Friday, 20 June 2014

Friendships at Norland last a lifetime

Norland is known for its fantastic training and internationally acclaimed nannies, but one thing you might not have realised about Norland is that it is actually a lot like a family!

Students who study at Norland share a passion for working with children, study the same course, live together and socialise together. They spend a lot of time together and get to know everyone in their Set (year group), forming bonds that last throughout their lives. Norlanders support each other throughout their careers, attend each others weddings and even become god parents to each other's children.

Set 136 just leaving Norland Summer 2014

Set 63 reunion at Norland Summer 2014
Technology and social media has made keeping in touch a little easier, but this is not something new to Norlanders. Many of our graduates have kept in touch with one another over the years with round robin letters that circulate throughout the members of the Set with each individual adding their own update before sending the letters on.  

Through Norland Agency, Norland also maintains strong relationships with its alumni and hosts regular events for graduates including a Reunion Day at the college.

This year, Norland's Annual Reunion Day was held on 7 June and was well attended with Sets who trained 30, 40 and 50 years ago returning to reunite with their friends. One of our Norlanders even travelled back from Canada to reunite with her Set, 94, who trained at Norland in 1987 when it was located in Denford Park, Hungerford. 
Set 33 reunion at Norland
Norland friendships often span the globe and withstand long times apart, but the bond formed throughout the unique training with one another, and with Norland, truly lasts forever. Once you train at Norland you really become part of the Norland family.

To find out more about applying to Norland in 2015 have a look here on our website.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

My role as Early Years Consultancy Manager

Claire Burgess is Norland’s Early Years Consultancy Manager, a role which is extremely varied. Claire is a Norland graduate, has worked as a nanny, managed a nursery, lectured at Norland and now consults and trains a range of external clients. Here, Claire explains a little about her role at Norland.

When asked to explain my role as the Early Years Consultant for Norland I find myself reeling off a variety of different aspects and responsibilities…and this is exactly why I love my job!  I never have two days that are the same and I can go from training external clients one day to lecturing students at the college the next.

The past month has been another busy and exciting one!

At Norland College the second year students have spent May completing their employment preparation lectures which I was involved in coordinating; ensuring all of the students are ready to go out as Norland Probationary Nannies and prepared to uphold the reputation and standards that Norland expects.

I have had several meetings with external clients; one meeting was to present some work I have completed for them.  It was a very successful meeting and great to share ideas and suggestions for developing the client's own organisation. I have also had a couple of other meetings with some new consultancy clients who wanted to discuss what Norland could offer their organisation in terms of consultancy and training.

Another part of my role is to organise and deliver Norland’s programme of CPD courses. These are a range of courses that are available to Norland graduates to ensure that their training and skills remain up to date.  This month was a busy one as we ran a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid training course alongside one day course focusing on the Care of the Newborn which I delivered. It was a busy weekend and wonderful to see so many Norlanders coming back to update skills and knowledge and we received some fantastic feedback:

“Claire was brilliant, so informative and I have learnt loads – thank you”

“A brilliant day which jogged my memory and got me thinking about the future with new babies”

Last week, through our relationship with TAMBA (the Twins and Multiple Births Assopciation) I got to spend time with some beautiful baby twins and visit a family of triplets. I coordinate Norland Agency’s support of the TAMBA Helping Hands project by arranging for voluntary qualified Norland professionals to help families with multiples (twins, triplets and more) in crisis. This project was set up to provide free professional advice, support and even care to families who are in desperate need of help. As part of this I have been lucky enough to be able to personally support some multiple families with whom I have stayed in touch. It is so wonderful and rewarding to see these families come out the other side of a traumatic or difficult time thanks to the support Norland and TAMBA are able to offer. My multiples skills and experience has increased dramatically through my link with the charity, something which I am really grateful for.

That’s been about it for the past month, but there is plenty in the pipeline to keep me busy, as with all of Norland my role is continually evolving and I look forward to the next challenge. 

I love to keep my experience with children current so on top of a busy working life I am also very lucky to have 8 beautiful godchildren. When I have time off I try to make sure that I get the opportunity to spend time with them and the May bank holidays were no exception.  Here is my gorgeous godson Harrison who I was able to enjoy cuddles and going out for a picnic with!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Set 36 Employment Weeks

Set 36 have now completed their training at Norland College.  When students come to the end of their training they take part in three weeks of Employment preparation lectures; here is how Set 36 got on.

One of the very first things that the students do as part of their employment training is to sign the Norland Code of ProfessionalResponsibilities. This code is what all Norland graduates are expected to adhere to through out their careers as Early Years professionals. Following this the students filled in their DBS  forms. All Norland professionals that are placed through Norland Agency must have an up to date DBS (old CRB) that has been completed in the past 3 years - none of our students would be going out until these were complete.

Many of our students go on to work in London with families and so, to give the students a taster of London life and help them confidently navigate around the city, an orientation day in London took place.  It was a bright and early start, with the coach collecting us all from college at 6am!  It was a quiet journey up to London but just before we arrived the students were paired up and given their ‘tasks’ for the day.  The students then had to plan their day to complete their tasks whilst navigating themselves around London.  This is such a valuable day as it means mistakes can be made and confidence can be built on - all in preparation for interviewing for their future positions.

Following a day in London, the students spent a day shadowing a Norlander (a working Norland Nanny) in their position so that they could get a real life insight into being a nanny.  This was a fantastic experience for the students offering an invaluable taster of the role they are about to embark upon. The feedback was fantastic  “the day helped me to feel more confident about being a nanny” and “I had an amazing day and am very happy that we had the opportunity”.

At the end of the first week the Norland Diploma Day took place. This is when the graduating Set, this year Set 34, return to Bath to receive their Norland Diploma and badges. This was a fantastic day held at Bath Abbey which was attended by the Chair of BANES Councillor Martin Veal and The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Malcolm Lees, the graduates' friends, families and employers and the students and staff of Norland. The ceremony was closed by the Norland College Choir, led by Grenville Jones.

Diploma Day at Bath Abbey

The Norland College Choir

Our graduates, Set 34

The second week was kick-started with a self defence session. Set 36 learnt some basic self-defence techniques and strategies to protect not only themselves but also the children in their care. The sessions were run by Tae Kwondo instructor Andy Tombling. The students could soon be working and living in new places so these techniques are invaluable. 
Self Defence instructor Andy
The majority of the remainder of this week was dedicated to the Norland tradition of Display Day. This is an annual event where the leaving Set showcase their creative ability and the work they have completed over their two years at college. The event was held at the Bath Assembly Rooms and the students' friends and families were invited to attend a short awards ceremony. The day was fantastic and the Norland College Choir once again delivered an emotional performance, ending with an uplifting rendition of Pharrell Williams 'Happy'. 
Some of the students displays
Some resources made by the students
Some of Set 36 at their Display Day
Display Day awards ready to be handed out
The third and final week was a busy one! Students crammed in a skid pan defensive driving course, a life saving course, finance and contract talks and chose the jobs they wanted to apply for. This week ended with the end of term celebrations. Friday morning emotions were running high as the staff said goodbye to Set 36 and the students said some teary goodbyes to each other. By 12noon the college was empty of students and the silence was notable by all. 
Norland students at Skid Pan training
Set 36 have now started applying for and interviewing for their first positions working as the last year of Norland Probationary Nannies. Norland Agency will keep in touch with them throughout their careers and they will forever be part of the Norland family and welcomed back at any time.

Best of luck Set 36!