Florence Nightingale

This half term, we have been learning all about the life and times of Florence Nightingale and to end our topic, we had a very special visitor.


Can you remember any facts that you have learnt about Florence Nightingale?

When and where was she born?

When did she die?

What was she famous for?

How do we remember her today?

We went back in time to the Crimean War in 1855 in the middle of the Crimean War to learn what it was like to be a nurse or a soldier in Scutari hospital.

Where did the Crimean War take place? Do you know where Scutari is? Use a map to find out. 

The hospitals were dirty and soldiers had to sleep on the floor because there weren’t enough beds. There was no clean water and the food that the soldiers ate was mouldy. Rats carried disease throughout the hospital and many soldiers were dying from the poor conditions rather than their injuries.

Florence took a team of nurses to try and make the conditions better for the soldiers. We imagined what it would have been like to be there as a nurse or a soldier.


What was it like to dress up? Did you enjoy it? Could you have imagined what it was like to be a soldier or a nurse in the Crimean War?

We had a look at some artefacts and had to handle them carefully because they were fragile and old.


We also got to complete lots of other activities like playing with old-fashioned toys and games, making lavender bags and pretending to cook for the injured soldiers.


Thank you Florence for coming to visit, we had an amazing time!

How to continue the learning at home:

  • Click here to play the BBC game about Florence Nightingale.
  • Use Google to research more about the life and times of Florence Nightingale.
  • Draw a picture of Florence Nightingale.
  • Write a diary entry about your experience of Florence coming to visit.

Remembrance Day


At 11 o’clock, on the 11th day of the 11th month, we stopped what we were doing to had a two-minute silence to remember the soldiers who have died for our country in wars past and present.

We watched a live feed on the internet and saw that everyone around the world was silent at 11 o’clock.

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People wear poppies as a mark of respect to remember all of the soldiers who have died in the first and second world war but also the fighting that is happening today. Click here to visit the Newsround website for more information.

Click here to watch a short animation from Cbeebies about Remembrance Day. It follows a young rabbit through the poppy fields.


Poppies were the only thing that grew in the fields after the fighting has stopped.


There is a famous poem by John McCrae, written in May 1915 that was inspired by all the poppies in fields. Click here to read it.

In class, we have written in our topic books about what Remembrance Day is all about and made some poppy crafts in our independent learning time.

How to continue the learning at home:

  • Talk to your child about what the poppy symbolises and why people wear them.
  • Watch the Remembrance Service on television on Sunday 13th November with your child.
  • Visit a local cenotaph and talk about why the poppies have been laid.

The Gunpowder Plot

This week, we had a mystery box delivered to Pearl class. 

What was it? Who was it from? What was inside it? 

We talked to each other to think about where it might have come from and we had a think about might have been inside.  

Miss Varley took things out of the box, one at a time to try and guess the theme of the box. The first thing that came out of the mystery box were a box of matches and this helped us to think of a reason that matches could be used.  The next thing that came out of the box was a candle. We know that we can use matches to light the candle but that didn’t help us to guess what was in the rest of the  box. The third thing that came out of the box was a picture of King James I. We didn’t know who King James was so we had another look inside the mystery box. A calendar was the next thing out of the box and it had 5th November highlighted. What did this mean? Some of the children knew that the 5th November was the date of Bonfire Night and then Cyrus said that he knew about a man called Guy Fawkes. The other things in the mystery box were: a blueprint of the Houses of Parliament, a picture of some fireworks, a newspaper article from 1605 of a Bonfire and a book about Guy Fawkes. 

Today we were going to learn about Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night. 

We got to learn about Guy Fawkes and how Bonfire Night was started over 400 years ago. Here is some of the work that we completed in class. 

Here are some of the fun facts we have learnt:

  • King James was a Protestant and made a new law that made Catholics very unhappy. 
  • Guy Fawkes and his friends were Catholics and they disliked the King. They wanted his daughter, Elizabeth to be Queen because she was a Catholic. 
  • It took a long time to plan how to blow up the Houses of Parliament and it was all planned to take place on 5th November 1605 because they knew that the King would be there.
  • They had put gunpowder in the cellar, directly underneath the King’s throne.  
  • A man called Lord Monteagle, who was a Catholic, was sent a letter, warning him not to go to Parliament on that day. 
  • He couldn’t keep this a secret so went to tell the King. 
  • Guards found Guy Fawkes in the cellar, ready to light the gunpowder. 
  • He was arrested and put into the Tower of London. 
  • King James wanted us to remember the 5th of November as the day he didn’t get blown up so that is why we have bonfires and fireworks today. 

We learnt a rhyme to help us remember what happened all those years ago. 

Remember, remember the 5th of November, 

Gunpowder, treason and plot. 

I see no reason,  why gunpowder treason, 

Should ever be forgot. ‘

We used bright pastels and paint to create dome firework pictures. We even included some onomatopoeia to represent the sounds that fireworks make. 

