021. Mr Thomas will succeed Bruce Grindlay, who departs at the end of this academic year after 12 years of outstanding leadership of the School. Mr Grindlay leaves SVS to take up the post of Principal of Rugby School Thailand.

The appointment follows an extensive search with a strong list of candidates applying for the post. Despite the current challenges impacting the interview process, the Governors were pleased to be able to complete the process in a timely fashion.  Mrs Swaine commented, ”We are delighted to have attracted such a high-quality candidate in James Thomas and we are looking forward to even more success in the future for the School and its students.”

Mr Thomas studied at St Paul’s School, London, and then went on to receive his undergraduate degree in Theology from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He holds an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of London and also the National Professional Qualification for Headship. In his early career he was a Head of Department (Theology and Philosophy) at both Dulwich College and Wellington College, where he was also in charge of Oxford and Cambridge applications. He then became the Director of Studies at Harrow International School Hong Kong before moving to the highly regarded British School in Tokyo in August 2014 where he is currently Head of the Senior School. Beyond work and spending time with his family, Mr Thomas’s personal interests include music, choirs, sport, travel and current affairs.

The South East, and Kent in particular, is very much ‘home’ for Mr Thomas. In that regard, as well as being a great professional opportunity, it is also a wonderful personal one for him as he, his wife Katherine and three young boys move back to the area, with his children due to attend Sutton Valence Preparatory School. Mr Thomas commented “I am absolutely thrilled and indeed honoured to have been appointed as the next Headmaster at Sutton Valence School. The School is in a wonderful position and I look forward to leading it in its next chapter. The opportunity to work with the students, staff, parents, governors, Old Suttonians and the many friends of the school community fills me with excitement.”

Community forms such an important part of life at Sutton Valence School and, in many ways, defines the legacy left by Mr Grindlay. His commitment and passion, not just to the School, but to the community that makes it so special, has characterised his 12 years at the helm. He leaves the School in a strong position, both academically and in terms of its outstanding co-curricular achievements, and the Governing Body is immensely grateful for all that he has achieved.

As the School heads towards its 450th anniversary in 2026, the Governing Body has every confidence that Mr Thomas’s appointment will allow Sutton Valence to continue to go from strength to strength, building on the successes of the recent past, as one of the leading independent schools in the South East and, truly, the heart of Kent education.

As an introduction, Mr Thomas has recorded the following message as a welcome for the SVS community.

 

 

Highlights and Events Prep School Senior School

Highlights and Events, Prep School, Senior School

  • Sports Day Preparations 2021

    14 May 2021
    This term all pupils from Nursery to Year 6 have begun Athletics.
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  • All Hands on Deck

    All Hands on Deck

    14 May 2021
    Year 6 had their hands full in Design and Technology this week, working hard on their lampshade project.
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  • Who Knew?

    14 May 2021
    Who knew how multi-talented our visiting music teachers are.
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  • Girls Cricket U10 Tournament 2021

    Girls' Cricket U10 Tournament 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Wednesday, we were delighted to host our first Girls’ U10 Cricket tournament.
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  • Message from the Head - 14th May 2021

    Message from the Head - 14th May 2021

    14 May 2021
    Bill Gates said that “patience is a key element of success”.
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  • First and Last Hockey Game of the Year!

    First and Last Hockey Game of the Year!

    14 May 2021
    On Friday 7th May, our first and last Hockey games of this academic year were played at the School against Cranbrook School, who brought both their senior Boys and Girls teams for a match each.
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  • Ginetta Junior Championship 2021

    Ginetta Junior Championship 2021

    14 May 2021
    Last weekend, Joshua Miller (Fourth Form) had a fantastic opening race in the 2021 Ginetta Junior Championship, placing second on the track.
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  • CCF Army Skiing

    CCF Army Skiing

    14 May 2021
    This Wednesday, the Fourth Form CCF Army students completed their beginner's course in Skiing at the Chatham Snowsports Centre.
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  • Saracens Game - Saturday 8th May 2021

    Saracens Game - Saturday 8th May 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Saturday, following on from a great win last week, the Saracens U18s played against London Irish U18s in two fixtures.
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  • The Big Cat Sanctuary Fundraising 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Thursday, we had a visit from Tanith Brown who works at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden.
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  • U10 Cricket Tournament

    Girls' Cricket U10 Tournament

    14 May 2021
    On Wednesday, we were delighted to host our first Girls’ U10 Cricket tournament.
    MORE
  • P4L Pupil Voice and Action

