Snow Snow Snow
23 Jan 15
Here are some of the benefits that snow play can bring to your child
There are many benefits to children’s development through the provision of snow in their environment: they have a chance to explore the snow, its temperature, texture and how it melts when held. If children can experience snow first hand they can investigate its properties and learn whilst having fun and enjoying
Fun Club budding star on the rise
08 Jan 15
Portland House Nursery would like to congratulate Tilly Budd on a great achievement for her talented synchronised swimming. Tilly has attended Portland Nurseries from a young age and currently attends the Afterschool Club at Portland House and Fun Club. She took up synchronised swimming at the age of 6 years and has earned herself a place in the England talent development squad; this makes Tilly the top ranked 10 year old
Men in Childcare - Breaking stereotypes & planting roots for the future
05 Jan 15
Across our nurseries the male practitioners are making their mark on the early year’s sector!
Forest School Practitioner Brook Evans rallied the ‘Portland Nurseries boy’s together at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School to help the children plant a Christmas tree. The children continually learn the importance of nature and caring for their environment and the Portland Nurseries men have picked up
Putting the ‘Roar’ into babies - Learning with the Lion Learner!
17 Dec 14
Lion Learners came to the baby room at Oakwood House to deliver a Christmas story and an animal sensory experience.In total, 30 children, parents and grandparents attended to join in the festive cheer.
The babies enjoyed looking at the mini lop bunny ‘Arthur’ and giving him a kind stroke. The story was a success and the families gave a round of applause when Santa
Christmas Workshop at Oakwood House
08 Dec 14
Christmas Workshop at Oakwood
The baby room enjoyed a fabulous festive workshop this morning. It was a huge success with over 27 Mum’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s and Granddad’s attending. They had a wonderful time exploring the cold snow, mixing it together creating a winter wonderland. They also enjoyed a host of creative Christmas crafts including paint, glue and Christmas songs.
Room news from Harlequin
07 Dec 14
Daisies In Daisies we have been getting very festive this season. We have been making lots of decorations to make the nursery look like a winter wonderland. The babies decorated a snowman, a Christmas tree and some snowflakes which have all been hung up in the baby room. Together we have also enjoyed singing lots of Christmas songs too. Merry Christmas from all of us
Oakwood House Parent and Baby group
02 Dec 14
Oakwood’s first Parent and Baby group was a great success. It gave our new parents a wonderful opportunity to make friends and to have a good chat. We hope to continue this on a monthly basis and include sessions on rhyme time, tummy time, and sensory experiences for the babies. These sessions provide parents with an opportunity to play with their child, giving them their undivided
Daisies Rhyme time
01 Dec 14
Following National Nursery Rhyme Week, the children of Portland House Nursery have enjoyed visiting Lindley Library for their weekly Rhyme-time session. As well as joining in with their favourite nursery rhymes, they have been learning some new ones. These sessions have helped to build children’s communication and language skills.
This month, our Stay and Play sessions have been focusing on nursery rhymes. Parents have taken
E Safety for All
24 Nov 14
Following recent training at Portland House Nurseries and coverage in the national press this news item aims to highlight some of the issues regarding internet usage and offers recommendations to keep you and your children safe.
‘Home hackers’ spy on you and your children… with YOUR webcam Footage from inside homes, offices and shops is being intercepted and broadcast live on the internet –
Little Robin Red Breast
23 Nov 14
The Oakwood House Babies have had a very exciting morning. We were very lucky to receive an early visit from a Robin red breast who was extremely courageous. The Robin loved spying on our babies watching them play outside and kept flying closer and closer. The babies were so excited, they smiled and clapped at the Robin, and he responded by putting on a show with a series of
Children in Need Event
21 Nov 14
To support this year’s funding event for Children in Need the children and staff at Portland House Nursery came dressed as their hero or favourite superhero. The Bluebell children joined in activities such as making super hero dust, face painting, and guess the name of the teddy, making hero masks and outfits. The nursery children had been busy creating an assortment of home baking delights and along
We are Going on a Leaf Hunt
20 Nov 14
It’s that time of year again, the wind is picking up and the air is getting cooler. What could be a better activity than Leaf Play? Nestled in Oakwood’s garden is nature’s own unique activity centre with lots of opportunity for open ended play. The sensory benefits that can be found from a romp in a pile of leaves is endless.
Pre-school Building a ‘Fairy House’
16 Nov 14
Today the children from Oakwood House Pre-school we set off into our garden to make a magical fairy house. Our persona dolls Sage and Onion came with us and told us a story about how the strong winds in the night had blown the fairies house down and that they had chosen us to help build a new one! We were very excited and embarked on a search
13 Nov 14
As we approach the tail end of Autumn and we're about to embrace Christmas (and with it Winter), there are still plenty of natural play resources falling from the trees to enjoy this type of activity for a few weeks yet with your children.
