Marufa Anwari is Nursery Manager at Bright Horizons Columbus Courtyard, situated in the heart of London’s business and financial district Canary Wharf. We spoke with Marufa to learn more about nursery life at Columbus Courtyard.
Marufa, tell us a little about you.
My career in childcare began when I was 19 and I joined Little Unicorn nurseries. I continued to work with Little Unicorn nurseries and was pleased when Little Unicorn nurseries joined the Bright Horizons family last year.
I worked for Little Unicorn nurseries for 12 years – building my knowledge, skills and childcare expertise to allow me to progress in my career and become the manager I am today. I have been with Bright Horizons for one year and it has been a great journey so far and one I look forward to continuing. I have a Level 3 qualification in Children and Young People’s Workforce and also a Level 3 qualification in Leadership and Management.
In my spare time I really enjoy writing. I also really enjoy eating out with family and friends and spending time with my baby nephews.
Tell us a little about your nursery environment
At Columbus Courtyard we provide care for children aged three months to five years. We have five beautifully designed home rooms for children of each age group.
In addition to our home rooms, what makes Columbus Courtyard so special is our activity rooms!
We have a large indoor garden which is resourced to support all areas of the EYFS and our Growing Enhancements. We also have a special Growing Room which focusses on all aspects of the Growing Enhancements, including Growing Readers, Writers, Mathematicians, Artists and Scientists. The children love to explore the indoor garden and have lots of fun learning.
We have a soft play room, which includes a ball pool that the children really enjoy to play in and develop their motor skills. There’s also a Sensory Room, which enables the children to develop their senses through purposeful activities and resources.
Lastly, we have a Cookery Club, where our budding chefs get very creative and prepare lots of different foods to share with their friends.
What activities take place at Columbus Courtyard Day Nursery and Preschool?
In addition to using each of our different rooms, the children really enjoy going on walks around Canary Wharf and exploring the environment. We go outside every day and our favourite places to visit are Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Cabot Square Fountains and the riverfront. The children take part in activities during each expedition and are amazed by the buildings and transport around them. Jumping in puddles on rainy days, collecting leaves in Autumn and seeing the Christmas light display are also fantastic!
We know your partnerships with your nursery families is very important to you. What activities and events for families take place?
We have a fantastic relationship with our families and many live and work on the Wharf. We have a lovely parent area which has many reading materials for families to enjoy, including information about the curriculum and our nursery. There’s refreshments available too, which is often particularly helpful during busy mornings or evening pick-up time.
We encourage families to visit the nursery through our open door policy. We are delighted to host regular coffee mornings and parent surgeries for advice and information, and more formal parent events for special occasions. Our last event was our Preschool Graduation Ceremony, which was fantastic and a wonderful opportunity for families to come together and celebrate before their little ones begin Primary School.
Families receive a monthly newsletter with information on what will be happening during the month ahead at the nursery and also a shorter weekly newsletter which is individual to each home room.
Are there transport links to and from the nursery?
With just a short walk to the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) station and the Jubilee Line, the nursery has fantastic transport links for commuting families.
What has been your favourite memory so far at Columbus Courtyard?
There has been many wonderful memories made over my time here that I couldn’t possibly pick just one however, I am extremely proud of how far my team and I have come in the past year and I look forward to an exciting future ahead!
What is your favourite nursery meal?
My favourite nursery meal has to be our cheesecake. It’s delicious!