Summer festival 21 June 2014

** We’re delighted to confirm that the final total raised at our Summer Festival was £1,945.61. On our Facebook page you will find lots of photographs of the day. Thank you everyone for your support **

Saturday 21 June 2014 11am-4pm

Our annual summer fete gains a festival feel with live music, hot food and lots more. Our city farm and adventure playground will be open and there will be lots of fundraising games, crafts and our summer raffle. Entry by donation.

Confirmed activities so far include:

  • African Heritage Centre will be performing and running workshops for children between 12 & 2pm
  • Exotic Pet Refuge bringing animals between 1-3pm
  • City College Peterborough will be running a children’s arts and crafts stall for us
  • Refreshments include hot and cold drinks, biscuits, picnic bags, burgers and hot dogs, ice cream van, homemade cakes
  • Activities including face painting, glitter tattoos, bouncy castle, medium & tarot card readings, jam jar tombola, bottle hoopla
  • Stalls include: fairground sweeties, bottle hoopla, children’s toy tombola, lucky dip
  • Just for fun: wellie wanging, World Cup shoot out, face painting, glitter tattoos, bouncy castle, medium & tarot card readings
  • In our Eco Centre you can make dream catchers, stick men, fairy wands / pirate sticks, and buy garden plants & produce
  • Summer raffle will be drawn – see underneath picture below for the prize list
  • Plus our city farm will be open and children can play freely in our adventure playground and eco centre


If you can volunteer to help at this event please contact Charlotte on 01733 340605

Summer raffle prize draw

Here are confirmed prizes for our summer draw raffle which will be drawn on Saturday 1st Prize: £100 John Lewis voucher
2nd Prize: Luxury Picnic Hamper including family days out vouchers to Skylark Maze & Funyard, and Pigeons Farm
3rd Prize: PURE Digital & FM clock radio

Other confirmed raffle prizes
* 6 weeks Kung Fu classes for kids and adults and 1 hour private lesson for Adults Wing Chun (Kung Fu Schools Peterborough)
* Skate session including skate hire for family of 4 (Planet Ice)
* Spray Tan (Inspiration Beauty and Wellbeing) * Postman Pat DVD (Game)
* New Ark voucher for a school holiday day pass or afterschool pass session

* Digital Movie Creator ~ make movies like they do in Hollywood with this digital movie creator. All you need is a PC and your imagination!
* Leap frog ~ ABCs write on floor puzzle
* David’s Dream Team ~ pop up blow football game and story book.
* Next ~ Men’s Signature gift set including eau de toilette
* Boots ~ White collection, mini travel collection gift set
* Bottle of Merlot Tannat 2011
* Courvoisier cognac chocolates
* Cadburys milk tray chocolates

Repairs & Maintenance week April 2014

We are closed 21-25 April 2014 to undertake Repairs and Maintenance on our buildings and land (and again 1-5 September).

Can you help with any of the following?

  • An hour or two of time to help us on any of the days. Unfortunately we cannot have any children on site during this week to help, due to health and safety.
  • Donations of cleaning products including bleach, scourers, cleansers, cloths, etc.
  • Any unwanted tins of paint – unopened or recently opened

tidying and painting

If you are able to volunteer to help during this week, please contact Charlotte on 01733 340605 and say when you can help, how long for and whether you have any mobility issues etc.

You will be asked to come wearing sensible clothing and you will be allocated a job to do, for example painting, cleaning, weeding, tidying games up, mending fences, feeding the animals, etc

We look forward to welcoming engineers from Cummins, to help us mend fences during our April Repairs and Maintenance week


New Ark Forest School

** All sessions are now fully booked and we are taking names for a reserve list via You can also register interest for future forest school sessions on that email address **

We are delighted to offer our weekend Forest School for families on Saturday 10 May 2014.

eco clay snail 8 Aug 2013

Children and parents will take part in the following activities in our Eco Centre, supported by our Forest School trained staff:
– Clay work in the forest
– Making & using natural paints
– Bug hunt and pond dipping
Plus exploring and playing in the woodland, orchard and city farm.

Sessions are at 11am or 2pm.
**Update – all sessions are now full and we are taking names for a reserve list **
Everyone attending either the morning or afternoon sessions is invited to join us for lunch between 12.15 and 2pm. Bring a picnic to eat in our garden – there’ll be hot drinks/cakes for sale in aid of New Ark, the picnic benches will be available to use, we may even get a fire going outdoors 🙂

Costs £5 per family (up to 2 adults/2 children, additional children £2 each).

