Abu Dhabi, 4/3/2013 11:00:00 AM - Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has signed with Kids First Group, an internationally-recognised academic operator, to open the first nursery school on Saadiyat later this year.
The Redwood Saadiyat Nursery will adopt a curriculum based on the specialised world-renowned Montessori Method, providing high standards of educational and recreational facilities for pre-school education. The nursery will provide children with a wide range of learning experiences within stimulating and empowering settings led by highly qualified practitioners.
The nursery will utilise learning materials specifically focused around the Montessori philosophy of teaching, which is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in 1897. This international method is based upon actual observations of children complemented by training in medicine, psychology, anthropology and philosophy, while ensuring the sustained wellbeing of each child through an innovative and progressive learning environment.
Ahmed Al Fahim, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing at TDIC, stated: "We are proud to host Redwood Saadiyat Nursery, particularly that it will offer a curriculum based fundamentally on a model of human development. Saadiyat is fast becoming a vibrant community with more residents making the island their home, while the nursery is our next step to serve residents of Saadiyat as well as Abu Dhabi city with an essential education phase for their kids. This is indeed another remarkable demonstration of how TDIC is partnering with the best in every sector, carefully piecing together the vision of Saadiyat into an exceptionally remarkable reality."
The nursery complements the educational projects currently being developed on Saadiyat, which include New York University Abu Dhabi - being developed by Mubadala - and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school, whereby the crucial education stages - from pre-school up to university level - will be available on Saadiyat by 2014. The nursery will sit among Saadiyat Beach's high-end community of residences, five-star resorts, top-class sports and leisure venues, and extensive retail outlets.
With a capacity to accommodate up to 140 children, the nursery will boast spacious classrooms arranged by a certified feng shui master to provide the right energy to students and staff. It will house a music room, areas for arts and crafts, well-resourced library and media centre, technology room, performing arts facility, and a gymnasium for sports suitable for the students' age groups. The curriculum will include English, French and Arabic sections.
Indoor and outdoor play areas are carefully designed to meet all safety standards with equipment specific for each age group. The school will have distinctive facilities such as an archaeological sandpit, a mini-city that will familiarise students with traffic signs and important elements of a modern city, and an agricultural area for kids to grow their own vegetables and later use them during cooking classes.
The nursery will host an extra-curricular programme that includes an optional two-hour 'Enrichment Programme' offering a range of activities such as drama, cooking, yoga, karate, ballet, golf, music, and language classes such as Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian, and Spanish.
Kamil Al Najjar, co-founder of Kids First Group, stated: "The educational method which will be taught at the Saadiyat Redwood Nursery will enrich children's lives and encourage their development with the use of the world-known Montessori Method of teaching. A wide range of educational facilities and teaching methods of high standards offered for children in the nursery will engage them in a variety of activities to exercise their imagination and nurture their minds."
The project, which is currently in its schematic design phase, will encompass a total of 1,500 square metres of space, out of which will be a 500-square-metre building and the remaining 1,000 square metres dedicated to outdoor facilities. The concept design of the nursery is developed with environmental sustainability in mind â€“ from the maximum use of daylight and natural ventilation, to using aesthetic and long-lasting natural materials. This unique design concentrates on creating a safe and healthy environment for the occupants.
The Montessori Method provides a pleasant environment with carefully devised materials that meet the child's natural needs, as well as developing their minds and broadening their learning abilities. The method is a sensible balance between freedom and structure specifically designed for a young child in a nursery or school environment. It enables the child to develop self-confidence, security, a sense of order and social relationships, creative intelligence and imagination. It also sharpens the ability of a child to discriminate, make judgments and build up his or her concentration span. The basis of the Montessori Method is to identify what stage each individual child has reached and introduce activities to suit that stage, thus giving children the opportunity to discover the environment at their own individual pace.