Having embarked on her Newly Qualified Nanny year, Abigail (Set 40) reminisces on her time at Norland and celebrates the talents, kindness and achievements of her fellow students.
“As our third and final year of studying has drawn to a close and our Newly Qualified Nanny year (NQN) is now in full swing, it seems the perfect time to reflect upon the three incredible years we have had at Norland. From bake offs, to dissertations, to endless nappies changed and bottles filled, our time at college has helped shape us into the creative and unique nannies we are now.”
“Our time at Norland will never be forgotten as these three years gave us the foundations to love, care and nurture children in their early years. As strong, independent and compassionate nannies we have the power to shape children’s lives and teach them to be loving, individual, and most importantly, see the wonder and magic in every day!”
“It seems only a short time ago that we all lined up on the front steps of the York Place campus, bumbling around people we’d never met, trying to get ourselves into height order for the Set 40 photograph. We had our first lectures, our first placements, our first essays! All these firsts which allowed us all to form a bond within our cohort as we all started this journey together.
“I know I can talk on behalf of the entire year group when I say the friendships formed at Norland are some of the strongest and most special friendships which have continued not only into our NQN year but will do throughout our lives. These are the friendships built upon late nights of essay writing, enduring hours of crying virtual babies, and most importantly, the laughter and happiness shared throughout the common room every single day. Never have I been in an environment with more considerate, kind and loving people as Norland, every single student possesses such incredible talent which they should celebrate and be proud of! The joy and motivation we have instilled in each other has given us the drive to complete these three years and supported our skills of kindness, compassion and resilience, all of which will be vital for our future careers!
“The BA degree pushed us all and extended our knowledge of childcare beyond what we could imagine. Highlights for me over the course were play and learning, the value of communication and language, childhood theorists, health and wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion. Although the entirety of the degree was insightful, for myself a highlight was writing my dissertation on gender development in the early years. Being able to pick an area of early years development seemed daunting at first as the field is so large, but as I delved further into gender development it motivated me to learn more and more about the topic, as it stemmed from my own personal interests. I hope to do my masters in the future, which is something I had not even considered until I began studying the early years degree.
“Of course, we would not be the nannies we are today without the around the clock support we have received from Norland’s extraordinary team of lecturers and staff! Not only has their support been vital in the degree and academic aspects of the course, but also in the practical. Terry towelling nappies are not simple; it takes a true super-nanny to teach the art of nappy folding! We have learnt an incredible amount about the importance of play, child psychology and the early years curriculum that will gives us a strong foundation in the workplace, helping us to thrive and follow our individual interests. Food and nutrition classes have provided us with the knowledge and practical skills to provide children with a healthy lifestyle, pass on cooking skills, and also create some spectacular birthday cakes! Also, how can any of us forget sewing? Despite the frustrations of button holes and zips, we have all created so many imaginative and original projects that families will love (whether they have straight seams or not). The rounded syllabus we have followed has prepared us for the spontaneous and adventurous lives we will lead as nannies, as we continue to have remarkable achievements!
“Our final chapter of Norland is of course our NQN year, where we get to put this abundance of knowledge into practice. I know I speak on behalf of many of us when I say finding the right family guarantees you the most magical year. Having a full year to form a bond and attachment with children and their families allows the skills we have accumulated to flourish and grow, and this is where we really develop as practitioners.
“From the time I have been on NQN, I have learnt so much about myself as an early years worker. I have learnt about my passion to give children the ability to be independent and explore the world freely. Working in London also throws new challenges and elements to nannying, which makes childcare even more stimulating and rewarding. For example, navigating public transport with a buggy and a toddler and thinking about aspects of safety such as busy roads and strangers. I have adored the current time I have spent with my NQN family. Finding a family that you connect with really ensures you will have the most successful NQN year. The right family will always be out there, and the fantastic thing about Norland is there is an endless jobs list and Agency staff, who will ensure both you and the family find exactly what you and they are looking for.
“To the future students of Norland, I hope the training pushes and captivates you as much as it did me. My advice would be to start your work early to avoid deadline fear, gain as much experience working with children as you can outside of college and most importantly, have fun! You can ask any qualified Norlander and they can confirm that your time studying will fly by, and, before you know it, you’ll be out in the big wide world. Draw upon your passion for childcare and the early years to motivate you through the deadlines and assignments, and always thrive to learn more. In a field of research that is constantly changing, it is important to always stay on top of the latest research and studies.
“So, as our university life is nearing its end, it is vital we reflect upon and celebrate how we have all successfully navigated our way through a busy degree, diploma and still managed to have a social life! Our time here has been life changing and the opportunities that now stand before us are going to lead to incredible destinations and wonderful people.
“We should all be so proud of what we have achieved, and I know we will continue to support and care for one another into the future. I know we will all go on to succeed in whatever we do next, but our time at Norland will never be forgotten as these three years gave us the foundations to love, care and nurture children in their early years. As strong, independent and compassionate nannies we have the power to shape children’s lives and teach them to be loving, individual, and most importantly, see the wonder and magic in every day!”