One of two Early Childhood Centres located in the Lakes, Raffles ECC Lakes 2 is part of a chain of eight ECCs operated by highly regarded Innoventures Education.
Located in The Lakes 2, ((Hattan Gardens), the Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes 2 is easily accessed from Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Jumeirah Islands, and Emirates Hills. Raffles Early Childhood Centre (EEC) Lakes 2 is one of eight EECs operated under the Raffles name, part of the Innoventures Group.
In addition to the original Lakes-based ECC and the remaining ECCs located in Arabian Ranches, Al Barsha 1, Dubai Marina, The Meadows, The Springs and Umm Suqeim, Innoventures Education also operates five schools – Collegiate International School, Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills and Al Barsha, Raffles International School and Raffles World Academy.
Raffles Early Learning Centre Lakes 2 admits babies and children from 45 days to 4 years of age. The ECC has a capacity for 125 children and currently has 80 children enrolled in its facility. Across the eight ECCs, children come from a broad range of over 100 nationalities, whilst staff are from more than 30.
The leadership of the ECC lies with Lara Hudson, Director of all Raffles ECCs supported on the ground by Nursery Manager, Gladys Methu Miller, who is qualified with a CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children and Young People Services, and PGCEi. Ms. Miller has 4 years’ experience in nursery leadership and has been the nursery manager at the Raffles ECC Lakes 2 for over one year.
Overall staffing ratios at Raffles ECC Lakes 2 are in line with the local regulatory framework, with the teaching team and staff holding a minimum CACHE level 3 qualification. Many hold Postgraduate Certificates in Education and Masters’ degrees.
Raffles ECC Lakes 2 offers six classes in total across the age range that is offered, with children placed appropriately by age in 45 days to one year, one to two years, two to three years, and three to four year old groupings. In accordance with local regulations, class sizes vary from 5 (for the very youngest) to 25 for 3 to 4 year olds. Staff to student ratios, between age groups up to 4 years, are 1:3 and 1:8.
Raffles believes it is important to have a good mix of highly qualified and experienced teachers alongside some newer qualified team members who can be mentored, but also share their good current practice. All staff also undertake regular first aid training and all ECCs have a DHA licensed nurse and clinic.
Supporting staff to grow within their careers with the Raffles organisation is a high priority and the leadership team meets regularly to ensure that roles in the organisation, and individual staff members who can be supported to grow in to them, have been identified. As part of Innoventures Education group, staff have access to a KHDA approved CACHE and TQUK training centre. Staff are also supported in working towards additional qualifications including NPQ qualifications with regular Professional Development opportunities.
Raffles ECC Lakes 2 offers the UK-based Early Years Foundation Stage for pre-school children. Raffles ECCs focus on a play based approach, inspired by international best practices, across all age ranges.
A variety of programmes are offered to facilitate holistic development of the child. The blend of child-initiated and adult-led activities is planned with the needs and interests of the children in mind and includes Water and sand play, Messy play, Loose parts play, Heuristic play, Music and dance, PE, Art, Role play, Gardening and Arabic.
The main language of teaching is English, but additionally, children have Arabic lessons each week. The ECC also offers an optional Mother Tongue Programme including French, Spanish, and Mandarin, which are taught weekly.
Additional extra-curricular activities include Martial Arts, Gym, Football, Ballet, Multi Sports, and Music. All co-curricular activities are optional and are available at a small additional charge.
The ECC also offers external visits which are planned to support the learning being undertaken. The Raffles ECC team strongly believes that taking the children out and about can enhance the learning experience and often brings to life the learning. All trips are optional and cost, on average, AED 50. ECC trips, that the children have enjoyed, include visits to the Fire Station, Dig It, Butterfly Garden, and Camel Farm. For the next academic year, plans are in development to visit an ice cream factory, an equestrian centre and the theatre.
As part of the Innoventures Education group, Raffles ECCs are supported by the larger network of sister schools’ inclusion departments whose staff are actively involved in the assessment and ongoing support of students with SEN requirements.
Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes 2 enjoys a spacious purpose-built, boutique facility located in the heart of the established Lakes (Hattan Gardens) community.
Classrooms have been planned with young children in mind and ensure that the children are able to enjoy engaging and evolving environments. The spacious and beautifully landscaped, shaded, natural outside spaces are fully utilised when the weather permits, as learning is taken outside.
The indoor play area is used all year round and provides an adaptable and engaging environment for hands-on learning.
One of the advantages of joining a Raffles Early Childhood Centre is direct placement to the Innoventures Education group of schools. As part of the Innoventures family, children transitioning from the Early Childhood Centres get priority admission to the schools – IB curriculum Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, Dubai International Academy Al Barsha and Raffles World Academy, UK curriculum Raffles International School, and US/IB curriculum Collegiate International School.
As one of the longest established and most highly regarded education groups in Dubai - KHDA Outstanding-rated Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills opened in 2005 and was the first full IB continuum school in the UAE - parents know that they are choosing an experienced, high quality and caring organisation when they select an Innoventures ECC or school.
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WhichSchoolAdvisor.com asked the team at Raffles ECC Lakes 2 to tell us what makes their centre different and sets it apart from other ECCs.
They told us; “At Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes 2, we strongly believe that children deserve the very best start to life. Our learning goals are based on the EYFS and our teaching approach is inspired by international best practices. We empower children to be confident, resilient, independent learners who are positively equipped to thrive within society.
We recognise the power of play in developing the whole child. Through play children build their confidence naturally as they think and form relationships and experiment with a range of concepts. At Raffles Lakes 2 ECC, children are encouraged through collaborative play and hands-on discovery to problem solve, think critically and question the world around them”.
Annual Fees are AED 44,000 based on 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, 5 days per week. Variations are available for flexible days and extended hours and can be confirmed with the ECC.
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