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!
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
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
‘Christmas is Coming’ .....to Portland House Nursery
11 Dec 15
Today everyone at Portland House Nursery embraced the Christmas spirit brought by the choir from the College of Resurrection at Mirfield.
Preschool children listened intently to the magical story of baby Jesus, told by one of the choristers and they joined in with traditional Christmas carols such as ‘Little Donkey’ and ‘We three Kings’ linking to the story theme.
Babies Christmas Workshop
02 Dec 15
On the 2nd December the babies at Oakwood House enjoyed getting crafty at their Christmas workshop.
They loved getting creative using glue and festive colours to produce dazzling pictures. The babies had a special visit from Potters Den in Holmfirth, with whom they made lots of festive pottery creations with their parents. Lots of plates, baubles and festive decorations were made with expertise painting from our babies.
Charity Fundraising Event for ‘Children in Need’
13 Nov 15
The children and staff at Portland House had great fun on Friday 13th November to raise money for the Children in Need charity.
They came to nursery dressed in the pyjamas, guessed the name for the superhero Ted and especially enjoyed making and tasting culinary delights for a cake bake sale. A big thank you to everyone who donated to this great cause an excess of £180
Children in Need
13 Nov 15
The children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed promoting awareness of Children in Need.
The children and staff wore bright clothes, or mix and match clothes, and enjoyed baking and creating pictures over two days of fun filled activities.
We raised a fantastic amount of £168.05 for Children In Need.
Thank you for all your contributions!
Healthy Eating Activities
12 Nov 15
At Oakwood House our younger pre-school room have been looking at and discussing healthy eating. As part of our Food for Life Award we are looking at lots of healthy options and what we can grow in our garden.
Whilst preparing to make our own fruit salad we sorted the fruit in order of size and then from lightest to heaviest?
We have made our
09 Nov 15
In the Poppy room at Portland House we have introduced the children to our new furry friend which is a beat baby.
They have learned that although she is very friendly she can also be very shy too. The children enjoy it when she comes out to play and they all handle her with care and give her a cuddle.
Baby beat provides the opportunity
06 Nov 15
The children in the toddler room at Oakwood House have been fascinated by the leaves falling from the trees and have been learning about autumn.
They have taken torches outside and observed the wonderful shadows and shapes the light created in the woodland. The children started to compare the shadow shapes to animals and found a bear in the bushes! The children loved all the different shapes
EARLY YEARS TOP TRAINER INSPIRES PORTLAND NURSERIES STAFF!
03 Nov 15
On Tuesday 3rd November we held our Annual Training Day and Review at the Textile Centre of Excellence to enhance and develop the childcare practice of our 107 strong staff team and reflect on the year past.
General Manager, Anastasia Murphy gave an overview of the previous year and reported that over 84% of the childcare staff now hold a NVQ Level 3 qualification, with many of them going far
Halloween Stay and Play
30 Oct 15
We had a great turn out for our Halloween Stay and Play session on Friday 30th October.
Everyone had a spooktacular time and the children dressed up in some lovely pumpkin themed outfits. We had lots of spooky activities organised and parents and grandparents had fabulous fun making lanterns from pumpkins.
29 Oct 15
The children at Holly Bank Nursery were very curious when Zoolab came to visit.
Many children have been interested in mini beasts at the bottom of the garden so they were excited to be introduced to other insects such as millipedes, a cockroach, a giant snail, a tarantula and also a rat and a snake!
The children handled the mini beasts very carefully and looked
16 Oct 15
Oakwood House Forest School have been busy exploring EID and the traditions it offers.
The babies have explored the crescent moon and star celestial symbols. They worked very hard creating their own versions of moon and stars, they added glue and glitter to create a sparkle to celebrate EID.
The toddlers made moon and star mobiles. They focussed on individual choice and decision making for
14 Oct 15
The baby room at Oakwood House have been exploring the different cultures of the world and this month we have paid particular attention to Harvest Festival.
Celebrating the Harvest Festival at Stay & Play led to parents and grandparents coming into nursery to engage in different activities to learn all about it together. Parents and children alike loved making a harvest soup with different vegetables from around
Our Herb Garden!
08 Oct 15
The Harlequin children have recently picked the vegetables and herbs they have been growing in the garden.
As part of our Food for Life Award we are looking forward to tasting all of the lovely produce we will be growing over the coming year! Exploration of the outdoor environment and real experiences of growing things outdoors supports all of the seven Areas of Learning within the Early
E Safety for All
01 Oct 15
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.
