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Other Subjects

Below you can find details of the curriculum and teaching approaches in subjects other than the core (English, maths and science) at Stepney Park Primary School. Our curriculum is broad, balanced and designed to offer children the best possible education in each individual subject area, as well as contributing to an enriching wider education.

As we enter our second year at Stepney Park, we are currently reviewing our curriculum across the school to ensure that it is effective in offering children the highest possible quality of education in our new school. As each subject is reviewed, further details of our curriculum in that subject will be shared here.

Art & Design

At Stepney Park, all children in years 1-6 work on a three art projects across the year with a specialist art teacher in our art studio. During each project, children study the work of professional artists, practise developing a wide range of skills and produce their own final piece over a 4 week period. Our curriculum ensures that children benefit from a wide range of art projects including drawing, painting and sculpture. In early years, a wide variety of artistic opportunities are offered to children so they can explore colour, form and materials as well as developing their motor skills in preparation for year 1.

Computing

At Stepney Park, a specialist computing teacher works with all children in years 1-6 to develop their computing knowledge and skills. This provision focuses on coding and more specialised computing skills. However, all our children have their own Chromebook for use in class. This means the development of computing skills is also embedded across our wider curriculum. More specific detail about our computing curriculum, including how the use of computing is embedded across other subjects in our curriculum, will be provided here soon.

Design & Technology

Design & Technology Aims

In Design and Technology, we offer children a wide range of design experiences as they work on a number of design projects each year. As part of these projects, your child will learn to design, make, evaluate and improve their products. They also learn about previous designs from history from which they can draw inspiration and spend time practising the making skills that they will need to attempt the project - we call this ‘finger fluency’. 

Our Design & Technology Curriculum

Our Design & Technology curriculum is based on Chris Quigley’s Essentials curriculum, which is used by many schools across the country. We have adapted this curriculum so that it works for our school, for example by choosing which areas of Design & Technology to focus on.

Over their time in Stepney Park, your child will learn about four broad areas of Design & Technology: structures, mechanisms, food and electronics. The overview below shows what children in each year group learn and how the knowledge from younger years is built upon in older years. At Stepney Park, we have prioritised those units of work that involve food. This is because we know our children very much enjoy cooking, but also because we believe this is a very important way of the school helping children to understand what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

Design & Technology Teaching

At Stepney Park, children benefit from a number of design projects each academic year in key stages 1 and 2. These projects each take place over a single week to allow children to become immersed in the project they are working on. Speak to your child’s teacher if you would like to find out when your child’s class has their Design & Technology weeks.

Every design project includes four distinct parts:

  • Learning technical knowledge and vocabulary needed for the project.
  • Practising skills needed to make the product.
  • Finding inspiration by looking at the designs of others
  • Going through the design process of designing, making, evaluating and improving.

Children in nursery and reception do not have specific Design & Technology lessons. However, through continuous provision, they are given opportunities to explore materials, use a range of tools and play with construction in order to develop the skills they will need to access an ambitious Design and Technology curriculum in key stage 1.

Design & Technology Overview

EYFS

To prepare for the DT curriculum, children in EYFS:

  • Regularly engage in activities to develop their fine and gross motor skills.
  • Explore and name a range of natural and man-made materials.
  • Use construction materials to explore different structures.
  • Begin to develop skills such as drawing and labelling that will support DT activities in year 1
  • Learn about healthy food and the importance of hygiene.

Y1

Structures

Food: safety and hygiene

Structures: Frame Structures

Food: Portable Snacks

Mechanisms: Slider Mechanisms

Y2

Structures: Solid Structures

Mechanisms: Levers

Food: Seasonal Food

Mechanisms: Wheels and Axles

Food: Couscous Dish

Y3

Electronics: Paper Circuits

Food: Dips

Mechanisms: Linked Levers

Y4

Food: Vegetable Soup

Structures: Frame Structures

Mechanisms: pneumatics

Y5

Structures: Arch Structures

Food: Baking Bread

Electronics: Motors

Y6

Structures: Frame Structures

Mechanisms: Pulleys and Gears

Food: Bolognese

Geography

Geography is taught in blocks of 3 weeks in a cycle with history and RE. It draws heavily on the Essentials curriculum developed by Chris Quigley, though we are currently in the process of reviewing the content of our geography curriculum in order to ensure it is as well sequenced as possible. More detail on our geography curriculum will be provided here soon.

