Gateshead’s Burning!

In History, Year 2 have been learning all about The Great Fire of Gateshead. They ordered the key events of the fire on a timeline and lots have remembered the year it happened! The children learnt that the fire started in a factory on Gateshead quayside. The children compared of the quayside from the past and present and correctly sorted them. They had to use their knowledge of modern landmarks and photography to work out whether the picture were old or new.

Linked to this, in English, we have been learning about The Great Fire of London in 1666. We looked at architecture from different periods of time and discussed why we might still see these types of houses today. The children then created their own house inspired by the houses that burnt down in 1666.

Today, the children relived The Great Fire of London as Miss Rowe and Mr McMann recreated the fire that started in the bakery on Pudding Lane. We were amazed to see how quickly the fire spread between the closely compacted houses (just like in 1666!).

Article 28 – We have right to a good quality education.

A note from Miss Rowe:

Learning about fires is an important part of the children’s Forest School experience and demonstrations like this really help to make clear how dangerous fire can be. Why it is vital that all safety preparations are made before the fire is lit, so ensuring that the fire is controlled at all times and can be easily extinguished.

After checking the wind direction, Miss Rowe propped up the children’s houses using wooden logs, to form an impromptu street. The houses were then stuffed with hay and flour to make them more flammable. The fire was lit upwind, there was a brisk breeze so it quickly spread from house to house until the whole street was ablaze. Bigger flames took hold when the paper rooves caught fire. Speaking with the children afterwards, they were really surprised how quickly the fire spread and were particularly amazed by how it appeared to jump from house to house.

Once the flames had died down they were allowed to walk passed the embers to see that though the fire appeared to be out, it still held a lot of heat.

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

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