    P4L Pupil Voice and Action

    07 May 2021
    It has been so nice having the students back in School partaking in P4L; hearing about their thoughts, ideas and potential new activities they would like at SVPS.
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  •  Year 6 Independent Projects

    Year 6 Independent Projects

    07 May 2021
    There is a real buzz in Year 6 this term, as they alternate between preparing for their upcoming production and working on their new independent projects.
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  • Body Works

    Body Works

    07 May 2021
    In Art, Year 4 has been focusing on the human figure. Our amazing bodies have intrigued artists for many centuries and our pupils were just as curious.
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  • Message from Academic Deputy Head - 5th May 2021

    Message from Academic Deputy Head - 5th May 2021

    07 May 2021
    Why is it important to widen our children’s reading experience into reading non-fiction and information books?
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  • Speech Day 2021

    Speech Day 2021

    07 May 2021
    The Chair of Governors and the Headmaster warmly invite parents and family members to the Senior School's Speech Day on Saturday 10th July 2021.
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  • CCF Army - Lower Sixth Cadet Session

    CCF Army - Lower Sixth Cadet Session

    07 May 2021
    This week, the Lower Sixth CCF Army cadets took advantage of the sunny weather and taught the Third Form Army cadets how to move with and without a rifle, as part of their fieldcraft training.
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  • U16 Saracens Selection

    U16 Saracens Selection

    07 May 2021
    Congratulations to Alfie Jarrett, Alec Martin, Oliver Murch, Fynn Page and Ethan Wynne (all Fifth Form) who have been selected for the Saracens Kent U16 Rugby Player Development Group.
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  • CCF Navy - Windsurfing

    CCF Navy - Windsurfing

    07 May 2021
    It was great to finally get the CCF Navy cadets back on the water.
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  • Ski Selection

    Ski Selection

    07 May 2021
    We are delighted to announce that Maximilian Laughland (Lower Sixth) has been selected for the 2021/2022 GB Alpine FIS Squad. He will represent Great Britain on the international race circuit for the ...
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  • KSSA Regatta

    KSSA Regatta

    07 May 2021
    We were delighted to hear that Edward Smith (Third Form) took part in the KSSA Regatta on Saturday, the first serious event he’s been able to attend since early 2020, due to the pandemic.
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  • Copy Prize Winner - Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth)

    Copy Prize Winner - Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth)

    07 May 2021
    During the Headmaster's Assembly today, we were delighted to learn that Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth) has been awarded a Headmaster's Copy Prize.
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  • Saracens Success

    Saracens Success

    07 May 2021
    On Saturday, the Saracens U18s Junior Academy enjoyed its first game of the year against Northampton Saints’ Academy at the Saracens' home ground, the StoneX Stadium.
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  • Head of School speech - Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth)

    Head of School speech - Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth)

    06 May 2021
    During this week's assembly, we heard Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth), recite her Head of School speech to the School. You can also read her speech below.
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  • P4L

    P4L

    30 April 2021
    Year 6 have been working on their leadership skills by planning an international sporting event.
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  • Super Stars' and Courtesy Badge Winners

    30 April 2021
    You can see this week's Super Stars' and Courtesy Badge winners below.
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  • Funky Furnishings

    Funky Furnishings

    30 April 2021
    In Design and Technology, Year 5 has been sitting atop the topic of cushions!
    MORE
  • Digital Art

    Digital Art

    30 April 2021
    Year 3 has been working on their ‘Digital Art’ topic this term.
    MORE
  • Marvellous Mandarin

    Marvellous Mandarin

    30 April 2021
    This week Year 6 began an exciting language initiative in place of their French lessons.
    MORE
  • Time Travellers

    Time Travellers

    30 April 2021
    Year 1 had a fabulous start to their topic on 'Time Travellers' through their Steampunk Workshop.
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  • Welcome Mme West

    Welcome Mme West

    30 April 2021
    We are very pleased to welcome Mme Annick West to our SVPS community.
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  • Prefect Poem

    Prefect Poem

    30 April 2021
    As part of his prefect duties, Seb H (Year 6) decided to write an excellent poem called 'Returning to School'.
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  • SVPS vs DPS Cricket 2021

    30 April 2021
    On Wednesday, after nearly 14 months, our Colts Boys had four Cricket fixtures against Dulwich Prep.
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  • Message from the Deputy Head - 30th April 2021

    Message from the Deputy Head - 30th April 2021

    30 April 2021
    In this week’s Whole School Assembly, we took another look at our new Learning Powers; Curiosity and Originality.
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  • Higher Education Morning - April 2021

