Nursery News


Bugs and Mud!

Bugs and Mud!

07 Jul 15

The Oakwood babies have loved being outside!

They have found lots of enjoyment in digging in the big barrel of mud. They have enjoyed using their sticks and tools to see how deep they can go.

The babies have also enjoyed bug hunting.  We have looked in trees, under rocks and under logs to see what bugs we can find and the babies have

Read more »


Mud Marvellous Mud!

Mud Marvellous Mud!

01 Jul 15

Children and Early Years Professionals at Portland Nurseries and around the world celebrated International Mud Day on 29 June. The initiative started in 2009 at the World Forum for Early Childhood Care and Education in Belfast, and aims to celebrate nature and the outdoors and bring children together by getting muddy.

All four nurseries in the Portland Nurseries group put a huge focus on outdoor play and love mud!

Read more »


Home Learning Kits

Home Learning Kits

12 Jun 15

Over the next ten weeks Helen, the Early Years Teacher Trainee at Portland House, is going to be working on a number of projects leading staff development and promoting home learning opportunities for the children and their families.

One of these projects is a collection of home learning kits filled with resources and advice to support bilingual and EAL (English as an Additional Language) children and families

Read more »


Water Aid

Water Aid

02 Jun 15

To support Healthy Week we had a special visit from the Water Aid representative, Howard.

He told us a special story about Ababo, a little girl who lives in Ethiopia. She lives in a small shed, like in our garden, made from mud. She doesn’t have a bed or bedroom; she has to sleep on the floor. She doesn’t have a kitchen and

Read more »


People who help us

People who help us

01 Jun 15

To promote ‘Health Week’ we had a special visit from Mathew Edmondson’s mummy.

She is a physiotherapist and came to talk to us about the importance of exercise when we are three and four and how this helps make our muscles and bones become strong when we are older. Mathew’s mummy’s job involves making people better. She sometimes works

Read more »


Pre-school Releasing the butterflies

Pre-school Releasing the butterflies

29 May 15

Pre-school have had a wonderful time learning about the life cycle of a caterpillar.  We put our caterpillars into their own tubs along with some special food and observed them daily to see how quickly and how much the caterpillars grew. The children were amazed to see the caterpillars then build a cocoon around themselves.

“Look he has made a bed, he is very tired

Read more »


Enabling Environments

Enabling Environments

20 May 15

At the beginning of May the staff at Holly Bank enjoyed an enabling environments training day. The day helped staff to reorganise resources and reflect upon the environment our children learn within. You may have noticed the room layouts have changed slightly as a result of this. The day has been a huge benefit not only to the staff team but to children having fun exploring new open-ended resources.<

Read more »


Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

22 Apr 15

Holly Bank’s new cook Jamie has been offering the children a helping hand when they planted vegetable seeds this month.

The children have been learning how seeds grow and have helped add compost to the soil beds to then plant carrot, onion and lettuce seeds! Millicent observing soil beds & pointing to lettuce leaves “I can see the leaves, they are starting to grow

Read more »


Toddler Room Worm Farm

Toddler Room Worm Farm

02 Apr 15

The Toddlers at Oakwood House have been very busy building a worm farm. They layered sand and soil in a clear tank so they could view the worms moving.

All the children have had so much fun building a wonderful home for the worms and learning all about our wiggly friends!

This is a great activity to do at home with your children and covers

Read more »


Fun on the Farm

Fun on the Farm

01 Apr 15

On 1st April at Portland House we held an exciting Stay and Play session "Eggstodinary Fun on the Farm" which also raised money for our nominated charity WaterAid.

The staff along with the children dressed up as animals or farmers and took part in lots of Easter activities including Easter egg hunt, Easter bonnet parade and an Egg and spoon race.  They also had 8 quail eggs

Read more »


World Book Day

World Book Day

13 Mar 15

World Book Day The children of Harlequin took part in World Book Day and a week of activities with lots of dressing up, favourite books and acting out our favourite stories. Our activities were even “tweeted” about when one of our parents contacted the author of The Queens Hat, Steve Anthony, about her daughter’s props for the day. He tweeted back wishing her a &ldquo

Read more »


Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day

13 Mar 15

A Wild Time at Oakwood House Nursery for Red Nose Day

The children, parents and staff from Oakwood House Nursery had a really wild time when raising money for Comic Relief.

Both children and the staff paid to dress up furry for the day in their animal onesies and had their faces painted when they arrived at nursery. The children paid to bring in their

Read more »


Healthy Body, Happy Me Week

Healthy Body, Happy Me Week

09 Mar 15

The children at Holly Bank Nursery have been gearing up for the Healthy Body, Happy Me Week.

The babies enjoyed visiting the local fruit and vegetable shop in Birkby.  They noticed the vast array of colours of the fruit and vegetables and on the way back to Nursery they spotted a bright red fire engine!

