The induction started with various introduction sessions including uniform expectations. All of the uniform rules link back to caring for children and made us feel really proud to be part of something so special and unique.
At lunch time we were all asked to go outside for a photograph on the steps of the college for the press. Our year (or ‘Set’ as Norland calls us) has had a lot of press attention this year as we have Michael, the first male student to study for the degree, with us. Here is one of the photos the journalists took, our first ‘Set 36’ photo!
On day one we also found out about the social committee which plans a social event every term; starting with a hog roast on day two (yum!!). This was great as the second years (Set 35) and the staff were there and it was a good opportunity to spend time together.
Other ‘socials’ we have to look forward to are the Christmas Party, with talk of karaoke (eek), theatre trips and the summer ball! We can also join the Norland Choir, conducted by Grenville Jones (who apparently conducted a male choir on Last Choir Standing on BBC a few years ago).
There were some sessions that focused on personal safety, basically asking us to keep an eye out for each other which makes sense, as well as a self defence class on day two. This was great fun and some great tips on staying safe while living away from home – top tip: vary your route home so you don’t become a target. We also met our tutors who offer some pastoral support - it was great to meet them and know there is support there if we need it.
On Friday we covered the Norland Code of Professional Responsibilities which made us feel like real professionals. The end of our first week was a bit of fun; we had a range of activities set up around the college and in the garden, like we would for children, including things like shaving foam play and things to do with paper plates!
In week two we did our food hygiene certificate (a real eye opener), visited the University of Gloucestershire for the day and had talks about our tutorials; how to use the library and an introduction to academic writing.
We were also given all of the information about our placements, how to find them and what to expect, which we start next week!! We are all a little nervous about being in our first placement as we really want to do well but are also so excited to jump in at the deep end and start to get experience with children.