    30 April 2021
    On Saturday 24th April, our Lower Sixth parents were invited to attend our annual Higher Education morning, held virtually this year.
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  • Quality Mark - Primary Award

    Quality Mark - Primary Award

    30 April 2021
    We are delighted to announce that Sutton Valence Prep School has been awarded a Quality Mark for our English and Mathematics provision throughout the School.
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  • SVS Sports Fixtures - Summer Term 2021

    SVS Sports Fixtures - Summer Term 2021

    30 April 2021
    After a fantastic weekend of summer sport last Saturday, this is a reminder that there are no fixtures this weekend, due to the Exeat Bank Holiday weekend.
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  • England Rugby EAP Contract

    England Rugby EAP Contract

    30 April 2021
    Congratulations to Tyler Weekes (Lower Sixth) who has received an England Rugby Academy Player contract after some impressive play within the Saracens Academy.
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  • COVID Testing at Home

    COVID Testing at Home

    30 April 2021
    This afternoon, all students were given a new supply of home testing kits to continue self-testing at home.
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  • Thank You for Being You

    Thank You for Being You

    23 April 2021
    The fantastic SVPS Community Quilt has been patched together along the Art corridor gallery in the Coles Building.
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  • Music Notes

    Music Notes

    23 April 2021
    The Music Department has hit the ground not running but sprinting this term!
    MORE
  • Drama Delights

    Drama Delights

    23 April 2021
    This term is going to be a very exciting one for the Drama department!
    MORE
  • Message from the Head - 23rd April 2021

    Message from the Head - 23rd April 2021

    23 April 2021
    What could be better than blue skies, sunshine and a School full of happy, busy children?
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  • Duke of Edinburgh Tribute

    Duke of Edinburgh Tribute

    23 April 2021
    Following on from His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, we wanted to share our own tribute to him.
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  • Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub

    Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub

    23 April 2021
    As you will know, we recently introduced the Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub to our school community. On Monday, we shall be extending this provision to include the Wellbeing Hub for pupils.
    MORE
  • Inter-School Summer Sport Notice

    Inter-School Summer Sport Notice

    23 April 2021
    We are delighted that inter-school sport returns this Saturday.
    MORE
  • Summer Term Prefects 2021

    Summer Term Prefects 2021

    23 April 2021
    Mr Grindlay had the pleasure of announcing our new Summer Term prefects' during his Headmaster's Assembly just before the Easter break.
    MORE
  • MASTERPLAN 450 Update - April 2021

    MASTERPLAN 450 Update - April 2021

    23 April 2021
    The School has been busy over the Easter holidays as we restart the boarding house redevelopment project as part of our MASTERPLAN 450 project.
    MORE
  • Head of School Speech - Jonny Russell (Lower Sixth)

    Head of School Speech - Jonny Russell (Lower Sixth)

    23 April 2021
    During the Headmaster's Assembly at the end of Lent Term, we were delighted to hear that our new Heads of School were Jonny Russell and Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (both Lower Sixth).
    MORE
  • TTRockstars House Cup

    26 March 2021
    There is a new addition to the house trophy cupboard - pupils from Year 2 to 6 can now work towards the TTRockstars House Cup!
    MORE
  • Mountainous Landscapes

    26 March 2021
    What do you get when you combine dragons, the Himalayan Mountains and Year 3’s creativity?
    MORE
  • Perfect Portraits

    Perfect Portraits

    26 March 2021
    Portraiture is a very old art form. Before the invention of photography, a painted, sculpted or drawn portrait was the only way to record the appearance of someone – be it human or animal.
    MORE
  • Reading Adventurers

    Reading Adventurers

    26 March 2021
    A book is an adventure waiting to happen…
    MORE
  • Message from the Deputy Head - 26th March 2021

    Message from the Deputy Head - 26th March 2021

    26 March 2021
    As we reach the conclusion of the most bizarre of terms, we are able to look back and reflect on what, I am sure you will agree with me, is a job well done.
    MORE
  • Poetry Retical

    Poetry Recital

    26 March 2021
    Several of our First Form English students took part in an end of term Zoom call with residents of Sutton Valence Care Home, to share poetry readings and Easter wishes.
    MORE
  • National Citizenship Service

    National Citizenship Service

    26 March 2021
    For many years, some of our Fifth Form students have benefited from participating in the National Citizenship Service summer programme.
    MORE
  • RAF Olympics

