• Imagining History

Florence Nightingale - Fun Facts for KS1 & KS2

Find out about Florence Nightingale with these easy facts for Keystage 1 & 2. If you want to learn more, check out our guide to Florence Nightingale and her Legacy.


An image of Nightingale by Kilburn
  • Florence's parents named both of their daughters after the cities they were born in. Florence was named after Florence in Italy and her sister Frances Parthenope was named after Parthenope in Greece.


  • Florence didn't go to school but was taught by her father at home. She learned maths, science and languages like Latin, French and Italian.


  • Florence rescued an owl and named her Athena. Athena loved to go everywhere with Florence and would sit on her shoulder or in her pocket.


  • Florence was asked to take a team of 38 nurses to a hospital in Scutari to help soldiers who were injured in the Crimean war.


  • When Florence first arrived in the hospital in Scutari, the Doctors working there didn't want her help. But in the end, Florence's good work reduced the hospital’s death rate by two-thirds.


  • Florence paid to make the Scutari hospital better using her own family money and gifts from people back at home in Britain. She bought things like blankets, medicine and food to help the injured soldiers.


Courtesy of Wellcome Collection gallery
  • The injured soldiers called Florence “The Lady With The Lamp” because she walked around the hospital at night holding a lamp and comforting patients.


  • Queen Victoria was so pleased with Florence's work in Scutari that she gave her a gold engraved brooch (now known as the "Nightingale Jewel") to thank her.


  • While in Scutari, Florence was infected with "Crimean Fever". This was a lifelong illness and from the age of 38 onwards she spent most of her life in bed. But she didn't let this stop her from helping people.


  • Florence was very good at maths and helped people to understand the beneficial effects of her work by showing data in clear diagrams that everyone could understand.


Florence Nightingale
  • Florence wrote over 200 books on how to be a nurse and how hospitals should be run.


  • Florence became the first woman to become a member of the Royal Statistical Society because she was so good at maths.


  • Before Florence became a nurse, the job of nursing was frowned upon. Florence's work made it a respectable career.


  • International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on Florence's birthday.


Are you a teacher? Yes? Then you'll definitely want Imagining History to bring their "Florence Nightingale" KS1 Interactive workshop to your school.


Our Award-Winning sessions combine role-play, storytelling, demonstrations and drama and performance to bring history to life for your students.


Find out more here!



Further Reading:

We found the following books very handy in researching this article. If you'd like to learn more about Florence Nightingale then they're well worth a look.


For Adults:

Notes on Nursing - What It Is and What It Is Not by Florence Nightingale


Why we like it:

This book is written by Florence Nightingale herself. It is one of her most famous books, and describes the curriculum that her trainee nurses learned at the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas' Hospital.






For Children:

Fact Cat: Florence Nightingale by Izzy Howell


Why we like it:

This book is a great introduction to Florence Nightingale and her work during the Crimean War. It even comes with a fun quiz so you can practice what you've learned! Ideal for ages 5-7.






For Children:

DK Life Stories Florence Nightingale by Kitson Jazynka


Why We Like It:

This book contains a more in-depth look into Florence's life and achievements. It is a great biography spanning her entire life including fun graphics, diagrams and more. Ideal for ages 7-11.






The above links are affiliate links. That means if you buy something through the links above, we will earn a few quid at no extra cost to you. But it’s worth pointing out, we choose these products because we genuinely recommend them.


If you’re under the age of 16, it’s important that you get a parent or guardian’s permission before you buy anything over the internet.

Sign up for blog notifications

Receive updates on our latest blog posts* including new articles, history guides, arts & crafts ideas and more. 

Plus, it's all free!

Thanks for subscribing!

*We will not spam you or pass your information onto any third parties. You can unsubscribe at any time using the links at the bottom of the email. For more information, see our Privacy Notice or email us at the address below.

Choose a History Topic:
Support Us

To keep the Imagining History Resource blog content free, forever.