Writing Skills with a difference
23 Jun 17
The Pre-school children at Portland House have been practising their pincer grip hold and experimenting making marks with natural feathers.
The activity began with the children guessing which bird the large feathers came from. Anne gave them clues saying it was a large bird that could swim on water.The children made lots of suggestions such as duck, swan, eagle and albatross eventually guessing it was
Daisy Room’s new pet fish
22 Jun 17
After the sad departure of beloved pet goldfish Winston earlier this month, who had lived in a tank in the Daisy room at Portland House for an outstanding 7-8 years the babies were excited to welcome 2 new play mates into the fish tank.
They have settled in really well and everyone loves to watch them swim around at super-fast speed. Frankie is white with orange spots and
Healthy Eating Week
13 Jun 17
This week it is Healthy Eating Week, the purpose of which is to provide a dedicated week in the year where we can all come together to focus on healthy eating and drinking, and physical activity, in order to encourage healthy living.
At Harlequin Nursery we have been keeping our fruit and vegetables well watered and hopefully we will have some strawberries and carrots soon,
30 Days Wild – Day 9 – Tickle your Toes
09 Jun 17
The Oakwood House babies really enjoyed the sensory experience of going barefoot outside today. Feet are super sensitive and it’s lovely to feel grass between our toes.
You might not think it, walking around all day but, protected by shoes and socks, the skin on the soles of our feet is soft and full of nerve endings. That ‘aah’ moment you get when
5 Years at Portland!
09 Jun 17
A big thank you and congratulations to Bethany who celebrated her 5 year anniversary with us last week!
She's such a caring and hardworking member of our Portland House team and we hope she celebrates many more years with us!
08 Jun 17
The children at Oakwood House have been very ‘eggcited’ over the past couple of days. They have watched chicks hatching from their eggs in the incubator and were able to hold them for the first time today. They were all very caring, loving and nurturing towards the chicks. The children were so gentle, talking about how the chicks hatched from the egg and that they may be
30 Days Wild – Day 8 – Building with Natural Materials
08 Jun 17
Why not create and build with natural resources!
The children love building with the logs, this time they have created a pirate ship. They worked together to move the logs and create a fantastic ship!
Why not create a sculpture in the wild using logs, leaves, pine cones, sticks whatever is to hand. Leave it somewhere and it will make a lovely surprise for someone
30 Days Wild – Day 7 – Budding Gardeners
07 Jun 17
The children at Oakwood House today became budding gardeners. They planted some petunias and begonias in the woodland to bring a bit of colour to the forest floor. The children dug the holes and planted the flowers and will look after them making sure they flourish. They will water them daily.
Whittling and Leaf Kebabs
07 Jun 17
Today at Holly Bank the pre-school children were looking closely at all the leaves on the bushes and began comparing and contrasting their shapes and colours.
They collected some sticks and using potato peelers whittled the bark from the sticks. They then used pencil sharpeners to sharpen one end of the stick. The children chose lots of different shaped leaves and began skewering them onto the sticks.
30 Days Wild - Day 6 - Exploring Nature
06 Jun 17
Wildlife and wild places are all around us at Oakwood House. The children went exploring the garden today to see if what they could find. They find a secret place which began the discussion what lives in here!
Take a look out your window. Even in the middle of a big city, you can always see something wild. From your local park to a nature reserve, a
30 Days Wild - Day 5 - Dancing in the rain
05 Jun 17
It’s raining, it’s pouring! The children at Oakwood House have today discovered a muddy puddle in the garden. They began rain dancing and were splashing in the puddles. They then started stirring the water with sticks and began drawing and making marks on the trees.
Puddles are not just for children! – why not get outside and rock some moves and
30 Days Wild - 2nd June day two - Hug a Tree
02 Jun 17
The children at Oakwood House love the trees and are often found giving them a cuddle. It’s a great maths activity, how many children does it take to hug the tree all the way round!
Why don’t you give your favourite tree a cuddle and work out if it’s ancient. If you’ve got an oak that is three adult
30 days Wild - 1st June day one - Nap in Nature
01 Jun 17
The children at Oakwood House are taking part in the Wildlife Trusts 30 days wild throughout June. Today we had a Nap in Nature.
The children at Oakwood often take their naps outside weather permitting. With the warm sunshine, blue sky and gentle buzzing of insects, what could be more therapeutic than really being in the present and feeling your surroundings? We also love to take part in
Natural Printing (Hapa Zome)
31 May 17
Hapa Zome is the ancient Japanese art of beating natural dyes into cloth.
This morning the children at Holly Bank went exploring and collected lots of different shaped and coloured leaves and a few buttercups. We had small squares of calico and the children arranged their leaves and flowers in a pattern then placed the cloth on top. They then pounded the squares with mallets. The harder
Congratulations Huddersfield Town FC
30 May 17
The preschool children at Oakwood have been celebrating Huddersfield Town’s amazing success by creating blue and white pictures and playing a game of football outside.
The children have been chanting the songs and telling us about their memorable trips to Wembley on Monday!
Fairies at the bottom of our garden
24 May 17
Today whilst exploring in the garden the children at Holly Bank found some fairy wings, they heard the story of the sneezy dragon who had sneezed and burnt all the fairy houses.
The children set to work and collected lots of natural resources found at the bottom of the garden and began to make a fairy village. They even decided to make a 2 story dwelling downstairs for
Charity Walk at Reinwood Fields
17 May 17
At Portland House pre-school children and babies joined together to complete a charity walk at Reinwood playing fields. The challenge was set for pre-school children to walk three laps of the field and babies to complete one.
The parents and children had been busy weeks before collecting sponsorship on their sponsor forms. Children had been invited to attend in fancy dress, superhero or sports clothes
Making a Home for the Birds
10 May 17
The children in Oakwood House pre-school have been very busy making a beautiful bird nest.