    RAF Olympics

    26 March 2021
    This week, the Third Form RAF cadets competed in the RAF Olympics. 
    MORE
  • US and Global Universities Webinar

    US and Global Universities Webinar

    26 March 2021
    Have you got academic strength? Intellectual curiosity? Leadership?
    MORE
  • CCF Senior NCOs

    CCF Senior NCOs

    26 March 2021
    Tradition is important in the CCF and the pace stick is the symbol of the Senior Cadet. 
    MORE
  • Website Competition Winner

    Website Competition Winner

    26 March 2021
    We are pleased to announce the winner of the SVS Foundation Connect prize draw.
    MORE
  • Exciting Computing Project

    Exciting Computing Project

    26 March 2021
    Our Second Form students have an exciting Computing project coming up in the Summer Term. 
    MORE
  • RAF Museum Green Aviation Challenge Winner

    RAF Museum Green Aviation Challenge Winner

    26 March 2021
    Grace Manning-Greene (Second Form) entered the RAF Museum Green Aviation Challenge, in which she had to come up with and present an idea that could help the Royal Air Force be more environmentally fri...
    MORE
  • Holiday Reading

    Holiday Reading

    26 March 2021
    Don’t forget to make use of the SVS eBook and audio library over the holidays. You can access our eLibrary anywhere, anytime and on multiple devices.
    MORE
  • Leavers Netball 2021

    Leavers' Netball 2021

    26 March 2021
    Yesterday, our Upper Sixth took to the Netball court for the annual Boys vs Girls Netball match.
    MORE
  • Intra-School Fixtures - 19th March 2021

    Intra-School Fixtures - 19th March 2021

    26 March 2021
    Last Saturday afternoon saw another round of intra-school sports fixtures with students participating in fixtures across Football, Hockey, Netball and Touch Rugby.
    MORE
  • Blue Gown Winners - Lent Term 2021

    26 March 2021
    We were delighted to see how many students had received their Blue Gown this term.
    MORE
  • End of Term Announcement

    26 March 2021
    Please see information pertaining to the School holidays and next term.
    MORE
  • Zachabees

    Zachabees

    25 March 2021
    Zachary H (Year 4) has developed a huge love of bees and has become extremely passionate about helping to save the bees.
    MORE
  • Message from Deputy Head - 19th March 2021

    Message from Deputy Head - 19th March 2021

    19 March 2021
    There’s a funny feeling of limbo, being in School at the moment.
    MORE
  • International Affairs Forum

    International Affairs Forum

    19 March 2021
    Summer Beames (Lower Sixth), who is one of our Academic Scholars, took part in an International Affairs Forum earlier this week. She reflects on the experience below.
    MORE
  • You Cube Reminder

    You Cube Reminder

    19 March 2021
    A final call for everyone to create a You Cube to celebrate you being part of the SVPS community.
    MORE
  • SVPS Ski Trip 2022

    SVPS Ski Trip 2022

    19 March 2021
    We are hoping to offer a Ski Trip in Easter 2022 to the current Year 2 to Year 5 children (who will be Year 3 to Year 6 at the date of travel).
    MORE
  • Year 2 Triathlon

    Year 2 Triathlon

    19 March 2021
    Whilst Year 2 were at home during the lockdown, they decided to raise money for the Hile School in Nepal. They challenged themselves to complete a triathlon event to raise money, in which they raised ...
    MORE
  • Red Nose Day 2021

    Red Nose Day 2021

    19 March 2021
    Our children have been celebrating Red Nose Day today, raising lots of money for charity.
    MORE
  • Comic Relief TTRockstars

    Comic Relief TTRockstars

    19 March 2021
    What a busy week! The pupils at SVPS have been going mad for their times tables.
    MORE
  • Third Form Shooting

    19 March 2021
    The reopening of School has brought a welcome return to our co-curricular activities. 
    MORE
  • Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub for Pupils

    Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub for Pupils

    19 March 2021
    We are now pleased to inform you that Teen Tips has extended their Wellbeing Hub to pupils.
    MORE
  • Young Doctor Programme

    Young Doctor Programme

    19 March 2021
    Holly Clark and Simona Jovanovic both Lower Sixth) participated in the Young Doctor Programme by InvestIN, which provided them with a fascinating insight into the medical profession.
    MORE
  • Intra-school sport returns to SVS

    18 March 2021
    On Saturday afternoon, our intra-school sport recommenced with nearly 190 pupils participating in Football, Hockey, Netball and Touch Rugby fixtures.
    MORE
  • Headmasters Copy Prize - Sophia Parkin

    Headmaster's Copy Prize - Sophia Parkin

    18 March 2021
    During the Headmaster's Assembly today, we were delighted to learn that Sophia Parkin (First Form) has been awarded a Headmaster's Copy Prize for her impressive and mature essay on King John.
    MORE
  • COVID Home Testing

    COVID Home Testing

    18 March 2021
    We have now concluded our COVID testing on-site.
    MORE
  • Morris Meadows for SVPS!

    Morris Meadows for SVPS!

