Let’s Get Physical
22 Feb 17
The children have been busy practising their physical skills in the forest at Oakwood House. We have reached great new heights climbing in the bushes. The children used their good judgement to decide which bushes to climb and jump and balance.
Giving the children the time, space and freedom to demonstrate their independence has given them self-confidence and self-belief. The children have also developed their physical
Feed the Birds
14 Feb 17
A great time was had by everyone at Oakwood House Stay and Play on 14th February. We were celebrating National Nest Box Week (14th - 21st February). It is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology and is all about helping birds. It reminds us that now is the time to put up nest boxes for our garden birds at the start of their breeding seasons. Winter
What a Masterpiece!
06 Feb 17
Some children in Holly Bank Bluebells became budding artists today when they wanted to paint together. They chose their own colours of red, white and blue and explored mixing the colours and making huge marks across the shared paper.
Fantastic work Bluebells!!
Preschool Phonic Session
03 Feb 17
Portland preschool children are responding to their phonic sessions really well. They are working together in small groups and joining in with exciting activities to promote the recognition of letters and sounds starting with ‘s a t p i n’.
Children were highly engaged in a game based on musical statues, when the music stopped the children had to choose a sound that was written
Let me tell you a story… Daisy the bouncing Princess
02 Feb 17
This week is National Storytelling Week. The children have had great fun in the story circle outside. We have had the Gruffalo visit and today the children made up their own story by taking it in turns with each line.
“Once upon a time, a long long time ago there was a princess. The princess was jumping on the bed and fell off. Her mummy came
31 Jan 17
Today Portland Poppy Room children had their first visit from Kerry who is a qualified Speech and Language Therapy Assistant as part of a Nursery Programme ‘Chatter Away’. It is specially designed to provide Speech and Language input to children from birth to 5 years through fun interactive classes for the young children to boost the language communication development of all children.
In small groups
Burns Night Stay and Play
25 Jan 17
At Oakwood House and Forest School the children, staff, parents and grandparents celebrated the birth date of Scotland’s national bard Robbie Burns on Wednesday 25th January with a Scottish themed Stay & Play. The children tasted haggis, and took part in some Scottish themed activities such as tartan weaving.
The highlight was a visit from Stephanie Ward a bagpipe player. Stephanie talked to the children
Letters in the Forest
25 Jan 17
Today at Oakwood House in Forest School the children collected some sticks and started to form the first letter of their name. The outdoors is a uniquely effective space and the children are often observed talking more, cooperating, socialising, mark making and doing many literacy activities often through their own choice. They then went on to name animals that started with the letter they had made.
‘Little Superstars’ visit
23 Jan 17
This month Harlequin Poppies had a visit from a member of the ‘Little Superstars’ team. He came and introduced the children to lots of fun outdoor sporting activities including athletics, cricket and weaving their bodies in and out of some cones. The children showed very good balancing skills as they balanced bean bags on different parts of their bodies and ran round trying not to drop them.<
Thank You Samantha for 20 Years Contribution to Outstanding Childcare!
22 Jan 17
Staff and children gathered last week at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School, to congratulate nursery manager Samantha Richmond for her twenty year contribution to making Huddersfield based Portland Nurseries group “Outstanding”. Samantha is the third employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years and she was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a commemorative award, a cheque, a company Holiday
Welcome to Oakwood Kathryn
19 Jan 17
Oakwood pre-school children have been busy getting to know our new cook Kathryn. They made savoury scones as she talked about the ingredients and explained where they came from. She explained the mixing method of rubbing our fingers and thumb to crumble the butter and flour. We then added the cheese using the same method.
When the milk was added it got really messy!
Discovering the moon!
16 Jan 17
In Harlequin baby room this month the children have been interested in the moon, and have enjoyed looking for the moon as it gets darker at the end of the day.
We made some moon pictures using paint and stuck them up on the doors so we can always see the moon during the day. Then we made some paper mache moons using balloons and
Billy Goat Gruff
12 Jan 17
In Oakwood House forest school today the pre-school children listened to the story of the 3 billy goat gruff while stood next to the troll bridge in the garden. The children began to stomp over the bridge so the troll could hear them.
“The troll felt sad because he didn’t eat any goats”
We then visited our mud kitchen to make some
Fairies and Potions at Forest School
10 Jan 17
The Oakwood Pre-School children really enjoyed making a magic potion for the fairies today in Forest School.
