5 Ideas For Learning About Florence Nightingale

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5 ideas for learning about FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE - LIGHT BRINGER 

In these difficult times, ‘light’ moments are so important. Like hearing the news of Captain Tom’s amazing fundraising for the NHS or watching videos of families dancing together in lockdown.

So, what an appropriate time to remember Florence Nightingale in her bicentenary year, a true ‘light bringer’ who revolutionized the way hospitals and the nursing profession were run, and established the first nursing school in the world at St Thomas’ in London. She enlightened society about the importance of cleanliness and nutrition and brought light, literally, to the soldiers in her care by checking up on them, even at night, walking around with her lamp, which is how she came to be known as ‘the lady with the lamp’.

Here are some ideas for children to find out more about Florence Nightingale:


1. The Lady With The Lamp

Click here to watch an animation all about her life and work.

Florence knew that hygiene – keeping hospitals and people really clean – was really important. She would definitely have approved of us all washing our hands very thoroughly!  She made sure the patients in her care had clean water aswell as good food. In her honour, why not have a ‘Nightingale Day’, when you can make a difference in your own way?

In our world at the moment, there are still some people who don’t have access to basic things such as clean water.

  • Arrange a day when you fundraisefor a charity like Water Aid. You could offer to clean your bedroom, the car, the dishes or even all three! Get your friends involved in their households.  


    2. Whos Bright Idea Is This?

    Florence was very passionate about what she believed, but always made sure that she collected plenty of evidence to convince people that what she was saying was accurate.

    • Think of something you feel passionate about. It could be animal welfare; climate change; growing your own food etc.
    • Research some facts and present an argument – either written or perhaps using Powerpoint –to try toconvince people that your ideas are good ones. Florence used Coxcombs (similar to pie charts) to back up her arguments. 

    Could you include a simple graph in your presentation? Remember to use colour if you can to make it more impressive.


        3. And The Award Goes To...

        • Because of all the work Florence did to improve nursing and hospitals, she received lots of awards, including one from Queen Victoria called ‘The Order of Merit’.

          Design an ‘Order of Merit’ certificate of your own or print out a template from the internet.
        • When it is safe to do so, present it to someone in your community who you think deserves some special recognition. You could do more than one of course!


              4. The Laddie With The Lamp!

              When Florence Nightingale was alive, nursing was considered something suitable only for women to do. Nowadays, there are plenty of men who are nurses too.

              • See if you can discover how much this has changed in the last century (from 1920-2020) and think about other professions or jobs that also used to be thought suitable only for men/women but are now open to all.
              • Think about the job that you would like to do one day and write a plan, outlining the skills you will need to learn to do it well. Can you use the additional spare time you may have at the moment to get started?


                5. Make your own kind of music

                Did you know that Florence sometimes struggled with mental health issues? She had an illness which meant that she was often forced to stay in bed and that made her feel sad.

                We know that keeping ourselves healthy includes our mental health. It is really important to find ways to deal with stress and one of the ways we can do that is to take time out to meditate and relax. This clip is of nightingale song and running water.

                • Why not make yourself comfortable in a quiet room in your house, breathe deeply and listen for a while, imagining yourself to be in a favourite place. Or, if you have a garden or balcony, you could find a comfortable spot there and listen to the sounds of nature all around you.

                  Click here for Same Boat Music @ HOME for lots more great worship songs and resources for children at home.

                  About the Author

                  Sue Langwade

                  Sue Langwade

                  Sue is a writer with many years' experience in primary education. She has collaborated with Mark and Helen on several projects and has published a book of short sketches entitled 'Brushstrokes'.

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