While many students arrive at Norland straight from school or college, some students, such as third-year student Chloe, come from having worked in the early years sector. Not only does this help them build their early years knowledge and practice, it also allows them an opportunity to save money towards financing their studies.  

In her My Norland Story, Chloe discusses her previous employment in early years settings, how student support has helped her with her dyslexia and studying a BA (Hons) Early Years degree alongside the Norland diploma. 

“My name is Chloe and I’m a third-year Norland student. I am 24 years old and from a small rural village in Preston in Lancashire. From a young age, I always had a keen interest in looking after children. At family gatherings or situations where there would be other children and babies around, I would gravitate towards them. Having shown this interest since being a child myself, my mum had always encouraged me to consider a career in the early years. I’ve worked as a babysitter for family and friends, volunteered at my school nursery and had a job working with children with autism, where I stayed until leaving to join Norland in 2019. 

After completing A levels in English Language, Religious Education and Photography in 2016, I decided to take a few years out of education to gain some life and work experience. I secured a job working in a residential home for children with autism, an area of care I’d never experienced before, but was eager and excited to gain experience in this field. I’ve never looked back since. Through this job, I discovered a passion for working with children with additional, complex needs and would like to continue this after I graduate from Norland. 

After a couple of years of working in this job, I chose to take a part-time position in order to apply to college and gain my Level 3 qualification in childhood studies. Through this qualification, I not only gained more knowledge of the early years but also developed my understanding and ability to write academically, which gave me a great head start once joining Norland.   

I found out about Norland through my mum who had read a book written by a retired Norlander called ‘A spoonful of sugar’, so since being a child I was aware of Norland. Once I was at the stage of choosing what to do after college, I attended a Norland open day, and from that day I didn’t want to study a degree anywhere else. Norland was always what I wanted to do. However, I wanted time out of education and didn’t feel ready to move away from home to Bath.  

Through working and gaining experience in the early years and developing confidence in challenging situations, I decided that I was ready to apply to Norland. I knew the experience and knowledge I would gain from the Norland degree and diploma would further me in this chosen career path through opportunities other universities wouldn’t be able to provide. I felt that not only would Norland give me a wealth of opportunities but would also provide a lifelong community and support for the whole of my career.

a female Norland student in her uniform
students in cookery class

“I would recommend Norland to anyone who is looking for the best early years training, opportunities and career. Norland provides its students with amazing support, not only while training but throughout their careers.”

There are many aspects of Norland that have stood out to me over my time here. One, especially, is the student support provided. Having dyslexia, I’ve always struggled academically. However, Norland has provided me with the reasonable adjustments and extra help I needed to succeed through my time here.  

Norland prides itself on the hands-on experience provided to students to give them the practical skills they need within the early years and to excel in the working world after they qualify. For me, these placement experiences are one of the main aspects of Norland I really enjoy. It’s a time within our training where we can experience the highs and lows of being an early years practitioner and develop strategies and resilience for working in these environments, while also applying what we are learning in our degree lectures. 

What has also stood out for me are the practical lectures we have alongside our degree. I really enjoy the sewing and food and nutrition lessons. With the support of the lecturers, I have been able to create sewing projects I’m proud of and learn new recipes and meals for children of all ages and dietary requirements, which once again will help provide a holistic approach to care for the children I’ll work with in the future

For many, a busy and social life is part of the university experience. Bath is a vibrant bustling city and there is certainly plenty to choose from, regardless of which university you choose to study at. For me, the small community at Norland is one of the things that drew me here. After attending two open days, my family reassured me that training as part of a close-knit community where students are given the support needed to excel in their degree, diploma and future careers was everything I needed. 

After graduation, I would like to continue working with children with special educational needs as this is something I’m really passionate about. However, through each placement experience I gain at Norland, I’m eager to explore different avenues of this career after graduation. I’ll have access to the Norland Agency once I qualify, which means I will have a wealth of job opportunities available and can choose those that will suit me best. 

Although Norland’s fees are somewhat higher than standard undergraduate degrees in the UK, I would say that Norland is not like other undergraduate courses. Norland offers its students a wealth of experience, with placements and job opportunities, all of which are vetted by the placement team to ensure they are safe and of high standard. Not only does Norland offer an early years degree, it equips its students with an array of practical skills through the diploma, which are essential when working and helping to raise children, such as sewing and food and nutrition classes alongside masterclasses where we are taught bottle feeding, nappy changing and self-defence to name just a few.

For anyone considering a career in the early years Norland is certainly the best place to train because not only does it provide you with an amazing foundation, it provides its students with all the knowledge and skills needed to be an outstanding early years provider, not only through nannying but in all aspects of early years. I would recommend Norland to anyone who is looking for the best early years training, opportunities and career. Norland provides its students with amazing support, not only while training but throughout their careers. 

While Norland prides itself on its 130-year history of training nannies, its feet are firmly planted in 21st century with empirical-based research to educate its students to the highest levels and standards within the early years. I’d recommend Norland as it is second to none! 

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