The second branch of the long established Ladybird Nursery is located in Jumeirah Village Circle and was set up as an Early Learning Centre offering FS1 and FS2 in addition to traditional nursery classes.
The story so far...
Ladybird Nursery in Jumeirah was established in 1996 and is one of the oldest traditional UK nurseries in the city. The second nursery and Early Learning Centre was set up 20 years later in the much newer area of Jumeirah Village Circle, close to many of the developing residential areas around JVC, Jumeirah Village Triangle, the Springs, Meadows and those further along the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.
Owned by Monica Valrani, there is a close relationship with the Arcadia Prep School (established by Mohan Valrani) which opened in Jumeirah Village Triangle at the same time, and is opening its Secondary school in September 2020.
The combined Nursery website informs parents that 'The vision of Ladybird Nursery is to create early childhood learning experiences that prepare children for success in school and build a solid foundation and passion for lifelong learning. To implement the Early Years Foundation stage standards for learning, development and care in a Montessori environment.'
The Nurseries' Mission Statement informs parents that 'At Ladybird Nursery we are actively engaged in the pursuit of excellence. It is our purpose to provide care and education of the highest quality that will enable all of our children to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens'.
Whilst the Jumeirah nursery caters to children from 6 months to 4 years, including FS1, the JVC branch offers places for children from 6 months to 5 years of age, including FS1 and FS2. Children from the JVC centre are offered priority placement at Arcadia Preparatory School located closeby in Jumeirah Village Triangle.
The JVC Early Learning Centre can accommodate up to 150 children in a total of 10 classes. Average class sizes are 14 children with a maximum of 16. Over 20 nationalities are represented among students in the centre with no predominant nationality group and an equal split between boys and girls. There are a small number of children with mild autism and speech delays and the staff work with the parents and therapists to ensure their needs are met.
30 teachers and 10 teaching assistants are employed at the centre with each class having a teacher, teaching assistant and an additional assistant. All teachers have a minimum Cache level 3 qualification, Montessori qualification or a teacher’s degree, without exception. A particular positive of the Ladybird group is its low staff turnover, with teachers who have been employed for 5 to 10 years, and the Principal who has been with the group for 8 years.
Principal Helen Taylor Shaw is a qualified Montessori Teacher, holding an International Diploma from MCI London and an Early Years Foundation degree. She has worked with young children and in Early Years settings in her home country of England and has overseen early years’ settings for the past for 25 years both as a Head Teacher and a Manager.
What about the curriculum?
Both Dubai nurseries follow the British curriculum nursery standards and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) programme in a Montessori school environment. The EYFS nursery curriculum is complemented by diverse kindergarten school activities that touch on a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. These include languages, music and movement, expressive arts and design, outdoor and water play, and a bespoke physical fitness programme.
The EYFS focuses on the development of seven core areas including Communication and language, Physical development, Personal, social and emotional development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Arts and Design.
Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.
In addition to the EYFS curriculum, Ladybird ELC also offers a range of additional programmes with cross-curricular links to the EYFS. Two of these are language-based and include the Marhaba Arabic Programme where children cover Arabic greetings, letters, vocabulary, colours, and numbers through music and play activities. The objective of the programme is to develop an appreciation of the Arabic language and to create a platform from which to study Arabic in primary school.
The Bonjour French Programme aims to develop further language skills and encourage children's interest in the French language. Lessons typically start with a French song and some puppetry before children move into circle time to learn the essential phrases in French. They then move on to learning French through picture books, songs and gestures before going into learning some French vocabulary with the use of picture cards.
Additional activities include Music ‘n’ Moves where children are taught to love a blend of music, movement, rhythm and dance, and Kidz Fit, an age-appropriate programme to instill the importance of fitness. The activities involve ball skills, aerobics, parachute games and hoops and balancing activities. Little Kickers introduces the foundations of football and ball skills. Further sports-based activities include Teddy Tennis which encourages children aged 2 to 6 years to learn to play tennis and Splish ‘n’ Splash, where themed showers and climb-on frogs and turtles enable children to discover the properties of water by splashing, pouring and scooping. Mini Chef lessons teach children about nutrition and food safety, as well as building math, science, literacy and fine motor skills.
What about the facilities?
The JVC Early Learning Centre is a purpose built, environmentally friendly resource which consists of 10 classrooms (with interactive whiteboards in the Foundation classrooms), Wifi, an Arabic/French room, a role play area, a soft play/yoga area, a bike track, an outdoor planting garden and mud kitchen, the splash pool, outdoor sensory garden and resources for the kidz fit programme.
The JVC centre is the only Early Years LEED Gold Facility in the region. In 2021, it was announced that the nursery would install a rooftop solar system, with the eventual aim of supplying all of it's own power needs.
What about timings?
Ladybird ELC offers a variety of day (3, 4 or 5 days per week) and timing options which range from 8am to either 12:30pm, 2 pm, 3pm, 4pm. or 5pm with fees varying dependent on the chosen timings.
What about the fees?
Fees for three days vary from AED 11,850 to AED 13,050 depending on the length of time spent by the child. Four days range from AED 13,300 to AED 14,900, whilst 5 day fees range from AED 14,800 to AED 16,800.
There is a Registration fee of AED 500, a Deposit of AED 1000, and an annual medical fee of AED 1,000. A Sibling Discount provides a 10% tuition fee discount for each sibling attending at the same time as the “primary” child. The sibling discount does not apply after the “primary” child graduates.
Corporate discounts apply to several companies including Emirates Airlines and McKinsey & Company. The Emirates discount is given to all those who hold a hold an Emirates Platinum membership card. The cardholder can use this only towards his/her own children. Each child receive a discount of 10% off tuition fees and waiver of the registration fees. All employees of McKinsey & Company enjoy a waiver of the registration fee and a 10% discount off the tuition fee per child.
The ELC also offers a bus service charged termly at AED 1,700 one way or AED 2,700 two ways within JVC. Other areas are charged at AED 2,500 one way and AED 3,750 two way per term.
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