Autumn Play dough The no-cook play dough recipe can keep for months in the fridge if wrapped up in clingfilm or plastic
Pre-school Trip to Lindley Grange Care Home
10 Nov 14
Oakwood House Pre-school enjoyed a wonderful visit to Lindley Grange Care Home at Lindley today. We walked from nursery and the children used fantastic listening skills, walking really well and keeping safe. On the way there we spoke about the different things we could see in the environment, playing ‘I Spy’ using our phonics sounds. When we arrived at the care home we were greeted by
Staff team honoured with awards & prizes after a productive Training Day!
09 Nov 14
On Friday 7th November we closed the nurseries to hold our Annual Training Day and Review. Over 95 staff from the four nurseries in the group were brought together at the Textile Centre of Excellence to enhance and develop their childcare practice for the future and reflect on the year past.
Rosemary Murphy OBE, the owner and managing director of the company, took a back seat this year
Pre-school trip to National Coal Mining Museum
03 Nov 14
Today the children from Oakwood House Pre-school had a ‘trip day’ and went to The National Coal Mining Museum. We travelled by public transport and the children displayed such good manners and behaviour when travelling. On our way we were very lucky to pass beautiful views that got the children talking about what they could see. “Look there is Emley Moor Mast” Henry informed
All about Eid
22 Oct 14
At Portland Nursery, Amir’s daddy came into Bluebells to lead a very special group time, talking about Eid. We learnt that it is a celebration similar to Christmas for Muslims. At Eid children and adults dress up in special party clothes, eat lots of treats and play fun games with friends and family. They pray on special mats to show they are thankful for such a special
17 Oct 14
The children in the Bluebell room engaged in a morning of monkey mischief as they enjoyed having special friends which were cheeky chimps visiting bluebells today.
The children entertained toy monkeys at a chimps tea party. The mischievous monkeys devoured an assortment of banana delights that the children busily created at the play dough activity table such as banana sandwiches; banana bread, cakes, soup and even banana
10 Oct 14
The Pre-school children at Oakwood House Nursery had a wonderful time creating their very own healthy caterpillars. We used a variety of fruit and vegetables to make butterflies, caterpillars and cacoon's.
The children used good imagination and were really creative. Connie and Beau used a large apple as a caterpillar head and added apple segments along the back as "the body". They
Group Time - People who help us
09 Oct 14
Today we had a very special group time led by our new friend Hector. He is spending some time visiting with the preschool children in Bluebells before he goes to work in Canada where he will be teaching young children 4-5 years old how to learn to ski.
Hector spoke to the children all about his favourite sport which is Skiing and brought in some of his
A little stars trip down memory lane
02 Oct 14
Anjali Singh who is now 16 years old attended Portland House nursery in June 2001 came back to visit Portland House Nursery to say hello to her key person Pam and Debbie to give them pictures that she had made them as a special ‘Thank you’ for looking after her. Pam, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who specialises in working with children with additional needs, had worked closely
All About Me
25 Sep 14
September has been a time of transitions with children settling into their new rooms and also making relationships with new friends. Our recent STAY & PLAY presented the perfect opportunity for families to be invited into the nursery to have a look through their children’s Learning Journals. Some parents enjoyed decorating Learning Journal’s with their children, but most loved looking through the photos with their
‘The Zagaro’ Zoo lab visit
21 Sep 14
Zoolab came to visit the Bluebells and Sunflowers preschool children and retold their own version of the much loved children’s story ‘The Gruffalo’ using exotic animals to illustrate the tale. The children listened attentively to the story as the heroic Gordon the rat took them on a trip through the deep dark wood and introduced them to a host of fantastic animals along the way
Second Generation of Childcare
17 Sep 14
This is Oscar Beeby who has just turned one year old, with his Mummy Lucy Haigh.
Oscar has just started Nursery at Portland House where his Mummy Lucy attended as a child over 20 years ago. Anne Watson and Julie Lister who have been with the company over 20 years looked after Lucy when she was a baby and now will care for Oscar too!
