As most of you are aware, we have been raising money for Jacob in our baby room. Jacob was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma – a particularly aggressive childhood cancer – in May 2012. The tumour was the size of a grapefruit on his right adrenal gland. Since then Jacob has undergone chemotherapy, an operation, further high dose chemotherapy, stem cell harvesting and transplant and radiotherapy. He is currently undergoing immunotherapy to try and prevent the cancer returning. Throughout this period, the family have been overwhelmed with the support they have received from family and friends and from Candlelighters, a charity that provides essential services and support to children with cancer, and their families.
At The Ark we are always keen to support charities and when hearing of Jacob’s condition, we were keen to do something to help. As keen marathon runners, Jo Brock and Heidi Bingham’s husbands wanted to become involved and so decided that to run / walk the Pennine Way would be a challenge to them and would provide them with a fabulous opportunity to raise both awareness and much-needed funds for Candlelighters.
So, on Friday 26th April 2013, they will set off on their travels, from Edale, Derbyshire and complete their challenge 10 days later in Kirk Yetholm, Scotland. Michael and Chris are training hard and we wish them luck (and no blisters!!) for this huge challenge.
We also plan to involve the children as much as possible and we are therefore planning to see how many marathons we can walk / run in the same period, either on foot or in prams, depending upon age and ability. This will include walking to / from school on some days where possible.
We are therefore looking to raise as much money as possible and have set a target to raise £2620 – i.e. £10 for every mile covered by Michael and Chris. A Just Giving page has been set up, which has already raised more than £1000 in 4 days. We have set a target to raise £2620, which equates to approximately £10 per mile. Any donation is greatly appreciated: https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Bingham1
You can keep up-to-date with events as they happen on our Facebook and Twitter pages: www.facebook.com/thearkandspace and @thearkexp
Is there anything more beautiful in this world than watching a baby sleep?
In direct contradiction to the government’s recent announcement that it is looking to increase the ratio of children to adults within the childcare settings, we will be increasing our ratio for children up to 12 months old to provide a one to two care for these precious babies.
Jo Brock, Nursery Manager, said that “these improvements we are making are very much against the current government plans. However we believe that our new ratios will enhance the experience for children at The Ark and we know that these levels of care are very much what working parents want for their children.”
We announced these changes to our parents last month and have already had messages of support from them saying, “Thank you Heidi and Jo, I knew we had picked the right place for our child and this just confirms it!”
Currently the ratios required by Ofsted are one adult to every three children under the age of two but we are confident that our changes will provide great benefits to the babies. Research and common sense dictate that the children will be safer and benefit in terms of their development from the changes going ahead at The Ark.
Jo highlighted that ‘Over the past eleven years we have seen over 1000 children come to us for high quality childcare and the last thing we or any parent want, is to compromise the quality of the childcare provision. It is often an emotional time when parents return to work and we aim to offer the best in care and education for these children, this is why we were one of the first settings in Calderdale to be awarded an Outstanding inspection report from Ofsted.
Donna Hubbard, Childcare Manager explained “To deliver these levels of quality we operate a structure that allows the childcare professionals the time to care for and play with the children whilst the administration, cooking and cleaning are delivered by a fabulous support team. The increase of our baby ratios is just another part of this commitment. We always want to be one step ahead and ensure we are delivering what our parents want. We are in an idyllic location with the highest quality facilities and we hope the addition of these high ratios, combined with our amazing Forest School will, once again raise the bar in terms of quality childcare”.
We are open as usual despite heavy snow overnight. The children are having a great time playing outside and building snowmen. The roads in the area have been cleared and gritted but please take care when driving.
We are currently recruiting for a Deputy Room Leader. You will need to have minimum NVQ level 3 in Childcare. If you are interested, please send a CV to email@example.com
Click here to see the advert
It has been a busy few months here at The Ark and Space.
Our new kitchen is now finished and the kitchen staff are enjoying creating even more delicious meals for the children (and staff!). The dreadful weather this summer hasn’t prevented us getting out and about. The Space Summer Holiday Club was a great success with trips to adventure parks and climbing walls, we made home-made water slides and did some yummy baking and cooking on campfires, to name but a few of the summer activities. This week the Holiday Club children went for a fun swim, visited the Bradford media museum for some Scooby-Doo fun, made delicious Hallowe’en treats and had fun with the kitchen staff making an ‘Eat Well’ plate – learning how to turn their dream menu into a healthy version.
The nursery children have also been having fun going for walks to see the farm animals, visiting a local farm and playing outside in the garden whatever the weather. The virtually indestructible Forest School uniforms have been well-used, keeping everyone warm and dry when playing in the woods and by the stream. Please take a look at the Forest School board in the Pre-school reception area – a few of the things the pre-schoolers have done are: learned how to make birdfeeders; made hot chocolate drinks on a campfire while learning about fire safety; made spider webs in and around the trees, and ready for Hallowe’en, they made broomsticks and looked for owls.
After all this activity, you’d think we wouldn’t have any energy left for the rest of this year.. but you’d be wrong! The Pre-school Open House is on 14th November and everyone is welcome to come along to meet the staff and find out about the 15 hours of free childcare all 3 year olds are entitled to. Dare we mention that Christmas looms on the horizon too? The Holiday Club Christmas Holiday Planner will be on the website alter this month, Pre-school is planning the annual Nativity and all the other usual Christmas fun will be announced soon too.
Why not keep an eye on our Facebook page to see what we’ve all be up to?
Enjoy the rest of the Autumn and the countdown to Christmas… we certainly will here at The Ark!
If you go down to the woods today…
As you are probably aware, this month we launched our Forest School on land adjacent to The Ark and the response from parents and children has been fantastic. Why not have a look at our Facebook page? There are photos and tales of our forest adventures and will be updated regularly.
Forest Schools first developed in Scandinavia in the 1950’s and centred on children learning about the natural world and developing core skills in communication and physical development in a creative and innovative way. Forest School is for all children and young people and gives them the opportunity to make choices and learn for themselves. The children are experiencing our local natural environment through regular visits – whatever the weather! The children in Pre-school are going down to the woods on Mondays, wearing their bright waterproof uniforms. Perhaps you have seen them or read the article in the Hebden Bridge Times? Space 1 and 2 will also be making use of this fabulous new facility in the Holiday Clubs – can you already smell the wood smoke and toasted marshmallows?
Ladies In Pink – Moonwalk 2012
Just one more sleep to go! Jo, Heidi and their friends are on their way to London ready for the Moonwalk. We think they are amazing and wish them all the best of luck for tomorrow. Bobby Bear from Pre-school has accompanied them on the train to help with pre-walk nerves! Don’t worry though – he’ll be tucked up in bed when the brave walkers are setting off from Hyde Park and will ready to give them a ‘well done’ hug when they get back.
Breast Foot Forward – Moonwalk 2012
Jo, Heidi and four other parents have been pounding the streets of Calderdale in training to take part in the London Moonwalk – a marathon in aid of Breast Cancer charities. The 26.2 mile midnight walk will take place in London on May 12th and thousands of women will be walking to raise much needed funds for charity. They will be walking in memory of Julie Barron-Hoult who sadly passed away last year. This year’s theme will be ‘Rock around the clock’ and the ladies will be wearing appropriately decorated bras! The group is aiming to raise £2000 and if anyone would like to make a donation, please go to www.walkthewalkfundraising.org/the_ark_experience
The Ark Charity Ball – April 2012
We are holding a charity ball on Saturday 28th April 2012 to celebrate 10 outstanding years of The Ark.
The ball will also be the culmination of our fundraising for Sunshine House in India.