Saturday / January / 2019
The first impression one gets from an institution is the feel you get when you enter the building. The first time I entered the Lakes Nursery, I saw it the way I'd always imagined such a place: positive, cozy, sunny and bright, safe, colourful and full of the little ones' art work. The classrooms I am familiar with are bright, with wide window walls, which look into the lovely green outdoor play area. I love the fact that the garden is not surrounded by concrete walls and it looks into the lake. It really gives you the feeling of an open space. The next impression is the people you start interacting with nearly every day. The staff in the nursery is simply amazing! Starting with the security guard (Mr. Kumar) who always opens the door for you, greets you and even makes the effort of addressing your child by name. Miss Shali and Miss May are always there to welcome you with a smile. You really feel like you belong there, there's another 'extended family'. The Vice Principal (Miss Shali) has an open door policy. She will always find the time to talk to parents even if you don't have an appointment. While being very professional, Miss Shali simultaneously has a personalized approach to every child's issues. The teachers who I've been in contact with (Miss Sheetal, Miss Debbie and Miss Ash) and their assistants are really wonderful. They have provided so much warmth and comfort for the kids. The teachers would always share something specific about your child. They seem really interested and well informed about the everyday 'happenings' regarding each kid. Additionally, the way the staff gets involved in different classes (when there's need) contributes to creating a caring community atmosphere: I have seen Miss Shali, Miss May and other teachers/assistants join in the classroom if it was necessary. Another positive thing is the structure of their daily programme. The children get to move around different areas of the nursery, creating a sense of variety: outdoor play, where they can meet friends and teachers from a previous year (thus enlarging their comfort zone); central area play time. I am sure I have missed out on other positive points but my overall impression of the nursery is extremely positive. Thank you!
Our experience with the Raffles Lakes Nursery has been wonderful from the time of enrollment to date, with all praise to God. The nursery is a warm & welcoming place full of various creative and challenging areas for the children to explore and discover. We enrolled our son, Zeidan, when he was just over 2 years old. We were worried that he may not adapt to the new environment. But our fears were in vain! The entire staff was very welcoming. We felt at home from the moment we stepped in. The nursery continuously exposes the kids to their environment and the natural world around them, be it through organizing & celebrating special days to bringing someone into the school to speak with them to giving the children the opportunity to interact with pets. The day at the nursery is very well structured so that the children experience learning as fun and invigorating while also having enough free time to play and interact with one another. Every child is exposed to develop a love of learning and exploring while encouraging an open and curious mind. The teachers and assistants are very passionate, bright & animated and they put in an incredible amount of effort and time to ensure every child is loved and cared for. Every child is made to feel at home with the essential care, love and concern shown right throughout. There is a delicate balance of love and firmness that lets the students know they are loved but also expected to behave within guidelines. In addition to letters and numbers, our son has been taught invaluable life skills about respect for his fellow classmates, empathy, patience and communication. The experience has been fabulous for us as parents too. Each month we are kept abreast of the topics, phonics, numbers, colours & upcoming events, for the immediate future. By e-mail, the communicator, the notice boards & daily interaction with the teachers & assistants, the parents are well informed at all times — of every little detail of their child's life at school. We are invited to participate in many activities and events with the kids, understand their varied cultures & mingle with like-minded other parents. When schools and families work together, children have a far better chance of not only being successful in school but being successful in life as well. This is exactly what the community at the Raffles Lakes Nursery has achieved. We highly recommend the Raffles Lakes Nursery. It is indeed a second home for the child and parents alike!
Hasha & Mushtaq Mohamed
I am writing this email as I feel that it is long due and that the experience I have had at the Lakes Nursery is worth sharing with anyone exploring the different aspects of the wonderful nursery that it is. We have been at the Lakes Nursery since January 2012, when both my daughters attended at the ages of 3 and 4. We had just moved to Dubai and enrolling at the Lakes Nursery gave us the best start to a new life. The girls settled in so well, their teachers were so supportive and neither did the girls, and nor I, at all feel like we had missed out of the first term of the school year. They made friends very quickly and helped me make so many new friends so quickly too, through the many school activities, playdates and birthday parties that we went to. When my older daughter started at "big school", her teacher was so impressed at how well-prepared she was for the move, on a personal, social and academic level. I know that a great deal of what she was talking about was achieved at nursery, though she was only there for 6 months. Funnily enough, other teachers of other children at school said the same about those children who had been to the Lakes Nursery! And I couldn't agree more! ... And the same exact experience was repeated the year after when my second daughter went to big school. She was so well-prepared in the same way that her sister was, which again, the teachers at the big school found remarkable. Credit goes out to the teachers at the nursery again! My experience with my third child is one that I will always remember. He had just turned two in July and at the beginning of September I thought I'd go sign him up to start in the coming January. I didn't want to start that September as I thought he was too young and maybe not ready, especially that he wasn't speaking clearly at the time. But something made me take him just for a 10 minute "trial session" to see how he would get on. And to my surprise it took me 45 minutes to get him out of the nursery. He ran straight in and didn't look back. There was so much for him to look at and to do and he was just very happy exploring. All the staff were very welcoming and made him feel safe and secure to wonder around and not look back for mummy. It only took me ten minutes that morning to change my mind and to sign him up to start the week after, and he has loved going to nursery every day since. He even asks to go to nursery at the weekend. He thrived in the environment, he made so many friends, learnt so many social and personal skills and became very expressive and confident. In our view, the Lakes Nursery is an exceptional one where many factors come to play at the same time. The experienced and qualified teachers who are brilliant at building the enthusiasm at the nursery, are very caring and protective of the children, but also give them a great push towards building their independence. The support staff are very helpful and always have a smile on their faces. In terms of security and healthcare, I, as a parent, always feel like I am leaving my children in safe hands. I must also commend the nursery Vice Principal; she never fails to welcome all the children at the entrance every morning and I feel like she always gives them a great boost of energy before they even walk into their classrooms. The fact that she also knows every child by name and also knows all the parents and carers is remarkable. It is lovely to see her involved in the classrooms at times too. The nursery also gives the children great exposure to the world that our children live in, as there is not one occasion that goes un-celebrated at nursery - and this is a great advantage being in Dubai. The fact that children at such a young age can come home and talk about all these aspects is priceless, in my opinion. I would recommend the Lakes Nursery (and would strongly advocate for it) to anyone who is looking to register their child in a fun, friendly and safe environment where I know that the child would go home each day taking a bundle of new information with him too that he or she will use forever. I know I couldn't ask for more! I will miss the great positive energy of the Lakes Nursery when my son moves on to big school!
All content and images copyright © 2019 Raffles International School. All rights reserved.