They collected leaves and mud and added it to the fairy cup and then the special magic potion was mixed together with a fairy stirrer. To the potion they added fairy dust and fairy sprinkles and mixed it all together, smelling it to check it was perfect and making wishes.
04 Jan 17
We have been really busy making Kazoo’s at Oakwood House.
We collected some sticks and cut them to size carefully using the secateurs. We then carefully split the stick with a knife and Amanda our teacher used the knife to make a slight hollow on the inside of each half stick. The children then placed an elastic band between the two halves of the stick.
Holiday Club in The Forest School
19 Dec 16
Holiday Club children and staff went to Oakwood House Forest School for the day during the Christmas break. Forest Leaders, Teresa, Jordan, Amanda and Rebecca lead our fun packed day creating natural Christmas decorations using sticks, mud, leaves, berries and any other natural resources the children could find in the garden.
We also had lots of fun playing different games such as hide and seek and
16 Dec 16
The after school children at Portland House have joined together to demonstrate great team work in creating our spectacular Christmas tree.
They have used excellent communication with each other regarding their plans, what they were painting and where! They all enjoyed talking to each other about their different festivals and traditions they celebrate at home.
Fun Club Leavers
15 Dec 16
At Portland, Sofia and Emily have both been part of our nursery family for over eight years now! They started at nursery in our baby and toddler rooms and have been an absolute treasure to look after all these years.
They have both grown up to be confident, fabulous girls who will be greatly missed by all the staff at Portland House Nursery and Fun
Portland House Nativity
13 Dec 16
The pre-school at Portland House gave a star performance at their charity fundraising nativity play.
There was no room at the inn as parents flocked to see their children perform. The event was so popular and raised in excess of £100 which is to be donated to the Candlelighters charity. Parents joined in the Christmas spirit by singing traditional carols together. One of the parents commented
12 Dec 16
The Portland House children in the Poppy room had an exciting outdoor adventure as they had a secret picnic tea in the woodland area under the big tree.
At this time it was dark outside, the children had torches to shine lights making it a very magical experience. The children liked talking about all the sounds they could hear and see finding things with the
Garden Centre Visit
12 Dec 16
The preschool children at Portland House have enjoyed their trips out in the community to visit the garden centre, they especially like travelling by local transport on the bus and meeting people. When they arrived they were very excited to see what was inside, exploring the festive isles and looking at the beautiful decorations and lights. The children chose a lovely story book and new decorations for their tree
Daisies mud kitchen play
09 Dec 16
Harelquin babies have enjoyed exploring the mud kitchen; we added paint and cinnamon to it to alter the colour and the aroma and the children used natural resources to mix it all together and scoop it out on to the floor. Once on the floor they enjoyed doing welly prints, observing the different patterns they had made.
We even brought some mud in doors to play
Babies in the Big Garden!
09 Dec 16
The Oakwood babies have been going on adventures into the big garden. This really helps with their transitions to toddlers.
The babies have been exploring the forest area, finding lots of sticks and leaves. They enjoyed playing ‘peek a boo’ under the tarp and watching the older children. We have also enjoyed exploring the texture of the grass when it was frosty. We squeezed the
Lindley Grange Visit
09 Dec 16
On the 9th December Portland House children were invited to Lindley Grange, where the preschool performed their ‘Christmas Nativity Tale’. The children took great pride in performing their roles, some of them acting out particular characters within the Christmas story, whilst others took part in singing traditional Christmas songs such as ‘Jingle bells’ ‘When Santa got stuck up the chimney’ and ‘We
Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree!
08 Dec 16
Oakwood House Pre-School 1 have enjoyed using their forest school skills to make their very own Christmas tree using sticks and string. The children collected lots of different sized sticks using mathematical language regarding size such as bigger, smaller and different widths.
“I have a really small one for the top" said one child.
The children practiced their knot tying and helped to decorate
Outdoor play with the Couldron
05 Dec 16
The children in Harlequin Poppies have been spending lots of time outside in the forest area mixing potions in the cauldron using natural resources found in our outdoor area.
The children have demonstrated their amazing imaginations with the roles they have taken on in their play; from being witches and wizards making their potions to turning the troll in to a friendly fairy and making their
‘Spotacular’ Children in Need
28 Nov 16
The children and staff at Portland House have had a week of Spotacular fun filled activities for Children in Need. Their days have been filled with an array of colourful activities representative of this year’s Pudsey spots, red, yellow, green and blue.
