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The Great Fire of London

In Mantle this half term, Reception will be commissioned by a very important person to help put out a very big fire in London! We will be focusing on history in this Mantle, and comparing modern-day fire fighting to how they did it in 1666 during the Great Fire of London.


The children will get the chance to talk to some real firefighters, and look at closely at some of the equipment used today when the fire service visit school.


We will be looking closely at the houses in 1666 and decide why the fire spread so quickly through them. We are even going to make our own Pudding Lane in DT!


Keep checking in here to see how our story develops!

The first steps into our story. Meeting the Fire service.

To begin our mantle story of "The great fire of London", we had a very special visit from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. We were so excited, and asked lots of questions. Firefighter Jake showed us all of the kit he has to wear to keep him safe whilst rescuing people, such as his helmet, jacket, trousers, boots and his mask to help him breathe. The firefighters then spoke to us about the jobs they do to help people, such as helping people when they are stuck and when cars get into crashes. 

We then got to go and explore the firetruck. It was so big! The firefighters showed us all the different equipment they use when going to help people. They had hoses, ladders and fans. The fire trucks also had some big, blue bright lights and noisy sirens.


Once we had met the firefighters, we explored dressing our own firefighter up in the correct kit, practicing calling 999 (which we know only to do in an emergency) and role playing as receptions very own fire service!

Who started the fire? Should he be punished?

Next in our story, we met the baker of Pudding Lane. He was very upset, but we weren't sure why! He kept telling us he was sorry and it was an accident! After asking him what was the matter and why he was sad, we were able to work out that he started the fire!

 We asked him some more questions to try and understand what had happened, such as "did you mean to burn London" and "why did you do this?". The baker told us that he felt very unwell and thought he had shut the bakery down properly before he went to bed.

After meeting the baker, we used our phonics knowledge and writing skills to write some speech bubbles, stating what the baker had said.


Later, the King summoned us back to the palace, and asked us if we believed the baker should be punished. We had some brilliant points for and against. Some children said yes he should be punished because "He did a bad thing", "He was not careful enough" and "He has ruined the city". However, some of us felt sorry for the baker and agreed that he should not be punished. We said "he felt so poorly", "it was an accident" and "he said sorry". 

This is what the baker had to say.

Our first commission - Improve the 1666 fire service

King Charles II gave us a very important job to do... develop and improve the fire service. In order to do this, we spent a while having a look at the equipment the firefighters were using and discussed how we could make these better. In 1666, the fire service would use small buckets to transport water from the river. Our first idea was to have some bigger buckets to hold more water. We then thought about how the firefighters could get to and from the river faster. We decided they needed a wagon pulled by horses. As a the "fire service development team" we went and designed our new ideas to show the king.

Our next commission... rebuild the city of London!

King Charles II was so impressed with our work developing the fire service, that he gave us a second commission, To rebuild London. As a class, we watched a video of 1666 pudding lane and discussed what we could see. The houses were made of wood and had big black wooden beams on them. We decided to use our junk modelling skills to create the houses. We used cereal boxes and worked in pairs to carefully add the various details with paint.