The Ark Association Ltd - Burley Road

The Ark Association Ltd - Burley Road

The Ark Association Ltd - Burley Road

The Ark nursery at Burley Road, is a Registered Charity offering care for all children irrespective of culture, background or ability. We have been offering good quality, affordable childcare in Rutland for over 30 years.  Our nursery is a place where every child and practitioner feels valued, included, and listened to. A stimulating environment where we play, develop a love of learning and have fun.

We aim to offer high standards of education, stimulation and fun within a structured environment. Our ideas are neatly summed up in the words of educationalist Maria Montessori, “The goal of early childhood education should be to cultivate the child’s own desire to learn” and the resources and toys children use supports their development:

  • To figure out how things work
  • Learn new ideas and concepts
  • Build muscle control and strength
  • Use their imagination
  • Solve problems
  • Learn to cooperate with others”

We plan activities, ideas and education enhancing activities in response to the individual child. We tailor all activities to the abilities and interests of each child, we use play-based learning over a formal ‘teaching’ style to enhance children’s development and use aspects of open-ended/ loose parts play to develop children’s creativity and imagination.

We have access to the swimming pool at Oakham C of E primary school and take the preschool age children swimming weekly. We also access outdoor forest style sessions weekly using our own minibus to transport the children with members of staff. The minibus also allows the children to explore our wider local environment such as Rutland Water, Burley woods and Brooke Hill.

We have a fantastic friendly team of practitioners, many of whom have worked for The Ark for at least 10 years or more. They show the same commitment and enthusiasm for the children and families who come through our door’s day in day out, building great parent partner relationships. We pride ourselves on our open-door policy and this, over the years, has helped forge those all-important bonds and relationships with our parents and families.

Mica Foort (Arts Foundation Degree in Early childhood professional studies) leads The Ark from the Nursery site. Supporting her is a manager and deputy manager. All staff are on hand to answer parent questions or queries at any time.

Staff are highly skilled and qualified from between Level 3 and Level 5 in Childcare and Education. Staff are continuously updating their knowledge and skills, not only in the core training such as First Aid and Safeguarding but in other areas such as behaviours, Autism, ADHD and Speech and Language. From each training attended staff cascade their new knowledge, skills and ideas to other practitioners.

Who to contact

Mica Foort
01572 770121

Where to go

The Ark Association Ltd (Burley Road)
C/o Oakham C of E Primary School
Burley Road
Postal code
Address note

To get to us at Burley Road you will need to walk around the left-hand side of the school building, past the swimming pool on your right and through the first of two green gates. There is then an intercom on the wall to your right by the swimming pool window which comes straight through to Nursery. The entrance to the nursery is then through the last wooden gate on the right hand of the building.

If you have any problems finding us, please telephone 01572 770121.

Time / Date details

Session infomation
The Ark is open from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Thursday and 7.30am to 5.30pm on a Friday.

Other details

Age ranges
15 months - school

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair Access
Cultural Provisions
Dietary Needs
Special Needs
Special Needs Experience

Special Needs Experience includes but is not limited to:

Asperger Syndrome
Attachment Disorder
Cerebral Palsy
Down's Syndrome
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Pathalogical Demand Avoidance

Childcare Information

Childcare - Age range

1 Year and 5 months to 4 Years and 6 months

Immediate Vacancies Details

Please contact us about any vacancies


Indoor and outdoor Play Equipment
Snacks AM and PM
Sleeping Area
Grassed and concrete outdoor play area
Visits and Outings
Hot lunch or home packed lunch options
Cooking/ baking
Breakfast/ tea options
Arts and crafts
ICT technology
Role play area

Pickup schools

Oakham C of E Primary

Local Offer

Local Offer Details

Children will be admitted to the Ark according to the waiting list guidelines and no child will be excluded on the grounds of race, culture, gender or disability.

We aim to offer high standards of education, stimulation and fun within a structured environment. Our ideas are very neatly summed up in the words of educationalist, Charlotte Mason: “We must help them to grow at their own pace by nurturing their own talents and helping them to develop their own individual personalities”.

How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • Through observing and assessing all our children we get to know them as individuals. Along with the integrated review and working alongside outside professionals we can help to identify any additional needs of the children. We also have our own in house SENDCO and have staff who are trained to recognise early signs of additional needs.
  • The Ark has an open-door policy and strives to build good parent partnerships. We hope that this will give our parents the confidence to talk and tell us of any concerns they may have regarding their child.

How will early years setting staff support my child?

  • Meetings with our SENDCo and key person of your child will enable you to receive frequent progress reports.
  • The Key person will observe and assess on a regular basis by using our Famly app, an online assessment and communication program, which as a parent you will be able to access from home.
  • With our open-door policy parents can talk to a staff member on a day-to-day basis. If we feel a child/parent will benefit from a home diary one could be started. Our Famly app also allows quick and easy communication between parents and practitioners.
  • Within SEND meetings your child’s progress is discussed and their learning is planned for with targets set. The parent will be invited to attend these meetings and they will get a report on what is discussed.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

  • Your child will have a key person within their room who will be their main carer. The SENDCO will work within the sessions depending on severity and funding of the individual child.
  • The nursery works with the local Inclusion team and depending on the child's needs we can include outside agencies including Paediatricians and Speech and Language teams.
  • The nursery SENDCO will explain what is happening at the appropriate times.
  • Our curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable to all children in our care. Our practitioners are able to adapt, develop and differentiate activities for individual children’s abilities.

