Nursery News


Fairies and Potions at Forest School

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.

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Kazoo Creations

Kazoo Creations

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.

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Christmas Tree!

Christmas Tree!

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.

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Fun Club Leavers

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

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Portland House Nativity

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

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Twighlight Picnic

Twighlight Picnic

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

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Garden Centre Visit

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

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Daisies mud kitchen play

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

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Babies in the Big Garden!

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

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Lindley Grange Visit

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

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Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree!

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

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Outdoor play with the Couldron

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

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‘Spotacular’ Children in Need

‘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

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Environmental Printing in the Forest

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

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Spotacular Children In Need

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

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Children in Need Stay and Play

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!

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Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

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

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Flexible Term-time Sessions Available at Portland House

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

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Peg Painting in Daisies

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.

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Wildlife Walk

Wildlife Walk

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

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Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

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

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Broomstick Training!

Broomstick Training!

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

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Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

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

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Exploring Autumn

Exploring Autumn

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!

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Fruity Cakes!

Fruity Cakes!

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!

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First Aid Training

First Aid Training

03 Oct 16

Our staff teams across our nurseries recently updated and gained valuable First Aid knowledge and practical skills on their 12 hour paediatric first aid course. The course was run by Kiss it Better and everyone passed with flying colours.

All our staff are trained in first aid and qualified to level 3 in paediatric first aid. Our forest school staff are also trained in a level 3 outdoor first aid

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Busy Bee

Busy Bee

27 Sep 16

Busy Bee's  first day at nursery in Bluebell Room, he arrived with Lyn our music teacher and will be staying with his new friends for the next few weeks.

It is the children’s task to keep Busy Bee happy with a smile on his face. He loves the children to sing the new ‘Busy Bee’ song to him that they have

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A Fond Farewell to Pam!

A Fond Farewell to Pam!

26 Aug 16

Today we say a fond farewell to Pam Burrell who retired this week to spend time with her new baby granddaughter. Pam is one of our longest serving members of staff, having worked at Portland House for 20 years with young children of all ages and learning capabilities, supporting them and their families to have the best possible start in life.

She has done so much for the

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Stay and Play Mini Olympics

Stay and Play Mini Olympics

24 Aug 16

At Harlequins Stay & Play the children participated in their own mini Olympics.

We had lots of events going on; long jump, egg and spoon race, sack races and a parents race, needless to say the parents were the most competitive! The babies took part in their own mini obstacle course and all the children finished off by receiving a medal.We even had a visit from

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Bug Hunting!

Bug Hunting!

17 Aug 16

This week at Harlequin the Poppies children have been in the forest with their torches hunting for bugs!

They found lots to look at: spiders, slugs and wood lice to name a few. The children helped to make a bug den in the snug area where they can use the magnifying glasses to look closely at our pretend bugs! The children then drew lovely pictures of the

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Oakwood Olympic Games

Oakwood Olympic Games

11 Aug 16

At Oakwood House Stay & Play, Preschool children joined the Toddlers at The Olympic Games opening ceremony waving their flags and carrying the ‘Olympic torch’.

We had several events: stick hurdles, foil shot putt, ribbon long jump, log assault course and the exciting finale ‘The Relay race with Parents’. The sporting event offered an opportunity for us all to see the children try

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A Visit from Farmer Pogson

A Visit from Farmer Pogson

10 Aug 16

The pre-school children at Portland House Nursery were thrilled to have a visit from Daisy the cow.  Daisy is a life sized replica cow, brought to nursery by our local milkman and farmer on his visit.

Farmer Pogson spoke to the children about the “magical” way that a cow makes milk: by eating green grass, digesting it through seven stomachs and then describing how

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Fruit from the trees!

Fruit from the trees!

08 Aug 16

Holly Bank pre-schoolers have finally been able to pick the fruit from their trees!

The children have been observing the apples and bilberries growing in the garden and have enjoyed picking them, cleaning them and tasting them! We were all amazed at how big the apples had grown!

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Poppies picnic at the park

Poppies picnic at the park

25 Jul 16

The children in the Poppy room at Portland house enjoyed an outing to the local Reinwood Park. They had opportunity to practise their road safety skills such as ‘stop look’ and listening as they crossed the road for vehicles, listening and following instructions from the adults and walking safely on the journey holding their partners hands.

The children tested their physical skills at the park

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School Leavers Party

School Leavers Party

20 Jul 16

The Portland House children from Bluebells and Sunflowers had an exciting afternoon of fun and music extravaganza in the nursery garden as the children celebrated leaving for their new adventure to school in September.

Mums and dads and family members joined in the fun with the children singing and dancing to the tunes with Alison from Melody Makers in the lovely sunshine.

Afterwards we had

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Music Session - Pulse and Rhythm

Music Session - Pulse and Rhythm

18 Jul 16

Portland House preschool children in Bluebells and Sunflowers had their first session with Music teacher Lyn who came to visit us on Monday 18th July. In today’s session we learnt about PULSE & RHYTHM through a variety of different activities.

Activity 1 Understanding our different voices in a ‘question and answer’ activity Leader ‘Can you use your quiet voice? Children ‘yes we

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Mud Kitchen

Mud Kitchen

14 Jul 16

The children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed cooking up a feast in their mud kitchen. Using grass, leaves, mud, stones and sticks they pulled, mixed, sprinkled and patted the natural resources to create their concoctions.

The children were also on the hunt for mini beasts! They learnt the use of magnifying glasses to help them look closely at the world around them.

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Sharing Practice

Sharing Practice

13 Jul 16

As an Ofsted Outstanding nursery, the team at Portland House aim to make a continual positive contribution to the further development of childcare and have a responsibility to share good practice in order to help other nurseries and care providers achieve the best possible quality of care for children everywhere.

The visit from Prospect House Nurseries, based in Leeds, came about after our long serving staff member

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‘Rugby Tots’

‘Rugby Tots’

07 Jul 16

Holly Bank Nursery enjoyed a visit from “Rugby Tots” on Thursday to learn multiple skills used in rugby.

Children loved the sporty session and got chance to show off their running, throwing and catching skills.

The rugby session also demonstrated how well the children could listen to instructions and to work as a team.

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Portland House wins the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year!

Portland House wins the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year!

07 Jul 16

A big well done and congratulations to Portland House for winning the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year! We are so proud of all of the nurseries in the group and the staff teams who work so hard to provide the best possible learning opportunities and care for all the children who attend. However, this is a brilliant honour for Portland House and one that marks 25 years

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