Page 9 - Better Education Magazine, Autumn 2017 Publication | Better Homes LLC, Dubai
P. 9

Better Education

                                 On the ground           and we want the children to enjoy
                                 There are four Beautiful Minds   being children, appreciate and look
                                 Nurseries in Dubai, all of which   after the environment and learn
                                 have their own outdoor gardens   from it.”
                                 that function as an extension of   The Beautiful Minds Nurseries’
                                 the indoor classrooms with the full   grounds include organic
                                 curriculum provided for. Provisions   vegetable gardens – fertilised
                                 include blocks, books, costumes   with a homemade compost using
                                 for dressing up, climbing frames   a bokashi system – that are
                                 and art supplies.       developed and cared for by the
                                  “The children spend time   children, staff and parents. The
                                 outdoors in the gardens most   organic and sustainable approach
                                 days except during the heat of the   is also developed throughout the
                                 summer,” King-Turner reveals.   nursery. Meals include organic
                                  Youngsters at Dovecote Nursery   ingredients, as much as possible,
                                 also make the most of the outdoor   while a sustainable water system
                                 play area, including being taken   has been installed so that there
                                 to it first thing every morning   aren’t any plastic bottles used
                                 where they mainly play with items   in the nursery. Children also
                                 found in the natural environment.   have access to open-ended play
                                 Activities include leaf pricking and   materials – a large set of objects
                                 printing. “Through playing and   that they can freely manipulate
                                 collecting leaves and sticks, we   and create as they wish, including
                                 introduce counting, measurement   stones, shells, pots and pans,
                                 and the recognition of various   cardboard boxes, coconut shells
                                 shapes,” Press explains. Children   and pine cones.
                                 pick mangoes directly from the   Safa Community School’s
                                 trees to eat. There’s also a mud   playground includes a stream,
                                 garden for children to make mud   200 trees, a garden and bokashi
                                 pies and a small organic garden,   bin, which the children are
                                 which the children visit to water   responsible for. The children spend
                                 their own vegetables.   every day outdoors (weather
                                  Indoors, natural materials are   allowing), plus the playground is
                                 used to enhance learning. These   open before and after school for
                                 include colourful leaves, shells,   families to play on.
                                 tree bark, stones, lentils and rice.   Like Beautiful Minds Nurseries
                                  “We live in such a materialistic   and Dovecote Nursery, Safa
                                 world but this natural play and   Community School’s sustainable
                                 experience of the environment   approach is evident indoors, too.
                                 provides a balance to playing with   It has trash-free Tuesdays for
                                 the latest toys and technology,”   which every child is encouraged to
                                 Press says. “We’re very clear in our   bring his or her lunch into school,
                                 philosophy and values at Dovecote   without any plastic packaging.
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