Cooking up a Storm!
28 Apr 16
Today during our forest session the children discovered a letter sent from the fairies, telling them that the Sneezy Dragon had been to visit again and eaten all of their food! “We can make them some more!” (Raushan aged 4)
The children made two teams and set off to find different, natural materials to use as ‘dinner’. They created a 2 course meal together.
25 Years of OUTSTANDING Childcare!
20 Apr 16
This summer we will be celebrating 25 years of outstanding childcare!
With four nurseries in the Huddersfield area, we have continually strived to provide local families with the highest standard of early years care and education for generations and have truly become part of the community.
Owners Rosemary and Michael Murphy both qualified teachers opened their first nursery Portland House in September 1991 followed in later years
Sowing the seeds!
20 Apr 16
In the baby room at Oakwood House the babies have had lots of fun planting seeds and they used trowels to help them put the compost into their own planting pots. We talked about the different names of the herbs which were lemon balm, dill, parsley, rocket, marjoram, basil and chives and the children felt the different textures of the compost and seeds.
The babies brilliant planting
Celebrating our Food for Life Early Years Award!
18 Apr 16
We're delighted to announce that Oakwood House Nursery and Forest School has become one of the first nurseries in the country to achieve the Soil Association's Food for Life Early Years award.
The award requires nurseries to demonstrate that they are providing tasty, nutritious meals in an environment that encourages good social skills and healthy choices. It acknowledges how we are supporting the development of
The Secret Garden
12 Apr 16
Today at our Forest School session the children have really enjoyed exploring a ‘secret’ part of our garden! We learnt about boundaries and how to keep safe in the area and all worked together to make a bridge to get us to the other side.
“Maybe we could use two logs, so we can put one foot on each side, this will help us
Baby chicks at Holly Bank
08 Apr 16
The children at Holly Bank nursery were delighted when two of their Easter eggs hatched this week! The eggs had been kept warm in an incubator before hatching on Wednesday. The children had chance to observe the baby chicks “pipping” the egg shells to crack out of them.
The children have had chance to hold the baby chicks and we are all surprised as to
Land of the “knock knocks”
07 Apr 16
The Sneezy Dragon came to play at Oakwood today!
The children quietly tiptoed through the garden, being careful not to wake the dragon. We heard some sneezes along the way, so quickly layed down and covered our eyes. “We have to cover our eyes so the sneezy dragon could not see us” (Mollie age 4) “If we tiptoe the sneezy dragon can’t hear
23 Mar 16
Parents, staff and children had fun at Oakwoods Easter Stay and Play.
There was an egg hunt outside in which the Easter Bunny made an appearance. The children also worked hard on their Easter Bonnets and decorated eggs.
The staff had baked some amazing cakes for the bake sale and a big Thank you to parents as we raised £222.43 for WaterAid!
Woodland Chip Mountain
22 Mar 16
The children in toddlers and pre-school at Oakwood House have been having great fun with a delivery of chipped wood kindly donated to us by Able Tree Surgeons. They really enjoyed climbing to the top like they were conquering a mountain and began working collaboratively together to fill the wheel barrow and move the wood chippings to the bottom of the garden.
Forest school gives children the
Easter Fun Week
21 Mar 16
The children at Harlequin have enjoyed lots of Easter fun this week, helping to make some yummy chocolate Easter nests decorated with chicks and chocolate eggs.
The children had lots of fun getting creative taking turns to use a salad spinner filled with paint to create some lovely eggs pictures as well as gluing and sticking to make Easter cards for their families.
Celebrating Science Week
18 Mar 16
As part of British Science Week, pre-school children explored chemical reactions. A few children have been interested in volcanoes and how they erupt. To link with science week the pre-schoolers made a volcano from newspaper and glue, waited for it to dry before painting it to look like a volcano.
The children mixed vinegar and bicarbonate of soda into the volcano mould and were amazed to see
Top of the Morning on St Patricks Day
17 Mar 16
The children are celebrating St Patricks Day today at Oakwood House and have been helping to make some colcannon Irish mash! Colcannon is traditionally made from mashed potatoes, cabbage and spring onion.
The children used potato peelers and small knives to peel and prepare the potatoes ready to cut and the children have helped to chop some spring onion and cabbage.
When talking about St
Outing to the Garden Centre
17 Mar 16
Children at Holly Bank Nursery enjoyed a visit to the local garden centre to buy flowers, plants, herbs and bulbs for their garden.
The pre-schoolers challenged themselves to walk to the garden centre and back. They counted their steps in an effort to raise money for water aid. Jointly the children walked well over 10,000 steps and raised £30.00!
