Is fire the most important discovery humankind ever made?

Person: Thomas Farrinor

Place: Bakery in Pudding Lane, London

Problem: Bakery catches fire and sets light to wooden houses in East London

Possibilities: Rebuilding London and working as a team  


The project begins with learning about why humans need fire and how it was created and how it was used/controlled in the past (pre-historic times and Indigenous peoples such as Native Americans and Aborigines) ) and compare this with how we use fire in the present day. The story, ‘How rabbit stole the fire’ is introduced gradually to encourage the children to think about who has a right to have fire – humans or animals? Can humans and animals share our planet and all that it has to offer?

The second part of this project starts with the history of the Great Fire of London and the story of Thomas Farrinor’s bakery in Pudding Lane. Historical figures such as Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn and William Taswell are studied to discover the importance of diaries as a historical primary source. Paintings and drawings are studied to observe London in 1666.

To encourage children to think about the beauty and danger of fire we create a variety of poems (Kennings, Acrostic, Calligrams). Artwork focuses on recreating the Great Fire of London scene.

Children are taught about fire safety by writing instructions for a fire drill and speaking to local firefighters.

Knowledge Organiser


Trips out/Visitors In 

Science Oxford – The Great Fire of London workshop 

Local firefighters 

Learning Exhibition 

A Fire Poetry book launch where children share their poems with parents and carers.