Jumeirah International Nursery is a private Nursery for children aged 6 weeks to 4 years of age, located in Al Safa, Dubai. The Nursery was first established in 2000 by Fortes Education and provides a UK based education to approximately 220 students.
JINS Al Safa is situated immediately behind Jumeirah Primary School, making it a convenient option for parents with older children at the school. It is also convenient for Jumeirah English Speaking School, Emirates English Speaking School and Safa British School.
The street is mostly residential with on street parking and an adjacent open sand parking area. The nursery is housed in a large former residential villa with very spacious grounds and several outbuildings which serve a variety of purposes.
The nursery feels calm and well organised on arrival and we are met by two friendly office staff. We are then introduced to Samina Khayari, Group General Manager of Fortes Nurseries and Acting Head of JINS Al Safa.
Samina began her nursery career with JINS as a supply teacher before progressing to FS1 class teacher, Nursery Manager and now Group General Manager. Samina is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Education and Leadership. Samina tells our reviewer that she thoroughly enjoys the focus on innovation and best practice that this qualification supports.
Samina feels that the goal for her and her team is always to provide a ‘home away from home’ for the children in her care. All the JINS nurseries follow England's EYFS, and in terms of Personal, Social and Emotional Development (one of the prime areas of the EYFS), the nursery takes a gentle approach to settling new children in, allowing a good six weeks for each child to adjust.
Wherever possible, class topics will follow the interests of the children – fostering independence and self-awareness by allowing children lots of choices.
‘In the moment planning’ (a real buzz phrase in the Early Years industry) is encouraged and teachers are supported to deviate from pre planning should the children in their group so decide.
Another prime area of the EYFS is Communication and Language. Samina feels that this is delivered well at JINS Al Safa, with a gentle approach to phonics and literacy using the well-known ‘Letters and Sounds’ resources. Samina believes in working with schools to ensure that phonics is taught seamlessly between school and nursery. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards which we saw used in an engaging phonics lessons.
Facilities and activities
The spacious classrooms and garden allow a wide variety of activities and resources to aid children’s physical development.
For the hotter months, there is a fantastic standalone area named ‘Zig Zag Zoom’ which houses a very large soft play area and role play/dress up area. We were really impressed with this facility and the equipment it housed.
The garden is also home to a very well equipped water play area and a good sized, shallow swimming pool where swimming lessons are delivered by qualified swim teachers. Extra-curricular swimming lesson are available during the afternoons. These lessons are delivered by the reputable Aquatix swim school and incur an extra cost.
Children with additional needs are supported by what Samina describes as a ‘strong protocol’. Teaching staff here are very experienced and over the years have developed a rigorous system of assessment, communication and implementing gentle, incremental development targets (with the aid of external professionals). She is happy to say that JINS Al Safa is an inclusive nursery.
Teachers, qualifications and staffing
Teachers communicate with parents in a variety of ways – including detailed communication books and the popular ‘Tapestry’ app.
Staff are recruited both internationally and locally using a strict vetting and assessment system. Minimum qualifications are a Cache* 3 Diploma, although many staff hold a Level 4, 5 or B’Ed qualification.
[*Cache qualifications are qualifications awarded by the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education - the UK's leading provider of vocational qualifications for those working in the care and education sectors. Cache qualifications are divided into five different levels, ranging from Level 1 (entry level) to Level 5 (for experienced professionals).]
We spent a little time chatting to Nami, an experienced teacher who is entering her fifth year of teaching with JINS. She tells us that the nursery really holds to the principle of everything centring around the child, something she herself is passionate about.
In fact, Nami uses the word ‘passion’ to describe many aspects of life at JINS Al Safa! She is adamant about the need to support working families here in Dubai, where so many families do not have the benefit of an extended family. She feels the nursery has a fantastic and committed team which could not be replicated elsewhere. We loved her energy and commitment (and yes, her passion!).
Parent friendly, flexible
This support for working parents is reflected in the opening hours and annual schedule of the nursery, with care available from 7am to 6pm daily and the nursery only being closed of 3 weeks of the year and public holidays.
There is a popular hot food programme delivered by the catering firm Kieta. Parents receive a monthly menu and breakfasts, snacks and lunches are delivered at intervals through the day. There are kitchens on site so food can be reheated as necessary.
Children can be admitted from 45 days to 4 years, although afternoon care is available for older children (siblings) on request. Some extra-curricular sports are offered by visiting teachers (swimming, ballet, gymnastics and football) whereas afternoon clubs (construction, cookery, music and movement) are offered by core teaching staff.
Our impression was that health and safety was a priority here, with good security, a spacious clinic and a full time DHA registered nurse on site at all times. Staff absences are covered by a bank of cover staff to ensure that ratios are maintained at all times.
Staff to child ratios are:
Under 1 years – 1:3
1-2 years – 1:4
2.5 – 3 years – 1:5
3 + years – 1:8
|PER WEEK||07:30 - 08:00||08:00 - 13:00||08:00 - 14:00||08:00 - 15:00||08:00 - 16:00||08:00 - 17:00||08:00 - 18:00|
|3 Days||AED 700||AED 9,500||AED 10,475||AED 11,225||AED 11,750||AED 12,125||AED 12,925|
|4 Days||AED 800||AED 10,500||AED 11,670||AED 12,570||AED 13,200||AED 13,650||AED 14,550|
|5 Days||AED 900||AED 11,600||AED 12,900||AED 13,900||AED 14,600||AED 15,100||AED 16,100|
What we loved
The staff – well trained, experienced and enthusiastic
The space, especially the gardens and indoor physical play areas
What could be improved
We would love to see more eco initiatives, use of recycled materials etc
The buildings and equipment did feel a little tired in places
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