Year 1 from our Infant School kicked off the summer term by exploring the fascinating history of Florence Nightingale, investigating her life and meeting her at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

The Hamlet is perfectly preserved as a slice of history in the 18th Century: it is now a group of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was previously the largest water-powered industrial site on the River Sheaf producing agricultural tools. It was in operation up until the 1930s, and is close to where Florence Nightingale grew up in the Derbyshire countryside and visited her grandparents near Sheffield.

The girls were excited to meet Florence Nightingale herself and investigated her life as a child and young lady. She gave them the chance to be house inspectors, and the girls worked with Florence to see if Victorian houses followed her five principles of cleanliness, which are fresh air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness and light.

Finally, Year 1 travelled with Florence to a recreation of her base during the Crimean War, the Scutari Hospital. They learned how to be just as skilled as Florence at healing and replicated her good deeds by cleaning the hospital, dressing the soldiers’ wounds, giving them food and helping them write letters home. The class had a fantastic day of hands-on learning and loved seeing history brought to life at Abbeydale.