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Jumeirah International Nursery (JINS) Palm Jumeirah, The Palm – The Review 2023
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Jumeirah International Nursery (JINS) Palm Jumeirah, The Palm – The Review 2023

by Tabitha BardaJanuary 26, 2023

JINS Early Childhood Centre Palm Jumeirah, which first opened at the end of 2022, is one of the few nurseries in Dubai to have been granted permission to educate children from the age of 45 days all the way until six years old (the equivalent of Year One or KG2 in a school). Located in a prime position in the Golden Mile Galleria mall on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, this means that young families living in the many nearby apartments and villas can plan on more than half a decade of easy access to their child’s place of education, without ever needing to leave the Palm’s laidback coastal community. While its location is a competitive one – with a rival nursery situated just a stone’s throw away in the same mall – the JINS Palm Jumeirah focus on Positive Education, Reggio Emilia principles, and the obvious investment into experienced teachers and expertly curated resources designed to ignite children’s curiosity and creativity, make it stand out from the crowd. Samina Khanyari, General Manager of Jumeirah International Nurseries, says:

“We don’t care about our competition or who else is out there in the market. We believe passionately in what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

“Any visitor to JINS Palm Jumeirah will be able to see the passion in our staff, how much we care for and love the children, and the thought that has gone into every single resource that is available to them.”

“Every single need of both parent and child is taken into consideration. Whether it is physical need or emotional need or preparing them to face that world of school, JINS provides, in a very real sense, everything that’s needed for the holistic development of the child. That’s what we’re about.”

Samina Khanyari, General Manager of JINS (left) and Carol Oliveira, JINS Head of Curriculum (right) met with SchoolsCompared Senior Editor Tabitha Barda (centre) to show her around the newly opened JINS Plam Jumeirah

The background

The JINS group of nurseries trace their history back more than 40 years to when Mrs Shakuntala Mankani, JINS’ Founder, first sailed by ship with her husband and baby to the UAE and struggled to find the right childcare and education for their children. With a degree in Psychology and a passion for education, Mrs Mankani decided to do something to help other UAE-based mums like her and opened the first JINS nursery in a villa in Al Wasl, Dubai, in 1981. What began as a small, family-run project has mushroomed over the last four decades to become an education empire, with nine JINS early childhood centres now open, forming part of the Fortes Education group – which also owns and runs Sunmarke School and Regent International School. Now in her late 70s, Mrs Mankani still remains deeply involved in JINS nurseries, helping to ensure that the values of quality pedagogy, provision, and practice imbue everything that they do.

JINS is currently going through a period of rapid expansion, with five new nurseries having opened in 2022 and more planned for 2023 – although no specifics were available during our visit to JINS Palm Jumeirah in December 2022.

JINS Palm Jumeirah is the ninth Early Childhood Education Centre operating under the JINS brand, and exemplifies the group’s strategy of identifying thriving UAE community pockets where there is a need for a quality education within walking distance. Although the Palm does not currently host a school, JINS Palm Jumeirah has a license to educate children all the way until 6 years (the equivalent of Year 1 or KG2 in a school), so Palm-dwellers need never battle a school run until their little ones get to Grade 1 or Year 2 stage.

GEMS_INARTICLE  

Based in a very useful location in the Golden Mile Galleria Mall, the nursery also has a decent amount of outdoor space, which has a tranquil view of Palm Jumeirah

The curriculum

JINS Palm Jumeirah uses the British curriculum’s Early Years Foundation Stage as a framework for children up to FS1 and FS2, interlacing it with principles from Reggio Emilia, STEAM, Positive Education and the Curiosity Approach.

In the final year, for children aged 5-6 years old, it adopts the International Preschool Curriculum (IPC), which offers a school-level education that is designed to equip pupils for any future education – whether they want to go on to a school that uses the British curriculum, American curriculum, or the IB curriculum. Samina Khanyari, General Manager of Jumeirah International Nurseries, explains:

“The IPC is an amalgamation of several curricula, encompassing some of the Singaporean curriculum, British curriculum and American curriculum. It takes the best of all the curricula and their methodologies and learning objectives to ensure that children graduate at or beyond the standard required of them to transition to a school in any curriculum.”

