We’re so excited to welcome Set 47 to Norland for Welcome Week! Our new cohort of students will begin their journey to become Norland Nannies in September and mark another milestone in our 131-year history as the first students to study our new BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education and Care degree and diploma course.

Nerves and excitement are natural ahead of a big change like starting university. Two people who know exactly how that feels are Hattie and Tilly. As they embark on their fourth and final year of training, the Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year, the Head and Deputy Head of Set 44 share some words of wisdom for new students.

1. Top tips for preparing for enrolment at Norland

Hattie: Don’t listen to rumour or unjust opinions – Norland is niche and not everyone will understand it, but don’t let it put you off! Follow social media, watch the videos, and see what the students have to say.

Tilly: Really soak up those first few weeks. You have done so well to get into Norland, really relish this. You are about to embark on an amazing journey! Whilst it might seem intimidating and overwhelming, I promise that you will figure it all out. Make time to be proud of yourself.

2. Top uniform tips. How do I get my hair in a bun?!

Hattie: Break in your brogues. Wear them around your house before you move. Greasy hair is best for a bun. Wet your hair with a water mist, scrape it into a bun, then use a water-based brush-out gel. DO NOT tumbledry your dresses!

Tilly: Wash dresses together, on a cool, gentle cycle. Dry them on a coat hanger to avoid wrinkles! For the Norland bun, I am a big advocate of the two-French-plaits method. Plait your hair the night before, then redo the plaits in the morning. Pin your bun down with bobby pins and cover them up with a scrunchie.

If you’re wearing the trouser option and want some advice on uniform, why not speak to our students who will be happy to provide you with their top tips!

Two students in their Norland uniform speaking at on a stage

3. What would you have done differently three years ago as you prepared to start at Norland?

Hattie: Do not overpack. You can always get more things from home when you next visit. Moving in can be overwhelming and having unnecessary stuff can make it more stressful. I have learned the hard way that it also makes it difficult to move out!

Tilly: I wish I had said yes to more things. Make the most of every opportunity, try things outside your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Life is too short to be self-conscious; seize the day!

4. Top tips for packing. What items do you recommend bringing or leaving at home?

Hattie: Bring extension cables with you. You won’t know for sure where you want to put everything in your room; having options will make it easier. You will probably also need extension cables in communal areas. Bring a laundry basket. Bring a mirror (most rooms don’t come with one). Don’t bring lots of décor; buy it when you arrive in Bath!

Tilly: Bring sentimental photos as a reminder that there are people rooting for you. Bring a teddy. I brought my huge sloth teddy, and he was often stolen by friends for cuddles. Don’t bring loads of ring binders. Save your notes on your laptop and keep a diploma and a degree folder for the sheets you need to organise. Bring highlighters and coloured pens. I kept one notebook for lecture notes and colour-coded the modules. Organise clothing by season, and only bring what you need. Bath has steep hills, so invest in a good pair of trainers.

a female Norland Nanny student writing

5. Top tips for leaving home and making new friends

Hattie: Immerse yourself in Welcome Week; it will distract you from homesickness and you’ll make friends. Invite your home friends to Bath to mix your social circles and bring a bit of home to your university life. Video-call family, show them your new room, and keep them up to date. I phoned my mum for a catch-up most evenings when I first moved out.

Tilly: By the time I moved to Bath, I had been living away from home for three years and found the transition smooth. To makes things easier, I arranged a weekend home after six weeks to celebrate settling in. My friends and I wrote letters to keep in contact; it was exciting to receive post! It’s fine to miss your friends; allow yourself space to feel sad and talk about it.  Don’t feel pressured to be best friends with every new person you meet. Try new things with different people.

6. Top tips for managing your money during your studies

Hattie: There is plenty of time for part-time work. I worked in hospitality and made friends with students from the universities of Bath and Bath Spa and got free lunches. I put my student loan in a separate account and transferred money over as and when I needed it. Do a big weekly supermarket shop and have lots of basics in your cupboards.

Tilly: Use the Marvellous Babysitting app and Job Shop to find a job that wraps around studies. Having a familiar employer family can ease stress. There have been days when a cuddle from one of my charges has made me feel a million times better. Prep meals and batch cook. Host themed evenings with friends, such as brunches, games nights, painting evenings, wine and cheese nights, barbecues. Take the mindset to share and rally together to save the pennies.

Two males sitting on a sofa

7. What practical essentials would you recommend setting up before you leave home?

Hattie: Buy a railcard, it really is worth it. Make sure you’ve set up your student discount too; most high-street shops in Bath take them.

Tilly: Set up your student bank account and maximise perks, such as free railcards. Register to vote in Bath or arrange a postal vote. If you bring a car, register your new address with your insurance and update your driver’s licence address for parking permits.

8. Top tips for making the most of your first weeks at Norland

Hattie: Explore the beautiful city centre and surrounding areas. Do lots of walks and picnics; it’s a great way to socialise and make new friends. Remember that everyone is in the same position. Make the most of Welcome Week.

Tilly: Adopt a “say yes” mentality. Find new activities and hobbies. Everyone is in the same situation, feeling a bit unsure and nervous, so invite others along. Establish a tradition. In my household, we held Sunday roasts and contributed to family traditions. It is heartwarming to share your family life with your new family.

a group of students walking down a street in Bath

9. Top tips for living in Bath and making the most of your free time

Hattie: Pubs are a great way to meet new people. Themed nights, such as karaoke or live music, are a nice way to unwind. Make your house as homely as you can, you want to be comfortable in a new city.

Tilly: Walk around the city centre and do the fun touristy activities on weekdays when it’s quieter! Visit Sally Lunn’s and Thirsty Meeples. Venture out of Bath at weekends. Glastonbury and Stonehenge are nearby. Places like Corsham, with its free-roaming peacocks, often have festivals and markets.

10. What are your top 3 things to do in Bath in your free time?


  1. Picnics on the crescent – for people watching, socialising and unwinding.
  2. Friday night pub trips with friends.
  3. BorrowMyDoggy dog walks in Sydney Gardens and on the canal.


  1. Drag Bingo Night at the Cork, which introduced me to the LGBTQIA+ scene in Bath and provided a safe and inclusive space for me and my friends.
  2. Lose yourself in a good book and a cup of tea at Toppings and Company bookshop. Look out for their evenings with authors and children’s book group.
  3. The Victoria Park mini golf

Wishing you all the best with your first year! Hattie and Tilly, Set 44

Set 46's Welcome Week

Get a glimpse of what to expect from Welcome Week with students from Set 46 in their first week at Norland in September 2022.

Latest news and blogs from Norland

TEF gold award

Norland awarded TEF Gold for a third time – for its outstanding student experience and student outcomes

Read more
female headshot

130 careers spotlight: Norlander Lizzie shares her journey as a full-time nanny

Read more
the front cover of the Nanny Magazine

Norland launches world’s first research journal dedicated to home-based early childhood education and care (Nanny Magazine)

Read more
A headshot of Julia Gaskell, a Norland Nanny who is Head of Careers and Consultancy at Norland

130 careers spotlight: Norlanders who have returned to train the next generation of Norland Nannies

Read more

Sign up to receive news and insights

Blog updates form
TEF gold award
WhatUni student choice award logo
IHE inspiring course winner
Heist silver award winner logo