London’s pupils go head to head to test their knowledge of the capital

05 July 2016

The Mayor of London’s annual London Knowledge Quiz took place at the Museum of London today, Tuesday 5 July, and saw schools from across the capital compete to be named the city’s most knowledgeable school. The pupils’ local expertise was challenged on everything from London’s skyline and transport network to its history and museums.

After months of heats, whittling down 450 schools to just six finalists, Ursuline High School (Merton) beat two other schools at the live final to be named champions of the secondary school competition, taking home the Mayor’s Award for London Knowledge prize trophy. Michael Faraday School (Southwark) won the top primary school spot as well as being awarded with a prize trophy.

The University Challenge-style competition, now in its fourth year, was hosted by TV presenter Michael Absalom and developed by the Museum of London, with links to the Mayor’s London Curriculum. Pupils were quizzed on centuries of London history. Four rounds of questioning ranged from the city’s medieval monasteries and the locations of the Roman city of Londinium’s public buildings to where parts of Stone Age animal skeletons have been found and the types of jobs Victorian children might have had in the capital.

Building on the volunteering legacy of the 2012 Games, where the local knowledge of volunteers from London contributed to a hugely successful volunteering programme, the London Knowledge Quiz is organised by the Mayor’s Team London initiative in partnership with the Museum of London and careers website plotr, to get young Londoners thinking about and taking pride in their city in A way that is fun and interactive. The event is part of a series of activities taking place this year to mark London’s time as European Volunteering Capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:  “This city is a giant classroom on every young Londoner’s doorstep and I want to encourage us all to get out and make the most of it. From our thriving culture scene, and rich heritage to our historic architecture and design, there is so much to learn and enjoy. Today’s quiz has proved just how impressive our young pupils are and I congratulate this year’s champions, and look forward to even more young brain boxes taking part next year.”

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “So much has happened and continues to happen in London and our collections reflect everything from pre-historic objects, Roman Londinium and the Great Fire to the Suffragettes, the 2012 Olympic Games and the thriving, vibrant city we live in today. We love hosting the London Knowledge Quiz and were so impressed by the students’ knowledge as we are every year.”

Later this year,  the Mayor’s inspiring London Curriculum programme will be expanded into primary schools. It brings the national curriculum to life through London’s people, places and heritage.

Test your knowledge of the capital (a selection of questions from today’s primary school quiz)

  • Which of these was NOT created in London? The first Wedding Cake, The first Scotch Egg, The first Hot Dog

The first Hot Dog

  • In 1865, what did the Prince of Wales have specially created for him?

The first Tuxedo

  • Can you tell us what Peter Durand patented in Hoxton in 1810?

The first tinned food

  • Which Bank unveiled the first London invented Cash Machine?

Barclays Bank, Enfield

  • What did Peter Hobbs invent in 1955 at his office in Croydon?

The electric kettle

  • What London invention was first put up in Westminster in 1926?

The traffic light

  • What type of hat was invented in London in 1846?

The Bowler Hat

  • Who created penicillin at St Mary’s Hospital in 1928?

Alexander Fleming

  • What item of safety equipment was invented in Covent Garden in 1723? 

The Fire Extinguisher

  • Which Famous London inventor created the first rubber Balloon?

Michael Faraday

  • According to the Houses of Parliament website, how many members are there currently in the House of Lords? Give you answers to the nearest 100.


Notes to editors


1.      London Curriculum
The London Curriculum supports the new National Curriculum, while helping young Londoners to better understand and engage with their city. The London Curriculum aims to improve:
• Subject knowledge and skills – helping teachers bring subjects to life by making illustrative and inspiring connections to the city, its people, places and heritage.
• City knowledge and skills – helping London students to become experts in the places, people and events that shape their city.
• Connection and contribution – helping students connect with London and other Londoners, to make more of the opportunities and help shape their city for the better.
The teaching resources are being developed by a partnership of subject specialists, cultural and heritage organisations and London schools, to support learning in and out of the classroom.


2.      Team London
Team London is the Mayor of London’s volunteering initiative. It supports over 1,800 charitable organisations, works with over 100 businesses to recognise the importance of volunteering for their staff and the next generation and provides thousands of opportunities for all Londoners to give back to their community through its website and speed volunteering app. Team London runs a wide range of programmes working cross-sector to support young people and London’s communities. London was named European Volunteering Capital 2016 as a result of Team London’s partnership working with the third sector.


3.       Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the story of the world’s greatest city and its people from prehistoric times to today. Our galleries and exhibitions draw on our internationally important collections, including the world’s largest archaeological archive. Each year over 110,000 pupils visit us or take part in our cross-curricular schools programmes and our interactive online resources for teachers and pupils receive over 1.5 million page views. The museum’s mission is to ‘Inspire a passion for London’ and one of our ambitions is to engage every school child in London. 
Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands are open daily 10am – 6pm and are FREE to all. For more information, please contact the Museum of London press office on 020 7814 5502 / [email protected].  


4.       plotr 
plotr is a careers site to inspire and inform every young person about the career and training pathways and options available to them. plotr believes that young people deserve the right to explore and discover the roles that can provide them with happiness and fulfilment in life. plotr has partnered with Team London to deliver the London Knowledge Quiz as the quiz is an inspirational way to engage young people about the communities in which they live - a core life skill that employers are looking