Thursday, 23 March 2017

Etihad Airways and Norland celebrate the graduation of the 2,000th Flying Nanny

Etihad Airways has celebrated the graduation of its 2000th Flying Nanny, continuing its relationship with Norland, the respected UK-based higher education college which specialises in ‘early years’ education.

This Norland approved training ensures that Etihad Airways’ highly trained cabin crew members who transfer to become Flying Nannies, can combine their service and hospitality expertise with an appreciation of the childcare skills required to ensure outstanding service and inflight care for the airline’s younger guests.

The bespoke training programme, devised by Norland specifically for the Etihad Airways Training Academy, provides cabin crew with the skills to support families on longhaul flights.

Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways' Vice President Guest Experience, said: “Flying with a young family can be daunting, even for our most experienced guests, and the Flying Nanny role demonstrates our understanding of their needs and our unwavering commitment to making the journey as relaxing, entertaining and comfortable as possible - for both parent and child.”

Claire Burgess, Head of Research, Consultancy and Training at Norland (left), Etihad Airways’ 2000th Flying Nanny, Isabel Moya Guzman (centre) and Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Guest Experience (right)

Flying Nannies were introduced by Etihad Airways in September 2013, and are onboard to provide an extra pair of hands and to allow parents more personal time while they entertain the children.

Claire Burgess, Head of Research, Consultancy and Training at Norland, who has been delivering the training at Etihad Airways’ headquarters since the Flying Nanny initiative began, commented: “This milestone reflects how successful the Flying Nanny programme has been for Etihad Airways, and it proves that Norland’s expertise continues to make a positive impact on the passenger experience.”

In September 2016, the airline introduced a new Flying Nanny Kit as part of a new range of ‘Etihad Explorers’ children’s activity packs, to keep its younger guests occupied while onboard. The kit promotes greater interaction between nanny and child and contains an extensive range of fun items including Origami, games, pom-poms, flight certificates, tools for magic tricks and face-painting, and a ‘Flying Nanny stamp of approval’ which the nanny can use to reward children during their in-flight activities.

For more information about Norland's Research, Consultancy and Training department, visit our website

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A job that can change the world

Mandy Donaldson, Vice Principal, Head of Academic Services and Registrar

It’s a bold thing to say, but something I firmly believe in: “When you work with babies and young children, you can change the world!”
The early years of a child’s life are so important. They are not just a time when the child is being prepared to learn – they are learning at a faster rate in the early years than at any other time in their lives. In fact, they are learning sponges, soaking up new experiences through their senses and processing it all in order to make sense of it. Their brains are already sophisticated learning machines and the experiences they have within those first few years actually make a difference to the way their brains work. As Conkbayir (2017) informs us, babies’ brains are shaped by their early experiences and they need lots of emotional, social and cognitive stimulation to ensure healthy growth. In fact, there is a strong link between emotions and brain development and, when the needs of babies and young children are met positively and sensitively, by adults who are attuned to their needs and wants, the conditions for healthy brain development are created. Every positive response and interaction creates a pathway in the brain that sets a blueprint for how that child will manage their emotions in the future; a loving, responsive and nurturing environment can have a life-long impact on personal, social and emotional wellbeing, underpinning the conditions needed for learning.
As a nanny, you are in a prime position to really make a differ
A degree from Norland is a degree with a difference
ence to the lives of the babies and children you work with. This is the time when children are learning about themselves, their families, their world and their place in it. Nature and Nurture combine most potently in the early years, as genetic factors combine with the people, places and communities supporting them to grow, learn and live, to shape the developing brain. During these critical years, the foundation is being laid for a child’s learning, as well as physical and mental health; will he be confident or unconfident? Will she know that she is loved and therefore have good self-esteem, or will she feel unworthy and unimportant? Will he feel accepted and valued or feel unwanted and insignificant? Will she feel that she belongs or be lonely? Will he learn to eat well and be fit and healthy, or will bad habits be instilled from the very beginning? The answers to these questions will define the life of that child and it is the responsibility of all those involved with children to ensure that their physical and emotional needs are met, so that they become confident, articulate, healthy people with high levels of self-esteem, resilience and self-regulation. We can’t teach children everything they need to know for the future, but we can give them the skills and strength to ensure that they can adapt, learn, take risks, bounce back from failure and have a positive outlook on life.
If we get the early years right, we can change the world! We can minimise poverty, delinquency, poor health, poor achievement and the welfare state. We can create a world where there is respect, tolerance, forgiveness, friendship and love. So what do we have to do to get it right? We all have to do our bit. We have to recognise that children have an emotional bank account and that positive experiences are the deposits and negative experiences are the withdrawals. When you are a nanny, this means supporting your charges’ development and learning in an environment of love and acceptance. Be a role model for positivity and make sure that the emotional bank account of your charges is always in the positive.

