One of eight Early Learning Centres operated by Innoventures Education, Raffles ECC Lakes is one of two such facilities within the popular Lakes community.
Located in The Lakes, and easily accessed from from Al Barsha, Al Barsha South, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Raffles Early Childhood Centre (ECC) Lakes 1 is one of eight ECCs operated under the Raffles name, part of the Innoventures Group.
Raffles Early Childhood Centre (ECC) Lakes 1 is one of eight ECCs operated under the Raffles name, part of the Innoventures Group. It accepts babies and children from 45 days to four years (FS1).
The leadership of the ECC lies with Lara Hudson, Director of all Raffles ECCs, supported on the ground by Nursery Manager, Cara Small, who holds a CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children and Young People Services, an NNEB qualification, and The Norland Diploma. Ms. Small has worked within the nursery sector for 14 years and has been the manager at the Lakes ECC for two years.
Our reviewer was impressed by Mrs Small, whose vast experience, warm nature and attention to detail has resulted in a stand-out early learning environment and visibly happy and connected team of educators. She is clearly bringing something very special to the setting.
Raffles ECC Lakes 1 has undergone remarkable changes in the past year, with a redesign in its indoor facilities, in line with the direction of its curriculum approach, and considerable investment in children's resources and materials. This is truly a beautiful well-resourced setting.
This ECC now has a calming Scandinavian-esque aesthetic, with natural tones and furnishings. What truly makes it special though, is the attention to detail made by this team of early childhood educators; each classroom appears to reflect the individual needs, interests and personalities of the children. There is a warmth and sense of individual and collective belonging in this nursery, created by the very genuine connections between staff and children, as well as the special interest taken by staff to create an environment that reflects the children.
Raffles ECC Lakes 1 offers the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, with a play-based and child-centred approach. Influences from Montessori and Reggio Emilia are apparent in the nursery, with plentiful natural resources and high quality tactile and often autodidactic learning materials.
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, physical activities, art, imaginative play, gardening and Arabic language
The main language of teaching is English, but, additionally, children have Arabic lessons each week. The ECC also offers an optional Mother Tongue Programme that includes 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.
As part of the Innoventures Education group, all Raffles ECCs are supported by the larger network of sister schools’ inclusion departments whose teams are actively involved in the assessment and ongoing support of students with SEN requirements.
Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes enjoys a purpose-built facility which is located in the heart of the established Lakes community.
The setting has beautiful spacious classrooms, arranged and decorated with the learning and development experiences of the children in mind. The varying characteristics from classroom to classroom, each skillfully set up to provide children with choice and agency, demonstrate the responsive nature of the team in developing environments to meet the individual needs and interests of each class. With cosy corners for quiet time, space for movement, curiosity-inspiring provocation areas and more, these spaces truly are child-centred and child-influenced.
Classrooms have natural light and all have direct access to outdoor play spaces.
This setting has an impressively large outdoor space, that is likely the envy of many Dubai nurseries. This scale of outdoor play space is a rare find, particularly for a relatively small community setting. Outdoor space is shaded, both naturally by the trees that frame the area, and by shading structures, ensuring children can enjoy being outdoors as much as possible.
Raffles Early Childhood Centre Springs has eight classes, each of which has a qualified lead teacher and between one and three assistant teachers (depending on the age group).
|Class Name||Age Range||Maximum Class Size||Adult to Child Ratio|
|Infants||45 days - 12 months||12||1:3|
|Toddlers||12 months - 2 years||16/18/22 (various room sizes)||1:5|
|Two-Threes||2-3 years||16/18 (various room sizes)||1:8|
Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes 1 offers a range of options with regards to timings and days attended per week. Parents can select 8:00am - 2:00pm/3:00pm/4:00pm/5:00pm or 6:00pm and may select options of either three of five days per week.
Fees are payable termly, which when divided monthly work out as 2,689 AED per month for three days per week, 8:00am - 2:00pm, ranging up to 5,667 AED per month for five days per week, 8:00am - 6:00pm.
One of the advantages of joining a Raffles Early Childhood Centre is priority admission 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 Raffles ECC Lakes team to tell us what makes their centre different and sets it apart from other ECCs.
They told us:
“At Raffles Early Childhood Centre Lakes, 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 ECC Lakes, children are encouraged through collaborative play and hands-on discovery to problem solve, think critically and question the world around them”.
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