The toddlers walked part of the way
Play Evening Event
16 Mar 16
Parents joined the staff team at Portland House us for an evening ‘PLAY’ event (Parents, Learning And You) on Wednesday 16th March. The staff team ran several fun activity workshops during the evening, which promoted children’s learning and development across the Early Years Foundation Stage. This gave parents/carers the chance to engage with each other and the nursery, as well as lots of ideas
First Aid for Parents, Carers & Grandparents at Portland House
14 Mar 16
Gain valuable First Aid knowledge and practical skills on a 3 hour short course preparing you to deal with everyday childhood illnesses, accidents and First Aid situations delivered by a qualified Paediatric First Aid Instructor.
The following subject areas will be covered:
Resuscitation Choking Bleeding Head & Spinal Injuries Fractures & Dislocations Sprains & Strains Seizures Burns Meningitis Poisons Bites & Stings Allergic Reactions
Forest School Learning
14 Mar 16
Teresa and Jordan are having a great time on their 5 day Forest School Training course.
They have been learning lots of new skills and have come back to nursery with lots of ideas! The Forest School ethos is a unique and fun approach to learning outdoors, specifically a woodland environment.
These are a few of the activities they have taken part in: Day 1 An
Gardening work at Harlequin!
10 Mar 16
The babies have been watching the big diggers at work while the gardeners have been renovating our grass area.
They are having lots of fun exploring the texture of the new Astro Turf, crawling and walking around exploring. They are also having lots of fun crawling in and out of the new wicker tepee den, playing peak-a-boo games.
We are currently in the process of
Cardboard Box to Castle – Open Ended Play at Oakwood
09 Mar 16
The children in Pre-School have been having great fun in their new castle which they built with James out of a cardboard box!
The children decided they wanted to build a castle and then became knights and dragons. They have really enjoyed playing in their new play space.
A cardboard box is one of the most basic and universally loved open ended resources and it
09 Mar 16
The babies at Oakwood House have been having great fun with sensory play. They have been exploring the properties of Gloop which is a mixture of cornflour and water and they were mesmerised.
Babies learn through their senses and this sensory rich activity stimulates the brain and is perfect for this age group. Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine
Snowy Day Play!
04 Mar 16
The Daisy children have been very excited to explore the snow outdoors.
We got all ready and went outside in the morning in the fresh laid snow.
The Daisy children happily explored the garden on foot making welly prints in the snow and catching it in their hands as the snow fell. We had lots of fun sledging in the garden going up and down
Babies Butterfly Biscuits for Mothers Day
04 Mar 16
The babies had a fabulous baking session making presents for mother’s day.
They decided to make some butterfly biscuits. They weighed out the ingredients and enjoyed the smell of the orange zest. They loved getting messy mixing it all together; this was a very popular sensory activity. Next they used a rolling pin to roll out the dough and used butterfly cutters to cut out
OFSTED JUDGES PORTLAND HOUSE NURSERY “OUTSTANDING” ONCE AGAIN!
03 Mar 16
Portland House Nursery has once again been judged “Outstanding” in every category by Ofsted under the new, even tougher framework.
With their 25 year anniversary around the corner and this glowing and well-deserved Ofsted report, there's lots to celebrate!
The Ofsted inspector commented that “Children have immense fun in the nursery” and the “teaching is consistently outstanding” supporting the
Up Up and Away for World Book Day
03 Mar 16
The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March.
We saw a few Gruffalo, Peppa Pig, Pirates and Princesses as well as a fabulous Mr Frederickson from UP, Spiderman and even Cinderella! The children brought in their favourite books and were given a £1 World Book Day Book Token that can either
03 Mar 16
The poppies children took full advantage of the snow fall we had this month. We made a footprint trail, making “slushy” footprints. We then had lots of giggles as me made ‘snow angels’ by lying on our backs and moving our arms and legs up and down.
We then worked together to create a snow man, rolling the snow around the garden to
Exploring Our Local Community
29 Feb 16
The children at Harlequin have been out and about in the local community during February.
Some of the pre-school children made a shopping list and went to our local grocery shop to buy ingredients to make homemade tomato soup.
Christine, our cook, joined the children on the visit to the shop and helped the children prepare and make the soup on their return to
Too Many Cooks???
11 Feb 16
There is no such thing as too many cooks at Oakwood House. The children in our younger Pre-School room have been practicing their cooking skills and modelling their very smart new chef outfits. They have been busy helping prepare their own tea and also have enjoyed baking. The children have been learning and practising a wide range of skills, and have been developing their understanding of food and
Chinese New Year
08 Feb 16
Today we had a visit from Samson’s mummy who came to talk to us about Chinese New Year and how they celebrate it in Taiwan which is their home town.
