Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS) group is owned by Fortes Education, who own and run the popular Regent International and Sunmarke schools. There are eight nurseries in the group.
The Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS) group is owned by Fortes Education, who own and run the popular Regent International and Sunmarke schools. There are now eight nurseries in the group. We visited the Downtown branch on a busy September morning to find out more about life at a JINS nursery.
We begin our tour by meeting Head of Early Years, Nami Nayar. Nami is an exuberant personality, eager to showcase the nursery, for which she clearly feels great pride. She shared her own journey into nursery leadership with us. Having worked in Higher Education in her home country, Nami moved into Early Childhood Education upon moving to Dubai. She explained that she had worked as a nursery teacher at JINS Al Safa for seven happy years prior to moving into a leadership role.
JINS Downtown uses England’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, a popular choice in UAE nurseries, with principles of the Reggio Emilia approach, incorporating natural materials and using ‘real’ objects to support the developing independence of the children, as well as the Curiosity Approach.
JINS is a project-based learning environment where children play a very important and active role in constructing their own learning. The projects which the children work on throughout the year are inspired by the questions which they ask their teachers, the thoughts and ideas they share with each other and the many interests that they display throughout their day at nursery. Long-term projects connect core academic areas in and out of the classrooms.
Additionally, the Positive Education™ philosophy which is embraced at the nurseries, emphasizes the development of the child’s personality, social skills, and self-image. This balanced curriculum allows for teachers to differentiate their instruction and encourage the individual child’s strengths and abilities.
To support the children to further develop their listening skills and encourage early development of phonics, following the Letters and Sounds Programme. This programme is divided into six phases, which focus on: Environmental Sounds, Instrumental Sounds, Body Percussion, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration, Voice sounds, Oral Blending and Segmenting.
While the nursery uses the English language, children also receive Arabic and French language lessons weekly.
JINS Downtown aims to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to engage in the curriculum and routines. As such, the nursery team develops practices to ensure that all children who have a special educational need are identified, assessed and the curriculum is differentiated to meet individual needs. This SEN provision is free of cost.
Children receive two language lessons per week – one Arabic and one French.
The nursery is housed in retail units of a large residential building. As is typical for settings in commercial spaces, there is no outside space, but teachers are able to take the children to play in an outside grassy area (crossing a small service road) when the weather allows.
In comparison to nurseries in similar commercial spaces, JINS Downtown is very spacious. There is considerable shared indoor play space, with a variety of types of equipment for active play, imaginative play, sensory play and more. Classrooms are very large, nicely presented and well equipped. While none have external windows, considerable light passes through the main play area into these rooms, providing good lighting.
Teachers here are a diverse group - coming from the UK, Nigeria, Canada and India. The minimum level of qualification is Cache 3, although some supersede this. All staff have bi-annual first aid training.
Staff, on the whole, appeared warm, engaging and supportive to the children's needs, with children selecting their own activities and engaging in the classroom activities.
Staff to student ratios are low, with a ratio of 1 adult: 3 babies for children aged 45 days – 1 year, 1:4 for those aged 1 - 2 years and 1:5 for those of 2.1 – 3 years.
This is a nursery that really aims to support working parents, with aftercare offered up until 7:00pm. The nursery offers an early class from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, a morning programme from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and an afternoon programme: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Children may attend over three, four or five days from Monday to Friday.
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