April 22nd kicked off storybook week at Maple Bear Burj. Each day that week, students brought in their favourite books from home to share with their classmates, which we read together outside by the lovely canal in Business Bay, soaking up the (few remaining days!) of lovely weather.
Reading is an enabler that opens the door to all learning, and a society that encourages the love of reading will always be on the path to maintaining a rich culture. Along with a library at the nursery stocked with high literature children’s books that complement the Maple Bear curriculum, Maple Bear students benefit from ‘Love to Read’ initiatives both at the school and within the community, which enable parents to maximize the value of story time with their preschooler for both academic and developmental benefits.
In preparing students for a global future, the Maple Bear program integrates socially conscious thinking and behaviour, both in the curriculum as well as in day to day aspects of school administration.
We are proud to announce that this year, we are introducing a green initiatives program which involves a fresh take on all aspects of the school day. Along with introducing measures such as reduced paper consumption and waste recycling, we are going to be working with parents and students to sustain the cycle of reduce, reuse and recycle at home.
This week, a reusable stainless steel water bottle has been sent home with each student, labelled with the name of the child it belongs to. These bottles are BPA free and non-toxic, and we encourage families to use the bottles at school and even when on the road and out and about. Together we can help reduce the enormous number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill daily, and do our part to make the future more sustainable for the next generation.
Along with the eliminating plastic water bottles, Maple Bear classrooms will be :
1. reducing plastic consumption in all aspects of the school day (for example, eliminating the use of plastic straws and bags in the classroom in crafts and activities) and substituting with sustainable and recyclable materials
2. adopting the use of recycling bins in the classrooms to segregate, reuse, and recycle waste
3. developing an understanding of the harmful long-term effects of waste, such as endangerment of other species and habitat loss
4. hosting events and activities for parents to see how far the school has come in reducing our ecological footprint
5. eliminating dependence on paper in school operations (fun fact: we have reduced the number of paper tools used in school administration to just 1!)
6. monitoring energy consumption and working to conserve power at the school
We will continue to share milestones in our greening journey with parents and the community as we implement the initiatives of the program, and welcome feedback and suggestions to do an even
On Mother’s Day, students in every class - from toddler to nursery, to kindergarten 1 and 2! - enthusiastically designed and created cards, notes, and mementos for their moms. The joy they exhibited in making a surprise for mummy was priceless, as was the look of delight on mom’s face when she was asked to pause for a pic behind a ‘Super Mom’ frame with her little one.
Winter break seemed to have crept up on us all in Dubai this year, but as always, we were more than prepared at Maple Bear to keep tots curious and active this December. The 3 week break from school meant the end of the first term of the 2018-19 academic year, but it also meant the official start of the winter holiday festivities, (slightly) colder weather, and an opportunity to explore concepts and activities tied to the tidings of the season.
It may have been a few days ahead of all Hallow’s eve, but Canadians just couldn’t wait to lurk the halls of Maple Bear Business Bay. On October 27th, the Canadian Moms in Dubai threw a party for Canadian families and Maple Bear Burj was delighted to be the venue for the haunting. Guests ranged from children of just a few wee months of age, to big siblings, to moms and dads. nearly 20 families had a spooktacular time at the preschool, where snacks, games and music brought along by the Canadian moms and dads added to the mood at the nursery which was already setup for a lighthearted fright. Teachers from Maple Bear were on hand to help with activities and face painting, making the little guests’ faces a little scarier. After a bon-bon bonanza courtesy of a couple of jack-o-lantern piñatas (a total hit) the kids knocked on classroom doors, behind which lurked a spooky dad ready to hand out a trick or treat to the visitor. Of course candy wasn’t the only edible going around. Guests were treated to snacks and munchies from around the world, including a generous donation of organic milk by Koita (the cartons doubled as mummy craft activities!) and chocolate flavoured popcorn (we didn’t know it existed either!!) as well as a strawberry-caramel version. With a loot bag to take home generously provided by the Canadian mom’s group coordinator, it’s no question it was a good day for Halloween swag all round. Being a part of the community gives us great pride at Maple Bear, and any chance to play a role in nurturing a child’s use of imagination, self-expression and confidence — all benefits of role play in the early years - is a delight for us as early years educators.
The return of Dubai Fitness Challenge this year got us all worked up again at Maple Bear Burj. Our preschool students took on the Sheikh's challenge to all schools, nurseries and organizations big and small with pride, and every Thursday in November, we got together to run, skip, jump, stretch and play in the Moose Room overlooking the canal in Business Bay.
Kitted out in their athletic gear, our nursery students didn't disappoint - whether it be with moves or with enthusiasm.
MAPLE BEAR DUBAI FITNESS CHALLENGE 2018 BY THE NUMBERS
4 X 30 X 90 = 10 800 Days Minutes Participants Fitness Minutes
Learning the importance of physical fitness and building healthy habits, athletic skills and a spirit of sportsmanship from an early age have guaranteed positive spinoffs for the rest of life. With childhood obesity worryingly on an uptrend and the increasing inclination of youth and children to turn to technology for idle entertainment, the emphasis on physical development and movement that is an essential component of the Maple Bear early years program is well placed. Activities such as the Dubai Fitness Challenge further provide an opportunity for teachers at our nursery to model the same positive habits and participate with the students in embracing a healthy lifestyle, and we already can't wait for next years challenge.
