A Safari Kid Toddler doing sponge painting with green colour

Nurseryworld - Silicon Valley chain opens hi-tech nursery in UK

Safari Kid, which has 40 settings in seven countries, is launching in a specially-converted church hall in London, which will have smartboards (interactive whiteboards) and a focus on science and technology.

UK managing director Gabrielle Oh said the early years programme has been developed by a British global head of training and curriculum, and is based on the EYFS with other ‘integrated’ elements. She said, ‘We see the curriculum as EYFS ++.

‘We have a proprietary STEAM program (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics integrated with Arts) developed in Silicon Valley. Integrating creative arts into scientific experiences allows children to learn things in a more open-ended way and makes them applicable to real life. Arts and creativity are crucial to the sciences, technology and maths. Activities are student-focused experiences through hands-on exploration.

‘Our "Legotronics" program introduces robotics to children by combining lego building and basic programming via the use of Lego WeDo [introduction to primary-age computing] kits.

‘We are integrating activities such as drama and public speaking because we want to foster self-esteem and confidence.’

The setting will also offer Mandarin, and there are plans to offer French or Spanish in the afternoons, subject to parental demand.

She said, ‘Because of the EYFS link and the fact we are an international company we have had the privilege to see best practice in different markets. We are quite confident that we can add value to the market and bring that international view.’

The 60-place nursery, which will open on 1 June, will take children from 3 months old. It will be open from 7.30am to 7pm.

Parents will be able to look around from April.

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