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Life is not a bed of roses, but our sunflowers can still spring

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Damian's sunflower is the first to emerge. It is pale and fragile with an empty seed case balanced on its head for comic effect. I suspect its life will be one short fight for survival, but then it’s not on its own. On classroom window ledges all around our school, hope sprouts eternal. In polystyrene beakers, brown plant pots, transparent cups and green plastic seed trays, nature stirs. At least in the short term.

It is a fact of primary school life that sunflower seedling rarely survive to the summer holidays. Dreams of them ending their days in a sunny spot in a garden, having grown tall ...

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