Under the warm glow of LED lighting, children at a new £200,000 nursery will have their senses bombarded with the sights and sounds of the jungle, the ocean – or whatever else their hearts desire.
It is inside Unity Academy’s state-of-the-art multi-sensory room where the white walls are simply blank canvases for their imaginations to run wild.
As youngsters hunker down to read about The Gruffalo, images of the deep, dark woods can be projected around them while wireless speakers spill out the sounds of twigs breaking and owls hooting.
Elsewhere in the North Shore school’s new £200,000 nursery, which was shown off to expectant mums and pram-pushing dads at an open day on Saturday, a dedicated wet room complete with blue jets of water and a host of funnels and spouts will both thrill youngsters and help them to learn about the world around them.
A ‘nurture room’ has also been created for babies aged from just a few weeks old and includes soft ramps, tunnels, parapets, an array of puzzles, and mirrors.
The revamped nursery, officially opened on Saturday by Felicity Greeves, the boss of the academy’s sponsor, the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, aims to help youngsters prepare for life at big school and, ultimately, in the world of work.
Transitions are the biggest stages in a child’s life. You can stop them developmentally when their well-being drops
Nursery manager Jenny Burgeen said: “Transitions are the biggest stages in a child’s life. You can stop them developmentally when their well-being drops.
“If you have a positive transition it’s important for their well-being and if children are happy and comfortable, they will learn quicker and settle in quicker.”
Unity’s principal, Chris Lickiss, said the primary and secondary school departments could learn from the nursery, which was rated outstanding by Ofsted last year.
He said: “It’s not a nursery stuck on a primary school, it’s completely integrated.”
Also at the open day, students put on an array of demonstrations as they showed off the Warbreck Hill Road school’s dance studio, refurbished gym, shared canteen, and sports hall.
Free food and ice cream was given out, characters from hit Disney flick Frozen painted faces, youngsters leapt on two bouncy castles and braved a vertical climbing wall, and felt their way around a fire engine.