Background – Al Forsan Nursery, Abu Dhabi by Aldar Nurseries. The First Review. 2022.
Aldar’s Al Forsan Nursery offers a premium, English National Curriculum education to young children from Pre-FS to FS1 between the ages of two and four years old. The curriculum is tightly aligned to the British Early Years Foundation Stage. Children must be a minimum of 2 years old on or before the 31st of August of the current school year for Pre-Nursery and 3 years old on or before the 31st of August of the current school year for Nursery.
Al Forsan Nursery is Aldar’s only dedicated nursery – and the love, TLC and investment here is significant. Al Forsan prides itself on offering an empowering, happy, inspirational and young child centric learning environment in preparation for each child’s entrance into later FS2 schooling. Protecting and nurturing the magic, innocence and wonder of young childhood is placed absolutely centre stage.
The school is ranked Outstanding by ADEK in all 7 areas of its specialised nursery and Early Years Inspection Framework, these including:
- Space and Furnishings.
- Learning Activities.
- Personal Care Routines.
- Classroom Organization.
- Language and Literacy.
- Emotional Support.
- Instructional Support.
Al Forsan represents the gold-standard preparatory Early Years school for all of Aldar’s 7 Academies in both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain – and operates as the intake hub for all Aldar Academy schools. Capacity at the school is just 189 children – and the school currently has only a limited number of places available in FS1 (January 2022).
The Tier 1 school, which opened in September 2018, is located in Khalifa City within the grounds of Al Forsan International Sports Resort:
Investment by Aldar Education in Al Forsan Nursery was significant at some AED 5M and the nursery is set in the grounds of Al Forsan International Sports Resort facilities, which boasts premium facilities including an equestrian centre, swimming pools, and sports courts.
Attendance at Al Forsan gives a guarantee of a place, subject to meeting individual Academy entrance requirements, with advice on offer for the best ‘fit’ for each child on Early Years graduation. This offers parents the option for their children to graduate from Al Forsan into International Baccalaureate, British or American curriculum specialist Academy schools including:
- Al Ain Academy
- Al Bateen Academy
- Al Mamoura Academy
- Al Muna Academy
- Al Yasmina Academy
- The Pearl Academy
- West Yas Academy
Aldar Education guarantees parents that:
“All Nursery graduates will receive a guaranteed place at any of our academies in FS2 and our Secondary schools prioritise our Primary School graduates above all other applicants.
By joining the Aldar Academies family of schools, you are assured of the same exceptional teaching standards and techniques that are delivered across all of our Academies, whilst being able to choose the right curriculum, location and learning environment for your child from ages 2 to 18.”
The school’s ethos is closely aligned to Aldar’s mission of ’empowering the next generation to shape our future’:
“This is our “big idea”.
It is what we are determined to achieve and the legacy we wish to leave.
It is our intention and what we want to ensure happens.”
Al Forsan Leadership
“My strong belief is that children learn best when they are having fun and engaged in practical activities.
I also believe that strong relationships with parents, and the wider community, are vital in ensuring that children are supported as they move through their school life.
At Al Forsan Nursery we provide children with a warm and happy environment, providing optimum conditions for the natural development of children emotionally, socially and academically.
It is important to allow the children to have freedom within their environment so as to aid their spontaneous and natural development. We encourage the children to be themselves and to respect others and all that is around them.
By stimulating their curiosity and helping them to discover the answers to their own questions children are motivated to learn.
Choosing a preschool for your child is not an easy task. My staff and I understand and value the importance of the pre-school years and are dedicated to ensuring that each child in our care receives the best experience while at our nursery.
We will provide your child with a firm foundation for future learning and discovery.”
Suzanne Sumner. Principal. Aldar’s Al Forsan Nursery.
Al Forsan Nursery Principal, Suzanne Sumner, brings to the school more than two decades of experience in education in the UK and UAE, eight years of which has been drawn from early Years leadership and teaching roles within Aldar across its schools and nursery divisions.
