How The Gazette inspired Hathersage St Michael's C of E Primary School

Here’s how teacher, Jo Grayson, used The Gazette archives to help teach her class about the Great Fire of London.

At Hathersage C of E Primary School, our Year 2 class (ages 6 to 7 years) have been learning about the Great Fire of London.

The children enjoyed learning about Samuel Pepys and the importance of his diary. We also found out about the history of The London Gazette newspaper and how important it was in spreading news.

To give our writing a purpose and focus, we turned our classroom into a newsroom and pretended to interview Thomas Farriner, the baker who owned the bakery on Pudding Lane, where the fire started.

The children were so engaged and couldn’t wait to get writing! Over two sessions, we planned and wrote up our final news reports in the style of The London Gazette. They were so excited when they found out that their reports were going to be read by editors at The Gazette.

Fire of London reports

Gazette issue 85 gives a ‘short, but true’ account of the catastrophic event that lasted for nearly five days. It took nearly 50 years for the capital to rebuild itself.

See also: the Museum of London's What happened in the Great Fire of London?

Pictured: excerpts and drawings from the pupils' reports