How to continue the learning at home:

  • Visit a bonfire with your family and friends. 
  • Talk to your child about fire safety. 
  • Ask your child to retell the story of Guy Fawkes to you. 
  • Draw bonfire/firework pictures on dark paper with bright pastels or paint. 

Rosa Parks

In Pearl class, we have been learning about Black History Month. This is a time where we learn, honour, and celebrate the achievements of black men and women throughout history.


In particular, we learnt about a very special lady called Rosa Parks.

We read the story If a Bus Could Talk’ by Faith Ringgold and watched a video to learn more about her life. Click here to watch the video clip.


From reading the book, watching the video and then researching about her using the laptops and iPads, we found out the following information.

  • Rosa Parks was born on the 4th February 1913 and she died on 24th October 2005, aged 92.
  • She was African-American.
  • During the 1950s in America, there was a civil rights movement which meant that people with the same coloured skin were not allowed to mix with people with different coloured skin.
  • On 1st December 1955, Rosa was sat on a bus and she was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus to a white passenger.
  • She was ordered to pay a fine of $10 but she refused as she believed that the law was wrong.
  • She continued to fight for equality and rights for all African-Americans and has become a symbol of equality and freedom to many.
  • She wrote an autobiography called Rosa Parks: My Story in 1992.


We spent time in class discussing how upsetting that must have been for Rosa, to have been discriminated against just because the colour of her skin.

In Pearl class, there are a lot of different skin colours and we have children with different ethnicity but we treat everyone the same. It would be unfair to treat someone differently if they didn’t have the right shoes on or if they had different colour of hair.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and deserves to be treated the same.

Have a look at some of the learning that we have completed in class about Rosa Parks.

How to continue the learning at home:

  • Learn about other African-Americans and learn why they are important. E.g. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela
  • Talk to your child about equality and treating everyone with respect, regardless of their skin colour, ethnicity or background.

Florence Nightingale Workshop

This week, we have had history come to life! As a special treat to finish the end of our topic, Florence Nightingale came to our school. It felt like we were actually in the Crimean War helping Florence Nightingale or being one of the soldiers.

We got a chance to dress up and it was so much fun. We could be Florence Nightingale, one of the nurses who helped her or we could have been one of the soldiers.

The lady brought lots of different artefacts with her so we had the opportunity to handle real-life objects like they would have had in 1854. There was even a severed hand in there too!

We had learnt that the hospitals in Scutari were disgusting. They were full of flea-ridden rats, the food was often mouldy, the water was infected and the injured soldiers often had to sleep on the floor as there were no beds left for them to rest on.

When Florence and her nurses came, she began to change all of this. Florence was using her own money to look after the soldiers and they started to get better. We have learnt that she had a nickname. The soldiers used to call her ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ because during the night, Florence would go and check up on the soldiers to make sure that they were okay with a small lamp.

Everyone had so much fun, teachers included! A massive thank you to Florence for coming to visit us.

What you can do to support your child’s learning at home:

  • Ask your child if they can recall any of the facts that have learnt about Florence Nightingale.
  • Click here to play a game and learn more about Florence.

Florence Nightingale Role Play Area

We  are so excited to be learning about Florence Nightingale that Miss Varley has created Scutari hospital for us to recreate what it must have been like during the Crimean War.


We have learnt that Scutari is in a place called Turkey so we have the Turkish flag up.



We have learnt that Florence was having to look after soldiers in disgusting conditions.

  • Soldiers were having to sleep on the floor.
  • There was no clean water to drink or bathe in.
  • Food was often mouldy or stale.
  • There were lots of rats and they were covered in disease and ran around the hospital, passing their bacteria and disease around.
  • Many soldiers died from infection rather than their actual wounds.

We have also looked at a timeline of Florence Nightingale’s life to learn facts like when she was born, how old she was when she died.


We love dressing up and using our imagination to try and imagine what it must of been like for Florence, her nurses and the soldiers.

What you could do at home:

  • Find out who Florence Nightingale is.
  • Find out why is she important to nursing.
  • Visit the library to find books about Florence.
  • Use the internet to research more about the life of Florence Nightingale.

The Great Fire of London


In History this half term, we have started to learn about the Great Fire of London but we don’t know much about it yet.


Can you help us by commenting on this post if you have any information or facts that you think that we will find useful?

Here are some questions that you could help us to answer.

  • Where did it start?
  • When did it start?
  • How long did it last?
  • How did the fire spread?
  • How did people escape from the fire?
  • What happened after the fire?
  • Which buildings got damaged in the fire?
  • Was anyone hurt in the fire?
  • Who is Samuel Pepys and why is he important?
  • Were there fire fighters to help put out the fire?

We hope to find out some answers soon.

What you could do at home to support your child…

  1. Use the internet to find out facts about the Great Fire of London.
  2. Comment on the post with any facts you have found out.
  3. Visit the library to find information books about the Great Fire of London.
  4. Share these facts with your child.