All About: The Creative Preschool Curriculum

The Dubai nursery scene tends to be dominated by the English Early Years Foundation Stage, which is a great option for many children, but we at do not believe that one size fits all.. Here we take a look at an alternative, the American Creative Curriculum.
All About: The Creative Preschool Curriculum
By Jenny Mollon
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The Creative Curriculum is an American preschool curriculum which has been designed to offer a careful balance between teacher led and child initiated learning. 

Based upon the up to date academic and child development research, the curriculum caters for children from birth to six years.

Fundamental principles of the curriculum are:

  • Positive interactions and relationships involving all adults enable successful learning
  • Social-emotional competence is a significant factor for school success
  • Constructive, purposeful play supports essential learning
  • Physical environment affects the type and quality of learning interactions
  • Teacher-family partnerships promote development and learning

As children progress through their time in preschool, their development and learning is assessed and measured against a total of 38 objectives. 

Teachers and parents work closely together, using online tools to share information and to create a detailed overview of each child’s individual attainment and progress.

The curriculum is designed to encourage questioning skills and critical thinking and is delivered via a series of ‘studies’ (topics) which are revisited an intervals during a child’s preschool career.  Literacy is key within the Creative Curriculum and even lessons delivering other areas of learning will have some element of literacy to them.


What makes the Creative Curriculum special?

As the name suggests the Creative Curriculum is fundamentally designed to encourage creativity.  This is truly wide ranging creativity, not simply arts and crafts!  Lessons are planned to harness a child’s inquisitive nature and to encourage questions, experimentation and explorations.


How does the Creative Curriculum compare to the EYFS?

Both curricula draw upon up to date research and the latest thinking in the world of child development. 

The Creative Curriculum’s assessment and data gathering are perhaps more streamlined than in the EYFS.  This is important to ensure that each child’s strengths and weaknesses are identified and that teaching is tailored to meet these needs. 

The level of detail and guidance for teachers contained within the Creative Curriculum certainly eases their planning load.  We are also impressed by the continuous and structured involvement of parents – resulting in education that is truly a partnership between home and school. 

Whilst the level of guidance for teachers might well be seen as strength of the Creative Curriculum, it does place some restrictions on teachers that are not seen in the EYFS.  The EYFS truly allows and encourages teachers a free reign to follow every idea, inspiration and passion of the children in their care – and it does so simply by not being too prescriptive.  Teaching with the EYFS is truly child led in many fundamental ways.

The Creative Curriculum is in use in several nurseries in Dubai, including Inspire in Al Safa, Mosaic in JLT and the newly opened IDEA Early Learning Centre in Sports City. Ashleigh Thompson, Founding Director of IDEA told us,

"At IDEA ELC we are proud to use the Creative Curriculum because it covers all areas of child development and content learning and defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are critical to children’s future success in school and in life”.

Overall, we believe that the Creative Curriculum has a number of strengths and will please many parents.  We are delighted to see more preschools in Dubai offering this new approach – more choice for parents can only ever be a good thing. 

As always, we recommend viewing several nurseries with a variety of curricula before selecting the right one for your child. 

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