By Andy Sambidge
Redwood Saadiyat Nursery says it will adopt curriculum based on Montessori Method
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to open the first nursery school on Saadiyat Island.
The master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi said the deal has been inked with Kids First Group, an internationally-recognised academic operator.
The Redwood Saadiyat Nursery, which is due to open later this year, will adopt a curriculum based on the specialised world-renowned Montessori Method.
The Montessori philosophy of teaching is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in 1897.
This international method is based upon actual observations of children complemented by training in medicine, psychology, anthropology and philosophy, while ensuring the sustained wellbeing of each child through an innovative and progressive learning environment.
Ahmed Al Fahim, executive director of Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing at TDIC, said: "We are proud to host Redwood Saadiyat Nursery, particularly that it will offer a curriculum based fundamentally on a model of human development.
"Saadiyat is fast becoming a vibrant community with more residents making the island their home, while the nursery is our next step to serve residents of Saadiyat as well as Abu Dhabi city with an essential education phase for their kids."
The nursery complements the educational projects currently being developed on Saadiyat, which include New York University Abu Dhabi - being developed by Mubadala - and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school.
TDIC said the crucial education stages - from pre-school up to university level - will be available on Saadiyat by 2014.
The nursery will sit among Saadiyat Beach's high-end community of residences, five-star resorts, top-class sports and leisure venues, and extensive retail outlets.
With a capacity to accommodate up to 140 children, the nursery will house a music room, areas for arts and crafts, library and media centre, technology room, performing arts facility, and a gymnasium. The curriculum will include English, French and Arabic sections.
The school will also have distinctive facilities such as an archaeological sandpit, a mini-city that will familiarise students with traffic signs and important elements of a modern city, and an agricultural area for kids to grow their own vegetables and later use them during cooking classes.
Kamil Al Najjar, co-founder of Kids First Group, said: "The educational method which will be taught at the Saadiyat Redwood Nursery will enrich children's lives and encourage their development with the use of the world-known Montessori Method of teaching."
The project, which is currently in its schematic design phase, will encompass a total of 1,500 sq m of space.