Fairies at the bottom of our garden
24 May 17
Today whilst exploring in the garden the children at Holly Bank found some fairy wings, they heard the story of the sneezy dragon who had sneezed and burnt all the fairy houses.
The children set to work and collected lots of natural resources found at the bottom of the garden and began to make a fairy village. They even decided to make a 2 story dwelling downstairs for
Making a Home for the Birds
10 May 17
The children in Oakwood House pre-school have been very busy making a beautiful bird nest.
Before the activity they talked about where birds like to live and the kinds of things they might use when making their nests. The children found a nice quiet spot to position their nest and then collected sticks to make the structure first. They added lots
Hanging out the washing!
10 May 17
The toddlers at Portland House have been making the most of the sunshine, having great fun making their own washing line and hanging out their washing and their lovely artwork to dry!
If you do down to the woods today…...
08 May 17
If you had visited the woods today at Oakwood House you would have been sure of a big surprise. Our parents had come to play!!!
At Oakwood House we have run our first Forest School workshop for parents. A great time was had by all who took part and we all gained an insight into the fun the children have at nursery and how the outdoor learning
02 May 17
The pre-school children at Holly Bank were delighted to release their butterflies. The children had looked after them from being caterpillars, watching them cocoon and then emerge as butterflies!
They sang a butterfly song to help them fly away.
Visit to Greenhead Park
28 Apr 17
During spring term the children in Holly Bank Daisies have been learning all things animal. We have been learning the different names of animals such as cow and duck but also developing sounds in our language such as moo and quack.
We took a trip to Greenhead Park to visit the duck pond and the children were fascinated by them. We listened to the sounds they were
20 Apr 17
At Oakwood House our outdoor environment supports the children’s overall development in many ways and they have plenty of opportunities to run around on uneven ground, swing and hang upside down. This helps to develop their vestibular which co-ordinates eye and head movements and supports balance and stability. Children learn to maintain and correct their balance as their vestibular system develops. To develop the vestibular
Caterpillars to Butterflies!
19 Apr 17
This month at Harlequin we have had some caterpillars, we have watched them grow from tiny ones into big colourful ones, and then when the caterpillars were big enough we watched them make a chrysalis (cocoon) this was to protect them and keep them from getting hurt.
We watched as the cocoons started to change shape and size and after a short time we watched as
16 Mar 17
Oakwood House pre-school children have really enjoyed their forest school session today, cooking healthy pizzas on the fire.
The children decided what toppings they would like on their pizza and helped to chop the tomatoes, pepper and onion. We warmed our hands by the fire, learning about how to be safe near fires and the respect kneeling position around fires.
The children love to
Visit to a Mosque
15 Mar 17
A group of Portland House pre-school children travelled on the local bus to visit a Mosque as part of their learning about others and how they worship.
On arrival, the children took off their shoes before entering the Mosque and looking at the room where children come weekly to have lessons and study the Holy Quran.
We were shown the steps on which the speaker
Wow a Real Wildlife Adventure!
06 Mar 17
This morning Portland House had a special visitor that popped in for a visit.
Amy discovered a little Robin redbreast that had flown into the open window of the daisy baby room and was merrily hopping around the room and happily perched on the fireplace. The Robin was struggling to find its way back outside through the window by itself so Anne came on an SOS mission
World Book Day
02 Mar 17
The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March.
We saw a few Princesses, Spiderman and even a World! The children brought in their favourite books and were given a £1 World Book Day Book Token that can be exchanged for one of TEN special £1 World Book Day books. They are
28 Feb 17
Today at Oakwood House Forest School the children celebrated Shrove Tuesday by making their pancakes outside.
They learnt about why we make pancakes; that it was a way of using up the eggs and fats before Lent. They then made the batter and cooked them on the campfire outside. They all thought they were yummy and ate them with raspberries.
The Enchanted Forest
24 Feb 17
The children at Oakwood House Forest School today heard about a fairy who had lost her wings in the strong winds yesterday. They explored the garden to look for natural materials to make a magical potion so the fairy could grow new wings.
The children mixed everything together, added the magic ingredients and left the potion bottle in a secret place, they decorated with glitter to help
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
21 Feb 17
The children in Oakwood House Preschool 1 have been showing lots of pride in their own achievements, creating things together as a team and individually.
We have had some fantastic group paintings, mathematical shapes, beautiful collage pictures and some self-portraits on our whiteboards.
Well done Pre-school!
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
Visit from a local hairdresser
13 Feb 17
The Preschool children at Portland House had a special visit from Louise who is a hairdresser in the local community. They enjoyed an educational group session where Louise asked the children various questions about their own experiences of visiting a hairdressers and they discussed similarities and differences of people’s hair types and what their own was like e.g. colour, straight, curly, short, long.
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