Heritage Day is a very special annual event in the Norland calendar. It provides a platform for final-year students to showcase the incredible creative talents they’ve developed and honed during their diploma classes over three years at Norland.

Students learn a range of traditional skills including sewing and food and nutrition, just as the very first Norland students did almost 130 years ago, alongside the very latest practical skills and cutting-edge knowledge. It is our unique combination of practical and theoretical training plus a wealth of hands-on experience that ensures Norland Nannies are considered among the very best early years practitioners in the world.

This year’s Heritage Day was held on 24 June 2021 at our Oldfield Park campus. Although it was subject to pandemic restrictions, meaning that parents and other guests could not attend in-person, it still proved to be a very special occasion and a wonderful celebration of student achievement.

students in their formal dress holding balloons that say 42

The very first Heritage Day as we know it today was held on 1 July 2003 for Set 25, when it was known as Display Day. The event heralded a new tradition for Norland and marked its move from Denford Park to its new home in Bath that year. Norlanders, future students and children from local schools were invited to Norland to view the creative works by students, which included fancy dress costumes, treasure baskets, wooden toys and mobiles. The following year, the event was held at the Bath Assembly Rooms.

The event has gone from strength to strength in the past 18 years, growing in parallel with the Norland degree and diploma training programme. The Norland choir sang, and special awards were given to those students who had gone above and beyond to develop and demonstrate their skills, creativity and dedication in baking, sewing, placements, supporting others, learning new skills and being wonderful brand ambassadors for Norland. Student bubbles designed and created an array of incredible displays featuring many of the wonderful projects they have worked on during their three years at Norland. Displays explored a range of themes, from a day and night sensory experience to the wonderful world of children’s books. Films of each display were made and shared during the ceremony.

You can watch students from one of the winning displays discuss the inspiration behind their creation.

The awards began with those for the Norland Bake Off 2021, which required students to design, make and decorate a celebratory cake fit for the centre piece of a children’s party. The standard was exceptionally high, and an unprecedented number of prizes were awarded. The winner of the Bake Off for 2021 was Helena for ‘Autumn evenings’. Her orange butter cream cake featuring melted sugar flames was described by the judges as a beautifully presented and unique idea with an original and delicious taste and displaying exceptional skill in its creation. Second prize was awarded to Emily for the fabulously well designed and delicious ‘Frogs on a log’. Three students were jointly awarded third prize: Millie for ‘Paddington’, Madeline ​for ‘Owl be there for you’ and Sophie for ‘Monster Inc.’

Highly commended awards for outstanding cakes were given to 21 other students.

The Super Stitcher award for incredible sewing skills went to Sarah for her exceptionally detailed sewing and design skills as well as the hard work she has put into every sewing project. Highly commended prizes for sewing were given to Madeleine, Georgina and Laura.

The Patsy Taylor award, a prize given by the parents of Norlander Patsy Taylor who tragically died young, is given to the student that has demonstrated Norland’s core values of kindness and love by helping others throughout their time at Norland. This extra special award, which is voted for by students, was awarded to two students who have truly gone above and beyond to selflessly support others: Connie and Paige. There was not a dry eye in the house once Principal Dr Janet Rose had finished reading out the comments from students in support of the worthy winners.

a student being presented with an award

A new award was given this year in gratitude to those students that have given significant support to raise awareness of Norland by volunteering at open events, giving talks at their former schools and colleges, sharing their stories, writing blogs posts, welcoming visitors, taking part in media interviews, and so much more. The winner of the first Marketing and Outreach award was Freja. Freja has been an incredible brand ambassador, full of positivity and passion, and given up much of her free time to support a wide range of marketing and outreach activities. Two students were also awarded a highly commended prize for their invaluable contributions: Lois and Lucy.

The two best Heritage Day display awards were given to:

  • Group A1’s wonderful Night and Day display which tantalised all the senses.
  • Group C1’s display titled Our Time at Norland

Special prizes were given to students who excelled in their official student roles, including Head of Set Hannah and Deputy Head of Set Freja, Student Representatives Connie and Paige, and Emilia and Georgine for their work on the Here to Hear peer-led student support scheme. Rosy was awarded a prize for her achievement in learning Spanish, which is offered as an optional course.

The Norland Choir were given a special commendation for working so hard to find time to rehearse within current restrictions and for singing so beautifully at the event.

Special commendations were also given for excellence in placements to Madeline, Renny, Georgia​, Emily, Helena​, Victoria​ and Niamh.

a display created by students

The Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) team then shared a special film they had made from the wonderful photographs shared by student teams during their London orientation day. Eight teams successfully completed the challenge, despite it being an especially wet and windy day in the capital, reflecting Norland’s motto ‘Strength in Adversity’.

The ceremony culminated with the time-honoured showing of two very special films to mark the end of Set 42’s three years at Norland. The first was a wonderful compilation of thank you messages from Set 42 students to the Norland staff. The second was a video from staff sending their own special congratulations and good luck messages to Set 42 students as they embark on the next stage of their Norland journey.

All students were then awarded a certificate of special commendation for upholding Norland’s twin mottoes of ‘Love Never Faileth’ and ​‘Strength in Adversity’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.​

While the choir sang its final song, Set 42 students processed out to sign the Norland Code of Professional Responsibilities before enjoying a special tea to mark the end of their studies and the beginning of their NQN year.

Students were left with the very wise words of Norland founder Emily Ward, which she spoke to her students as they were about to embark on their probationary year almost 100 years ago:

“Teach and help the child to find the beauty in the world. Let its eyes continually be on what is beautiful and what is fair.​

“Do not feel lonely.  Think of nice happy things and you will feel nice and happy, and will have a happy influence on all those with whom you come in contact. Think about your kind employers, the beautiful homes and still more beautiful children, and of your deep responsibility in training those little ones aright. Soar like a lark!”

three students smiling with an ice cream

Photos from Heritage Day 2021

a student being clapped by lecturers
students signing the code electronically
students watching a video on a screen
a student being clapped by lecturers
two female students smiling
three students smiling outside
students outside smiling with the principal
students in their formal dress holding balloons that say 42
a teddy bear on a plinth in front of a seated audience

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