These sessions are suitable for children from walking to early teens, and places are limited to 10 families per session

We acknowledge financial support from The Wakeham Trust to make these sessions possible
Wakeham Logo 2

Annual report 2012-13

Our annual report for 2012-13 is now available to view online as a low res PDF document – please click the link below.

New Ark Guide and annual report 2012-13

If you wish to receive a printed copy, please contact us on 01733 340605 or

Here’s what Jenny from Cummins Business Services said about this year’s report: “The dedication of every one of you comes across in this report – it is a credit to everyone at New Ark Play Association.” Thank you for your kind words Jenny, and thank you Cummins for sponsoring the report’s printing costs!

Small group funding summer 2013

During the 2013 school summer holidays, we were fortunate in being able to employ extra staff to run small group activities. This meant that children were able to learn new skills and enjoy making and creating within the keep of a sympathetic adult. The funding of £1,000 came from Comic Relief allocated by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.


It employed several people to do different things with the children so we were able to provide a range of activities:
– craft work (painting fabric for making a wigwam was especially popular)
– baking
– face painting sessions
– wool craft (several children boys and girls, learnt to crochet)
– eco activities including cooking on an outdoor fire and forest woodwork
….and lots more.

The sessions were very sociable with lots of good conversations between adults and children and new friendships forged. Parents were delighted within the children’s excitement and enthusiasm for having a go at something new. Staff were pleased to see the rise of confidence and improvement in social skills.

Here are a small selection of photos…

Painting our tepee material
painting teepee material

Erecting the teepee

Papercraft session
Papercraft 26 July 2013 3

Preparing a fire for outdoor cooking in our eco centre
eco clay fire 8 Aug 2013

Water play
Eco water 6 Aug 2013

Tree decorating with natural materials
eco clay 8 Aug 2013

Baking session
Baking 6 Aug 2013

Learning to crochet
Crochet 2 Aug 2013


“Outstanding” for 2nd time in a row

We are celebrating our second ‘outstanding’ rating in a row from Ofsted following an inspection in May 2013.

Inspectors were impressed with our adventure playground, stating that children “enjoy abundant opportunities to expand their imagination and develop physically and emotionally, such as den building.”

The report also recognised our highly innovative play-led teaching methods, which include Eco (Forest School) sessions and making full use of the City Farm to engage playground children in learning about the natural world and living things. “Children are very keen to learn in the rich and exciting playgroup, farm, adventure playground and eco centre that support them across the prime and specific areas. They have ample opportunities throughout the sessions to make their own choices and decisions about what they do”

Staff were singled out for high praise, with inspectors noting their dedication and passion for early years education and the very low staff turnover. “Children thoroughly enjoy the highly positive involvement from the staff in their activities…warm and genuine interaction actively promotes children’s feelings of self-confidence and value.”

Previously we received an outstanding report following a full inspection in November 2011. Both the 2011 and 2013 reports can be downloaded from the Ofsted website.

Our playgroup manager Nicola Anderson was thrilled with the recent grading. She said: “Our secret is we make full use of our amazing facilities. It has always been our aim to help children thrive through play, and it is wonderful to have an official stamp of approval for everything we are doing.”

Ofsted certificate - low res

Dates for holiday and term times 2013-14

Dates for holiday playground sessions

Thursday 25 July to Friday 30 August
Monday 28 October to Friday 1 November
Monday 23 December afternoon only – Christmas party
Monday 17 to Friday 21 February (half term)
Monday 7 April to Thursday 17 April
Monday 26 May to Friday 30 May
Sessions are Monday-Friday 10am-12pm and 2pm-5pm.
Additional childcare is available between 8.30-10am, 12-2pm and 5-6pm

Dates for afterschool playground sessions

Autumn Term 2013
Monday 9 September to Friday 25 October
Monday 4 November to Friday 20 December

Spring Term 2014
Tuesday 7 January to Friday 14 February
Monday 24 February to Friday 4 April

Summer Term 2014
Monday 28 April to Friday 23 May
Monday 2 June to Friday 18 July

Dates for playgroup sessions

Autumn Term 2013
Monday 9 September to Friday 25 October
Monday 4 November to Friday 20 December

Spring Term 2014
Tuesday 7 January to Friday 14 February
Monday 24 February to Friday 4 April

Summer Term 2014
Monday 28 April to Friday 23 May
Monday 2 June to Friday 18 July

Closed for Repairs and Maintenance week

Monday 2 to Friday 6 September
Tuesday 22 to Friday 25 April
Please let us know if you can help out during either of these week to clean, sort, mend, repair and more

Now taking registrations

Now taking registrations

We are now taking registrations for playground holiday sessions at New Ark.

