The Blossom Childrens Nurseries are centres that have been specially designed to provide a secure and stimulating early years education experience for children aged 6 months to 5 years. The nursery utilizes the Early Years British Foundation model along with principles from their own emergent Skygarden and Reggio Emilia approach to facilitate learning through an activity based approach which incorporates ‘purposeful play’ as central.
There are two branches.
Blossom Children’s Nursery, Villa no 37, Street 10a, Umm Al Sheif
Blossom Village, Villa no 43, Street 21c, Umm Suqeim 1
For the map of these locations, please click here: www.theblossomnursery.com/locations/ <http://www.theblossomnursery.com/locations/>
“The Blossom Mantra is “Believe/Achieve/Become” and the nursery approaches learning in this context.
By believing in ourselves we work to achieve our goals and become all that we can be – visually, children relate to this as a seed blossoming. The nursery’s mantra is built upon a foundation of resources as well as the British Foundation Curriculum and elements of the Reggio Emilia approach to provide many ways of learning that encompass and adapt to different abilities. Blossom is an inclusive nursery that has children from all over the world, who speak many languages, are differently “abled” and have been exposed to a myriad of different experiences. Therefore, the approach is designed to use Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory so that not only do children learn what is interesting to them – an “emerging interest” but are able to engage different learners by ensuring that kinesthic, visual, auditory and other learning styles are catered for.
The nursery believes that its first job is to get to know you and your child as individuals.
The Baby room uses on-demand scheduling to assure that each child’s specific needs are met. The staff’s gentle, reassuring voices help establish a “home-away-from-home” for your little one, filled with love and trust. Babies are not forced to reach milestones like rolling over and sitting up. Instead, they are allowed to determine when their bodies are strong enough. Each child is encouraged to be an initiator, explorer and a self-learner.
Consistency, active participation, freedom to explore and interact with others is provided along with sensitive observation of the child in order to meet his or her needs. Older babies in the Daisies and Daffodils classes are given the opportunity to explore various areas of their development through gross and fine motor activities, art, sensory experiences, circle time, outside time and much more. Developing self-help skills such as using utensils at meals, drinking from a regular cup and communicating needs start children on the path to becoming an independent learner and moving to the nursery’s Toddler sections.
The two-year-olds work on patience, doing things by themselves, sharing, potty training and building vocabulary. They scrub, paint, tear, cut, pound clay and initiate activity. These “Poppies” and “Bluebells” have minds that are racing! The preschool classrooms allow for self-guided play, responsible learning and respect for self and others, character development and expansion of attention span and motor skills. Introduction to “big school” skills begins while encouraging confidence and curiosity. Blossom endeavours to have a literacy rich environment with reading and writing exercises done daily.
The Blossom approach is constructivist and follows the ideas developed by Jean Piaget that maintain that there is no one single approach or methodology for education but considers:
•Parents, teachers, and children equal shareholders in the learning initiative and attempts to actively engage parents through use of the smartbooks – (each childs portfolio binder), emails, open days and trainings;
• Children are active participants in learning so that the curriculum or learning activities emerge from their interests and specificities; and
•Space is secure and stimulating allowing staff and students to engage and act in comfort.
The approach is centered around the British Foundation Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) where the focus is on stages of development rather than chronological, age-based teaching and learning. The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve the Every Child Matters five outcomes which are staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing.
In all planning the nursery uses the above, along with the principles of Gardner’s 7 Intelligences and a Reggio-inspired space and theory towards enaging children’s learning. Howard Gardner from Harvard University developed a theory of multiple intelligence which allows educators to plan for holistic learning by approaching subjects from a variety of ways.
The EYFS principles are grouped into four themes:
A Unique Child Principle – Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships Principle – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and nursery staff.
Enabling Environments Principle – The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and Development Principle – Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
The areas of learning & development
The EYFS is made up of six areas of learning and development whilst Gardner groups them into 7 intelligences (linguistic, logical, visual/spatial, bodily, musical, interpersonal (collaborative) and intrapersonal (personal) outlined below alongside the EYFS groups.
1. Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED) / Interpersonal / Intrapersonal
Blossom works to enable children to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others. Children’s emotional well-being is supported, helping them to know themselves, what they can do and to develop respect for others, social skills and a positive disposition towards learning. Successful personal, social and emotional development is critical for very young children in all aspects of their lives and gives them the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning and development.
Blossom nursery finds opportunities to give positive encouragement to children, with practitioners acting as positive role models and planning opportunities for children to work alone and in small and large groups.
Activities are planned that promote emotional, moral, spiritual and social development alongside intellectual development, incorporating experiences that help children to develop autonomy and the disposition to learn. The nursery plans for the development of independence skills, particularly for children who are highly dependent upon adult support for personal care and provide support and a structured approach to achieve the successful personal, social and emotional development of vulnerable children and those with particular behavioral or communication difficulties.
Characteristics of children strong in this Area: makes friends easily, teamwork, communicates well, self-motivated, knows strengths and weaknesses, organizes others easily and perceptive of own and others feelings.
To strengthen this area we use: personal goal setting, circle time, self evaluation, conflict resolution activities, team games and peer tutoring.
2. Communication, Language and Literacy (CLL) / Linguistic / Musical
The development and use of communication and language are at the heart of young children’s learning. Learning to listen and speak emerges out of non-verbal communication, which includes body language such as facial expression, eye contact, bending the head to listen, hand gesture and taking turns. These skills develop as babies and young children express their needs and feelings, interact with others and establish their own identities and personalities. The ability to communicate gives children the capacity to participate more fully in their society.
To become skilful communicators, babies and young children need to be together with people who have meaning for them, members of their family, carers and, in a group setting, a key person in warm and loving relationships. Being together with others leads to the wider development of social relations, which include friendship, empathy and sharing emotions. Parents most easily understand their very young children’s communications and can often interpret for others. Babies respond differently to some sounds than others and from an early age are able to distinguish sound patterns. They use their voices to make contact and to let people know what they need and how they feel. Music and dance also play a key role in language development for young children.
Rhymes and songs are particularly important and enjoyable for babies. At first, all learning arises from physical action and the gathering of experience through the senses. Therefore, children learn best when activities engage many senses. Initially their attempts to communicate will be non-verbal. As language develops and young children learn about conversation, thought becomes less dependent on action, although non-verbal messages remain an important form of communication throughout life. As children develop speaking and listening skills, they build the foundations for reading and writing. They need lots of opportunities to interact with others as they develop these skills, and to use a wide range of resources for making early progress in reading, mark making and writing.
To give all children the best opportunities for effective development and learning in communication, language and literacy, practitioners should give particular attention to providing opportunities for children to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings, and build up relationships with adults and each other.
At Blossom, children share and enjoy a wide range of rhymes, music, songs, poetry, stories and non-fiction books and give opportunities for linking language with physical movement in action songs and rhymes, role-play and practical experiences such as cookery and gardening. The nursery provides opportunities for children to see adults writing and for children to experiment with writing for themselves through making marks, personal writing symbols and conventional script.
Characteristics of children strong in this Area: articulate, reads, writes and spells easily, sensitive to pitch, tone, rhythm with good sound discrimination. To strengthen this area we use: debates, discussion, word games and puzzles, raps and chants to aid memory and rhythm activities.
3. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN) / Logical
Blossom supports children in developing their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. This area of learning includes seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships, working with numbers, shapes, space and measures, and counting, sorting and matching. Children use their knowledge and skills in these areas to solve problems, generate new questions and make connections.
At Blossom, mathematical understanding is developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play with many different activities, some of which will focus on mathematical development and some of which will draw out the mathematical learning in other activities, including observing numbers and patterns in the environment and in daily routines. Here the nursery uses real-life problems, for example: ‘How many spoons do we need for everyone in this group to have one? ‘ and modelling mathematical vocabulary during the daily routines and throughout practitioner-led activities.
