Saffron Walden’s own Mary Poppins returns home for Christmas

SAFFRON Walden’s very own Mary Poppins is returning home for Christmas after spending a first term at a world-famous training school for nannies.

Francesca Riordan, who used to work at Pips Nursery in Strethall, started a BA in Early Childhood Studies at Norland College in Bath in September.

During her degree, the 18-year-old will study academic modules including child development, children’s languages and literacy. She will also complete the practical modules of the college diploma covering subjects such as food and nutrition, play and learning and care and wellbeing.

“My family are really proud of me. Norland has such a famous reputation.

“I have always wanted to work with children and used to work at Pips Nursery, so this is a dream come true,” said Francesca.


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“It’s been great to get to know everyone. Some of us took part in a Britain’s Got Talent audition where we sang the Gary Barlow song, Sing. It was really good fun and we should find out soon whether we are through to the next round.”

Norland graduates – or Norlanders as they are known – have gone on to have a wide range of careers working with children but are most well-known for working as nannies and for wearing their famous cream and brown traditional uniform.

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For former King’s School, Ely pupil Francesca, it is the perfect place to learn before embarking on her career.

“I would like to work as a nanny at first and eventually open my own nursery,” she added.

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