Firstly she showed us some big banners that they put up around the front door. They were red with gold Chinese writing on them meaning good luck she also explained that the colour red is
Parent & Child Yoga Workshop
02 Feb 16
Oakwood House pre-school children, staff and parents recently enjoyed a Parent and Child Yoga workshop. This was a fun, creative approach to yoga that encouraged the children to explore and discover the mind and body through yoga play. The use of animated poses, story-telling and interactive games helped the children with their concentration and focus, stimulated their imagination and helped to release energy in a fun, safe environment.<
From food preparation to table!
01 Feb 16
Preschool children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed preparing their own food to eat.
They helped weigh ingredients, compare quantities and enhanced their fine manipulative skills as they rolled, stretched and twisted the dough to make twisted breadsticks.
The best part was eating the finished product with soup at tea time!
Mud Glorious Mud!
29 Jan 16
This month at Harlequin the children have been taking full advantage of all the lovely mud that the extra rain fall has provided us with.
They have been demonstrating their culinary skills in our newly developed mud kitchen, and have been holding ‘dinner parties’ for their friends creating a range of pies and desserts.
We have also placed our compost bins in our
Babies into Books
28 Jan 16
All the babies have been very interested in books over the past few weeks, they have been looking at them independently and enjoyed listening to Sarah and Cherelle read them stories.
To expand on this interest the babies went for a walk to the children’s book shop in Lindley, where the babies enjoyed browsing the books and then purchased some new stories for all the
Recycling at Holly Bank
28 Jan 16
Holly Bank Preschool children have been getting more and more involved in composting and recycling.
The children are now keen to recycle their food waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, left over fruit from snack time and our egg shells. The children have also been adding their green paper towels to the compost bins after discovering they can decompose to create compost too!
19 Jan 16
We all know that our outdoor environment at Oakwood House is a rich, dynamic and natural space ideal for learning and development. The Pre-School children at Oakwood House have recently had a visit from Batman. He called in to talk to the children about composting and what goes in our compost bins. The children have been collecting the fruit peelings from snack and also the paper towels. Daily they
A visit from ‘Zoo Lab’
08 Jan 16
On the 8th of January the Portland House Bluebell and Sunflower children were visited by some very interesting guests!
Peter the ranger brought a variety of small animals and insects; including a snake, a gerbil, a giant centipede and a tarantula for the children to see. The children were encouraged to listen to Peter as he told them about each creature and follow instructions to
Festive Visits and Outings
23 Dec 15
During December at Portland House the children in Bluebells have had tremendous fun out and about within the community exploring different aspects of the festive period.
A couple of groups of children enjoyed the experience of catching a local bus to visit the garden centre where they saw lots of Christmas decorations and talked about why we might have these in our own homes and where we
‘Forget Me Not’ Charity Sleigh Collection
22 Dec 15
Santa’s little helpers at Portland House were busy filling their sleigh this morning for a special delivery which would help to fill the shelves of the local Forget Me Not charity shop.
The children and parents had kindly brought in lots of lovely donations of gifts, toys and books to nursery to recycle for the nursery’s annual festive charity fundraising event.
The Holy Commute
22 Dec 15
A group of the Bluebells children at Portland House very much enjoyed a special outing to visit a church within the local community, which recently celebrated 100 years in September 2015.
We took a bus ride on public transport up to Outlane Methodist Church where we were warmly greeted by Rev. Deborah Hopkinson who is also a parent at Portland House Nursery. She began by telling the children the
Oh Christmas Tree!
21 Dec 15
The Toddlers have been very creative making lots of Christmas tree decorations with natural materials. They made baubles from pine cones, stars from twigs and salt dough Christmas trees.
We then decorated our Christmas tree that we planted outside. The toddlers really enjoyed decorating the tree, they concentrated hard and perfected their hand eye co-ordination as well as their fine motor skills. We also planted some snowmen
21 Dec 15
The children have been very busy in the Daisies room at Harlequin making little Christmas goody bags for parents,
They were incredibly creative and used a range of different materials to create the items inside.
• We had fun doing some hand and foot prints using red, green and yellow paint. – We used our prints to then make a calendar and a star topper
14 Dec 15
We would like to say a huge thank you to the parents and staff for helping fundraise this Christmas.
We have been inundated with gifts for the Help a Hallam Child organised by Hallam FM. We asked parents to buy an extra present so we could give to Hallam FM who will then pass onto a disadvantaged local child to make their Christmas morning special. The children