Cliddesden Primary School

Learning Together, Growing Together

Cliddesden Primary School, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG25 2QU

01256 321571 - Fax: 01256 3336

KS1 - Great Fire of London History Workshop

Click here to find out more about Willow Class and click here for Beech Class.

Year 1 and 2 had an exciting day going back in time to 1666. They were immersed in Cheap Street in London as urchins. They had to go to the different workshops and work very hard to ensure they might get a crust of bread to eat.  

Workshops : 

  1. Scriveners- they made ink and wrote using a quill.  
  2. Printers - the children had to fold and sew newssheets together.  
  3. Potters- they made plague charms from clay to scare away the plague. 
  4. Chandlers - the children made candles (luckily from beeswax rather than smelly tallow!) 
  5. Soap makers - the children had to grind the soap flakes and herbs to make a soap.  
  6. Apothecary - the children were very good at acting out a variety of illnesses and even death! They then took it in turns to collect the correct herbs and make a remedy for the sick. The barber surgeon was also visiting ready to cut hair, pull out any teeth and even remove limbs! 
  7. Cordwainers - the leather works - luckily the children didn’t need to mix the animal skin with urine and faeces. Instead they used hammers and denting tools to mark their initials and designs on a leather bookmark.  

As the children moved around the different workshops along the street they heard lots of gossip about the fire. The town criers kept everyone updated with local news. Suddenly many rats appeared all over the street because they were escaping the fire from further afield. As the children were working some embers set fire to a building nearby. We saw smoke so had to create a bucket line to take water from the well to the fire. Then the Duke of York gave the street some grenades to blow up some houses to make a fire break. The children also used fire hooks to pull buildings down. Eventually they had to escape London.  

In the afternoon the workshops became sites for archaeology. The children took turns to excavate trays with brushes to discover artefacts that were left after the Great Fire had extinguished. As the children sorted through the debris they thought about whether the workshop was burned, blown up or pulled down. They also decided which workshop they had discovered. Having decided the occupation of each shop owner they checked the paperwork to see if they owned the building and had a licence to practice. 

A fantastic day was had by all and clearly Key Stage One at Cliddesden are now experts in the Great Fire of London. 

Click here to find out more about Beech Class.

London's Burning - coming soon...

We built a row of houses with a fire break in the middle to represent the Great Fire of London burning and how it stopped where houses had been pulled down.  The wind also showed us how the fire spread so quickly.