My NQN year diary: Becky’s visit from the NQN team
29 March 2022
Hello! I’m Becky and I’ve been writing a series of blogs to deep dive on my experience of my Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year in employment. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know I’m based in south–west London in a live–out nanny position with a charge who is now aged one.
In my latest blog, I wanted to discuss my visit from the NQN team, the preparation involved and the support they offer me to encourage both practical ability and paperwork to add that extra Norland finesse.
My NQN visit
As part of our NQN year we have a series of spot checks, appraisals and the daunting NQN visit! This is all part of the unique learning Norland provides to ensure all NQNs receive their own tailored guidance and support, with every single one of us being assigned a tutor to help us to become the best early years practitioners we can be, and to stretch us to the best of our abilities.
Preparing for my NQN visit
To be completely honest, I don’t think there’s a lot of preparation needed for the visit as it’s a talk on how you’re getting on with things and an observation of your role, so it all comes naturally. You need to gather all paperwork together so it’s free to hand and make sure everything is up to date. I can’t stress this enough as a tip – try not to fall behind with paperwork (it’s easier said than done I know!).
I recommend dedicating a day to paperwork each week while your charge is napping if this is possible. For example, on Monday nap times I will always do my activity and menu plan for the following week and add onto the PLOD (Possible Lines of Development) document. This is the document relating to each individual child regarding their development, interests and schemas, and ideas of activities in order to interest them in their developing areas and milestones.
On a Thursday nap time, I’ll add to the learning journal which includes my charge’s observations for the week, next steps, ‘wow’ moments and lots of pictures. Also, towards the end of the month, alongside my professional judgement, I go through the Birth to Five document to review my charge’s progress.
For other preparation, it’s also good to put out all the resources you have made to ‘show off’. Most of the resources I’ve made are cardboard or paper, which gets damaged quite quickly after use, so I suggest taking photos of everything you’ve made and creating a folder which is easy to access.
The NQN visit
The day of the visit can always be quite nerve-wracking but it’s actually not as scary as you think! It’s good to remember that the NQN team are here to help and guide you through the NQN year. What’s even better is how all the NQN tutors have been Norland Nannies themselves, so they know how you’re feeling and have been in these situations themselves, so understand what you’re going through!
My tutor arrived while my charge was napping so it was nice to fit in a chat with how everything is coming along, and we started with going through all my paperwork. This included my nanny diary, learning journal, activity and menu plans, PLODs and the Birth to Five document. My NQN tutor asked me questions relating to how, why, where and when I do things. For example, ‘What’s your thought process behind the activities and linking this to the PLOD?’. We also discussed how my targets were coming along from my last appraisal. This takes a while to go through because, as you can imagine, after six months there’s quite a few bits of paperwork to get through. After this my NQN tutor had a look at the high chair, buggies, shoes, my charge’s room, and we discussed my cleaning routine.
During and after the NQN visit
During the visit, my tutor observed me engage with my charge but not in a way for me to feel stressed or observed, it all felt very comforting. What I liked about the visit was how it was very helpful. My tutor gave me endless amounts of ideas and tips for activities and how to push myself for outstanding practice. Something new, which came to all NQNs this year, was the PLOD document in partnership with the updated EYFS guidance. It can be a little bit tricky to navigate and get your head around at first, but my tutor guided me on lots of tips on how to stretch myself even further with this document and I can see my charge benefiting from the new way of planning activities.
The whole visit lasted around three hours, but it flew by. A few days later I had an email from my tutor with the form and grading with how the visit went. This was all so encouraging and lovely to read, and the guidance for targets were great and filled me with determination to reach my goals in striving to be an outstanding Norland Nanny.
Check back for my next blog, where I’ll be discussing some of the places I’ve been on day trips with my charge and how this links to the EYFS and supports my charge’s development and interests.