The Toddlers have enjoyed looking more closely at the

Read more »


RECORD NUMBER OF BABIES BORN TO NURSERY STAFF

RECORD NUMBER OF BABIES BORN TO NURSERY STAFF

05 Mar 15

Portland Nurseries has seen 35 babies born to employees over the last 3 years and an amazing 17 in the last year alone!

Anastasia Murphy, Joint General Manager of Portland Nurseries’ said “This remarkable number of maternity/paternity leaves has been a challenge to manage but it has been worth it. If you have a predominately female staff team that stays with you for many years, having babies

Read more »


Harlequin Daisies visit to Holly Bank

Harlequin Daisies visit to Holly Bank

05 Mar 15

Harlequin Daisies visited Holly Bank’s soft play room. The children enjoyed bouncing, climbing, sliding and investigating with all their senses. Thank you to Hollybank for letting our children visit, they had a great time! 

Read more »


World Book Day

World Book Day

05 Mar 15

World Book Day

The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 5th March.

We saw Peppa Pig, Pirates and Princesses as well as Batman and even Alice in Wonderland! They brought in their favourite books and parents joined them for an extra special Stay and Play that afternoon in which all

Read more »


Poppies book of the week

Poppies book of the week

02 Mar 15

Harlequin Poppies

Our Pre-Schoolers book of the Week has been “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. The children have made play dough with porridge, bear collage pictures and used these pictures to measure sizes in Duplo using comparison language and learning the Goldilocks song using Makaton.

Our Poppies have been also looking at stories, what comes next and filling in the missing words. <

Read more »


Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year

27 Feb 15

Harlequin has been celebrating Chinese New Year in style! We started our celebrations with a Stay and Play where we made Chinese zodiac masks, tasted Chinese food using chopsticks and made Chinese red lanterns. This year one of our children and his family when to Malaysia to celebrate New Year.  William’s mum, Liane came in to talk about how Chinese New Year is celebrated and showed

Read more »


Kirklees Healthy Choice Gold Award

Kirklees Healthy Choice Gold Award

25 Feb 15

Here at Oakwood House Nursery we have been awarded The Kirklees Healthy Choice Gold Award for our healthy children’s menu and the highest standards of food hygiene.

Fresh, healthy, nutritious food is prepared every day by our nursery chef for children from birth to five years. The menu changes seasonally and is packed with fresh fruit and vegetable, pulses, grains, high quality meat and fish

Read more »


Pre-school Get Physical

Pre-school Get Physical

25 Feb 15

P E Lessons

In preparation for preparing the children for their transition to school this summer we have been taking part in our very own P.E. lessons at pre-school. The children have been learning all about what they will do at P.E. lessons when they go to school and talking about why it is important for us to have regular exercise.

We have

Read more »


February Fun Time

February Fun Time

20 Feb 15

The Fun Club children have had tremendous fun this February half term participating in a variety of activities. They visited play world for an electrifying skating adventure on Tuesday and refining their physical skills whilst climbing, rough and tumbling in the play gym.

On Thursday we took part in an outdoor Olympic Games challenge. The ‘Lightening Strike’ team narrowly beat the ‘Don’t

Read more »


Archie’s First Pantomime

Archie’s First Pantomime

19 Feb 15

Archie one of Holly Bank pre-schoolers, is taking part in his first pantomime it is The Cliffites production of Aladdin at St Philips Community Centre, Birchencliffe during half term. Aladdin has been written by his mum Steph and his dad plays the silly policeman PC Ping and granddad is Widow Twankey.

Archie has broken the record as being the youngest person ever to take part in a

Read more »


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

19 Feb 15

Chinese New Year Stay and Play

All the children enjoyed taking part in many activities and learning all about the Chinese New Year festival.

Children in pre-school decorated their own dragon masks and enjoyed wearing them to do the Chinese dragon dance. They also tasted lots of different Chinese food, such as prawn crackers, noodles, sweet chilli sauce and spring rolls.  They were all

Read more »


Pancake Day Fun

Pancake Day Fun

19 Feb 15

Pancake Fun

We celebrated Pancake Day in style at Oakwood House baby room. The children enjoyed playing with the pots and pans as they helped make pretend pancakes. The older babies really enjoyed the imaginative aspect of this play and put the pots in the oven in our home corner.

At snack time we had pancakes! The babies joined in and selected the pancakes they

Read more »


Chatterbox Challenge

Chatterbox Challenge

16 Feb 15

The Chatterbox Challenge has begun!

Throughout February and March, the children at Holly Bank Nursery will be taking part in a Chatterbox Challenge to raise money for the “I Can Challenge”. This challenge provides a fantastic opportunity to get children chattering and allows parents and carers to join in the fun and support speech and communication at home.

Speech, language and communication skills

Read more »


Wild About Winter

Wild About Winter

12 Feb 15

Wild About Winter

This month the children at Portland House Nursery have been working towards strengthening their pre writing skills by undertaking activities to develop hand –eye coordination, elbow & wrist pivot and pincer grip. One of their favourite activities involved using real tools safely and appropriately in which the children hammered golf tees into melons.

