Day one on placement after just 2 weeks in college and we were all feeling apprehensive about what it would be like. The first challenge was finding our different settings - we are all in different placements across Bath, some of us in nurseries and some in primary / prep schools. In most places there are a couple of us but one or two had to face this first day alone. Worried about finding the settings and arriving late, we all turned up at least 45 minutes early(!), both eager and nervous about what our first day would be like; would the staff be nice? Would we know what we had to do? Would the children like me?
When we arrived, all of the staff were really friendly and welcoming and happy that we had arrived early. It all felt a bit daunting, but we really wanted to live up to the high expectations of the staff – they really believe in Norland and trusted us. They were willing to let us get on with activities and get involved with the children which was such a great feeling.
By the end of the first week we had really started to get to know the children and run activities on our own. Some highlights included a Norland hat being used by a year 1 assembly as a farmers hat (!); making flapjacks with the children (who were munching away before they even went in the oven). Some of us got to lead circle time activities – talking about feelings, singing songs and reading books with the children. In one setting some of the children made crowns to turn Georgie (from set 36) into their princess and asked her to read them a story – she aptly chose the Princess and the Frog.
We all seemed to be having really different experiences and were surprised by just how different some of the settings are to the experiences we have had before. Some settings are more structured than others, some quieter that we thought, some noisier - it has been really interesting to compare stories and experiences with the rest of our Set.
We have all been amazed at just how much planning goes into the learning at the nursery settings - there is a lot more structure and curriculum focussed work than a lot of us realised there was. We were surprised at just how much planning goes into caring for and educating all children, even the tiniest of babies.
It was great to have two whole weeks to get to really know the children and understand the routines of the placement - the time just flew by!. Although all of our experiences were very different, there is one thing we can all agree on – we can’t wait to go back!!