Pristine Rainbow Nursery, located in Al Nahda,opened in 2010, follows the EYFS curriculum and has age groups for 15 months to 4 years.
WSA Nursery Visit Review – Pristine Rainbow Nursery, Thursday 22nd August, 8.15am
Pristine Rainbow Nursery (PRN) is under the same management and ownership as the highly popular Pristine Private School
Children at PRN are given priority for assessments at Pristine School, although a place at the nursery does not guarantee admittance to the school. Staff collaborations are frequent, and the nursery is able to liaise with the school’s SEN department should they suspect a child has additional needs. In addition, the doctor attached to Pristine School visits weekly, seeing each child at least twice a term.
PRN is housed in a commercial office building in a quiet square in the Al Nahda area of Dubai. Opposite the building is a (paid) car park, although we are told that many parents live locally and walk to nursery when the weather allows. PRN also offers a reasonably priced bus service which covers the Nahda/Qusais/Muhaisnah areas and around 70% of children use the bus service. Buses are equipped with CCTV and each bus has two nannies on board.
We received a fantastically warm welcome at PRN, being greeted first by the smiling and friendly receptionist and then introduced to the Nursery Manager, Tehseen Juneja. First impressions were excellent and throughout our visit we felt lots of warmth and pride in the nursery from the staff.
Tehseen has a great sense of humour and a progressive attitude to Early Years education. Clearly passionate about PRN, she is keen to answer our many questions. Tehseen is from India and holds a B’ED as well as her Cache Level 5 in Nursery Management. She has nine years nursery management experience. Tehseen’s career has also seen spells teaching in an Indian School in Riyadh.
PRN operates the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum from England and we were pleased to see how this curriculum is implemented at PRN. Children are allocated a home room where parents drop and pick them up, but spend the rest of their day in ‘freeflow’ meaning that they can choose and initiate many of their activities.
The emphasis on child-led activities is definitely very evident, although we did feel that the children completed rather a lot of worksheets. When we discussed this, Tehseen was keen to point out that worksheets are given only to the very oldest children and are just one element of their preparation for 'big school'. PRN prides themselves on providing a balance of learning through play but also preparing children for a seamless transition to school.
There are areas dedicated to key areas of the curriculum – for example a well thought and well equipped out role play area for Language & Communication, a Mathematics area as well as a Music Room and Arts & Crafts room.
PRN offers ballet and 'multi-sports' as extra curricular activities - these programmes are also open to children who do not usually attend the nursery.
The nursery is much larger than it would appear from outside – all the rooms are spacious and have big windows allowing lots of natural light. Outside there is a very large, very well equipped and safe balcony area – for hotter days there is an indoor gym.
On the day we visited, the children attending summer camp were performing a small concert for their parents. We were absolutely wowed by the energy and commitment of all the staff involved. There was a terrific atmosphere in the room. The teachers led the children but allowed them to shine and were clearly focussed on the children’s enjoyment and experience of the day. In turn, children were fully engaged and happy and it was evident that the parents were impressed too.
After the concert, we were able to speak to Besenliza, a PRN parent about her and her family’s experience of the nursery. Besenliza has had two children at PRN and is clearly very happy with her choice. She tells us that she feels part of a real community and has great trust in the staff. Safety and security were some of her top concerns when choosing a nursery and she felt that PRN addressed them well.
Staff turnover, a key indicator of the stability of any childcare facility, is extremely low at PRN. More than 90% of the staff have been with the nursery for more than 6 years. This is exceptional in an expat community! Staff nationalities reflect the cohort of children, with teachers mostly from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Teachers are required to have either a B’Ed or a Cache Level 3 Diploma, with assistants required to have a Cache 2 as minimum.
The average class has 25 children with 4 members of staff and there are approximately 150 children enrolled in total. A gentle, flexible settling in period is encouraged for new children and an equally gentle behavioural policy is implemented throughout. There are, emphatically, ‘no time outs’!
Teachers are encouraged to report verbally to parents as often as possible. Written termly updates are sent, benchmarking each child’s progress against ‘Development Matters’ one the fundamental elements of the EYFS. At the end of the year, each family receives a highly detailed ‘Learning Journey’ as well as a CD containing all of the videos and pictures of their child through the year.
All children are enrolled for 5 days per week. Timings have more flexibility, with the option of 8-12.00, 2.00, 4.00, 5.00. PRN generally follows the term time school calendar, but does not have half term breaks. Winter, Spring and Summer camps are available.
We were incredibly impressed by this great value for money nursery. Local parents would do well to consider it given the great outdoor space, well equipped rooms and warm and dedicated staff.
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