    12 March 2021
    A landscaped wildflower meadow in the grounds at Compton Verney House, an Art Gallery and Garden in Warwickshire, was the seed that grew the Year 5 Morris Meadow for SVPS artworks.
    MORE
  • Never Judge a Book by its Cover!

    Never Judge a Book by its Cover!

    12 March 2021
    Mrs Savage’s Year 5 set had a vile time on World Book Day creating eye-catching, blood-curdling covers inspired by their villainous writing.
    MORE
  • British Science Week 2021

    British Science Week 2021

    12 March 2021
    This week, we celebrated British Science Week at SVPS.
    MORE
  • St Patricks Day

    St Patrick's Day

    12 March 2021
    Prefect Freya S (Year 6) has shared her St Patrick's Day cookie recipe and crafts designs below. 
    MORE
  • Year 2 Art Competition Winners

    12 March 2021
    Year 2 were inspired by the story of 'Katie and the Waterlily Pond'.
    MORE
  • Year 6 Informal Concert

    Year 6 Informal Concert

    12 March 2021
    After weeks of lockdown and a dearth of entertainment opportunities, what a joy last Friday was!
    MORE
  • Message from Academic Deputy Head - 12th March 2021

    Message from Academic Deputy Head - 12th March 2021

    12 March 2021
    As our first week back in School comes to a close, we must congratulate all the children on how quickly they have adapted to being back in their classrooms and once again, getting used to classroom le...
    MORE
  • Sixth Form Symposium 2021

    Sixth Form Symposium 2021

    12 March 2021
    "It is not often you get the offer of free coffee with a side of existentialism, but when you do, you take it."
    MORE
  • Codebreakers

    Codebreakers

    12 March 2021
    For centuries, organisations and governments have needed to send information secretly.
    MORE
  • Lower Sixth InvestIN Webinar – ‘Your Future’

    12 March 2021
    On Monday morning, our Lower Sixth students participated in an InvestIN Education webinar, designed to explore their future career options.
    MORE
  • English Competition - Design a Book Cover

    English Competition - Design a Book Cover

    12 March 2021
    Before Half Term, our English department set out a competition for our students to design an original cover for a book they have read recently or that they are particularly fond of.
    MORE
  • Translator Meeting

    Translator Meeting

    12 March 2021
    Last Monday, our Fourth Form MFL students met with interpreter and translator, Rob Hunt.
    MORE
  • Leavers Ball 2021

    Leavers' Ball 2021

    12 March 2021
    We announced our Leavers' Ball last week and we had a wonderful response from our community. 
    MORE
  • English Competition

    12 March 2021
    Our English department ran a competition for our First Form students, following the Bishop’s Stortford literature competition in relation to a book The Girl who became a Tree by Joseph Coelho, in whic...
    MORE
  • Prefect Storytime

    Prefect Storytime

    11 March 2021
    During the lockdown, one of our prefects, Evie W (Year 6), came up with the idea of recording some stories for the younger children to enjoy.
    MORE
  • Spring has Sprung!

    Spring has Sprung!

    05 March 2021
    Year 4 are blossoming with enthusiasm for their new artist, Tracey English! The London based illustrator and surface pattern artist creates collages with hand-painted papers.
    MORE
  • Individual Music Lessons

    Individual Music Lessons

    05 March 2021
    Our visiting music teachers have been working wonders during lockdown, preparing pupils to sit remote exams and to perform wherever possible. 
    MORE
  • Year 3 Peer Gynt Artwork

    Year 3 Peer Gynt Artwork

    05 March 2021
    Year 3’s imaginations have been on fire this term listening to Grieg’s music In the Hall of the Mountain King.
    MORE
  • Prefect Book Review

    Prefect Book Review

    05 March 2021
    Who doesn’t love a good story…? It could be fantasy, mystery, autobiography, or a spooky horror. And it could be enjoyed out in the garden on a hot summers day or curled up by the fire with a steaming...
    MORE
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Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL

 

Tel: 01622 845200

Email: enquiries@svs.org.uk

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