Outside play

About Us

Locations

Acorn Nursery has two branches: one in Ain Khalid (Doha) and the other in Al Khor. Follow the links below to find more detailed information on each branch:

Ain Khalid

Located behind Mesaimeer Health Centre and the Qatar Scientific Club

Al Khor

Located in the Shell/Barwa Compound, adjacent to Al Khor Community

In all our facilities, we strive to provide rooms that offer:

  • A clean, safe, welcoming environment with plenty of natural light.
  • Age-appropriate furniture of international quality, with a strong emphasis on wood and other natural materials.
  • Easy access to outdoor play areas, as this forms a key element of our education programme.
  • Toys, activities and themes that are changed frequently, so the environment is constantly evolving and remains stimulating and challenging for our children.
  • Resources displayed at child-height, so they can access them themselves and learn the importance of choice, sharing and tidying up.
  • Frequently refreshed displays of the children's own work. We believe it is essential to celebrate their achievements by showcasing their work in all its messy glory! This is a way of inspiring them to develop further while sharing their progress with parents.
  • Dining areas where the children sit together as a “family group” for their meals and snacks. Eating is a significant social event, and this is a chance for children to learn the basic skills of feeding themselves and tidying up afterwards. This is an opportunity to stimulate their curiosity in the variety of different foods enjoyed by their friends.

Curriculum

We are one of the few nurseries in Qatar to closely follow the English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, ensuring your child experiences the same quality of care and education they would receive at a nursery school in the UK. Your children will assure you that "all they do is play" but behind the scenes there is a tremendous amount of planning, tracking and targeted guidance to ensure they are consistently challenged and extended.

We are also influenced by the Reggio Emillia style of teaching, which places great emphasis on natural materials, recycling, and actively encouraging hands-on, play-based learning amongst our children.

In summary, the key “Acorn Differences” you will notice as parents are:

Planning

Detailed weekly planning is shared with parents, so they are constantly updated on classroom activities and able to talk about nursery with their children.

Hands-on Learning

Students are encouraged to become actively engaged through doing, building, tasting, making, feeling and contributing to the class learning.

Student tracking

All students are continuously monitored against the EYFS Attainment Targets. This is used for adapting planning to suit the needs of different ability groups in the class.

Creativity

Our teaching encourages creativity and imagination in the children. There is no rote learning or boring worksheets!

Independence

Learning to feed yourself, dress yourself, make decisions, tidy up after yourself: these are essential life skills learnt at nursery.

Parental involvement

Parents are regularly invited in to the nursery to participate in and celebrate their children's learning.

Stable learning environment

Children are allocated to a dedicated room and team of teaching staff. For young children, all current research shows that rotating between different rooms and specialist teachers (as is common in some nurseries in Qatar) is highly undesirable.

Feedback to parents

We firmly believe in a close home-school relationship, supported by frequent feedback to parents. This includes informal chats at the end of the school day; a daily Communications Book; a weekly printed report with photographs describing what has been happening in nursery; formal progress reports twice per year; and parent-teacher meetings.

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Timings & Term Dates

Working hours

Children can enter the nursery from 7:00 a.m. (unless a prior arrangement has been made for additional hours) and teaching starts at 7:30 a.m.
Teaching finishes at 1:00 p.m. and we ask that all children be collected by 1:15 p.m. (unless a prior arrangement has been made for additional hours).
Additional before and after-hours care is also available at additional cost. This can extend the day from 6:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. if required. Please discuss your requirements with the Nursery Manager and we will attempt to accommodate you.
The administration staff are available daily from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Annual calendar

The nursery does not take the same holidays as schools, so is open almost continuously between the months of September and July to provide continuous support for working parents. It does close for public holidays (Eids, National Day etc.) plus a few other days.
We have three teaching terms each year, which approximately align with the local international schools. During the holidays (between Terms 1 and 2, and between Terms 2 and 3) we continue to offer childcare in the form of a mixed-age, less academic holiday camp. This is provided at no additional cost to students already registered in the nursery.

Full details on the School Calendar can be downloaded below.

Summer school

The nursery is closed for July and August although, depending upon demand, a summer school is available to keep children active and entertained during the hot summer months. This programme is available to both registered students of the nursery and any children from the wider community (especially siblings). Details and prices are available from Reception.

Assessment and Reporting

Continuous assessment

At Acorn Nursery all children are continuously assessed, and we keep detailed records of the development of each individual child to track their progress against the learning goals set out in the EYFS. This data is used to inform our own teaching and planning, as well as for regular progress reports to parents.

Daily communication

Each child has a Communication Book which is completed daily and goes home with the child. It ensures you are constantly updated on daily routines (such as eating, toileting, sleeping and so on), and is also used to pass messages back and forth with the class teacher.

Weekly updates

We issue a one-page summary report to parents every week. This describes in general terms what the class has been working on. It also includes photographs of your specific child, so you have a record of their development during this fast-changing period of their life.

Parent/Teacher meetings

All parents are invited to meetings with the class teacher to discuss progress and raise any concerns or requests you might have. Additional meetings can be arranged, where required, and teachers work hard to encourage and facilitate this home-school communication.

Formal reports

Each child receives a formal Nursery Report twice each year, provided minimum attendance criteria have been met. These are in a format consistent with our EYFS curriculum, highlighting how your child is progressing in relation to the “7 Areas of Learning”.

Assistance applying to schools

As children outgrow the nursery, we assist parents in the application process for the top international schools in Qatar. Some schools will accept a signed and stamped copy of our Nursery Report; for others, we complete the detailed child development reports they require.
We have an excellent relationship with the leading international schools in Doha and Al Khor, and are proud that our students generally gain entry in to their first-choice school.
Regarding school choices, we especially recommend AWIS - Al Wataniya International School. This is a British school in Doha with a similar ethos and curriculum to Acorn, and shares some of the same Directors. Be sure to mention your Acorn connection if applying to AWIS!