London’s Burning in Turtle Class!

School News May 17, 2018
London’s Burning in Turtle Class!

Over the last ten days, the Turtle class have taken a journey  in time. We travelled 352 years back to the 2nd September 1666 and the city of London. This was not a safe time to be in London as one major disaster, the bubonic plague was in full effect and we arrived just in time for the great fire of London. We decided that we should learn more about the fire and studied through English, History, Science and Art.

As a class we completed many tasks which were related to the fire yet were also designed to improve our English. Firstly, we learned all about Samuel Pepys and his famous diary which told the tale of the fire in detail. The children watched a short film about Samuel Pepys and were then asked to answer questions about what they had seen as well as make up their own questions. This helped with their spoken English and they were able to speak clearly and with confidence. They were particularly interested in the reason why Samuel Pepys buried cheese in his garden. We had a taste of the parmesan cheese, it was smelly and some children did not like it at all.

The children were then given eight short sentences which they had to join together using their knowledge of conjunctions (connectives) they tried to experiment by using more advanced ones than they had done previously. The next task was to think of as many adjectives as they could to describe a piece of art which showed the fire in the early stages and the impact it was having on people’s lives. They then had to use the word bank they had created to write full sentences detailing exactly what they could see in the picture. We then moved on to being newspaper reporters for the day. We had previously learned about how a newspaper is written and the important parts of a front page, this meant they had to use prior knowledge to complete the task of writing a front page about the great fire. We had a lot of interesting headlines and captions for pictures. They clearly remembered what they had done before. FIRE !, LONDON’s BURNING! Were just two examples of how to make an impact with a headline. The next task was to step into the shoes of Samuel Pepys and become him for an hour. The children had to think about what he might have said and complete a speech bubble. This task really showed the wide range of facts that they had remembered from his visit to the King to the demand that his valuables were buried to keep them safe from the fire. 

Whilst all this wonderful English learning was taking place we also made a very large painting which showed London on fire. We first cut out some images of buildings such as St Paul’s cathedral and the tower of London, these were painted black to give the impression it was night time. Then came the fun part. They used red and yellow to create the image of flames ripping through the buildings and filling the London skyline with both light from the fire and dark from the smoke. The children really enjoyed this activity and I think the outcome was excellent. 

Finally they had to write a page for their diary. Dated 2nd September 1666. This activity gave us a chance to recall facts, understand about our senses, experiment with vocabulary and write full and detailed sentences. 

The Turtle class had a great time studying London all those years ago, and look forward to their next project!