A New Nursery for Clapham

“I’m Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs, the headteacher at Ark Start and Ark’s Head of Early Years. As a qualified teacher and mother of a three-year old myself, I know that the quality of care a child receives in their earliest years is key to helping him or her grow up happy and secure. I take great pleasure in providing children with an environment where they can thrive. It is a joy to experience the wonder and beauty of the world through every child’s eyes.


I am therefore excited to introduce the new Ark Start nursery to the community and families of Ark John Archer – a vibrant, aspirational and nurturing primary school in Clapham Junction that keeps the community at the heart of all it does. Our aim is to build a loving, caring environment for every child. A home from home in which children are educated through fun, exploration and play. Our approach centres around child-initiated play and story-telling – while following The Department for Education’s framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS), so you can feel confident that we are holding ourselves to the highest standards. We are also committed to ensuring our children experience the full wonder of the world – through outdoor play as well as visits to different parts of our community.


All our staff have been recruited because they share my passion and enthusiasm for young children and are committed to ensuring they have the best start to their education. We will be working closely with the team at Ark John Archer to help create and grow a great new nursery provision for our community, and an environment in which our learners can flourish and transition smoothly into their primary education – with the hope that we will be able to see our learners continue their journey within the school, following their graduation from nursery."


Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs
Headteacher, Ark Start


Our Values

Our nurseries will be a home from home where every child feels safe, secure and happy.

Our nursery is built on the shared values of Be Brave, Aim High, Keep Learning and Be Kind.

Our Curriculum

The Art Start Curriculum has been designed by early years specialists. It is structured around storytelling, encouraging children to tell their own stories and listen to others’ stories. Through storytelling, we can develop children’s creativity, their own voice and their listening skills.

We know that children learn best when they are fully immersed in play supported by a responsive adult. That’s why we plan every child’s day to include a balance of fun experiences at nursery alongside opportunities to play outside and go out and about. We want to make sure that our children experience a range of enrichment activities – these might be visiting a local theatre, baking bread, looking after chickens or having visitors come to the nursery to lead a particular activity. 

Physical development is critical for very young children and we are committed to making sure that every child spends at least three hours each day doing physical activity and that all children go outside every day, whatever the weather.


Ark Start John Archer

We are really happy to announce that on 5th of October 2020 we opened our doors to our new families. It is so lovely to see the children exploring their new play space and making new friends.

We currently have spaces for children aged 2 and over from 9am – 3pm so please register your interest by clicking the button below.

Reception at Ark John Archer - Virtual Open Days

Are you looking for a Reception place for your child starting in September 2021? 

If so, please sign up for one of our virtual open days. During the session you will find out information about the Reception curriculum at Ark John Archer and what a typical day looks like. There will also be a tour of the learning environment and opportunities to ask any questions. 

To apply for a Reception place, please visit the Wandsworth council website schools and admissions page [click here]. Please note the deadline for Reception applications is 15th January 2021.

Nursery at Ark John Archer - Virtual Open Days

                                                                                                                      Wednesday 16th June at 5pm 


Contact Us


0203 116 6338