Gaining skills through our value-added curriculum is what truly sets our graduates apart

An early years degree and diploma from Norland is unlike any other early childhood studies qualification. It’s our value-added curriculum that truly makes ours an early years degree with a difference.

Thoulstone Park

As an early bonding opportunity, first-year students visit Thoulstone Park in Wiltshire during Welcome Week. In partnership with Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Team (WOLT), students get to take part in a range of outdoor activities, from canoeing to forest walks.

Drama workshop

Opened in 2005, the egg is the only children’s theatre outside London. One of their practitioners will deliver a three-hour workshop to you in your first year. Drama will help you to build relationships, learn to team-build and establish bonds with your fellow students that will support you throughout your training. You’ll also experience drama games that you can take to your placements to enjoy with the children in your care.

Emotion Coaching workshop

Emotion Coaching is based on the principle that nurturing and emotionally supportive relationships provide optimal contexts for the promotion of children’s outcomes and resilience. Dr Janet Rose, Principal, early years specialist, author, researcher and emotion coaching expert, will deliver a thorough introduction to the subject to you.

Norland students participating in creativity workshop

Alternative therapies day

This day is designed to introduce you to a range of holistic alternative therapies for children, such as mindfulness, homeopathy and reflexology.

Beach and forest schools

While studying at Norland, students have the opportunity to explore beach and forest schools first-hand. Both days are spent outdoors creating and developing a range of activities which could be carried out with children of various ages. These experiential activities are important for developing reflective practice.

Security and cyber security training

You’ll be taught security training by former military intelligence officers. The training includes lessons on how to stay safe online and how to deal with potential security risks.

Self-defence training

You’ll learn self-defence training from a highly respected 7th degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do trainer who travels all over the UK to deliver training. He will provide you with a three-hour workshop in self-defence in the early stages of your training. You’ll then revisit self-defence again in your final year as a refresher, but also with emphasis on protecting your charges who may be in buggies, prams or walking.

Norland diploma activity day

First-year students spend a day devoted to the Norland diploma programme at the beach. Spending the whole day in the outdoors, they explore a range of activities transferable for use with children of all ages. A lovely way to round off the first year of study at Norland.

Skid pan driving

This is a realistic and effective process of learning skid control driving techniques and the ideal safe environment to test your car handling skills. On a skid pan driving course in your final year, you’ll learn advanced driving techniques to control a car under any circumstances, including for instance the most adverse weather conditions, handling distractions from children in the vehicle and other potential hazards and risks.

Children’s Hospice South West

Situated at Charlton Farm in North Somerset, Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) cares for children and families who live in South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, West Wiltshire, Bristol and North Somerset. The hospice is an imaginative restoration of a listed farm and farm buildings, which has retained the homely feel of the farm house and yet provides stunning and spacious accommodation. In your second year, you’ll visit Charlton Farm to gain an insight into providing hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. It will also introduce you to the environment and to volunteers who keep the hospice open through fundraising.

Guest lecture: anti-discriminatory practice

Guest speakers form an important part of our value added curriculum. Laura Henry, creator of CBBC’s JoJo and Gran Gran, delivers a masterclass on how to support children to treat others with respect, as well as how to tackle sensitive issues with children in helping to create an inclusive society.

Guest lecture: physical development

A key part of being a nanny is understanding children’s development. Norland students attend a physical development lecture which is delivered by an expert in the field. During this session the students will be taken on a developmental journey which starts by investigating reflexes and how these underpin neurodevelopment in babies and young children, and goes on to explore how physical development can support all of the other areas of learning. This knowledge will help the students to develop activities which support holistic wellbeing and physical development.

student having advanced driving lesson as part of the value added curriculum

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Optional Makaton classes available at additional charge

While studying for your early years degree and diploma at Norland, you will have the option to learn Makaton in 18 hours taught over six weeks. Makaton is a sign and symbol language that can be used alongside speech to help children in their early years communicate while their spoken language skills develop. Signing can give carers a greater understanding of a baby’s wants and needs, which can help reduce frustration. Signing while speaking has been shown to encourage the development of communication and language skills. This exclusive course is available only to Norland students and you will be given the opportunity to enrol on this course at the start of your studies. There is an additional charge for this course.

female Norland nanny in uniform wearing white gloves communicating via Makaton which is taught via the value added curriculum

Your Employment Weeks will fully prepare you for the world of work

In the final year of your early years degree, you’ll gain vital employment skills in preparation for your Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year. You’ll spend eight weeks in a series of lectures and activities specifically designed to prepare you for your first role.

The schedule changes each year but a typical Employment Weeks programme may include: baby massage, children with food, London orientation, bereavement coaching, finance and contracts, safeguarding, fire safety, first aid, interview techniques, Aga training and Debrett’s etiquette training to improve your communication skills and build your confidence in any social situation. You are not required to wear uniform during your Employment Weeks.

student in class listening to lecturer

Performances by the Norland Signing Choir

The Norland Signing Choir and Norland Choir performed What a Wonderful World at the 2021 Christmas Carol Service.
A virtual performance by the Norland Signing Choir using Makaton which is part of the value added curriculum
Students who learned Makaton as part of the value added curriculum perform at the Norland Christmas Carol Service

Students share their Norland stories

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"I love what I do because I get to work with so many children. I get to make such a positive contribution to their lives."


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“If you are passionate about working with children, there is no better place to study than Norland.”


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female headshot in Norland nanny uniform

“Norland doesn’t just make you a nanny, it makes you an amazing early years practitioner.”


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“My time at Norland has been so memorable and is one of the best things I have ever done. … If I could, I would do it all again."


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"I can easily say that, three years later, we all agree it has been the best thing for me as a person and for my career."


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"The beauty of the Norland name means you can end up anywhere in the world"


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