Friday’s celebration, everyone came dressed for the day in pyjamas or bright colours. We baked lots of spotty culinary delights such
15 Years of Fun!
23 Nov 16
Happy 15 Year Anniversary to our lovely staff members Debbie and Vickie.
Debbie and Vickie were both working at Holly Bank Nursery when Portland Nurseries took over in 2001. They have stayed with us ever since, supporting staff across the company.
They've made a difference to the lives of so many children over the years, and we just wanted to say a huge thank you for
Environmental Printing in the Forest
21 Nov 16
The Toddlers at Oakwood House have enjoyed taking part in some environmental forest art. They collected leaves and berries and put their findings on a piece of fabric. They then used a mallet to bring the natural materials print into the fabric. This activity was great for developing their communication and language skills by widening their vocabulary and listening and responding to instructions. It provided an opportunity for
Spotacular Children In Need
18 Nov 16
At Oakwood House we talked to our older children about empathy and encouraged them to imagine what it’s like in other people’s shoes and also to think about what makes people happy. They learnt about Alana, a seven-year-old girl with painful chronic eczema, and found out how she is being helped by a project funded by BBC Children in Need. They then learnt how they
Children in Need Stay and Play
18 Nov 16
This month the Harlequin children enjoyed helping to raise funds for Children in Need, we held a Stay & Play session where all the children and parents/carers got involved with all our spotty themed activities, we made Pudsey bear eye patches, we decorated Pudsey bear biscuits and made lots of spotty pictures, we even came to nursery in our best spotty clothes!
17 Nov 16
Harlequin have welcomed a new French cook. Yannick, originally from Normandy has joined the team to continue cooking fresh and nutritious meals on site for the children. Yannick has been teaching the children about French food and healthy eating, and helping them learn a little French along the way too. The children have been learning the names of different fruits and vegetables and can now ask for an
Flexible Term-time Sessions Available at Portland House
16 Nov 16
Portland House is now offering 3, 5 and 7.5 hour a day, term-time sessions in their Sunflower room.
The room will be open from 7.30am - 3.30pm allowing you to use your 15 hours a week of Free Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds in a variety of session patterns.
Morning Session: 3 hrs x 5 days (between 7.30am and 11.30am)
Afternoon Session: 3 hrs x 5 days (from12.30pm to 3.3
Peg Painting in Daisies
07 Nov 16
The babies at Harlequin have enjoyed using alternative methods to paint pictures; we attached string to pegs to paint firework pictures, dipping the string in the paint then moving it along the paper created beautiful pieces of art the children then added glitter to make their fireworks come to life.
The babies then enjoyed just getting their hands in the paint and feeling the texture.
04 Nov 16
The babies at Oakwood House have recently been on a walk to the duck pond in Lindley.
The children enjoyed walking up to the pond, waving to all the people that passed us by!
When we arrived at the duck pond the children loved feeding the ducks some oats Ross the cook gave us from the kitchen. It’s really important not to feed
02 Nov 16
The children at Oakwood House during their forest school session made a bonfire to celebrate bonfire night. We collected lots of different coloured leaves and worked together to build our own bonfire. The children spoke about fireworks and heat when building their bonfire and also fire safety.
“I am going to a bonfire but my mummy said I have to stand back because it will be
31 Oct 16
The children at Portland House Fun Club turned into a wizard school for the day with Professor Annie Bobbins and Professor Julie Woolie. They made their own broomstick using branches from the enchanted woodland, twine and coloured materials with magic flying dust sprinkled upon them as we chanted our magic spell.
Their first flying lesson involved how to mount and dismount their broomstick safely, turn on their
25 Oct 16
The children at Portland House have been learning about the Harvest Festival and the importance of giving and sharing. Children and their families joined in with the Harvest Festival celebrations by donating produce from home in the form of dried, and tinned food to promote the traditional values of sharing and giving to others.
The Fun Club children designed their own gift packs by arranging food packs
14 Oct 16
The Daisies at Holly Bank have enjoyed exploring the Autumn leaves and conkers.
The babies have loved exploring their garden and have been very interested in conkers. They felt how smooth they were, how they rolled and posting them. Indoors they then mixed the conkers with paint to make marks and created some fantastic Autumnal pictures!
06 Oct 16
Pre-schoolers at Holly Bank Nursery had a lovely surprise when Pietro turned four this month!
Pietro had helped his mum and dad make two healthy fruit cakes! One was a hedgehog and the other a dinosaur! His friends sang Happy Birthday to him and then all enjoyed a piece of his fruity hedgehog and dinosaur!