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.

Thank you to our supporters

New Ark couldn’t get by without the huge amount of help we get from local families and organisations. Below is a small list of some of those who have helped us recently – a full thank you list is published in our annual report each September.

Summer Fete and history day

We raised £2437.31 at our Summer Fete and History Day. The list of helpers is HUGE and we are almost afraid to publish it for fear or missing anyone out, but here goes:
– Vivacity for funding our history boards, Laura Barnard who did a wonderful job of illustrating our history, and our first playworker Toby Wood who, in true New Ark style, got children to proudly unveil the boards for us.
– All of our hard-working staff who gave up their weekend to help fundraise, and were back at work on Monday bright and cheery as always!
– Every single parent and supporter who helped to organise the fete, be there on the day or clear up afterwards. Your input is truly valued no matter how large or small.
– The following businesses who donated goods or services for the day: John Lewis Distribution (freezer), Sainsbury’s Oxney Road (gardening materials for tombola), and all those who donated a raffle prize (the list of donators and prizes is here).

Repairs and Maintenance help

We regularly have help from local organisations who provide working parties to help us with a particular project. Some recent examples are:
– Princes Trust Peterborough – general gardening and sprucing up of all areas
– Ben Fallows Painting and Decorating Ltd – redecorating our main playroom including donating all paint
– BGL Group – helping to spruce up our farm and orchard area.

Fundraising for our City Farm

The City Farm is a key part of what we do at New Ark, providing children with numerous opportunities to learn about the world, take responsibility, or simply relax by being around the animals. Some of the organisations who help us fundraise for our farm include:
Peterborough Regional College – send regular working parties and support students in fundraising for us
Pets at Home – donate ex shop stock and support our fundraising

Race Night event

We raised £674.96 at our Race Night fundraiser in April 2013. Thank you to everyone who sponsored a race or donated a prize…
Race sponsors
Peterborough Regional College, Eastfield Road – 0845 872 8722
The Elm Tree Tavern, Garton End Road – 01733 358134
The Peacock Pub, London Road – 01733 345637
D J Wilson School of Motoring – 07970 182555
Keeping HR Simple – 01487 815720
Somersby House Tack Shop, Great Gidding – 01832 293426
Blue Bell Inn, Welland Road – 01733 554890
Tu Qian & Helen Si
Prizes donated by…
Syvitta from Odiz, Hill Close Shops
Parcs Restaurant, Peterborough Regional College
Revive Hair, Peterborough Regional College
Complementary Therapies Salon, Peterborough Regional College
Lakeside Superbowl, New Road
Sheila Thompson
Julia and Mike Greene


Summer Fete and History Day

Update – we raised £2437.31 at our fete and the history boards were well received. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the day. For a full list of raffle prize winners please scroll down to the bottom of this page…

Sunday 9th June 11am-3pm

Explore New Ark’s past at our fun-filled day. We’ll have lots of retro activities, including open-air cooking, homemade dens and classic outdoor games.

At 12pm we’ll unveil our new history boards, designed by local artist Laura Barnard and funded by Vivacity.

Also stalls, refreshments, a car boot sale, and old favourites such as adventurous play and the city farm.

Bring your friends and family—everyone welcome. Entry by silver donation

This event is supported by Vivacity Peterborough Arts

NB Please get in touch on 01733 340605 if you want a pitch on our car boot sale, or can volunteer with preparations or on the day.

summer fete poster new ark - Copy

Summer raffle

Update – list of winners in our Summer Raffle draw:
£100 vouchers donated by John Lewis – L. Smith
£60 New Ark voucher – R Agudo
2 lessons from D J Wilson Driving School – J Dunkley-Locke
Nene Valley Railway Family Pass – M Kemp
Tenpin Bowling voucher donated by Lakeside Superbowl – P Lanning
Cut and Blow Dry voucher donated by Headmasters Hairdressers – A Mountford
£25 Co-op Food Hamper donated byCo-operative Anglia Regional Society – W Wright
Afternoon tea at Andronicas – Ethan
£20 Ultimate Performance Voucher – C Griggs
Big Sky Family Day Pass – A Roberts
Activity/ Toddler World Voucher – S Bines
Skateboard – R Blakemore
Girl’s Roller Skates – H Durcam
Picnic Hamper with Accessories made by Sheila Thompson – R Blakemore
Shower Hamper made by Sheila Thompson – V Sargent
Bath Hamper made by Sheila Thompson – C Davitt
£10 M&S gift card – R Elliot
Teddy Bear from Co-operative Anglia Regional Society – T Moat
Bottle of White Wine donated by Julia and Mike Greene – M Spriggs
Bottle of Red Wine donated by Julia and Mike Greene – M Roberts
Bottle of Sparkling Perry – C Welch
Box of chocolates – Zoe