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Staff Profile: Natalie Givens, FS1 Nursery Teacher

17 September 2019

Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more, to get to know members of our school family a little better. Our profile this week is Natalie Givens, a teacher in FS1 Nursery.

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Three years ago, ‘Team Givens’ (myself, Mr Givens, Louis and Ellis) arrived in Abu Dhabi ready for our second overseas adventure. After 6 years in Shanghai, China we were ready to swap the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest cities in the world for the sandy shores of the UAE. Both places couldn’t be more different to our ‘home’ – the Isle of Wight, a small island in the South of England. However, as a family, we quickly made Abu Dhabi home and are happy to call it so for the foreseeable future. We look forward to all the new opportunities that being here allows us.  

As a family we attempted skiing for the first-time last Winter. It is true to say that somethings are best learnt at a young age! Safe to say Mr Givens and I won’t be winning any medals on the slopes; however, it was such a great experience and one we will repeat.

I have the pleasure of being a Foundation Stage teacher and that means that my classroom and the wonderful little ones that I spend all day with become my world and I very rarely get out to ‘see the rest of the school!’ Even the children are surprised if they see me anywhere different! Unless you have had a little one in FS over the past 3 years or have a future ‘master builder’ who attends Construction Club you may not have seen much of me around school! 

This year you will find me in Seahorse Class FS1 Nursery F singing, dancing, up to my neck in paint, glitter and glue, often wearing some dress-up items and eating picnics that have been made for me in the home corner. Yes, this sounds like I play all day, maybe that’s why it’s the best age group to work with, however play is at the heart of how young children begin to learn and I am passionate that by spending time with each child, listening to them and sharing their interests I can develop them as learners. 

I have taught both FS2 and FS1 Nursery at BIS Abu Dhabi and still the best parts of my days are when past students knock on the door to say hello, have a hug, show me something, or tell me how they are doing in their new class. This really does back up the ‘family’ feeling that runs through our school and is something I am proud to be part of.

I am fortunate and privileged to have been at the start of the school life journey for so many children over the past 19 years. I hope that the experiences they have whilst in my class encourage a love for learning, an enjoyment of school and an independence to always do their best. Being a parent and a teacher, I set myself the challenge, ‘be the teacher you would want for your child’.

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