This included Since joining Aldar Academies in 2014 leading the Foundation Stage at the ADEK Outstanding Al Mushrif School and Al Mamoura Academy before securing her current role leading the Group’s hub nursery, Al Forsan.
Ms Sumner was UK educated at the award-winning Edgehill University in Early Childhood Education, and later went on to study for her full Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
She is supported by Danielle Cartledge, Al Forsan’s Nursery Lead. Ms Cartledge was educated at the UK’s Kingston University in Early Childhood Education and Teaching. She is currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood at the University of Derby. She brings to Al Forsan more than a decade’s Early Years experience, including six years working for Kidsunlimited Nurseries (Bright Horizons), then the fifth largest UK Early Learning provider, before relocation to Abu Dhabi and work across nurseries and private sector specialist Early Years tutoring. This will be Ms Cartledge’s third year working within Aldar and she plays a pivotal role at Al Forsan in coaching members of the Early Years team and driving forward outstanding best practice in early Years education:
“Teaching is a very rewarding job and I love seeing how happy and excited the children are when they achieve new things.
I enjoy being a hands-on teacher that supports and allows the children to explore for themselves as this is the best way for them to learn, grow and develop.
Al Forsan Nursery provides our children with a happy, home from home, nurturing environment.
Everything we do is centred around the individual child.”
Core school opening times reflect the new four and a half day school and working week in the UAE:
- Pre-nursery and FS1: Monday – Thursday 7:30 am to 02:30 pm
- Pre-nursery and FS1: Friday 7:30 am to 12:00 pm
However, the school offers extended education until 4:30pm for many students whose families require it to fit around their work commitments. During this time the school offers an extended ECA programme.
Fees are premium plus – but the quality of provision and facilities here we rank outstanding. Also worth noting, in terms of ROI, Al Forsan Nursery offers less expensive access to an Aldar FS1 education than its Academy schools – and with the guarantee of securing a place in FS2 at any of the Aldar Academy schools.
|Year Group||School Fees Per Annum (AED)||Term 1||Term 2||Term 3|
Al Forsan Nursery School ProspectusAl Forsan Nursery Prospectus
Contacting the school
Bottom line? Aldar’s Al Forsan Nursery, Abu Dhabi – The SchoolsCompared verdict 2022
There is a really interesting proposition here. Aldar Education does offer alternative FS1 to Primary School-only options in the shape of the The Pearl Academy and Al Muna Academy, both outstanding schools that meet the needs of parents seeking to provide an education for young children away from the hubbub and complexity that comes with all-through schools and older children.
But Al Forsan Nursery is the only pre-FS option within the group – and we think it is right that education extends here through to FS1. It enables the nursery to link two critical parts of a child’s education, seamlessly linking pre-school with the first stage of English National Curriculum FS phase learning. It also provides a thoughtful, meaningful young-child centric transition for parents set on an Aldar Academy education for their children. The ethics of Aldar are founded here so that when children do graduate, they do so easily and happily to later phase Aldar schools. This is clearly not the case with alternative nurseries that cannot offer this consistency of whole-child approach that operates beyond the fundamentals of the English National Curriculum EYFS approach.
In terms of the feel of education, this is a formally structured, very well managed school – investment in high calibre teaching faculty here and facilities is evident. Many nurseries, in distinction, are unstructured – this leaving it much more difficult for parents to monitor their children’s education beyond the simple provision of childcare. This is absolutely not the case here. Parents are investing in a high quality education here that extends to Pre-FS.
Child happiness, as at all Aldar schools, is placed centre-stage. EYFS thrives on play-based learning that is underpinned by strong theoretical justification and structure. It works well to ground schools of all curricular, which has clearly guided Aldar’s approach here.
For parents sifting through seemingly countless nursery options wanting clarity of purpose and a guarantee of quality provision it can be found here. The guarantee of graduation to some of the best schools in the emirate too, whilst allowing a very early childhood centric, protective environment for younger children, will be a recipe that is hard to resist for many parents.
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Pre-FS - 39,000
FS1 - 39,000
British, English National Curriculum - EYFS
(1) Capacity 189 children
Al Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
(1) Based in Al Forsan International Sports Resort