Please complete and return our registration form with a cheque for the relevant fees made payable to “Newark Play Association Ltd”.
• If your children are new to us please do call to arrange a visit before you decide to register.
• If your child currently attends New Ark please return your registration form before Wednesday 24th July to avoid a 10% late surcharge

We suggest that you closely read our playground information sheet 2013-14 which answers many queries about attending New Ark.

A summary of fees and due dates is here. Key points to note are:
• Our holiday year runs between July 2013 and June 2014.
• During school holidays we are open Monday-Friday 10am-12pm and 2pm-5pm – these times are free for registered children. We welcome visitors – please call us before setting off.
• Additional childcare is available between 8.30 -10am, 12pm-2pm and 5pm-6pm at £4 per hour per child. This is available for registered children only and places are limited.
• We are closed from 2-6 September for our repairs and maintenance week.
• We will be running summer holiday Eco Sessions for under 8s and other planned activities such as baking, outdoor cooking and den building.

If you have children aged under 5, details of how they can access New Ark are here.

Summary of playground fees 2013-14

After school and holiday session fees for school age children

Holiday registration

  • 1 child is £40
  • 2 children is £60
  • 3+ children is £90

– Covers most school holidays between July 2013 – June 2014.
– After Wednesday 24 July an additional 10% surcharge is applied.
– Includes entry during school holidays between 10am-noon and 2-5pm (except Christmas and our 2 maintenance weeks).
– Registered children can book into additional childcare provision outside these hours at £4 per hour per child – please ask for details
– Registered children get priority booking for special activities eg Eco Sessions (forest school)

 Afterschool registration

  • 1 child is £20 per term
  • 2 children is £30 per term
  • 3+ children is £45 per term

– Covers one term at a time (3 terms per year).
– Afterschool autumn registration fees are due by Friday 30th August 2013 – after this date an additional 10% surcharge is applied.
– Dates for spring and summer registration fees are to be advised.
– Includes entry daily after school between 3.45-6pm.
– Registered children may book onto our walkover service from Newark Hill school, which costs £2.50 per day and includes toast and tuck.

  • Illustration for families who wish to attend all year i.e. holidays plus 3 terms of afterschool
  • For 1 child you pay £40 and 3 x £20. This totals £100 (average of £2 per week).
  • For 2 children you pay £60 and 3 x £30. This totals £150 (average of £3 per week).
  • For 3+ children you pay £90 and 3 x £45. This totals £225 (average of £4.50 per week).


Visitors are welcomed during school holidays sessions 10am-noon and 2-5pm. Please call us before setting off as visitor numbers are restricted. You will be required to complete visitor’s paperwork before leaving your child with us. If you wish to access additional childcare you will need to be fully registered with us.

  • Visitor fees
  • 1 child is £4 for one session, or £7 for both morning and afternoon
  • 2 children is £6 for one session, or £10 for both morning and afternoon
  • 3+ children is £9 for one session, or £15 for both morning and afternoon

Children below school age

If you want to visit with a child aged 0-4…

Parent and toddler group

We welcome all under 4s and are based in the Eco Centre which has a snug indoor area in case of rain, plus access to the city farm. We charge £1 per adult and 50p per child to include refreshments.

During school term our parent and toddler group runs on Wednesdays 1-3pm, with the city farm open from 2pm

During the 2013 school summer holidays we will run every Wednesday between 2-4pm (so that older siblings can play in the adventure playground).

Adventure Playground general opening

Children below school age are welcome to visit the adventure playground and city farm during our general opening hours (Monday-Friday 3.45-6pm during term time, 10am-12pm and 2pm-5pm during holidays). Parents must supervise under 5s at all times and we do not charge for them but encourage you to make a donation. Please call us before setting off to avoid potential disappointment, as visitor numbers are restricted.

Preschool playgroups

Following our recent Outstanding rating by Ofsted, our preschool playgroups have a waiting list. Please contact us for details.