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Headteacher's News 27.05.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 27th May 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,

We are all looking forward to a nice (and hopefully sunny) half-term holiday, and hope you will enjoy yours too. 

Courtesy and good manners

I have been talking about ‘courtesy and good manners’ to our children in assemblies. We have decided to very deliberately teach our children about what this means.

So far we have talked about the following good manners (with the examples we practised)

  • Greeting others, by saying hello and goodbye and showing an interest in how they are.  As part of that, we talked about the differences between:

    •  Greeting your friends:

      • 'Hi!’

      • 'How have you been?’

    • Greeting your ‘elders’ or other adults

      • 'Good morning, how are you?’ 

      • 'Goodbye, have a nice evening’

    • Greeting strangers. 

      • 'Hello, nice to meet you’

      • 'Goodbye, it was nice meeting you’

  • Introducing yourself and others:

    • 'Hello, my name is…, what is your name?’

    • 'I would like to introduce my friend to you, her name is….’

  • Being welcoming to:

    • New children 

      • Introduce yourself, ask them about themselves, offer them help, play with them.

    • Visitors to the class

      • Offer a seat, explain what you are learning, answer questions, 

    • Visitors at home (but only if there is an adult there of course!)

      • 'Meet, seat and treat’ them 

  • Use polite language:

    • 'Please, thank you, you’re welcome’ 

    • 'Excuse me, sorry’

    • 'Could you please..? May I…?’

Almost all children now offer a bright and cheerful ‘good morning’ to staff when they come into school, so assemblies are having an impact. Do try and have a chat with your child about what they have learned about courtesy and manners, and encourage them when you can. It really helps to have these positive messages reinforced at home.

Lateness and punctuality 

There is a significant group of children who regularly arrive at school after 9.00 am. As you will of course know, lessons start at 9.00am; arriving late means that your child will not have a good beginning to the day as they will miss out on crucial early morning learning and instruction. In addition, regular lateness potentially creates bad habits for life.

Our doors open at 8.50am; we encourage all families to arrive early and take advantage of our ‘soft starts’, so that they can be punctual to lessons.

Lateness is tracked; families who are regularly late will receive a reminder letter from us. If problems persist we refer relevant families to our Tower Hamlets Attendance and Welfare Advisor (AWA), in order to see what more can be done. 


I hope that many families have established good reading habits at home.  Being a keen reader yourself, reading to your child, listening to your child read and discussing books and authors are some of the best possible strategies a parent can take to support their child’s learning at home.  Research and experience have both shown that children who read fluently, read frequently and read widely do much better academically at school than those who do not.

Platinum Jubilee

On Friday we will be thinking about Queen Elizabeth, who has served Great Britain for 70 years. Children will attend a special whole school assembly, will sing the National Anthem, will take part in activities about the Queen and will receive a book about the Queen (donated to all schools by the Government). 


I share a little segment of our website in this part of my letter each time. This week's focus is can be found on our website here - Curriculum - Science.

Science Aims

In science, our curriculum has two main aims:

  • Firstly, we aim to give children an understanding of a wide variety of scientific concepts and vocabulary so that they can understand the world around them scientifically. 

  • Our second aim is to develop children's skills in applying the scientific method: children learn to conduct a range of enquiries, take measurements accurately, present data, make predictions and draw conclusions from evidence. 

In addition, children learn about significant scientists, the discoveries they made and how they influenced the world we live in. Taken together, we believe success in these aims will enable children to answer scientific questions about the world around them and excite them about the future of science and discovery.

Our Science Curriculum

  • Early years:

    • Children develop an understanding of specific scientific concepts and vocabulary to ensure they are ready for year 1. This includes learning about different living things, the seasons and weather and different materials as well as using various pieces of scientific equipment (e.g. magnifying glasses, scales, thermometers and timers). 

  • Key stage 1:

    • Our science curriculum focuses on the human body, classifying animals, plants and materials. 

  • Key stage 2:

    • Our science curriculum widens, building on learning from key stage 1 and introducing other areas of science such as rocks, electricity, light and sound and evolution.

Remembering learning:

Across key stages 1 and 2, each year group has 4-5 units of work in science, each of which is covered twice in the year: classes cycle through the units before starting again at the beginning of the cycle. We have structured our science curriculum in this way to help support children in remembering what they are learning for longer by allowing time to revisit previously learnt material.

Knowledge and skills:

We have also worked hard to organise our curriculum so that children develop both their scientific knowledge and scientific investigation skills at the same time. As such, each of our units of work outlines not only the scientific facts and concepts that children should learn, but also the particular scientific skills that they will practise repeatedly to develop. This means that the two occasions that children study a given unit of work are not identical. For example, as you can see in the overview below, when year 3 study plants for the first time they focus on observations over time, while on the second occasion they focus on making predictions.

Science Teaching:

  • Early years:

    • Children’s science learning is part of their development in knowledge and understanding of the world. As such, they benefit from a range of types of activities throughout the year, including in our school forest as well as the classroom. Adults use both planned and unplanned opportunities to allow children to explore scientific concepts and learn scientific words.

  • In key stages 1 and 2:

    • Children generally have 2 hours of science a week, which is often divided into 2 separate lessons. 

    • Children will learn knowledge about a specific scientific topic with a clear focus on the key facts and concepts alongside an investigation skill. This clear focus allows children the chance to practice a skill multiple times so they can learn it successfully. 

Both the scientific topic and investigation skills are carefully spaced across the key stages to ensure skills are developed and key facts are remembered. 

The overview of what your child is learning and when they are learning it is available below. Each topic is taught for approximately 3 weeks and then revisited again at a later stage within the academic year. This is to allow children to review the facts they have learnt and deepen their understanding of the scientific concept.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.