With the spare melons some children made wonderful

Read more »


Our favourite colour is green!

Our favourite  colour is green!

11 Feb 15

OUR FAVOURITE COLOUR IS GREEN!

This week the children at Portland Nurseries have been taking part in the National People and Planet ‘Go Green Week’ by learning the importance of recycling, up-cycling and greener homes!

To support this event for the children, parents and employees at Portland House Nursery are setting up their very own recycling centre to collect materials for their brilliant

Read more »


Matching games using dinosaurs

Matching games using dinosaurs

09 Feb 15

The Harlequin Toddlers have been using their interests in dinosaurs to play matching games.

The games helped our children to look at similarities and differences in colour, shape and size. They also helped to develop  the children’s mathematical language, for example” big”, “bigger”, “small” “smaller”,  in addition to developing sorting and classification skills.  <

Read more »


Flip for fun on Pancake Day

Flip for fun on Pancake Day

06 Feb 15

Flip for Fun on Pancake Day Tuesday 17th February 2015

Creative Cooking Inspiration for Pancake Day Cooking is not only a fun, engaging activity for children, but an important tool for learning and development across all the Early Years Foundation Stages.

Social – Emotional Development: Cooking is a hands on experience for children, it helps develop their confidence while also encouraging them to learn to follow

Read more »


Visit to Lindley Library

Visit to Lindley Library

06 Feb 15

The children at Harlequin visited Lindley Library to choose some books about our forthcoming celebrations and projects.

The children chose books on Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year,  Keeping Healthy for Health Body Happy Me week on 16th to 22nd March. We also chose books on recycling for our work towards our Eco Schools Green Flag Award. 

The Library will be coming

Read more »


Men in Childcare - Breaking stereotypes & planting roots for the future

Men in Childcare - Breaking stereotypes & planting roots for the future

06 Feb 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

Read more »


Buttercups in the Community

Buttercups in the Community

02 Feb 15

Buttercups in the Community

The Buttercup babies at Portland House enjoyed a trip to Lindley Library to take part in their weekly ‘Rhyme time’ sessions. This was the first nursery outing experience for some of the babies who are our new starters this term, providing the opportunity for a new adventure to explore the local community along the way.

The babies enjoyed meeting

Read more »


Cooking Season has Begun

Cooking Season has Begun

02 Feb 15

Cooking season has begun in the Oakwood House garden. The toddlers have been busy in our mud kitchen with originality, creativity, and generosity from nature. The children have had a fascinating time with natures abundant "loose parts" comprising of mud, sand, water, parts of plants and cooking utensils. 

This type of open ended play gives endless opportunity for creativity, which is only limited by imagination. These

Read more »


Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year Celebrations

30 Jan 15

Chinese New Year Celebrations

The Bluebell children at Portland House enjoyed a group time session in January led by Charlottes daddy, who came especially to talk to the children about how Charlotte’s family celebrate the Chinese New Year. He told the children that the family all get together just like at Christmas, but that the Chinese New Year is on a different date which changes

Read more »


Snow babies

Snow babies

30 Jan 15

At Portland House the children in daisy room have enjoyed exploring the snow over the recent weeks and spent lots of time wrapped up warm playing in it. We used this opportunity to explore and learn about cold, wet and melting and made and followed foot prints to see where they led and the patterns they made. The children used the snow to fill buckets to build snow castles;

Read more »


Let it Snow

Let it Snow

29 Jan 15

While the wintery weather can often cause chaos for many, the children at Oakwood House Nursery and Forest School took full advantage of the snow fall on Thursday 29th January.

The snow is a wonderful spontaneous opportunity for the children to have fun outdoors. For some of the children, it was their first time to experience snow and the staff at Oakwood House wanted to make the

Read more »


Toddlers savour the Scottish Celebration

Toddlers savour the Scottish Celebration

26 Jan 15

Och Aye the Toddlers Savour the Scottish Celebration

At Oakwood House Nursery on Monday 26th January the Toddler Room celebrated Burns Night with their first Stay and Play of the year.  To mark this occasion the children enjoyed their Burns Supper of haggis, neaps and tatties. The children really loved it with some even asking for seconds!

Throughout the afternoon activities included Scottish flag

Read more »


Snow Snow Snow

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

Read more »


Picnic Fun

Picnic Fun

23 Jan 15

In the Baby Room at Oakwood House we have been exploring food and the different textures and tastes.

The babies have enjoyed playing with rice and pasta and have enjoyed taking part in an indoor winter picnic. They enjoyed playing on the picnic blanket and selecting their own sandwiches from the gardener’s picnic platter. 

The babies also enjoyed singing the “Teddy

Read more »


Fun Club budding star on the rise

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

Read more »