Tracks through Poplar

Tracks Through Poplar Educational Resource

This project created an educational programme for primary school children in Poplar featuring the Trust’s 150-year-old steam locomotive No 70 ‘Poplar’, one of the oldest operational in the UK.

Built in 1872 by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, No 70 was the first of the class constructed and like others of the type was named after areas served by the railway. Global Learning London (GLL) and the Schools Library Services worked with children in the area to co-create an immersive National Curriculum based programme, resulting in Resource Boxes for schools.

The project culminated in 2022 with a procession by the children in conjunction with an event featuring locomotive ‘Poplar’ –  the engine visiting London for the schoolchildren and local community to enjoy.

Resource boxes to borrow

The resource boxes will be available to schools nationally through Schools Library Services and are  include materials relating to historic themes such as commuting the 1870s, East End hop picking “holidays” in Kent, and the development of light railways (the K&ESR was the first and the Docklands Light Railway is the latest).

Pupils studying science and geography will look at sources of energy, changing environmental considerations, and the impact of railway development worldwide; while railway themed stories, poems, music and drawing will help develop English, music and arts skills.

Online resource

This resource is designed to explore the importance of our railways, East London history and to celebrate the history and significance of steam engines, through key curriculum areas and Global Citizenship themes.

Each chapter is focussed on a particular theme and contains a mixed media of resources and tools to develop understanding and skills with Key Stage 2 pupils. Most activities are adaptable for other ages, and many involve cross curricular learning. You will find digital materials on the Padlet, linked in each chapter.

Each chapter stands alone, or you can piece together the sections you want to form a longer learning journey for pupils.

You can access the Tracks Through Poplar Educational Resource by clicking here.

Opening Times

Opening times

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm

Christmas holiday

23rd December to 1st January : CLOSED