United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Al Bateen / Redwood Montessori Nursery Al Bateen

Redwood Montessori Nursery Al Bateen Experience

Redwood Nursery Al Bateen is one of eleven UAE-based (and one Qatar-based) nurseries and is located in the traditional Al Bateen area of Abu Dhabi Island.
At a glance
School type
School phase
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
School year
Sep to Jul

Nearby schools

0.9km   •  Primary school
0.9km   •  All through school
1.2km   •  All through school
1.6km   •  Primary school
1.9km   •  All through school
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Review Visit: 11/09/2023

Conveniently situated in the commercial and residential area of Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, is Redwood Montessori Nursery. The Al Bateen branch is one of seven Redwood Nurseries in the capital, with a further four in Dubai and one in Doha, all operated by specialist early childhood education group, KFG. 

Our reviewer visited the nursery on a Monday morning in early September. Space for parking outside the nursery appeared sufficient for parents to drop off their children with ease, and the nursery’s security guard was diligent and professional when providing access. 

The nursery is housed in a spacious converted residential villa, with a large recently renovated outdoor space. While perhaps not as grand in appearance as some of the group’s purpose-built locations, Redwood Al Bateen has a warm homely quality that many families will prefer in an early childhood setting. 


Our reviewer was warmly welcomed to the nursery by Regional Director of Redwood Nurseries Abu Dhabi, Ms Kerryn Michna, and Nursery Manager, Ms Cherise Thompson. While Ms Michna has been part of the Redwood Nurseries group since 2018 – and is very much a seasoned leader in early childhood education – Ms Thompson has very recently taken the reigns as Nursery Manager.

Redwood Al Bateen's leadership and administration team, L-R: Lina Tawalbeh, Kerryn Michna, Cherise Thompson, Leoni Suttie

Ms Thompson shared her extensive experience in early childhood education. She began her career in the UK, where she worked as a teacher for five years before relocating to Abu Dhabi. She held the roles of KG teacher and curriculum leader in a school for the four years prior to joining Redwood. 

Ms Thompson spoke with great enthusiasm for the Montessori approach and the experienced team of educators she is working with. Discussing her goals for the nursery, Ms Thompson explained:

“I really want to create an environment where families feel at home and are excited to get involved in the nursery. I want the atmosphere to be friendly and social, a hub of parent participation, where we can collaborate together.”

Meet the Team

Group Curriculum Manager, Ms Leonie Suttie, explained that the nursery’s team of educators have received considerable training on the Montessori approach from the group’s specialist in-house trainers, to further develop their practise. As part of Ms Suttie's role, she spends considerable time in classrooms, supporting educators to develop their skills and knowledge.

She spoke with pride on how the standard of Montessori practise has developed and of the particularly skilled team at Redwood Bateen. Indeed, the expertise of the educators was evident to our reviewer as she observed classes in action. 


Ms Michna provided our reviewer with a tour of the nursery, highlighting the many areas that have received considerable enhancement and refurbishment in recent months. 

Redwood Al Bateen has seven classrooms, each freshly decorated in soothing earthy tones, with wooden furniture and hessian-backed displays on the walls. Classrooms are impressively well equipped with a full range of high-quality Montessori materials, the extent of which our reviewer has not come across in other UAE nurseries outside of the Redwood group. 

Environments that encourage curiosity and exploration at Redwood Bateen

It is important for parents to be aware that the class set-up at Redwood differs to many UAE nurseries. The nursery offers a bilingual programme, with parents selecting either English-with-French or English-with-Arabic, with most classes having two designated teachers to cover the two languages. Having two qualified teachers in a class does, however, mean that some classes are on the larger side, the largest having a capacity of 30 children. It is also worth noting that Redwood Nurseries adhere to excellent adult  to child ratios, meaning classes like this have trained assistant educators working closely with the children in small groups and one to one. 

The nursery also has a room for the specialised care of its youngest children. This cosy space, catering to seven infants from 45 days old, is tucked away in a quiet corner of the nursery. With little ones sleeping at the time of our visit, our reviewer did not venture far into this area, but did observe nurturing and attentive care from the members of staff dedicated to these children. 

Climbing equipment in the nursery's outdoor play space

The nursery also has considerable outdoor space, the likes of which is hard to find in a city-centre nursery. This area has been recently renovated, with wooden climbing equipment, a children’s grow garden, sensory walk and splash pad. This exciting outdoor space felt worlds away from the busy city life outside its walls. 

Inside the Classrooms

Our reviewer was invited to observe a Junior Preschool Class (2-3 year olds) and a Senior Preschool Class (3-4 year olds). In the third week of a new term, we expected to see children still settling into their routines, and perhaps even a few tears.

Indeed, there was a child new to the setting in need of emotional support in the younger age group. The child was treated with compassion by staff, who provided reassurance and care, supporting the child to take part in an activity with one-to-one support. 

A young child is supported in using the Montessori knobbed cylinders by an assistant educator

The group of 14 2-3 year olds were otherwise very engaged in a range of self-selected activities, including rock painting, sculpting play dough and using the autodidactic Montessori materials available on the classroom shelves. As one might expect in a Montessori environment, the presence of the adults was never dominating; they provide gentle support only as needed, as the children led their own exploration and creativity

In the Senior Preschool classroom, a smaller group of children prepared for a French language session with their bilingual class teacher. The teacher expertly prepared the children for the session, supporting the transition from snack time to circle time with a fun movement activity, receiving giggles and smiles as the children calmly sat in their circle. The children were very responsive during this engaging language session, which included action songs and games. 

Junior Preschool children explore natural loose parts in a classroom

Meet the Parents

Our reviewer met with Feline, mother of a 19-month-old child who had attended the nursery for over a year. Feline explained that when selecting a nursery, her most important criteria had been what she described as the “human element” – a nurturing and caring environment where her child could feel at home. She had been aware of the strong reputation of Redwood and, when visiting, felt she had found the environment she was looking for, getting a positive feeling from the nursery’s management and staff from her first visit. 

Feline explained that although the management has since changed, she still feels that same warmth, explaining that she feels reassured that her daughter is “surrounded by people loving her at nursery”. 

Our View

As one of the longest running nurseries in the Redwood group, Redwood Al Bateen gave our reviewer an impression of calm maturity, in a homely environment. The nursery’s experienced Montessori educators appear to have an expert understanding of this very particular approach to education and care, and they provide a nurturing environment for their very young students. 

For parents seeking a Montessori nursery in Abu Dhabi, the Redwood group should undoubtedly be at the top of a list; its Al Bateen branch offers considerable expertise and excellent facilities and resources. For those unsure of what Montessori education entails, we advise some prior research to understand what this much sought-after approach entails.

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