Ark Start, a new early years education programme, has opened its first dedicated nursery in south London – with a further facility due to open in Croydon early next year.
The new nursery will serve around 60 families at the Ark John Archer Academy in Battersea for children aged two to five years old and has newly refurbished, child-friendly classrooms designed with dedicated areas to enable messy play, quiet time and eating together. There is also a dedicated outdoor area where children can play freely and explore the outdoors.
Nursery Headteacher Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs, said:
“We’re delighted to be open and to create a great new nursery for this community. We wanted to create a nurturing space which emphasises joy, creativity, play and independence and have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback we are getting from our families.
“Our aim is to improve the quality of care and education for all children, but particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our focus is on delivering high-quality learning through fun and play to improve the educational attainment of the youngest children. We offer a positive and stimulating environment - a home from home – that is particularly valuable at a time when children have been out of nursery for so long due to the pandemic.”
The Ark Start model is based on Ark’s experience in schools and rooted in research of what works in early years education. The programme is built on a playful, knowledge-rich curriculum and a pedagogy informed by child development.
Following funding from the Department for Education, a new nursery will open at Ark Oval Primary Academy in East Croydon in January 2021 serving up to 90 families.