On Friday 1st February, Year 2 had a Great Fire of London workshop in school. During the morning, the children were introduced to a small area of London, filled with local shops and workers who were all looking for keen and able apprentices. The latest gossip was that a small fire had broken out in a bakery on Pudding Lane. The children were then invited to try out many of the jobs of the people in that time, including: a barber surgeon (who cut off any injured limbs), an apothecary (who mixed up bags of herbal medicine for our many ailments), a leather worker (who helped us make our own hammered leather bookmarks), a chandler (who helped us make candles), a perfumer (that let us mix together various scents to make our own perfume bags), a baker (that showed us how to make our own salt bread dough), a metal worker (who helped us to create and design a button mould in clay that was then used later), a seamstress (who showed us how to sew our initials into some cloth) and a weaver (who helped us weave a small piece of fabric). We also visited a Stuart schoolhouse to make ink and learn how to write with quill pens.
In the afternoon, we explored a giant map of London and looked at how the fire started and spread over the four days. Then we looked at houses from the Stuart period. We explored the way they were built and the materials they were made from. After that, the children all began an archaeological investigation. They used ‘dig’ boxes to search the remains of the fire for artefacts that helped us to find out more about a specific family and worker. We also looked through the cloth bags that the various people had packed in a rush and took with them from their homes, in order to escape the fire. It was so much fun and we had an absolute blast as you can see from our pictures! We learnt so much.