During the coronavirus pandemic, many members of the Norland community have done their bit to volunteer in their local communities. One of those is third-year student Amy (Set 42) who used her training from the course to volunteer in her local primary school. 

Amy reflects on her time volunteering, how the course helped her during the difficult circumstances and her time at Norland so far.

Please introduce yourself.

I am Amy and I am in Set 42, and about to start my third year. Before joining Norland, I completed an Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care Level 3 at sixth form which gave me a good understanding of the childcare elements which Norland focuses on.

What have you been doing during lockdown?

Before the end of the summer term, I completed three weeks of volunteering in a local prep school in a reception class due to low staff/pupil ratios during the pandemic. I enjoyed this experience although it was very different as I had to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves at all times, had my temperature checked before entering the building as well as regulating social distancing guidelines in order to protect the children.

How has your Norland training helped?

Whilst volunteering, I was able to draw on my Norland experience, developing activities and nursery rhymes when there were little gaps to fill the day such as before the children went out for break time. Having a memory bank of resources you can use at any time is a great tool to have! I found teaching children new nursery rhymes to be lots of fun whilst also helping to broaden their communication and numeracy skills.

The children were split into bubbles meaning that some of the children were separated from their friends. If the children were upset, I comforted them by explaining in an age-appropriate way why it was important for them to remain in their bubble for safety reasons.

a student stood in a prep school classroom

“My Norland training really helped me whilst I was volunteering, helping me to keep the children calm and safe during a difficult period, an experience which was really rewarding and great fun.”

Is there anything you’ve learned during lockdown about yourself or about nannying that you will take forward with you in future roles/jobs?

An important aspect which I have taken away from volunteering during the pandemic is that it is really important to talk to children about the virus in language they understand. This enables children to have fewer fears and worries as they know that the safety measures are in place to protect them and their friends. (Read our blog on talking to children about coronavirus)

My Norland training really helped me whilst I was volunteering, helping me to keep the children calm and safe during a difficult period, an experience which was really rewarding and great fun.

How do you reflect on your second year at Norland?

I really enjoyed my second year at Norland learning new practical skills as well as new modules such as Promoting Health and Wellbeing, and Thriving in a Diverse Society. Towards the end of my second year, due to the pandemic, the course moved to online teaching and learning. I felt really well supported by the lecturers during this time as they always go above and beyond to meet everyone’s needs. I am aware that other universities did not offer this level of personal support and it is something I am always so thankful for and really appreciate.”

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