New technologies, including gaming, can offer our children many exciting and positive experiences. However nurseries and schools are increasingly aware of the negative impact that some online gaming is having on
Parent/Carers Woodland Workshop
30 Sep 15
A small group of parents and nursery staff at Portland House enjoyed an exciting woodland adventure where they were able to experience some of the activities delivered to pre-school children during their woodland sessions. The aim of the workshop was to provide a wide range of outdoor experiences for parent/carers to share with their children at home and to promote risky play within the natural environment, whilst recognising
Top rating from Food Standards Agency
22 Sep 15
Oakwood House Nursery has once again been awarded the top Food Standards Agency rating of 5 for the highest standard of food hygiene and well managed food preparation from Kirklees Council. Portland House Nursery has also been awarded the top rating of 5.
Our menu changes with the seasons and is packed with fresh fruit and vegetable and high quality meat and fish. Parents, staff and children are
From the garden to the table!
10 Sep 15
We have had lots of blackberries growing all over the garden at Oakwood House and some of the toddlers have been learning which blackberries are good to eat.
On Tuesday Jessica took the children around the garden to pick the blackberries asking if we could eat the green ones. “No, only the black ones” replied Eve and Isla. The children really enjoyed this activity
Down at the bottom of the garden…
07 Sep 15
Over the last few months at Portland House Nursery we have begun re-developing the woodland area at the bottom of the garden; Anne and Julie have created some lovely natural den areas for the children to explore and let their imagination come to life!
The children have enjoyed exploring the tree house, lazing in the hammock making music on the giant xylophone and cooking up a storm
First Family Through Oakwood House
26 Aug 15
This week everyone at Oakwood House said goodbye to Caitlin who starts school in September. We have been privileged to not only look after Caitlin, but also her two elder brothers. The family have been using the nursery since 2010, not long after we opened and we will all miss them greatly.
The family came in to say goodbye and have a quick photo with some of the
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
20 Aug 15
On Thursday, 20th August Portland House held a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ in order to have fun whilst raising some money for our nominated charity, Water Aid.
The children and staff all wore mad, mismatched clothes for the day and of course their mad hats. This set the tone for the tea party later in the day. All the children and parents had
17 Aug 15
The children were very creative and imaginative at a recent Forest School session. They made a huge clay face on a tree. Clay is a warm, tactile material which sticks to the bark of the tree easily and makes a great base for adding extra materials found in the woods. The children pressed, squashed, rolled and squeezed the clay to create the tree face. The woodland floor provided a
Sports Day Stay and Play
03 Aug 15
A great time was had by both children and parents alike at the Oakwood House Sports Day Stay & Play.
The children, parents and staff took part in various sporting activities including sack race, egg and spoon, long jump and running.
The children made medals from wooden discs for the prizes and the parents took part in a parent’s race. The children and
03 Aug 15
The children in Bluebells and Sunflowers at Portland House held a party to celebrate the leavers moving to big school in September.
Alison from the Melody Makers came to sing and dance, which was great fun. We learned new circle songs and rhymes, had a delicious buffet tea and the parents joined the presentation of the children’s graduation certificates.
We would like to
End of an Era
03 Aug 15
Presentations were made to a family who have been attending Portland House Nursery for over 13 years.
Mr and Mrs Latif brought their oldest son Zayn to the baby room over 13 years ago, followed by his younger brothers Uzayr and Armir in later years. Julie Lister, the manager of the nursery, presented a bouquet of flowers to Mr and Mrs Latif and a book token from a local
Transition to school
31 Jul 15
Over the past month the Pre-school children at Portland House Nursery have been involved in transition to school visits, exploring their new environments confidently and meeting their new class teachers, it’s all been very exciting and several teachers commented on just how ready they felt the Bluebell and Sunflowers children appeared for school and those next important stages.
The Bluebell and Sunflowers team and staff
THANK YOU TO NURSERY MANAGER JULIE LISTER
10 Jul 15
PORTLAND NURSERIES THANK NURSERY MANAGER JULIE LISTER FOR HER TWENTY YEARS CONTRIBUTION TO OUTSTANDING CHILDCARE!
Staff and children gathered today to congratulate nursery manager Julie Lister for her twenty year contribution to making Portland Nurseries “Outstanding”. Julie is the second employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years. Julie was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a cheque, a
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
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!
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
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