The children at St Ives School’s Nursery, the Ivies, had a pleasant surprise as their playground had received a makeover during half-term.

A new piece of climbing equipment on a new all-weather surface now has centre stage in the nursery’s big garden.

This addition – which helps to develop the children’s physical strength, improving their dexterity, encouraging problem solving and learning independence – has already proved popular with the children and they have spent hours playing on it. This equipment completes the nursery garden, which has far-reaching views over the South Downs and is well supplied with an outdoor kitchen, a caravan playhouse, a sandpit, a garden shed, a climbing hill and a blackboard.

The inside space of the nursery is light and airy, with two large rooms where the children enjoy free play, along with more structured learning sessions.

The nursery also has the advantages of being part of a school, with all the opportunities that come with it – the nursery children enjoy forest school, art, dance, drama, cooking, French and swimming, as well as numeracy and literacy.

Kay Goldsworthy, headteacher at St Ives School, said: “We are delighted to see the children loving the new climbing equipment.

“It may be brilliant for their motor skills development and everything that comes with it, but let’s be honest, it’s about them having hours of fun, playing with their friends.

“That’s the best way to grow and learn.”