Lesson video

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Hi, everyone, it's me, Miss Browne.

And I am excited already for lessons three in our unit.

All about London in the United Kingdom.

Now, in lesson one and two, we were geographers and we had our geography hat on.

But today we need to change our hats 'cause we're doing something different.

Get your geography hats, take it off.

Well done.

And now get your historian hat and put your historian hat on your head.


We're ready to go.

Let's see what our guiding question is today.

Today's question is, what is the history of London? That's why we need our historian hat.

What is the history of London? In this lesson, you will need an exercise book or paper, a pencil, and your brains.

So if you don't have those things, pause the video and go and get them now.


Now, let's think about what we're doing today.

Today we are firstly going to start with an introduction to history, then we're going to learn about the founders of London, then we're going to learn about the history of London, we're going to learn about how London has almost been destroyed twice, and we're going to learn a timeline of London.

Before we start, I thought I'd point out where you all are in the world, 'cause actually I'm in London.

Where are you? Tell your screen.

Gosh, we're all in so many different places.

This is a great chance for us to learn about London, which is the capital city of England.

And then maybe you can go away and find out about some of the history of where you live.

We are historians today.

Historians are people who study and write about the past.

About the? Great.

Historian are people who study and write about the past.

In this lesson, we're not thinking about what's happening right now, we're thinking about the past.

We're thinking about the? Well done.

Okay, star words, star words, star words.





A founder is somebody who starts something or begins something.

We're going to learn today about the founders of London.

People who started London.



All throughout today's lesson, we're going to be looking at a timeline and I'm going to show you what it is in a moment.

Here is a timeline.

What a timeline does is it shows us on a line how long ago something happened.

Over here, we've got 2020, that's now.

It's 2020.

At least it is when I'm recording this video.

And so I'm alive now.

And to begin our story of the history of London, we're going to go back over or nearly 2,000 years to 43 CE, okay? So we're going back a really, really long time.

Now, in 43 CE, there was nothing in London.

It was a vast piece of land with some people living on it, but there were no buildings.

No, not very many buildings, not lots of busy people, there were no buses or trains.

There really wasn't very much going on.

But then some Roman soldiers sailed from Italy all the way to Britain with a really big army, with lots of soldiers in search of land.

And you can see the boat on my screen.

It's similar to a boat that they might have come in, and you can see that it's full of people and they would have been soldiers, okay? So soldiers came from Italy to Britain and they were called the Romans.

They were called the? Romans, Romans.

And they bought a lot in Britain and they took control of the land that we now call London, but at time they called Londinium.


And you might hear when I say the word Londinium, it has the word London in it, but they added ium on the end.

So the Romans called it Londinium.


Now, after the Romans had bought and taken control, they needed somewhere to live, somewhere for their soldiers to live.

So they started to build houses and settlements in London.

And you can see an early image of London here surrounded by a really high wall to protect them from the enemy.

So it's a good way of keeping yourself safe if you have a big high wall around the outside.

And they stayed in Britain for over 400 years and they didn't only build towns, they also built lots of roads to link all their towns together, and they built canals to connect them as well.

So the Romans built a lot of building when they were in England and one of the places they built was Londinium.

Londinium, which is what modern day we call London.



So the Romans were the founders of London, but they called it Londinium in the year 43 CE.

400 years after they arrived, the Romans left Londinium.

And after that period, there was lots of fighting of people taking control until in 601 CE we had the Anglo-Saxons.

I think we need some actions.

For the Romans, you can see they're in a special kind of clothes here.

So can we go Romans.



And now we're going to go, Anglo-Saxons.

Your turn.

Good job.


Well done.

And England was split at this time, but the Anglo-Saxons were the people in London, and they lived really peacefully in London until the Vikings came along, and the Vikings wore a very special helmets.

So we're going to put our hands on our head like a Viking helmet.



And the Vikings sailed over from Scandinavia all the way to Britain.

Now, some people see Vikings as pirates because they were quite violent.

That means they did a lot of fighting and they took lots of people's gold.

And they took over London.

When they took control of London, they also took control of the river Thames that goes through the middle of London and all its parts.

And this meant people were not able to move around on the river and people were not able to trade.

And so London did not make as much money as it had in the Roman times.

So you can see here the image of the boat, and it was not making as much money as it did in the Roman times.

So we've got the Romans, then we've got the Anglo-Saxons who had control of London, then we've got the Vikings.

Well done.

So let's do it again.

We've got the Romans, then we have the Anglo-Saxons, and then we have the Vikings.

Finally, in 886 CE, King Alfred managed to defeat the Vikings and take control of London.

And King Alfred was a very great king.

And he did lots of really good things.

One thing he did was created lots of laws so that people could live safely together.

And the other thing he did was he started people trading with what we know as money.

So before that, they sort of swapped goods, but now with King Alfred in control, they started to use money like we would use money today.

Now, King Alfred eventually died and there were lots of Kings after that.

Until in 1066, the Normans arrived.

Can you do some fighting? The Normans arrived with William the Conqueror all the way from France.

So we've got King Alfred, then he dies and there were other kings, and then in 1066, we have the Norman conquest so we're going to do the Normans like this 'cause they managed to defeat and take control of Britain.

And when they got to London, they built a lot of buildings to show how powerful they were.

And one of them was this building, the Tower of London.

The? Good job, the Tower of London.

Well done.

Are you ready? We've got the Romans, good job.

Then we have the Anglo-Saxons.

Then we had the Vikings.

Then we had King Alfred.

Oh, be in action for King Alfred.

Let's do a crown on our heads.

King Alfred.

And then in 1066, we had the Normans.