The Maple Bear Burj team had a blast celebrating Canada Day this year with the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates (CBC Dubai) and their guests at the CBC Dubai Canada Day Celebration. On Saturday June 30th, the CBC hosted a spirited afternoon with lots of patriotic members of the 40 000 strong Canadian expat community in the UAE. Along with all the great sponsors and partners of the event, including Canadian University Dubai, Careem, Weslodge Saloon, Tim Hortons, and Canadian Specialist Hospital, Maple Bear Gulf was thrilled for the chance to collaborate with the CBC Dubai and to host a kid’s play area inside the venue, at the Hilton Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Guests of all ages were seen having their face painted with a Maple Leaf and the little ones tried their hand at jenga block inuksuit creation, canvas painting (can you guess what the design of choice was? hint – it features a leaf!), along with Canadian word search activities, party swag, and story time with Ms. Ohood.
Over at the Canadian photobooth, families enjoyed the chance to create red-and-white memories with a big top hat, a frame and other maple-leaf adorned knick knacks.
We were particularly proud of the bunting our students lovingly designed and shared with the Canadian community in Dubai, and were also excited to offer 2 weeks of participation in the Summer Forward camp, between now and until end of August, for new students joining Maple Bear Burj in September 2018.
The delicious buffet presented at the event was followed with fun – and sometimes challenging! - Canadian trivia games. Each of the teams proved to be tough competition as amazing facts about Canada were learnt. For example, did you know that the UAE Dirham coins were minted at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg? We didn’t either!
While thanking partners and sponsors, CBC Dubai Chairman Eric Koeman noted that the size of the Canadian expat community in the UAE demonstrates that Canadians are able to adapt and embrace diversity anywhere in the world – a cultural value that is an essential part of the Canadian identity. Maple Bear Gulf is honoured to have been able to play a role in make Canada’s 151st birthday memorable for Canadian families in and friends of Canada in the UAE, and we look forward to collaborating with the CBC Dubai in the future.
On December 4, the staff and students at Maple Bear Business Bay celebrated National Day with the rest of the great nation we call home, the United Arab Emirates. This year on UAE National Day, we focused on the culture and arts of this wonderful country. Traditions like henna design application were brought to the classroom, and students at the nursery delighted in the intricate patterns as they appeared on their little hands. Together with the teachers, the kindergarten students built and painted a toddler height camel, created using recycled cardboard and decked out in traditional Emirati camel jewellery designs.
Being internationally focused, the Maple Bear program successfully integrates intercultural understanding and local traditions and languages in every country in which our schools operate. In the UAE, we are proud to be a part of such a diverse and tolerant nation, and enjoy giving our students the opportunity to build a stronger connection with the country which they call home and to unite with so many communities, including the Emirati community, through these shared values.
June 7th was a big day for our little ones - the Maple Bear annual graduation and moving-up ceremony took place at the Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay. This year, the nursery marked commencement with a Seussical to the theme of Oh the Places You’ll Go! We also took this memorable milestone as an opportunity to highlight the immense artistic talent in this year’s student cohort. Families had the pleasure of browsing an art collection displaying some of the great masterpieces produced by our preschoolers over the course of the academic year. While many were individual pieces, some of the canvases were collaborative projects , bringing unique perspectives together into one masterpiece. Right next to the gallery was a photo corner, which featured graffiti cushions that are the handiwork of the graduating Kindergarten 2 class. The event ticket also featured the whimsical take of one of the grads on the illustrations in Oh the Places You’ll Go!. The winning entry was selected from submissions to an art competition which was held in school a few weeks leading up to the ceremony. Along with certificates being awarded to acknowledge a successful academic year, our students took pride in musical and athletic performances, and were recognized for their talent in the full range of extra-curricular and language activities that they participated in over the year - soccer, Arabic, French, tennis, karate, piano, you name it! We’re not gonna lie, seeing the little ones in caps and gowns made us all just a little teary eyed. All the teachers wish the alumni the greatest success in their future learning journeys, and look forward to welcoming back the younger ones into the next grade in September.
With over 300 schools in 16 countries, Maple Bear truly is a global organization. Along with informing themes of intercultural understanding within the curriculum, the global span of Maple Bear means that school owners enjoy the advantage of learning from each other’s experiences and growing their schools together through connections formed within the Maple Bear network.
In May, the President of the Maple Bear Brazil School Owners Association Frank Barcellos visited Maple Bear Burj and met LeenaNarain proud owner of Maple Bear Burj, thé branch in Business Bay Dubai. Frank’s visit was sparked by his desire to explore the best practices his colleagues in other parts of the world are employing in stewardship of their school while sharing those applied at Maple Bear schools in Brazil, as well as having a chance to see how the Maple Bear education system adapts to complement regional customs, meet local regulatory requirements, and deliver the highest quality of education while maintaining its unique Canadian methodology of instruction.
school owners exchanged insights and look forward to sharing expertise, as well as to have the chance to host each other again soon.