As part of the Fortes Education group, JINS Palm Jumeirah has also partnered with schools in three major curricula to ease children’s transition to school – Regent International and Sunmarke School (British); Clarion School (American) and North London Collegiate School (IB) – ensuring that those JINS students who stay until the age of six receive preferential admission into the school of their choice.

There is a physical development programmed offered as part of the PE curriculum, while Arabic,  French and, recently added, Russian are offered as languages by specialist teachers.

 

The facilities

JINS Palm Jumeirah houses nine spacious classrooms of 52 square metres, most of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and doors and all of which are bathed in natural light. Classrooms run lengthways on either side of a long central area, which hosts a large play structure and series of smaller play structures to aid in the building of motor skills and physical development. Perforated ceiling materials ensure echo-free, child-friendly acoustics, while the folding glass doors that separate each classroom from the central area create potential for a very large open-plan space for events where families are invited into the nursery.

Based on the first floor of the Golden Mile Galleries mall, the nursery is fully enclosed on the interior side and has total privacy from the public.

While being on a raised floor might suggest that the outdoor space is limited, almost every classroom still has its own section of outdoor space on the generously sized and well-secured balcony area, with a tranquil view of the tops of swaying palm trees and the elegant arches of the quiet Palm monorail.

These individual outdoor sections lead into a decent-sized garden featuring further play structures designed for older children, as well as a mud kitchen, outdoor painting area, with plans for a water play and sand pit area.

Inside, on the mall-facing side, is the baby room, which features a private sleeping area for daytime naps.

Bathrooms are thoughtfully designed, with sectioned off nappy-changing stations as well as multiple toileting stations and mixed facilities to aid with potty training for younger children, which are then segregated to boys’ and girls’ toilets for the older children.

Along the exterior side are the majority of the other classrooms, each of which doubles up as both a home room base for individual classes – where children are met in the morning – as well as a dedicated learning pod, through which children rotate in and out throughout the day as part of the JINS Palm Jumeirah ‘pod concept’.

Conceived by Samina Khanyari, General Manager of Jumeirah International Nurseries and her colleagues, the pod concept means that each classroom or pod has a particular focus on one of the seven areas of learning of the EYFS:

 

Samina Khanyari, General Manager of Jumeirah International explains:

“Usually, stations dedicated to all seven areas of learning will be set up in every classroom. But, as all teachers know, not every child will visit each centre every day.”

This means it is not always easy to assess how one child’s numeracy was that day if they weren’t interacting with the mathematics stations, for example.

“So we thought, let’s set up each whole classroom as an area of learning. So if a teacher walks into the room her whole focus will be based on how each child is developing that key area of learning.

“But it’s not that they will only have maths resources in the mathematics room for example; obviously, if children are interested in animals they will have animals there to interact with; if they are interested in cooking, they will have those facilities. They will have whatever resources that pique their interest and they’ll learn through the things that they want, but the focus for the teacher will be with the maths objective in mind.”

It’s clear that everything in the nursery has clearly been thoughtfully designed, curated and procured in order to promote the child-directed learning that the nursery aims for. There is a strong focus on wood and natural materials, in line with the Reggio Emilia approach, and a neutral palette in the facility materials sets a blank canvas against which the colour of children’s creativity can shine.

True to the Curiosity Approach, there is a clear emphasis on open-ended resources and real-world objects that can be repurposed with children’s imaginations.

The teaching staff

There is a real focus on finding experienced teachers who are dedicated to the early childhood stage as a lifelong vocation, says Mrs Khanyari:

“I have hired everybody here. They have gone through a very rigorous hiring process where we don’t just look at their CVs but also their temperament and personality. We also get them in for practical assessments, where we actually see how they are beyond paper or an interview, but in the classroom.”

