Before starting their training, the Australian students spent 2 evenings at College meeting Norland students including getting involved in the Norland Choir’s rehearsal, learning how Norland students make up carriage prams and meeting our reality babies.
Introduction day - On Monday morning the training began with a session about the Norland history, all 123 years of it, together with information about Norland’s approach and what training looks like today. The afternoon covered an introduction to the Early Years curriculum (Early Years Foundation Stage) and a review of the placements the Norland students have experienced.
Today the students looked at the role of Early Years Practitioners - what are they are responsible for? What qualities would you expect them to have? In the afternoon they got to meet two of our qualified Norland Nannies, Chloe and Kate, and their charges. It was fantastic to have some little visitors and for the students to hear first-hand what it is like to work as a Norland Nanny in the UK.
Today the students started the day with a visit to the Bristol Scrap Store. Andy, the manager, met the group and gave us a tour and a chat about how the Scrap Store works and its ethos. He talked through, and we got a backstage look at, how PlayPods work and the research around the benefits to children. The students were given time to explore and take some items back to the college for use later in the week.
The afternoon session was taken by Norland Practical Skills Lecturer, and Norland graduate, Elizabeth Kerry (@PracticalSkills). The students explored making music without instruments and how this can link to different areas of children’s development such as mathematical development and confidence. Then it was time for some science experiments! We had exploding volcanos, chocolate painting, corn flour play and magic raisins. All giving a wealth of opportunities for children’s development and learning whilst being heaps of fun!
Forest School Day! Despite the good old English weather we trundled off into the Hidden Woods forest school where the first task of the day was to get a roaring fire going. Our Forest School leader took us through the process of fire building whilst covering what the Forest School ethos is and how children benefit from spending time in the woods. We talked about risks and how to manage these with children whilst still giving them the opportunity to get involved and learn from their experiences.
When we got back (and warmed up!) we used some of the resources we had collected from the ScrapStore to explore Open Ended play. The students got the opportunity to see what they could make to give them first-hand experience of what it is like when you are not restricted by pre-defined outcomes and you can really let your creativity flow. We had some great creative results!
Final day - Today was the final day of the training which brought together all that the students had seen and learnt throughout the week. The students had some lectures on the UK key person approach and attachment theory, reflecting on what they thought an Early Years Practitioner responsibilities and skills were from earlier in the week.
The afternoon was a baby care workshop – including using a baby bump and reality babies to gain some understanding of what it is like for expectant and new parents. Treasure baskets and their use and content were also explored to sum up the week.
It was a fantastic week and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We look forward to welcoming the next group of students soon.