Living in Dubai is like getting the best of all worlds. This is a city that is home to people from every corner of the earth, all sharing in the opportunities and successes that the dynamic, rapidly changing metropolis offers.
The Maple Bear program teaches tolerance and respect for one another from the early years. At Maple Bear Burj, we are thoroughly excited each year to celebrate international day. Like Dubai, our preschool is a second home to students of unique cultures and heritage. And being Canadian, we take every chance to celebrate multiculturalism and to celebrate diversity.
This year our students showed off the pride they each have in their heritage by inviting their parents to tour each continent from which they and their friends come from. We had the whole world in our classrooms! Songs, traditional dress, and of course food of all kinds of flavours was shared.
Dubai is indeed a city of the future. It represents today what tomorrow’s world looks like - increasingly globalized, with identities trespassing borders, and careers of the future demanding mobility and cultural sensitivity. The Maple Bear program integrates a sense of global citizenship into the curriculum preparing students to learn at all academic levels in the future, and in any part of the world during their academic journey.
Each year on Earth Day, our students gain a deeper appreciation for the planet and the importance of sustainable thinking and living. This year, we talked about plant life and the role trees play in keeping the earth a livable place. In each class students discussed and pondered the pros and cons of cutting trees (deforestation) and Each year on Earth Day, our students gain a deeper appreciation for the planet ... plant life and the role trees play in keeping the earth a livable place.
As part of UAE Month of Reading, Maple Bear collaborated with Costa Coffee UAE to show kids the joy in curling up with a book. We invited parents and their preschoolers to join us at the Costa Al-Wasl Drive-Thru on the afternoon of March 17th to indulge in a warm cuppa and learn how to make precious story time moments count in the early years
Sound the alarm, slide down the pole, get fired up, we’re ready to roll! Here come the Maple Bear fire marshals to the rescue!
On May 4, we revisited the importance of understanding fire safety and practiced ways to stay safe in the case of a fire emergency.
Fire safety is an important part of the Maple Bear curriculum - learning to recognize the signs of a fire emergency and knowing how to respond becomes intuitive when practiced regularly. Fear is natural in a dangerous situation, but effective self-regulation techniques can be taught and applied to help manage emergencies, keeping toddler aged children safe by enabling them to cooperate in a unfortunate situation.
Along with a fire drill at school, our Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 class got to show off their fire marshal skills at Kidzania Dubai Mall, where they aimed water hoses into the ‘smoking’ building in their firefighter gear. Sirens and firetrucks added to the authenticity of the experience. One thing is for sure, we’ve got lots of brave little ones here at Maple Bear Burj.
The Maple Bear Burj team thanks all families at our nursery for their generosity during the #CHECKYOURSELF breast cancer awareness event in October. Together, we contributed AED 3204 to Pink Caravan, an initiative of the Friends of Cancer Patients UAE, dedicated to combating breast cancer in the UAE.
Breast cancer is the leading killer amongst cancer related deaths of women in the UAE. With basic screening and early detection, countless lives can be saved, but raising awareness of the signs to look out for remains a crucial endeavour in Dubai.
Parents shopped for pretty pink things from Pink Caravan along with yummy baked goods charity bazaar, encouraged by our preschoolers.
Dr. Virginia Midrigan, OB-GYN, and Dr. LaliPataridze, Pediatrics at Medeor Downtown Medical Centre hosted self-examination workshops, and offered their time and expertise to our guests who learnt how to detect symptoms, what signs and risk factors to look out for, including answering questions relating to breast and maternal health including lactation, baby reflux, and breast changes during and after pregnancy.
Knowledge is power, and learning about the risks, signs and symptoms is the first step to conquering fear.The event empowered families at our nursery to spread the word and encourage other women in their own circles to check themselves routinely.
We thank again our partners, Medeor Downtown Medical Centre as the exclusive healthcare services provider for this event , as well as Pink Caravan, Friends of Cancer Patients UAE, and Emirates Red Crescent for their support and participation in making this event possible.
Maple Bear teachers are bringing the classroom to the child, through our distance learning program, which includes daily individualized face time, fun videos and book readings, and detailed activity sheets that follow the lesson planning from our academic curriculum. Daily exercise and meditation sessions along with Arabic & French language classes provide a holistic daily routine. We are committed to supporting parents in ensuring each child’s learning and development remains uninterrupted in these unprecedented times, and are offering our distance learning program at 50% less cost , ensuring it remains affordable. Our distance learning program has been designed with great care for how learning happens in the early years. We welcome new parents as well our current ones, to contact us today to enrol.
Maple Bear kids and their parents slowly cruised in cars up 35th Street in Al Safa on the last day of term, honking and waving as they passed Maple Bear Safa Park. The parade was a socially distanced graduation celebration at the end of the school year. It was the first time most teachers and students saw each other face-to-face, albeit at a safe distance away, since Maple Bear Dubai Schools had to close physical classroom learnign and shift to distance learning as a result of restrictions and measures put in place with the aim to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
There were smiles all around as the Maple Bear families reunited to celebrate their little ones' graduation
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