Simmy & Squidge - new friends at Holly Bank
15 Sep 14
At Holly Bank Nursery there have been a number of new faces! We welcome all our new children that have recently started and we also welcome our new Guinea Pigs, Simmy and Squidge. The children have enjoyed looking after the guinea pigs and have developed their understanding of them by finding out how they like to live and what food they like to eat. The children have been very
Woodland Adventures at Harlequin
29 Aug 14
The children at Harlequin have been exploring the woodlands and getting to know the natural environment. They have been looking at how to keep safe in the woodland by using ribbons to mark out where they feel safe, they have also been exploring the leaves on the trees , practicing walking on different natural surfaces and steep slopes and investigating leaves from different trees with staff. Some children picked blackberries
The Birds and the Bees
21 Aug 14
At Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School the children have been learning all about the birds and the bees! The babies found a birds nest in the garden and the pre-school children had great fun exploring it discovering what it was made from. They learnt how the birds make nests and where they might find them. They also made their very own birds to live in the nest. Now
Ice and Water FUNdraising
15 Aug 14
On 5th August, Harlequin held a charity stay and play to raise money for Water Aid. We had lots of water themed activities including Ice Jenga, Ice dinosaur excavations, and Staff Splash!, but all had a message of how important clean water is in keeping us healthy. The children baked buns for their parents to buy and we held a raffle with prizes kindly donated by parents and local
Never Too Young To Play
12 Aug 14
On Friday 8th August children from Portland House Nursery and Holiday Club took part in one of their regular fun Rugby sessions. Portland Nurseries’ General Manager Michael Murphy, not long back from his rugby career playing for Cootamundra in Australia, led the session with a helping hand from Harrison Lister; one of Portland House’s own alumni.
Harrison attended Portland House Nursery from the
03 Aug 14
The Holly Bank Preschool children and parents really enjoyed their leavers picnic and we were pleased that it almost stayed dry!
All the children received a certificate to show how well they had done and that they are now ready for school! They even wore the special graduation hat for a photograph. We will miss you all a lot, please do come back and tell us all
Fun in the Sun
01 Aug 14
All the children at Holly bank have been enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having by spending time doing lots of water play to keep cool. The children have really enjoyed the sensory experiences this provides and have been observing how the water changes. They have painted with it, made footprints and watched it all disappear in the sun.
Mud Marvellous Mud
30 Jul 14
The children at Portland House have been spending lots of time mixing up a treat in their new state of the art Mud Kitchen!
They have been making mud pies and mud soup and even some mud irthdya cakes!
Mud provides a fantastic sensory experience and provides endless options for experimentation and discovery about materials and textures. Mud connects the children directly with the natural
Harlequin’s new bug hotel!
22 Jul 14
Our lovely Poppies at Harlequin have been working hard on their bug hotel, visiting the woods to collect resources to attract minibeasts. We already have some woodlice and ants move in!
Poppies have also been monitoring the temperature and weather, recording their findings morning and afternoon and using our findings to decide when the temperature is cooler. We are really enjoying being outside in all this lovely
Stay & Play Den Building
17 Jul 14
Parents, children and staff had a wonderful time at this week’s Stay & Play session at Oakwood House. We were all outside building dens using natural materials, tarpaulin and old sheets. Everyone was keen to show off their den building skills and some fabulous hideouts were built.
The materials available outdoors such as soil and leaves, sticks and stones are ideal for children to manipulate
15 Jul 14
The Oakwood House pre-school children and their parents joined us to picnic in the garden on Monday tea time. We said goodbye and good luck to all our little graduates who will be starting school in September. To mark this special occasion the children were presented with a certificate and their Learning Journal in celebration of their time spent at nursery, followed by lots of fun and games. A
Having a ‘Wheel’ of a Time!
07 Jul 14
The children at Oakwood House had a ‘wheel’ of a time on 4th July. They all brought their bikes and wheeled toys to nursery to race as part of the Tour de France celebrations. The children really enjoyed the races and sharing each other’s toys. Even the staff had a go!
Tour de France Fun for Portland Toddlers
07 Jul 14
To celebrate Le Tour De France the toddler and preschool children of Portland House nursery in Lindley have been rapidly racing round obstacles for their charity bike ride on Friday 4th July 2014.
The fun and colourful obstacle course was set up in the nursery’s outdoor area and the children were challenged to complete as many laps as possible. Each little rapid racer was sponsored by
Baby Birds at Holly Bank
03 Jul 14
Here at Holly Bank we have some birds nesting in the bushes. The toddlers have really enjoyed watching the Mummy and Daddy bird come with worms and other food for the baby birds in the nest. We can’t really see the baby birds, but we can hear them chirping from the nest. Hopefully we’ll see them as they get a bit bigger and learn to
Oakwood House Staff Swimathon!
16 Jun 14
Congratulations to the Oakwood House Team! An energetic group of nursery staff started swimming yesterday at 10.00am and managed to swim the width of the English channel accumulatively. The team all put in a great effort with some people swimming as many as 130 lengths. Each member had to swim 90 lengths to make the distance and many surpassed this. A big thank you to Huddersfield Sports Centre who generously gave