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 –
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
Most Influential People in Childcare Recognised!
02 Jun 14
The most influential people in childcare and early year’s education gathered at a glittering Awards Night on the 29th May held on the 31st floor of the Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf.
Organised by NMT Magazine with support from Barclays and six commercial partners, the purpose of the awards evening was to discover, recognise and reward the people who are most influential within the whole
National Smile Month
30 May 14
On Thursday 29th May we had a gleaming visitor in nursery. Lindley Dental Practice came to visit Oakwood House to talk to the children about oral health. They told toothy tales and had ‘Alfie’ the Dragon with them. The children loved Alfie and were able to brush his teeth making them gleam!!, why not try it at home...
Sang to the tune of Row, Row,
09 May 14
WHAT IS CIRCLE TIME?
At Portland Nurseries we believe that Circle Time is an activity where a group of children and practitioners sit together (at the same level) with the purpose of creating space in which children can communicate. It is about discussion, reflection, emotional understanding, personal identity and making connections. Exploring Relationships, feelings, reflections and emotions lies at the core of Circle Time.
Easter Education at Portland House
17 Apr 14
Today we had Suzanna's Mummy Deborah Hopkinson come and visit us all at Portland House!
Deborah who is currently on maternity leave after recently giving birth to wonderful twins is a local minister and came into nursery to talk to the children about the true meaning of Easter. The Oreschool children were delighted to have another visitor at Circle Time and learnt all about the
Portland Nurseries Staff Training Day
11 Apr 14
On Tuesday 1st April 2014 Portland Nurseries brought over 80 of their employees together from their four sites, Harlequin, Holly Bank, Oakwood House and Portland House to enhance and develop their childcare practice at their Annual Training Day.
As a company we have always put a strong emphasis on continual training and development, holding the Investors in People award for 13 years and ensuring that the staff are trained above
Charity Car Wash
08 Apr 14
On Saturday 5th April all the staff from Holly Bank nursery got together to help raise money for Water Aid. To discourage our friends and parents from using the commerical car wash companies who use gallons of water they put on our own cheap, easy and environmentally friendly Charity Car Wash. Conserving as much water as possible the Nursery Practitioners worked up a lather on over 25 cars! They also
31 Mar 14
Today our Harlequin children have been having some green fingered fun and have built their very own greenhouse! We now have 3 tomato plants to care for; one red, one yellow and one black tomato plant. The children worked together to count out the pieces and used the instructions to build their greenhouse. They recognised shapes and identified how the construction pieces looked like letters from their names.
Healthy Body Happy Me at Holly Bank
28 Mar 14
All week the children at Holly Bank have been taking part in the NDNA’s* 'Healthy Body Happy Me' week. We have learnt about keeping active and how fun it is to spend time outside in the fresh air (but we already knew that!) We’ve also learnt about germs and how it’s really important to wash our hands properly to keep the nasty bugs
A Letter from Lydia
26 Mar 14
When Louise from Holly Bank went to visit Finland her little bear Lydia decided she wanted to stay!
Lydia promised to write to all the children at Holly Bank to tell them all about the nursery in Finland she is now living in and they have just received their first letter! All the children are very excited and are going to write back and tell her
Book Week at Portland House
14 Mar 14
We would like to thank all the parents who came in each day last week to help celebrate of World Book Day by sharing their favourite stories from home .
Portland House also had a visit from the Mobile Library on Friday 7th March. In small groups we had the opportunity to explore around the bus and we learnt how to handle books with care. The librarian had