Keswick Hall College of Education

Former lecturer: Barbara Norris

Barbara Norris

P.E. Lecturer 1960-80

Barbara’s professional career lasted over 40 years and covered the teaching of P.E. in many places and at many levels. In an account of her life written by following retirement she mentions how important P.E. was to her as a school pupil and because of that she decided in her formative years to become a teacher herself

Bill Etherington continues, “To achieve this Barbara went to Dartford P.E. College which at the time had been evacuated from Kent to Cornwall because of the war. Her three year course equipped Barbara for the varied experience which made up her teaching career”.

She taught for seven years in London and then 3 years in South Africa. A year back in Britain was followed by another two years in Uganda in a primary teacher training college, excellent preparation for the next phase of her career: P.E. lecturer at Keswick Hall.

Bill Etherington continues her biography: “Whilst at Keswick she seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm. I know from students’ comments how much they appreciated the thoroughness with which Barbara prepared them for P.E. and games lessons in Infant and First Schools. I think their first practical session with her caused some consternation, even shock, when students found themselves being taught as if they were the age of the children they were going to teach! However, in the long run, this method gave them complete confidence in being able to cope with all situations…Her philosophy was that it was always better for her students to see a practical lesson than to listen to her talking about methodology”

One male ex-student remembers, during one of her Keswick P.E./Drama sessions, being instructed to become a daffodil growing slowly out of the ground. There were obvious groans and comments of derision amongst the young men especially, to which Miss Morrison retorted most severely, not in words but with those piecing eyes! He also gratefully recalls her ‘how to teach swimming sessions’; without these he would have floundered and been in deep water since after college he was teacher responsible for swimming at his first (and every subsequent) teaching appointment!

In her retirement Barbara continued working for the Disabled Living Foundation, travelling throughout the UK.

Barbara wrote her autobiography, a moving account of her childhood and adolescent years without knowing her parents, and her early

teaching career during London’s Blitz in ‘Knickers to Match’; an unexpected title perhaps.

Sadly she passed away, in Norwich, in June 2012.