Life at Norland


Founded in 1876 by Emily Lord, Norland Place School was originally sited at 9 Norland Place, now known as No.166 Holland Park Avenue. The school’s motto, ‘Follow the Light, Uphold the Right’ was introduced in 1894 by Miss Ada Tisdall, who succeeded Miss Lord as Headmistress.

Children were taken to games by horse-drawn bus and the only school uniform was a dark blue hat band with a pale zigzag.  As the school grew, it moved into Nos.164, 166 and 168 Holland Park Avenue.

By 1908, the first full school uniform was worn: a blue dress with noughts and crosses around the collar.  Puff sleeves and a light blue blouse completed the attire.

Shortly after the onset of World War 1, and with a number of Headmistresses since Miss Tisdall, the Headship of Norland Place came to Miss Elizabeth MacClymont in 1915.  She was to remain in that post for the next thirty-four years.

New girls and boys enrolled and the school continued to grow, taking girls from the ages of four to eighteen, and boys from four to eight. Swedish carpentry (Slöjd) was amongst the subjects taught to the now 332 pupils who attended.  Norland obtained its own sports ground in Ealing, where hockey, cricket and tennis were taught.

Upon her retirement in 1949, Miss MacClymont handed over to two joint Heads, Miss Harvey and Miss Westrup-Smith.  The school’s wrought iron gates were erected at this time, in honour of Miss MacClymont, who did so much for Norland.

In the years that followed, the school occupied just Nos.164 & 166 Holland Park Avenue, and the Ealing playing fields were relinquished. 

1955 saw the arrival of Mrs Sylvia Garnsey, as she joined the staff at the school. Taking the Headship shortly thereafter, Mrs Garnsey served for over forty years, during which time she established Norland Place as the Preparatory school for boys 4-8 and girls 4-11 and the school is now fully co-educational for boys and girls from 4-11.  The school acquired No.162 Holland Park Avenue and settled across the three buildings that it now occupies.

Following Mrs Garnsey’s retirement in 1996, the Headship was continued by Mr David Alexander, who was succeeded in 2002 by the current Headmaster, Mr Patrick Mattar.