“We have hired outside the UAE because you have to find a qualified practitioner with good experience to work in every classroom. A lot of teachers who are already in Dubai would probably rather go to a school than come to us because of their stage of life, so we have hired teachers from Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, as well as Eastern Europe; it’s a really diverse mix.”

“We have very low turnover of staff; those who come to us stay for a long time and we develop and train them.”

New teachers are also assigned an experience TA from one of the other JINS branches, to ensure that there is someone fully immersed in the JINS philosophy to consult at every turn.

“We have a beautiful team of senior leadership heading our nurseries. They are all qualified practitioners and educators who have worked as classroom teachers and moved up in the business. I think it is very important to have someone as your head who has been through all the realms. They understand what it takes from a TA’s perspective and teacher’s perspective, People also know there is scope for growth in the organization that can fulfil their personal needs and at the same time it helps us retain people and keep that consistency.”

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com verdict 2023-24

During our visit in December 2022 it was the first day the nursery had ever been opened – yet it still buzzed with fun and energy from the enthusiastic singing of the Winter Camp children, who had already signed up.

Teachers stood out for being experienced, capable, fully engaged – and brimming with friendly, confident enthusiasm.

The quality of the resources were striking, and it was clear that every object, in every station, in every classroom, had been thoughtfully and carefully chosen to maximise use and inspiration for the children.

The quality of the classroom displays made it evident that experienced teaching assistants were involved who clearly knew exactly what to expect when the nursery opens properly in 2023.

Although outdoor space is not as extensive as it might be in some other nurseries, there is a decent amount of space that has been used to its full potential, and JINS Early Childhood Centre Palm Jumeirah offers a facility that is very competitive for its absolutely prime location on The Palm.

For Palm Jumeirah dwellers who love the relaxing vibe of being able to walk or scoot their little ones to their nursery in the morning, this makes for a useful and high-quality option that will serve children all the way up to the age of six.

It’s early days to make an unqualified recommendation – this is a nursery reviewed from the very earliest point in its opening. But this is not your usual stand-alone nursery opening. What we have here is a new nursery, but one that has clearly absorbed the lessons of its eight sister nurseries from an education group with more than four decades of experience delivering an outstanding education for children. And it shows.

Parents on the The Palm have a new Nursery School / Early Childhood Centre for which they can feel justifiably excited. Everything is here to deliver an extraordinary, rich and inspiring education for little ones.

Watch this space.

Further information

Click here for fast-track information from JINS – The Palm.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from SchoolsCompared in association with our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor and EDSTATICATM

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

New school, first inspection due 2025

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

New school, first inspection due 2025

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

New school, first inspection due 2025

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

New school, first inspection due 2025

Rating FS

New school, first inspection due 2025

Rating Primary / Elementary

New school, first inspection due 2025

Rating Secondary / Middle

NA

Rating Post 16 / High

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Average Cost Per Year

Pre-FS1: 60,750 Full Time 8:00am - 6:00pm 5 Days (part time hours/days pro rata)
FS1: 60,750 Full Time 8:00am - 6:00pm 5 Days (part time hours/days pro rata)
FS2: 64,800 Full Time 8:00am - 6:00pm 5 Days (part time hours/days pro rata)
YEAR 1: 64,800 Full Time 8:00am - 6:00pm 5 Days (part time hours/days pro rata)
YEAR 2: NA
YEAR 3: NA
YEAR 4: NA
YEAR 5: NA
YEAR 6: NA
YEAR 7: NA
YEAR 8: NA
YEAR 9: NA
YEAR 10: NA
YEAR 11: NA
YEAR 12: NA
YEAR 13: NA

Curriculum

EYFS, Reggio Emilia, STEAM

Selective

Inclusive

Year opened

2023

Location

The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

Student composition

International

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

Owner

Fortes Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (4) 529 4760

Web Address
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About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of SchoolsCompared.com. Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and SchoolsCompared.com's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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