Good job with the Norman conquest.

Very well done.

Good, Katie.

Our timeline is really filling up, isn't it? At the beginning, it was just me now and the Romans.

And now we've got other key events in history on our timeline.

I have an activity for you to do now.

What I'd like you to do is pause the video and draw a timeline on your piece of paper.

Then you need to add in the key dates and look where they are on the line, don't just put them anywhere, they have to go in these particular places.

And draw images from the ones on my screen of what goes when.

So who came first? The Romans, great.

Then the Anglo-Saxons, they go there at 601 CE.

Then the Vikings, good jobs, 793 CE.

Then we had king Alfred 886 CE.

And then over here, we've got me, okay? Pause the video now and complete your timeline.

Well done.

Excellent job.

We are now going to talk about how London was almost destroyed.

Before we do it, let's have a look at our completed timeline.

We've got the Romans at the beginning.

The next step was the Anglo-Saxons, then we had the Vikings, then we had King Alfred.

Well done.

And then in 2020, you've got us, you and me, sitting in our homes.

Now we're going to learn about two times when London was almost destroyed, okay? Destroyed.

I wonder when they were.

Here is the first image.

And this is the Great Fire of London.

My turn, your turn.

The Great Fire of London.

The Great Fire of London.

Now, at this time in 1666, lots of buildings in London were made of wood.

What might be the problem with your house being made of wood? Have a think.

What might the problem be? Tell your screen.

You're right, wood burns really easily.

And that's what happened in 1666, when a fire broke out in a bakery, in a place called Pudding Lane.

So there's always fire in a bakery, it's how you cook the bread, but the fire got out of control in this bakery on Pudding Lane, and the fire started to spread across London.

And that was partly 'cause there were really strong winds that were blowing the flames, and also everything was really dry so it burnt really quickly.

And the fires burnt a full four days.

Can you just imagine the idea of where you live being on fire for four whole days and 13,000 houses were destroyed, including St' Paul's Cathedral.

Can you imagine, how do you think people felt when their house was destroyed? Yeah, lots of you saying sad, but I think maybe a bit more than sad, maybe devastated.

All their things were burnt, their house were burnt, they had to grab what they could carry and run away from the flames.

You can see in this picture, images of people on boats trying to put out the fire from the river Thames.

So you can see that they were really trying to get control of the fire by spraying water onto it.

That is the first time that London was nearly destroyed.

It was in 1666 with the great? Good, Great Fire of London.

Let's have a look on our timeline.

So this is a lot later, that 1886 is where we had King Alfred, and we're now jumping forward to 1666 and the Great Fire of London, okay? This space of time is about the same as this space of time, okay? So it's been quite a big gap until London was almost destroyed for the first time in 1666.

With the? Good, Great Fire of London.

There was another time when London was nearly destroyed.

Actually that was really recent.

And that was called The Blitz.

My grandparents, so my grandma and my granddad, they were alive in The Blitz, okay? So it wasn't a very long time ago.

I met my grandparents and they were alive in The Blitz.

And The Blitz took place in 1940 as part of World War II.

And this was a huge war that started in 1939.

And the enemy, which was a group of countries led by Germany, bombed London and other really big cities in the UK.

Some of you might live in places that were bombed during The Blitz.

And you can see in the picture here, the German Air Force flying over London, and what do you think they were going to do? Good, they were going to drop bombs on London.

What do you think happens if you drop bombs on London? Tell your screen.

Good, buildings get destroyed and people get hurt.

And this is an image that you can see, and you can see these children.

I don't know the story behind this but maybe this was their house.

And what's happened to their house? Good, it's been destroyed 'cause it's had bombs dropped on it.

And this happened for eight months.

Can you imagine for eight months being really frightened everyday that bombs might be dropped on your house.

As a result, a few things, people had to do a few things to keep themselves safe.

One was they had to carry gas masks with them.

And that was to keep them really safe during The Blitz.

The other thing they had to do was when a siren sounded, they had to go and hide or protect themselves underground in things called bomb shelters.

Bomb shelters.

And this is an example of a bomb shelter.

And actually people also use the London underground stations to protect themselves.

What would happen is you would hear the air raid siren, and it sort of went like this.

Can you do it with me? And when you heard that noise, you knew that it was your job to get to a bomb shelter, because it was telling you that bombs were being dropped on London.

And to keep yourself safe, you needed to go to the bomb shelter or to find cover underground in somewhere that was really strong to keep you safe.

What do you think it must've been like living in London during The Blitz? Yeah, really frightening.

I also imagined a lot of the time at night, you wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep because you might go to sleep and then you had to wake up and go to a bomb shelter.

And often people were in these bomb shelters for many hours before it was safe for them to come out again.

So this is the second time on our timeline, you can see it over here, when London was nearly destroyed.

And that was in 1940 during The Blitz.

We've also obviously got 1666, which was the? Good, Great Fire of London.

Well done.

Now what I'd like you to do is, on your timeline, can you add The Blitz and the Great Fire of London.

Remember what came first.

The Great Fire of London, that was longer ago.

And then we've got The Blitz, which was actually not very long ago, my grandparents were alive in The Blitz.

Pause the video now and complete your timeline.

Amazing job, well done.

You've done such a good job.

Let's have a quick look at where those should be.

So we've got the Great Fire of London over here, and then The Blitz here.

Well done.

Team, and that is the end of our time as historians today.

I would love to see your timelines.

So if you would like to share your work with Oak National, please ask your parent or carer to show your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, typing @Oaknational, with #learnwithoak.

Thank you so much, everybody.

It was lovely being historians with you today and see you again soon.