Given the importance of the early years, it’s ironic that the work of nannies and other early years practitioners is so undervalued, when it is, perhaps, the most important and wonderful job of all. In what other job do you get to change the world? What I mean by that is that a nanny is employed to care for, nurture, support and love a child. He or she will become part of that child’s life and will therefore influence who that child becomes. Yes, it’s a hard job – both physically and emotionally. Your arms and your heart will ache. But it is also the most rewarding and interesting job on the planet! Training to be a Norland nanny takes those rewards to another level. Our students work very hard but they leave us as highly qualified graduates, with the skills and knowledge needed to be the very best practitioners that they can be. Not only that, but we take all our students into our family. Norland College is not a place where we wave goodbye to you at the end of your course. We support you throughout your career as an early years specialist. We can place in your jobs all over the world and we are always at the end of a phone to support you through challenging times. 

Once a Norlander, always a Norlander!

Visit our website for information about applying to Norland College.


Conkbayir, M. (2017) Early Childhood and Neuroscience, Theory, Research and Implications for Practice. London; Bloomsbury

Friday, 17 March 2017

Norland Choir returns to the Mid-Somerset Festival

On Saturday 25th March the Norland choir will be returning for the second consecutive year to perform at the prestigious Guildhall, Bath as part of the Mid-Somerset Festival. This marks the fourth choir performance of the 2016-17 academic year.
Norland Choir performing at Set 37's graduation ceremony
in November 2016
Founded in 1902, The Mid-Somerset Festival is one of the oldest festivals in the country. For a full fortnight each March, the Mid-Somerset Festival hosts classes in Creative Writing, Speech & Drama, Music and Musical Theatre. To conclude the two-week festival, a concert is held to celebrate some of the best performances in each discipline.
At Norland Choir’s debut appearance at last year’s festival, they performed two contrasting pieces; ‘Love Call Me Home’, Peggy Seeger and ‘Like a Singing Bird’, Bob Chilcott, they achieved a distinction and finished in second place. Norland Choir will be competing in the Adult Ladies’ category against seven other choirs on Saturday 25th with an ambition to improve on last year’s performance. 
Under the stewardship of Choir Leader Grenville Jones, the Norland choir has evolved considerably over the past nine years, nevertheless, the choir ethos still remains that all are welcome and auditions are not held; all that is required is a love of singing and a commitment to rehearsals.
Elizabeth Kerry, Events Manager and Norland Diploma Lecturer commented “We are thrilled to be attending the Mid-Somerset Festival for the second year running. The choir has continued to flourish following the new additions from Set 40 students who joined us in September.”
In addition to this performance, the Norland Choir will be performing on 18th March at St Swithin’s Church for the Goldies charity. Founded in 2008, The Goldies charity aims to reach the lives of hundreds of elderly isolated people across England and Wales. “Singing can provide a dose of escapism, it is a wonderful way to unite members of the community and bring joy and friendship to people’s lives; singing should be on prescription,” says founder Grenville Jones.
Follow the choir’s progress on social media by following us on Twitter @NorlandCollege or Like our 'Norland College' page on Facebook.