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New nursery at Huntly primary school is ready to welcome its first young pupils

By Pat Scott

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A BRAND new nursery at Gordon Primary School will become fully operational as soon as lockdown eases and classes resume.

The £2.4 million nursery was commissioned just before the festive break and pupils had been due to return there on Monday, however, due to covid only a handful of children have been benefitting from the new facility.

The nursery sits alongside the existing primary school and has been built on the site of the former Deveron Building.

It has capacity for 80 children and will operate morning and afternoon sessions.

Youngsters in the existing nursery had their first visits to the new building during the last week of term and it hosted its first party.

For the staff team, it was a massive removal operation with so much equipment to be transferred.

The nursery has its own small parking bay and entry via the main door takes families into a reception area with a family room where it will be possible for small meetings to be held or sessions for parents on particular topics to be held.

In the same area there are also toilets with nappy changing facilities and a fully kitted out laundry so that everything from painting aprons to soft toys, once they are re-introduced, can be washed.

Low level cloakrooms with brightly coloured coat hooks lead through to the main activity area which has glass doors and elevated ceilings with glazed panels to maximise natural light.

The large open plan main hall will initially be split by closing a sliding door so that youngsters can be separated into two separate bubbles to meet Covid -19 restrictions.

Within it there are a library area, story telling zone, nooks and crannies where the children can enjoy some quiet time or role play and a sensory area.

New, low level light wooden tables and chairs are dotted throughout the space

To maximise opportunities for outdoor play, doors open directly into a newly created garden which retains some of the trees in which generations of pupils have played.

There's a good sized kitchen and as part of the Covid response to the fact that some parents are finding it hard to feed their children, sessions have been arranged to ensure that every child gets a meal at least twice a week.

Headteacher Debbie Ewen said: "We are all looking forward to the day we can welcome all nursery children back into their stunning new building and all our school children back to Gordon Primary School. The nursery practitioners are now actively engaging their children and parents through tasks and activities on learning journals promoting play and developmental skills and abilities."

Jackie Watson, an early years practitioner at the nursery for the past five years said everyone in the team was really excited about moving to the new nursery.

She said:"It will be a great fresh start for the kids with more room for different activities to promote learning. The children helped with the move and were very excited."

A virtual tour of the new facility has been posted on Gordon Primary School's Facebook page for parents to see the new facility.

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