Children from four West Cumbrian primary schools have taken part in a Florence Nightingale week to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
Children from primary schools within the West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust (Arlecdon Primary School, Dearham Primary School, Flimby Primary School and Thornhill Primary School) took part in a week of activities taking them on a journey from 200 years ago to present day NHS.
The week began on Monday 7th September with an introduction to Florence Nightingale and a ‘build a lamp’ challenge. The children worked together in small groups to design and create a lantern that could hold a small tea light using resources available in their classroom. They also learned why Florence was called the Lady with the Lamp.
On Wednesday the students had the opportunity to take part in a virtual Q&A with two modern day healthcare workers. A pharmacist working in a central London hospital and an optometrist who works in a Manchester hospital spoke to the children about their respective careers, the NHS and modern day healthcare.
There was also an ‘infections through history’ workshop, poster design session and the chance for the children to design their own modern Nightingale Hospital. The week culminated in a dress up day on Friday 11th September, where everyone dressed in clothes from the Crimean War era.
The week was organised by the Primary Business Partnership. The PBP aims to raise aspirations in children in West Cumbria by helping primary schools and businesses work together to equip local young people with knowledge, skills and aspirations relevant to the modern world.
Claire Johnson, PBP Project Manager said:
“We were delighted when four primary schools within the West Lakes MAT asked us to support a Florence Nightingale themed week for pupils returning to the classroom. Working with Mrs Peers, deputy head at Flimby, and other teachers, we looked at how we could engage our network of volunteers from local businesses to offer insights into their world of work. We were delighted with the response we had from local businesses and together with the schools we developed a series of virtual interactive workshops for children to complete during the week, which showcased careers and skills in a range of sectors.
Children were taken on a journey which started 200 years ago with the birth of Florence to the current day with the building of the new Nightingale Hospitals used to help with the Coronavirus outbreak. We would like to thank the Primary Business Partnership, Business Toolbox Cumbria, Mott MacDonald, Red Pike Education and Sellafield Ltd for developing workshops and the fabulous NHS workers who joined a live Q & A session which PBP were able to facilitate virtually with all of the schools.”
Claire Johnson added:
“We saw this week how our business volunteers were able to inspire the children by bringing learning to life through real work examples and career exploration. Since the Coronavirus pandemic we feel it is even more important to raise the aspirations of children and young people and give them new, enriching and stimulating experiences. We still want the children of West Cumbria to be able to DREAM BIG and do not want the impact of Coronavirus to limit opportunities for children. As such, we have been embracing technology and developing our sessions for online delivery. We believe that career-related learning in primary schools is essential for young people to understand why they are learning and what they are working towards. By giving their learning a purpose and goal, young people can then start to make the connection between what they are doing in school and how that prepares them for later in life. We would like to thank all our wonderful volunteers; we couldn’t have done this without their insight and support”.
Tanya Peers, Deputy Head teacher at Flimby Primary School commented:
“I approached the Primary Business Partnership to work with us at Flimby Primary School after being made aware of projects they had worked on with other schools during lockdown. We decided on a Florence Nightingale theme as it was 200 years ago that Florence was born.
The plan has grown bigger and bigger over summer and has encompassed the whole WLMAT primary schools. This is an exciting venture for us all to embark upon together since we have just joined the Trust alongside Dearham. Staff have liaised together and shared ideas and plans over summer to produce a week long plan. The PBP have been in touch with many businesses and have produced lesson plans, presentations and resources to engage the children.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed the week and it has been an excellent start to the year. The children have found it really interesting to discuss and find out the similarities and differences to when Florence Nightingale was a nurse and the current situation with COVID-19. The week culminated in a fancy dress day which saw the children dressed as a nurse, doctor, soldier from the Crimean War or a patient.”