May 11, 2020
We are celebrating the work of the NHS and the dedication and hard work of all. One of the first pioneers of Nursing was Florence Nightingale who was born on the 12th May 1820, on the 200th anniversary of her birth, the work Florence Nightingale did resonates with us now more than ever. Florence’s ideas and actions changed nursing forever. In honour and in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the new hospital built in London was named the Nightingale Hospital. Florence made people realise that nursing is an important job and that hospitals needed to be clean to save lives. These ideas still save people’s lives today. She was the first woman nurse and first woman to earn the order of merit in 1910
Florence Nightingale was named Florence after the place of her birth in Italy. She grew up in the Victorian era and felt that it was her duty to help the very poor in society. In 1850, Florence went to Germany to help those living in poverty and was so inspired by the experience she decided to become a nurse. This was not a popular choice with her parents and at the time women were not allowed to be nurses as hospitals were very dirty and unsafe. However, she convinced her family and in 1851 she trained to become a nurse., The following year saw the outbreak of the Crimean war and Florence went to Crimea. She found the soldiers living in filthy conditions and, thanks to her common sense and determination, many lives were saved. She as given the name ‘Lady with the Lamp’ because she carried a light with her to light her way around the hospitals. On her return she set up the Nightingale Training school for nurses in 1860.
We have a range of activities on Purple Mash that can be used by pupils to celebrate the life and work of this incredible lady. Children could start by watching this slide show or could head to BBC Teach and watch ‘Florence Nightingale’ which tells the story of her life and work, and shows how she grew up to become a nurse during the Crimean War. The story is told in the first person, and brought to life with a mix of drama, movement, music and animation. Children can then write up what they have found out using this template, or they could create an interview style magazine article about her life. Using 2Respond, children could write an email helping Florence convince the British Government to improve conditions for injured soldiers. We also have a Florence Nightingale Mashcam where children can put themselves into the role of Florence Nightingale, showing her thoughts and characters in the speech bubble.