Before joining Norland, third-year student Lizzie (Set 42) swapped a rural village in the Peak District with South Africa where she had the unique experience of volunteering in a prison school in Johannesburg. Since then, she’s gone on to fulfil her childhood ambition of studying at Norland and reflects on her favourite aspect of the course, making the most of the opportunity to join Bath Spa’s Student Union and her plans for the future.

“Before joining Norland, I studied A levels at sixth form where I achieved two Cs and one B in Psychology, Theatre Studies and Media Studies. I didn’t have a huge amount of nanny-specific childcare experience before arriving at Norland in 2018. However, I had acquired a range of short work experiences such as babysitting, holiday nannying in the French Alps and a week’s experience in a day nursery in both London and Strasbourg.

a female student in her formal uniform smiling
a school building displaying the motto live life, love life

“I am attracted to Norland’s principles, traditions and beliefs, that children deserve the best possible care and start to life, and I believed that Norland’s training would provide this.”

The most incredible childcare experience that I gained before joining Norland was when I was 16-years-old and travelled alone to Johannesburg to volunteer in a prison school in the township of Diepsloot. I arrived at this school with no expectations and I was immediately captivated by the school’s energy and the positive bond that the teachers had with the children. The school had very limited resources and little to no use of media or the internet. There were no electric whiteboards or laptops. Each classroom had a large chalk board and a few textbooks. I was inspired by how happy these children were despite their situation. On my first day, I was left alone with a class of 40 young children. I loved the challenge of thinking on my feet and devising games and activities to inspire, entertain and educate the children.

I first heard about Norland when I was nine years old. Since then my ambition had been to become a Norland Nanny. I thought to myself: why would I do this anywhere else other than the best place in the world? I am attracted to Norland’s principles, traditions and beliefs that children deserve the best possible care and start to life, and I believed that Norland’s training would provide this. On top of this, it’s a bonus that Norland is situated in the beautiful, bustling city of Bath – which has been a stunning place to study and explore.

The thought of becoming part of a child’s life, being accepted into someone’s home and given the responsibility to influence, guide and support their children’s upbringing makes me extremely eager and excited to study early years and become a Norlander.

My biggest worry before deciding to join Norland was whether there would be any extra-curricular activities, sports or social events. Upon joining, I was so pleased to hear that we can become a member of Bath Spa University’s Student Union and that this would allow us to join any society or sports club of theirs. During my time here, I joined Bath Spa Snow Sports Society and Women’s Rugby. I have met so many people and made such great friends through putting myself out there and attending events held by Bath Spa. During my third year, I even put myself forward and gained the role of the Norland Snow Representative whereby I help to introduce and encourage students to get involved with all things snow. I would say to anyone who may have a similar concern when joining to make the most of Norland’s partnership with Bath Spa and to put yourself out there and just go for it, you won’t regret it!

My favourite part of the course is the amount of practical placement experience we gain. We are taught the theory and then are given the opportunity to put this straight into practice in settings such as nurseries, primary schools, special educational needs schools, maternity wards, forest schools, family homes and so many more. This is what makes the course so unique; the vast range of skills and knowledge that we acquire throughout the degree and diploma. I have also met an amazing mix of people from across the country and even further. We were assigned to houses in our first year and have made great friends and memories over the three years.

My ambition is to become a qualified Norland Nanny and work for families around the world, gaining unique experiences that will further my development as a nanny and building strong professional relationships with families so that I can have a positive impact on young children’s lives. Beyond nannying, I would love to be able to set up and run a unique, professional and inclusive childcare setting using the knowledge and experiences I will have gained.”

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