This morning, Year 2 treated us to a short play, retelling the story of the Great Fire of London, and details of what they have covered in their topic work. They had a LOT of interesting information about the Great Fire – much of it new to the staff and parents in the audience!

Elysia, our narrator, set the scene for us, taking us all the way back to Sunday 2nd September, 1666.

Matthias, donning a chef’s hat and apron, played Thomas Farriner, owner of the bakery on Pudding Lane in London. Daisy played Mr Farriner’s over-worked maid with zest. Mr Farriner had forgotten to put out the embers in the oven downstairs, so after he and his maid had gone to bed, an ember fell to the straw floor and set the bakery alight!

Noah took to the stage as famous MP and diarist, Samuel Pepys. When Charlotte, playing Mr Pepys’ maid, came to inform him of the fire, he initially waved her away! She later returned to inform him that the fire had spread, destroying 300 houses, so Mr Pepys got up to take a look.

He resolved that he should go tell the king about the fire. He went to the Thames, and saw people panicking – attempting to escape in boats, and trying to put out the fire using leather buckets.

Charlie took to stage as King Charles II, the King of England at the time. Samuel Pepys told him about the fire, and suggested they try pulling down houses. Guards, played by Charlotte and Daisy, stood to attention and began trying to pull some houses down, but unfortunately the fire was too strong and fast!

As a last resort, they used gunpowder to destroy houses and create firebreaks in order to stop the flames after 4 days. The children told us that 13,200 houses and 87 churches were destroyed, St Paul’s Cathedral was burnt, and that fortunately only 6 people died in the fire.

Year 2 then told us about all of their cross-curricular topic work, which was very impressive! They designed their own cardboard Tudor houses in their art lessons, which the Norwich Fire Service safely burned to demonstrate the spread of the fire when they visited us with their fire engine last month. 

Children watching fire burning at private school - fire safety demonstration.

In history, the children compared life in 17th century London to the present day, learning how historians use artefacts like paintings to discover more about the past. In ICT, they made their own stop-motion films on iPads to tell the story of the Great Fire of London. In English, they wrote out instructions for Pudding Lane cakes, and wrote diaries as though they had witnessed the fire – just like Samuel Pepys! They also made more artwork, creating these dramatic silhouette pictures using chalks.

Finally, in their music classes, the children had listened to music about fire, and learned songs about fire and baking. They then performed a version of “London’s Burning” (edited to be historically accurate, as there were no fire engines in 1666!) using sign language to help tell the story.

Thank you to Miss Nash and Year 2 for their exciting and informative assembly! You were all very funny, confident and knowledgeable about the Great Fire of London, and the amount of work you’ve covered across your subjects is fantastic.