Florence Nightingale – KQ3b – Smart task – What did people really think of Florence Nightingale?

Learning objectives

  • children can respond in role showing awareness of differing attitudes to Florence
  • they can judge whether each group would approve of giving Florence a medal


Start by slowly revealing a picture of the medal awarded to Florence (slide 2) and asking children to speculate what it might be as the various parts are revealed.
Ask the question; “Do you think Florence really wanted it?” Most pupils will rush in with the obvious answer but a few may be able to recall that Florence shunned public acclaim when she returned to England. Now ask the main question Do you think Florence deserved the medals? (The Royal Red cross was given by Queen Victoria in 1883 and the Order of Merit by Edward VII.) This is the focus of the enquiry in which pupils are encouraged to form a more rounded view of her character and her work

Step 1

Explain that some people thought that Florence was like an angel; others thought she was interfering and harsh. To help the children arrive at a conclusion good use can be made of role play as you can see in slides 5 and 6 and to be faithful to the

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