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my learning?

  • Through continuous planning, assessments and meetings involving the child’s inclusion team, their progress can be continually assessed. We work to the Early years foundation stage document and use the non- statutory birth to five matters document to aid our children’s development and by tracking their progress we can see if targets and developmental norms are being met.
  • Additional support is offered through differentiation in planning and activities
  • Parents can access their children’s learning journey online through Famly and see what their child's next steps are. Any parent can also speak to members of staff on entry or when leaving about their child's day.
  • We offer annual parents evenings and more regular meetings where needed to discuss children’s development, where we can support further and what targets we would like to achieve.

What support will there be for my child's overall well being?

  • When a child first starts, they are offered settling in days reflecting how well the child has settled so far. Each child is given a key person who will build a close relationship with that child.
  • At quiet times and circle times the children are encouraged to express themselves and communicate how they are feeling. We have the use of Emotion Puppets that help build children’s confidence.
  • We give the children opportunities to develop their independence through many different activities in nursery.
  • They children help make snack and self-serve it their own drinks.
  • On Mondays we go swimming which is a great time to develop undressing and dressing themselves. Swimming also builds their confidence and social skills.
  • Throughout the nursery day children are encouraged to express themselves and their opinions to adults that are willing to listen to them.
  • We encourage children to try to think through their problem and find a solution together rather than provide them with a solution.
  • Our environment provides quieter spaces for sleep, personal care and break out spaces for to promote high levels of well-being.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting

  • We can call upon the EYFS Inclusion team, Speech and Language therapists, Health team, Paediatricians, Educational Psychologists, early help and educational psychologists amongst other outside agencies.

What training are the staff supporting children with SEND have had or are having?

  • We have members of staff who have completed the training ‘Every Child a Talker’ which focus’ on communication and language and speech sounds. Many of our staff have also attended signs and symbols training as well as Makaton training.
  • Our setting has a named, trained SENDCO who works directly with the children and families and also attends any meetings. 
  • A large proportion of our staff have attended Autism awareness training.
  • A large proportion of our staff have engaged in Inclusive practice training and also transition training.
  • We frequently send our staff on update training to increase knowledge of additional needs.

How will my child be included in activities outside this nursery including school trips?

  • As we strive to be an inclusive setting, we would make sure that any trips and outings we took part in would be suitable for all children taking part.
  • We would discuss with parents to see how else our trip could be suited for their child.
  • A risk assessment for each outing will be completed and individual needs would be shown in this.

How accessible is the setting environment?

  • The building is equipped with changing facilities and toilets suitable for the nursery children and are accessible by those with additional needs.
  • If we encounter a situation where a parent / carer has English as a second language and is finding it difficult to communicate, we will try to help by asking other parents we may have with the same language to interpretate.
  • Any extra equipment needed to support children with special educational needs could be secured using funds from Pupil Premium, 1:1 funding, and the Early Years funding.
  • We ensure our environment can be adapted to suit the needs or requirements of individual children. We make reasonable adjustments for each individual child as much as possible.

How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting or the next stage of education and life

  • If a child has attended another setting previously, we may ask to see any documents, Learning Journey’s and/ or transition documents.
  • Children are offered a free settling in session when taking up a place with us and we then work from there according to the individual child. We will gradually extend a child’s time in nursery as they settle in more. Parents are welcome to stay for the first session and again thereafter depending on how the child is settling in. Our skilled practitioners will advise accordingly as to what may be the best next step to take.
  • As part of our nursery child records we ask parents to fill in a form to tell us as much as they can about their child, this is known as an ‘All about me’. This can then be discussed at the first session/meeting with the nursery and enables practitioners to find out as much about your child as possible before they start with us.
  • The term before a child moves into the next room, goes to school or before they move settings they will have some transitions sessions. The child’s key person or SENDCO will accompany a child on the transitions if needed to provide the continuity of care as needed.
  • We aid any transitions within or outside of our setting by ensuring all relevant information is passed on in a timely manner. Any transition meetings will be arranged between our setting, a new setting and the parents to ensure a smooth transition and we welcome other settings practitioner or teachers into our setting to meet the child in a familiar environment.

How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs?

  • The local authority holds a budget for SEND and they will allocate an amount of funding which will be provided to the nursery and can then be used for 1:1 care or any additional resources required to meet the child’s needs.
  • At the review meetings held, we as a nursery get to feed back to the inclusion team on how the funding is impacting on the child’s development i.e. if we feel the 1:1 care being funded is sufficient or if we feel it is no longer required.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

  • The inclusion team would ultimately say how much and what type of support a child would receive. Our SENDCo would liaise with them and other outside agencies along with the parents to decide on the correct support. A SENIF form is completed by our setting SENDCO to apply for this funding.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

  • Parents are welcome to partake in a session in the nursery. This will show how we run and gives parents a chance to get to know us better.
  • As the nursery is a charity, we hold fundraisers in which parents can be involved in help run and organise.
  • Although the nursery has a manager the overall running of the nursery is overseen by a management committee in which parents are invited to be part of.

This page was last updated on: 03/07/2023