Thursday, 26 July 2018

Principal’s Award winner 2018 – Q&A

Katie finished her degree this year
An interview with Katie Thomas, Set 39

At our annual Heritage Day celebration in May, many students were recognised with various awards – from Volunteer of the Year to the winner of the Norland Bake Off. The Principal’s Award, re-established for 2018, is for students who display passion and commitment to Norland during their time here and was won by Katie Thomas of Set 39. Before she heads out to begin her Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year, we asked her to reflect on her time at Norland College…

What does Norland College mean to you?
Norland is wonderful. It’s empowering and motivating, driven and powerful. It’s helped me to grow into the strong minded, bubbly, confident character that I am today – and for that, a simple ‘thank you’ just doesn’t do it justice. Every hour spent at College, every email, every one-to-one and moment of support that the team gave me has made me the person I am. I’m so proud that I’ve got my degree!

What was your relationship with the lecturers and staff like?
Orientation day in London
My lecturers have been incredible. To know that they’re available to offer pastoral support for students that require it is such a comfort. The staff at Norland go above and beyond to ensure they support students in a time of need, for their personal development and to empower individuals to do their best and to strive for excellence. They really do take the time to get to know each student on an individual level and it makes all the difference.

The student-centric approach to their work doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s clear that they all genuinely care about us.

How would you summarise your time here?
Some people go to Norland College and leave with qualifications. Others, like myself, experience Norland in a whole different light and although, at times it may not have been easy, with some lessons being learnt the hard way, I can truly say the last three years have been life changing (for the better!) and a true learning curve. Thank you once again for everything!

What advice would you give to those applying to Norland College?
Katie in her Food & Nutrition class
Go to the Open Days and see for yourself the truly amazing place that Norland College is and the facilities that are available to students. I would recommend getting as much experience as possible. Volunteer where you can and take every opportunity that you are given. 

The interview process is not as daunting as you think it will be. Think of it more as a chance to highlight your experiences and what a fantastic practitioner you already are. It’s also an opportunity to ask lecturers any questions you may have, as we are always taught an interview is a two-way process. 

My advice would be to have a think about a few questions. Firstly, ‘What makes you stand out?’ There are hundreds of individuals who would like to gain a place at such a prestigious institution each year, so what will make you worthy of gaining a place over them? What makes you stand out in a crowd of people who all want to work with children and make a difference to young people’s lives? What makes you truly have a passion for working with children and want to inspire, motivate and ensure that children in your care have both the emotional and physical support needed to reach their individual milestones?

Ultimately it’s important to be yourself, as like children, each early years practitioner is unique and special in their own way. I think anyone who trains or has trained at Norland College will agree that Norland College is the very best because it prides its training on Emily Ward’s mantra of ‘Love Never Faileth’. If this remains at the core of your practice, then you are well on your way to success; you’ll gain your place on the course, secure your first Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) position (I cannot wait for mine to start!) and go on to have an exciting career as a Norland Nanny.

Any final advice for future students?
The world is truly your oyster. You will have a blast. You will make friends for life, memories you will cherish and have the time of your life – trust me! If I were to give some advice it would have to be: ‘Go for it!’ and it sounds like a cliché but Norland will genuinely change your life. 

Make sure your shoes are polished, the ‘N’ on your hat is straight, wait for the green man before you cross the road, practice putting your hair into a bun and remember – no wispy bits!

If you are lucky enough to be offered a place on the course, I wish you all the best for your time at College and beyond. If I could redo my time at Norland College again, I would do it in a heartbeat!
Katie enjoying life in Bath with her fellow students
Katie has finished her degree at Norland College and has secured a year-long Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) position in order to complete her Norland Diploma. For more information about our degree with a difference, visit our website.

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