Children ar encouraged to explore problems, to make patterns and to count and match together. A balance is created between learning and teaching indoors and outdoors (e.g. having read a story about washing clothes, there might be launderette play indoors and washing line play outdoors; streets of clothes shops built out of recyclables; bikes and other wheeled vehicles being used as delivery vans; numbered (and lettered) parking spaces. The staff would spend time in both environments and the level of child-initiated and practitioner-led activity would be monitored and divided more or less equally across both environments.
Characteristics of children strong in this Area: sees patterns and rhythms, likes sequences, puzzles and investigates. We strengthen this by activities using number awareness, classifying, sorting, predicting and experimenting, reasoning and problem solving.
4.Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW)
This Area of Learning and Development forms the foundation for later work in science, design and technology, history, geography, and information and communication technology (ICT). Competent learners from birth, babies only a few hours old gaze at patterns that resemble the human face in preference to others. They are able to distinguish between things and to show that they like some things better than others. As they get older, children make increasing sense of the world through touch, sight, sound, taste, smell and movement, and their sensory and physical explorations affect the patterns that are laid down in the brain. Young children are finding out more and more about the world they live in and the people they encounter.
Children acquire a range of skills, knowledge and attitudes related to knowledge and understanding of the world in many ways. They learn skills necessary to this area by learning to use a range of tools safely, for example computers, magnifiers, gardening tools, scissors, hole punches and screwdrivers. They learn by encountering creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations, for example in the shop or in the garden. They learn effectively by doing things, for example by using pulleys to raise heavy objects or observing the effect of increasing the incline of a slope on how fast a vehicle travels. They need to work with a range of materials in their activities, for example wet and dry sand, coloured and clear liquids, compost, gravel and clay. They will begin to understand the past by examining appropriate artefacts, such as toys played with by their parents when they were children. Understanding design work will come from using a variety of joining methods and materials.
At Blossom, particular attention is given to: activities based on first-hand experiences which encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision making and discussion. An environment is provided with a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors, that stimulate children’s interest and curiosity encouraging the children to tell each other what they have found out, to speculate on future findings or to describe their experiences. When in cooking class melting chocolate – the terms “solid, liquid, hot, cold and change” are used which enables children to rehearse and reflect upon their knowledge, and to practise new vocabulary. The correct language is modeled – for example children will enjoy naming a chrysalis correctly if the practitioner does and use carefully framed open-ended questions, such as: ‘How can we… What would happen if…’ Another aspect of this area is teaching children to use a range of ICT – not just computers but, for instance, cameras, copiers, tape recorders and programmable toys.
5. Physical development (PD) / Bodily
Children learn by being active in all areas, hence the nursery’s philosophy of ensuring children have large exterior spaces to play in (water feature, gardens, log cabin) and specific space to retreat to (library, sensory room). Physical development has two other very important aspects. It helps children gain confidence in what they can do and enables them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. Effective physical development helps children to develop a positive sense of well-being.
Blossom gives particular attention to planning activities which offer appropriate physical challenges and introducing the language of movement to children, alongside their actions. Mealtimes are treated as an opportunity to promote children’s social development, while enjoying food and highlighting the importance of making healthy choices and provide time to support understanding of the roles that exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene have in promoting good health.
Characteristics of Children strong in this Area: Enjoys PE and games, drama and movement, sense of touch and manipulation of obects. We strengthen this by activities using mime, role play, drama, pe, action rhymes and dance.
6. Creative development (CD) / Visual / Spatial
Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. Being creative enables babies and young children to make connections between one Area of Learning and Development and another. To give all children the best opportunity for effective creative development, we give particular attention to ensuring a stimulating environment in which creativity, originality and expressiveness are valued and arrange a wide range of experiences and activities that children can respond to by using many senses.