History

History Aims

In history, we aim not only to give children an understanding of the features of a wide range of historical periods and civilisations, but also to develop historical skills such as using sources and comparing and contrasting different periods. Children also learn about significant historical figures and how they came to be so.

Our History Curriculum

In early years, we ensure that children develop an understanding of specific historical concepts and vocabulary to ensure they are ready for year 1. This includes learning about what kings and queens are as well as different inventions. In key stage 1, our history curriculum focuses on themes through history such as the history of transport to develop children’s sense of chronology. Children also learn about significant historical events such as the Great Fire of London and significant historical people such as Elizabeth I and Mary Seacole. In key stage 2, our history curriculum is chronological: children study prehistory and ancient history in year 3, classical history in year 4, medieval history in year 5 and modern history in year 6.

We have worked hard to organise our curriculum so that children develop both their history knowledge and wider history skills at the same time. In addition, we have made sure that children have regular opportunities to revisit their learning so they don’t forget it. Importantly, our history curriculum reflects our wider school values: children learn about history from around the world so that, though there is a focus on British history, children’s understanding of history takes in far more than just the West.

History Teaching

In early years, children’s history 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 school year. In key stages 1 and 2, children study a unit of work for three weeks in history before moving on to geography or RE. In total, children learn from 4 units of work in history each year. In general, each unit of work begins with children understanding the bigger picture of a time period, before learning more about the specifics and finally building their historical skills.

We have sought to ensure that our history teaching reflects the findings of educational research. As such, children, especially in key stage 2, read extensively in history lessons. They also represent their learning in a wide variety of ways, including timelines, diagrams and tables as well as extended writing.

History Overview

EYFS

Children in EYFS develop an understanding of key concepts required to access the year 1 curriculum alongside related vocabulary. These concepts are:

  • Monarchs
  • Modes of Transport
  • Inventions
  • Changes over time in the home
  • Where food comes from

Y1

History of Transport

History of Food

How has my school changed over time?

Monarchs

Y2

Historical Nurses

Gunpowder Plot & Remembrance Day

Great Fire of London

How has Stepney changed over time?

Y3

The Stone Age

Bronze Age & Iron Age

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Sumer

Y4

Ancient Greece

Romans: Republic & Empire

Roman Britain

Anglo-Saxons & Scots

Y5

Vikings & Anglo-Saxons

Maya Civilization c. 900

Early Islamic Civilization

Ancient Benin

Y6

Tudors

Victorians

British Empire

The Battle of Britain

Modern Languages (Spanish)

At Stepney Park, the modern language we teach is Spanish. This is taught by a native speaker of Spanish to children in years 3-6. We follow a scheme of work developed by Rachel Hawkes as we believe this is well-sequenced and introduces children to a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures in Spanish in a logical order. 

Music

Music is an important part of our curriculum at Stepney Park. All children benefit from a wide-ranging music curriculum to develop their skills, knowledge and appreciation of music, while additional music provision is offered to children who show a high level of interest in the subject. As part of our main music curriculum offered to all, children at Stepney Park learn a musical instrument in all year groups from year 1 - year 6. Children in years 1 and 2 play African drums, children in years 3 and 4 play the recorder and children in years 5 and 6 play the ukulele. Children also receive music lessons focused on how music is created and musical notation. Furthermore, all children in years 1-6 benefit from a music assembly, in which they listen to and discuss music and sing with their peers.

In addition to our universal music curriculum, we also offer children who show a particular interest in music the opportunity for additional instrumental tuition. We currently have groups of children learning to play the flute, the violin and cello, as well as a choir.

Physical Education

All children in Stepney Park Primary School benefit from two PE lessons a week, one of which is taught by their class teacher and the other of which is taught by a specialist PE coach. Over the course of their time in primary school, children at Stepney Park experience a wide range of sports and other physical activity. This is supplemented with sports tournaments at lunchtimes, competitions with other schools after school and an annual, high-profile sports day.

PSHE

At Stepney Park, our PSHE provision makes use of two main approaches. Firstly, we use the Jigsaw scheme of work to teach children about a wide variety of issues, including how to stay safe and healthy, their future ambitions, how to deal with stress and other strains in mental health and the changes linked to puberty. However, children also benefit from a weekly discussion time. This is time set aside to allow for discussions about pertinent issues. These may be issues that have arisen in school, or may be in response to wider current affairs. By combining these approaches, we believe our PSHE provision strikes a good balance between being both proactive and reactive.