8. Completing the challenge

Synopsis: 'Completing the challenge'

The group returns for a second visit to MATRIX and the new virtual reality exhibition about the Great Fire of London. After a reminder of the challenges the group dons ‘VR’ helmets and returns to the sights and sounds of 1666.

The group begins travelling towards the north wall of the city. A horse and rider passes by, dropping a bag of money, which the group decides to hold on to in the hope of finding the rightful owner. Later the group helps to pull down some houses to created fire breaks, having considered the circumstances of the poor home owners.

The group learns that King Charles II is nearby, helping to direct the battle against the fire and also that the King is the owner of the gold coins. Here is the chance to achieve all three challenges at once. The children rehearse how to speak with the king...who then provides a guide to escort the group away from the city. The group imagines looking back to see the smouldering ruins of the city from their position of safety.

Then it’s time to return to the present day.

Using these drama programmes

The two 15’ minute programmes in this unit explore The Great Fire through classroom drama activities. The programmes are set in an interactive museum and the children remain in role throughout as visitors to the museum, helping to test a new interactive exhibition about the Great Fire of London. At various points through the programme our guide - Kerry - asks the group to come together and offer her suggestions. Be ready at these points to pause the programme and assume the role of Kerry yourself if you feel it will aid the quality of children’s work.

The programmes aim to:

  • develop imagination and creative responses
  • provide opportunities for careful, focused listening using a range of voices and a variety of styles
  • enable children to see issues and dilemmas from a number of points of view
  • build pupils’ confidence in drama, gradually introducing more complex tasks
  • engage pupils in drama activities involving discussion, sharing of ideas, co-operation, planning and presentation of responses to other members of the class
  • provide opportunities for ‘teacher in role’ to extend pupils’ vocabulary, speaking skills and imagination
  • offer a flexible cross-curricular resource, meeting drama and other subject goals

Before the programme:

  • listen to the programme and read through these notes in advance to assess suitability and note areas for development or extra support
  • use the best equipment available – it makes a real difference to the children’s concentration and work
  • you will need a fairly large, cleared space and about 40 minutes to complete the work for each programme

During the programme refer to these Notes which provide:

  • brief synopsis of the story
  • the programme structure - the activities that will take place during the programme
  • teacher guidance - ideas for teacher involvement intended to get the most out of the programmes
  • short, dramatised scenes with a narrator - these set the scene and give instructions
  • sections of background sound effects - these provide a stimulus for pupil activities
Download Teacher's Notes (pdf)



Play next

6. Put the Fire out!
7. Welcome to MATRIX!
9. The story of The Great Fire of London