The third and newest in the popular Fortes Education owned Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS) group, JINS JVT is on the same campus as Sunmarke school in Jumeirah Village Triangle.
We walked in to meet Nicola Hayday, its Nursery Manager. Nicola is South African born, Dubai raised and UK educated – a true expat! She has a BSc in Psychology from Leeds University and has been affiliated with the JINS group for over ten years. Nicola also holds a QCF Level 3 Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development.
Nicola’s Mother runs a nursery in Wales and Nicola gained significant chunks of her experience there. We really liked her up-to-date knowledge of Early Years best practice, and we enjoyed a wide ranging discussion about issues in the Early Years industry. We also liked the fact that Nicola has worked her way up to manager, and felt that she had a real understanding of the challenges of her teaching team.
Nicola was keen to tell us about how the links to Sunmarke worked and how she saw the benefits of an ‘all through’ education. (In theory, a child could attend the Sunmarke campus from 45 days to 18 years!)
Firstly, the children in the nursery simply see the school and students every day. When we visited the nursery’s indoor soft play area, we saw toddlers watching a group of FS students head to the school swimming pool for their PE lesson. It is highly unlikely that a child attending JINS JVT could feel unfamiliar with the school, making the transition to FS1 much easier for many. Indeed, in their final term of nursery, children are taken regularly to visit the FS department of the school.
On a practical note, families moving their children from the nursery to the school are able to take advantage of a number of discounts and benefits. We can see how this approach will make the nursery and school a real cornerstone of the JVT community.
JINS Sunmarke operates the English EYFS curriculum. In addition, the team use ‘In the Moment Planning’ – a way of following the interests of the children as and when they arise. It takes highly skilled practitioners to ensure that this way of educating is successful and we saw lots of evidence of this during our visit. Nicola spoke warmly of her team and praised their efforts throughout our visit.
As we began our tour of the nursery, we were able to spend a few minutes chatting to Paul, Dad to 16 week old baby boy, Elliot.
Elliot had been born prematurely, so the right nursery was absolutely key for Paul and his wife to able to return to work in the knowledge that their little one was well cared for.
Paul was so far delighted with his choice, saying that the staff were always highly attentive and on hand to offer advice and reassurance to the family. He particularly liked that there is always a qualified nurse on site, plus twice weekly doctor’s visits. Paul also felt that communication was very strong – he liked the app that the teacher’s use to communicate with parents throughout the day.
Overall – Paul summed up his experience of the nursery by saying that there were ‘no drawbacks’ at all.
Classrooms here are situated around a central courtyard area. Although outdoors, the courtyard is enclosed and well shaded, with some areas having ceiling fans to help during the hottest months. Again, we felt that the area could benefit from some greenery, and Nicola told us that plans were in place to do this.
The play equipment was good quality and mostly wooden and we saw that the staff had decorated and themed the playhouse area as a beach hut and summer scene. In addition, there are two indoor soft play areas, one for older and one for younger children, which can be used when the weather is hot.
All of the classrooms had natural light, were well equipped and spacious. Each room we visited had a range of different activities going on and we observed that children were choosing what they wanted to do. In one room a highly engaged group were enjoying a lively story time, sat in a jungle themed play den.
Many of the classrooms have doors to an additional outdoor area on the perimeter of the building. This area is currently unused but plans are underway to create a free-flow area for messy play and to extend time spent outdoors as much as possible.
In the baby room there is a gated, carpeted area for crawlers and a separate area had been created for the two very youngest babies. All of the babies in the room were being played with, fed or cuddled. Next door is a sleeping room with labelled cots and there is a kitchen area for bottle and food prep. Parents send in bedding from home which is returned weekly for laundering. As we toured the nursery Nicola constantly referred to hygiene and cleaning protocols. We felt that cleanliness was excellent throughout.
In an effort to meet the needs and reflect the demographic of the local community, one of the classrooms here has been allocated as a Russian language class.
This is optional for parents who want their child to learn Russian and children are taught using a very specific method which links touch and sound to simplify acquisition of what can be quite a challenging language. The room is incredibly well equipped and has lots of Russian language books. All children receive regular Arabic and French lessons.
Teaching staff here have either a Cache Level 3 Diploma or a university degree in an appropriate field. Each class has a Teacher and a minimum of two Teaching Assistants. In the baby room, one Teaching Assistant is also a qualified nurse. All staff who come into contact with children have paediatric first aid training.
Staff to child ratios are as follows:
Overall, we were really impressed by this new setting, the option for an ‘all through’ education and by Nicola and her enthusiastic team.
|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 715||AED 10,600||AED 11,575||AED 12,120||AED 12,850||AED 13,225||AED 14,165|
|4 Days||AED 855||AED 10,950||AED 12,120||AED 13,020||AED 13,650||AED 14,100||AED 15,225|
|5 Days||AED 950||AED 11,600||AED 12,900||AED 13,900||AED 14,600||AED 15,100||AED 16,350|
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