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A Nursery Designed for the Modern Age

by Eddie Rayner

We all know how important a child’s first years are, and increasing research is showing the full impact of those early experiences on our education and later lives. That is why Ladybird Nursery has raised the bar once again, creating a new facility that is not only exceptional in every sense but safe and secure for the ‘Covid-19 age’.

Many safety features that are built into the design of this new world-class nursery, not least that it is set in a ground-floor only building, negating the health and safety problems that can arise in multiple-floor buildings. There is also ultraviolet technology in the ducts that has proven to eliminate the transmission of viruses through the air-conditioning system. Last but not least, all thermal scanning will be through contactless cameras and not through handheld thermometers.

The building is very open, with all learning spaces having access to the outdoors. The natural sunlight and open space have been a real winner with parents in Ladybird Nursery’s JVC facility, which has received LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. The same certification is being targeted in the new nursery. Covid-19 has not affected the layout, but it has allowed for the improvement of operational features.

Following Ministry of Education Regulations
the nursery will cover over 64,0002ft with a maximum of 195 students attending. During Covid-19 times, the nursery will run at 50% capacity per Ministry of Education regulations.

  • Also, under the current guidelines, Covid-19 ratios are those mandated by the authorities:
  • Under the age of two years: Eight in a bubble with a ratio of four children to one adult
  • Over the age of two years: Ten in a bubble with a ratio of five children to one adult
  • During normal times, the Ministry of education specifies the following ratios, which Ladybird Nursery strictly follows:
  • Four children for one adult for children up to one-year-old
  • Five children for one adult between the ages of one and two
  • Eight children to one adult for children between the ages of two and three
  • Ten children to one adult for children aged over three

Staying Safe
The protocols in place at Ladybird Nursery are truly first-class, including posters and signage throughout for social distancing and proper hygiene.
All teachers demonstrate proper hand-washing as an activity and ensure all children wash their hands frequently. Temperatures are taken at the entrance in the morning, during the snack break and before departing. All bags are sprayed when children enter, and each lunch box is wiped down. The classrooms are sanitised throughout the day, and toys that have been put into mouths are removed and placed in a separate sanitisation bin. Children stay within their assigned bubbles and do not share play spaces with others.

All parents are encouraged to provide food that gives independence to the little ones, allowing them to eat by themselves, while also ensuring that their allergies are taken care of. At present, children are socially distanced at the 1.5m requirement at their tables. Gloves are changed between handling each child’s lunch box, which has already been wiped down.

Ladybird Nursery is designed so that it offers a Montessori environment in which children can learn to work and develop independently

The EYFS Curriculum
Ladybird Nursery is designed so that it offers a Montessori environment in which children can learn to work and develop independently. This allows children the freedom to explore their natural interests in a structured manner.
Although the Al Barsha setting is large, it will always reflect simplicity for the learner. A fair amount of time will be spent outdoors where children can develop physically and use natural elements to inspire themselves. With the classroom, the nursery will be following the EYFS curriculum with the child being guided through the five areas of the Montessori pedagogy: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural.

The morning starts with outdoor play. Once the children enter the classroom, it’s time to wash hands and start their circle time followed by the Montessori work cycle time. Mid-morning will be time for a snack followed by some more classroom and outdoor activities, with the ever-popular story-time at the end of the day. During the week, the children are also exposed to music, the bespoke Kidz Fir Programme, and the learning of the French and Arabic languages