Norland hosted its annual May open day on Saturday 20 May. It was the busiest open day in Norland’s history, with over 150 prospective students visiting the main teaching campus in Oldfield Park. Win a Weekend in Bath competition finalist Branwyn travelled to Bath with her family. Below, Branwyn shares all the fun she had learning about Norland in the Bath sunshine.   

“My Norland open day began when I left the house at 7am; I don’t think I’ve ever been up so early for something on a Saturday morning before! We arrived at 9am to face the hardest part of the day: walking up the hill from the city centre to Norland. However, this time I walked up it with ease; I suppose going to the gym has some unexpected benefits!  

Dan, who is Digital Marketing and Student Recruitment Manager, and Joe, who is in his third year of Norland training, greeted us at the door. Once I told Dan my first name, he exclaimed and said that he had my entry for the win a weekend competition to give back to me. I had made a children’s interactive fabric book as my entry. I was a finalist in the competition and received a highly commended award!  

“We headed straight to meet the Finance team, and once we had discussed the fees, we popped over to the Food and Nutrition teaching space in hopes of finding some food. We arrived just before the students had begun cooking, so we missed out; but there’s always next time! My parents joked about how my love of cooking unfortunately leaves the kitchen in a bit of a state…. I mean, they aren’t incorrect! 

a male Norland Nanny student welcoming guests to a Norland Open Day

“We then viewed the sewing displays, which were set up in the common room. They had a selection of the wonderful work made by the students as part of their Norland diploma training – the work was amazing. I showed my book to the Sewing Lecturer, Kate. We discussed how I made it; Kate took a real interest in it, which was great!  

“My talk was at 10am, so I rushed down to Clarke Hall. I took my seat next to a friend from school, CJ. Just like at school, it’s always a risk to sit the two of us together because one glance will set both of us into fits of giggles. Luckily, we managed to keep it together until it was time to show off our creations in a dough disco, which is designed to teach us about children’s fine motor skills. The dough disco was such a wonderful part of the talk as it got everyone up and moving whilst we learned!  

“Afterwards, I chatted to CJ and their parents while waiting for Dr Janet Rose, Norland’s Principal, to be free. I wanted to thank her for giving me a highly commended award certificate for my fabric book competition entry. Janet gave me a big hug and congratulated me.   

“I also had a chance to chat to third-year student, Millie, who had given a presentation on her Norland training and life as a student. We ended up talking about our love of Jane Austen film adaptations!  

“Next, we got a coffee and caught up with CJ. Norland gave us all tokens to make use of the coffee cart! It was lovely and sunny, so we could chat out in the courtyard. It was nice to finally be able to sit outside and enjoy the sun!  

a woman taking a selfie with a Norland Nanny student at a Norland Open Day

“Then, we headed over to the Isabel Sharman Room, which is Norland’s nursery space. In there, I met Norland’s Deputy Head of Learning and Teaching, Lucy Krebs, who is also a Norlander. She told me about the optional modules on the new BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care degree. I must mention Lucy’s amazing dress and cool shoes: red telephone, iconic!  

“I had mentioned my interest in the virtual babies used during Norland training. The lecturers in the room brought them out for me to see, and I got to hold one called Freddie!   

“Later, I visited the library in the hope of finding the library team, which is overseen by Kathyrn Aveyard. I wanted to thank the team for recommending some books, which I was gifted for Christmas last year!   

“I then walked around in search of Kate Morgan, Norland’s Marketing and Engagement Co-Ordinator. She visits hundreds of schools as part of Norland’s outreach programme. As always, she was so lovely and immediately remembered me from her school visit and hugged me!   

“Once my family and I had said our goodbyes to Kate, we started chatting to an international student called Emma. She was lovely and my mum and her had a long chat about their love of France as they had both lived there for a while.   

A group selfie with Norland Nanny students at a Norland Open Day

“My best friend, Charlotte, who has been accepted into Set 47 and starts her studies in September, came to meet us and we ended up doing another tour of the Oldfield Park campus. On our way out, I grabbed a picture with Sam, who is deputy head of the first-year students. Then, we were ready to go to a Chinese restaurant for some lunch, then ice creams and a visit to Bath’s leisure centre, which Charlotte wanted to check out.   

“We then enjoyed the sun in the Royal Crescent for two hours, and had to go and put more money in the parking meter! We then went to find somewhere for dinner. I suggested the Ivy, but my parents said their wallet wouldn’t be keen on it, so we found a little Italian restaurant!   

“After a wonderful dinner, we decided it was finally time to head home. It was such an amazing day. The staff and students were all so lovely to us, as always, and I can’t wait to see everyone again soon! ”

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