A day in the life of a Norland student: Elizabeth
17 December 2020
First-year student, Elizabeth (Set 44) tackles the impossible task of describing a typical day at Norland. Here, she picks out a single day from her current schedule to give a flavour of the daily Norland student experience.
“To summarise a day at Norland is actually quite difficult, as no two days and no two weeks are the same. However, to give you the best possible idea, here is what a typical Tuesday looks like for me in my first year.
My day always begins at about 6am with a run, and where I run is always different. Some days I like to start off easy and run downhill towards the college, and on days where I fancy a challenge, I will run up-hill towards Alexandra Park. Once I get back to the flat, I shower, get dressed and ready for the day. As a Norland student, we must ensure that our make-up is minimal when wearing the uniform. This year, we are wearing the practical uniform more in lectures due to COVID-19 and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we are wearing, which makes getting ready a little easier. I then do my hair in the Norland bun and pack my bag. Before we set off, me and my flatmates do a quick bun and uniform check for each other before our five-minute walk to the Oldfield Park campus, where much of our teaching and learning takes place.
9am - 12.15pm
On Tuesdays, I study for the BA degree and start with a lecture from 9am until 10.30am. This week, our module Concepts of Development and Learning is focused on the topic of play. The lecture looked at schema in play and learning. It followed a traditional lecture format with the lecturer presenting and answering our questions, before we had a large group discussion.
After a short break, we head into our breakout sessions at 10.45am to participate in activities based on the topic and to further discuss what we have just learnt, helping us to put theory into practice. Today, for example, we learnt how to recognise different play and learning schemas and ways in which to interest children using them. We used Play-Doh to try and spot different schemas within our peers, which was a lovely way to end the session at 12.15pm.
It was then time for a well-earned lunch break. As I live so close to Norland, I’m able to nip back to the flat to have lunch with one of my flat mates.
1.15pm - 4.30pm
At 1.15pm, I started my afternoon lecture, which was a diploma module on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). The lecture started as a big group of about 40 students and then split off into smaller groups of around 10 students later in the session. In our breakout groups, we prepared a ‘box of feelings’ for a child to support them with their PSED. My box contained a mirror with different faces printed onto different colour cards, which could then be stuck around the mirror with the emotion matching the face written above. We discussed how the items we had in our boxes would support a child to talk about and recognise their emotions. We then went to the library to find different children’s books that could be used to support a child’s PSED. We raised questions about similar feelings and responses the child may be displaying due to circumstances in their life. I chose to focus on supporting a child with recognising grief.
When the college day ends at around 4.30pm, I usually head straight back to my flat to change into casual clothes, make a snack and call my friends and family back home. Most days I will participate in one of the virtual groups run by Norland. I also use this time to work on assignments. This term, for example, I typically spend an hour doing some sewing, followed by half an hour writing for my food and nutrition assessment, and an hour going over the early years degree assignments for my modules on Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Concepts of Development and Learning.
After I have prepared and eaten my evening meal, I will either do some reading or complete a task such as making a box of feelings, handwashing games and songs, or make a story sack or a rhyme bag – this is the time I spend being creative. I will then wind down by watching a film on Netflix before going to bed.
Extra-curricular at Norland
In addition to the study timetable, there are many opportunities to get involved with extra-curricular activities. I attend an online sewing club, a social justice group, the Norland Choir and the Norland Christian Union. I also run the Mind and Body Positivity group, which I decided to start with the support of Norland. Its aim is to create a community of positive self-image within Norland.
I am also a member of the Norland Angels. This peer-to-peer support network was established in September 2020 and helps students who are self-isolating due to COVID-19. The group delivers items to students in need, whether that be food, medicine or items to help them complete assessments, such as sewing materials.
Since starting at Norland, I have also volunteered to help out with our virtual open events and live Q&As for prospective students on Instagram. I have also participated in wellbeing activities, such as the Norland Christmas Jumper Day and attended virtual mindfulness sessions led by David Behrens for students and staff at the weekends. All these activities have kept me busy and are good fun. It has also been a great way to get to know students across all three years.
Advice for aspiring Norland Nannies?
The best advice I can give to anyone considering studying at Norland is to read and ask questions. There are many past and current students at Norland, including myself, who have nannygrams on Instagram and are more than happy to answer any questions whether it be academic, accommodation or application questions. Once you have done your research, read some more! Trust me, it will be worth doing. Above all, do not stress during the application process, just be yourself and talk about your passion for caring for children and any childcare experience you have. Norland is an incredible place, there is a sense of community and family that I do not believe I would have found anywhere else.”
Follow Elizabeth’s journey on her nanny Instagram account at @nanny_amidee_elizabethRead all about our modules