At Blossom we extend children’s creativity by supporting their curiosity, exploration and play. Practitioners must provide children with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, and design and technology. Creativity means giving sufficient time for children to explore, develop ideas and finish working at their ideas, ensuring that children feel secure enough to take risks, make mistakes and be adventurous whilst valuing their own ideas and not expecting them to reproduce someone else’s picture, dance or model, for example. Our staff attempt to use resources from a variety of cultures to stimulate different ways of thinking and you will note we celebrate different holidays from around the world along with ensuring opportunities for children to access and have physical contact with artefacts, sources of sound, materials, spaces and movements.
Characteristics of Children strong in this Area: Drawing, following directions, musical, good with maps and charts, thinks in pictures, constructs and designs. We strengthen this by activities using number awareness, classifying, sorting, predicting and experimenting, reasoning and problem solving.
There are three separate zones – the Baby section with three classes ( Buttercups, Daffodils and Daisies) focusing on children aged 6 months to 22 months; the Toddler section – (Poppies and Bluebells) with children aged 22 months to 3 years and the Preschool Section (Violets, Tulips, Lilies and Sunflowers) catering to 3-5 year olds. Each area has age appropriate shared spaces that encourage children to find roots and comfort in their zones. Children move up classes as they are ready and these “graduations” are done gradually though visits to ensure familiarity and minimize child stress.
The organization of the physical environment is crucial to Reggio Emilia’s early childhood program, and is often referred to as the child’s “third teacher.” At Blossom, each classroom is integrated with the rest of the school, and will work to involve the surrounding community. Natural light has been maximized and preschool classrooms open to a center piazza. Mirrors, photographs and children’s work characterise the interiors.
Blossom features a fingerprint entry system, CCTV of classrooms and indoor and outdoor spaces and play equipment. Child friendly fenomastic paints which are “lead free” are used, baby and toddler rooms are fitted with antibacterial / antimicrobial padded floors imported from Belgium and the preschool areas are tiles and marble. Natural surfaces versus plastic and foam mats mean that disinfected spaces do not soak and hold disinfectant fumes and liquid.
Cleaning supplies are carefully selected and pest control and third parties use the least hazardous chemicals at times when children will not be exposed to them. Air conditioners and water tanks are serviced and maintained constantly by 3rd parties ensuring that they are clean and hygienic. Over 15 toilets are custom fitted – most of which are child sized to help children become aware of potty training and self care.
Spaces have been designed to maximize natural lighting and ground level glass windows have “perspex” casing or are toughened so that in the event of a breakage – glass will not shatter and fly. The nursery’s fire system connects directly to emergency services and staff are trained in emergency protocol.
A Stimulating Environment
The outside playground is over 5000 square feet of shaded fun activity zones. The silica sandpit “dinosaur dig” allows budding archeologists to find, architects to build and engineers to design their own play. We have field play on safe turf lawn to practice ball skills, parachute, play sport, do some yoga or simply run. A padded wetpour bike track, play equipment on 50 mm “bounce” tiles which ensure that if children fall bumps and bruises are kept to a minimum, hopscotch and more mean children have lots of choice.
The paddling pool is designed with three levels and fountains to maintain a sensory splashtime for even our youngest babies – a much needed cool-down in Dubai. Blossom believes children need to have lots of room to move and groove and have created a large custom designed gym and sensory space with climbing and sliding equipment, padded floors and a ball pen for children to explore. Yoga balls, textured spaces and light equipment are all used to allow for lots of learning and adventure.
Classrooms are spacious and well equipped with a range of multisensory equipment allowing children to learn through play and activity. There are large exploration stations, studios and ateliers and Blossom makes an effort to have specialist staff “ateliers” who are trained and passionate about dance, drama, music, the environment and languages so that there are a variety of people speaking the “100 languages of children.”
Download the registration form, medical questionnaire, calendar and fees schedule online at the nursery website and fill in your information. You can then either scan in completed forms and email them to the nursery or fax, mail or personally deliver them. Once received, the registrar will be in touch with you regarding availability.