Before the activity they talked about where birds like to live and the kinds of things they might use when making their nests. The children found a nice quiet spot to position their nest and then collected sticks to make the structure first. They added lots
Hanging out the washing!
10 May 17
The toddlers at Portland House have been making the most of the sunshine, having great fun making their own washing line and hanging out their washing and their lovely artwork to dry!
If you do down to the woods today…...
08 May 17
If you had visited the woods today at Oakwood House you would have been sure of a big surprise. Our parents had come to play!!!
At Oakwood House we have run our first Forest School workshop for parents. A great time was had by all who took part and we all gained an insight into the fun the children have at nursery and how the outdoor learning
02 May 17
The pre-school children at Holly Bank were delighted to release their butterflies. The children had looked after them from being caterpillars, watching them cocoon and then emerge as butterflies!
They sang a butterfly song to help them fly away.
Visit to Greenhead Park
28 Apr 17
During spring term the children in Holly Bank Daisies have been learning all things animal. We have been learning the different names of animals such as cow and duck but also developing sounds in our language such as moo and quack.
We took a trip to Greenhead Park to visit the duck pond and the children were fascinated by them. We listened to the sounds they were
20 Apr 17
At Oakwood House our outdoor environment supports the children’s overall development in many ways and they have plenty of opportunities to run around on uneven ground, swing and hang upside down. This helps to develop their vestibular which co-ordinates eye and head movements and supports balance and stability. Children learn to maintain and correct their balance as their vestibular system develops. To develop the vestibular
Caterpillars to Butterflies!
19 Apr 17
This month at Harlequin we have had some caterpillars, we have watched them grow from tiny ones into big colourful ones, and then when the caterpillars were big enough we watched them make a chrysalis (cocoon) this was to protect them and keep them from getting hurt.
We watched as the cocoons started to change shape and size and after a short time we watched as
16 Mar 17
Oakwood House pre-school children have really enjoyed their forest school session today, cooking healthy pizzas on the fire.
The children decided what toppings they would like on their pizza and helped to chop the tomatoes, pepper and onion. We warmed our hands by the fire, learning about how to be safe near fires and the respect kneeling position around fires.
The children love to
Visit to a Mosque
15 Mar 17
A group of Portland House pre-school children travelled on the local bus to visit a Mosque as part of their learning about others and how they worship.
On arrival, the children took off their shoes before entering the Mosque and looking at the room where children come weekly to have lessons and study the Holy Quran.
We were shown the steps on which the speaker
Wow a Real Wildlife Adventure!
06 Mar 17
This morning Portland House had a special visitor that popped in for a visit.
Amy discovered a little Robin redbreast that had flown into the open window of the daisy baby room and was merrily hopping around the room and happily perched on the fireplace. The Robin was struggling to find its way back outside through the window by itself so Anne came on an SOS mission
World Book Day
02 Mar 17
The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March.
We saw a few Princesses, Spiderman and even a World! The children brought in their favourite books and were given a £1 World Book Day Book Token that can be exchanged for one of TEN special £1 World Book Day books. They are
28 Feb 17
Today at Oakwood House Forest School the children celebrated Shrove Tuesday by making their pancakes outside.
They learnt about why we make pancakes; that it was a way of using up the eggs and fats before Lent. They then made the batter and cooked them on the campfire outside. They all thought they were yummy and ate them with raspberries.
The Enchanted Forest
24 Feb 17
The children at Oakwood House Forest School today heard about a fairy who had lost her wings in the strong winds yesterday. They explored the garden to look for natural materials to make a magical potion so the fairy could grow new wings.
The children mixed everything together, added the magic ingredients and left the potion bottle in a secret place, they decorated with glitter to help
Let’s Get Physical
22 Feb 17
The children have been busy practising their physical skills in the forest at Oakwood House. We have reached great new heights climbing in the bushes. The children used their good judgement to decide which bushes to climb and jump and balance.
Giving the children the time, space and freedom to demonstrate their independence has given them self-confidence and self-belief. The children have also developed their physical
21 Feb 17
The children in Oakwood House Preschool 1 have been showing lots of pride in their own achievements, creating things together as a team and individually.
We have had some fantastic group paintings, mathematical shapes, beautiful collage pictures and some self-portraits on our whiteboards.
Well done Pre-school!
Feed the Birds
14 Feb 17
A great time was had by everyone at Oakwood House Stay and Play on 14th February. We were celebrating National Nest Box Week (14th - 21st February). It is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology and is all about helping birds. It reminds us that now is the time to put up nest boxes for our garden birds at the start of their breeding seasons. Winter
Visit from a local hairdresser
13 Feb 17
The Preschool children at Portland House had a special visit from Louise who is a hairdresser in the local community. They enjoyed an educational group session where Louise asked the children various questions about their own experiences of visiting a hairdressers and they discussed similarities and differences of people’s hair types and what their own was like e.g. colour, straight, curly, short, long.
What a Masterpiece!
06 Feb 17
Some children in Holly Bank Bluebells became budding artists today when they wanted to paint together. They chose their own colours of red, white and blue and explored mixing the colours and making huge marks across the shared paper.
Fantastic work Bluebells!!
Preschool Phonic Session
03 Feb 17
Portland preschool children are responding to their phonic sessions really well. They are working together in small groups and joining in with exciting activities to promote the recognition of letters and sounds starting with ‘s a t p i n’.
Children were highly engaged in a game based on musical statues, when the music stopped the children had to choose a sound that was written
Let me tell you a story… Daisy the bouncing Princess
02 Feb 17
This week is National Storytelling Week. The children have had great fun in the story circle outside. We have had the Gruffalo visit and today the children made up their own story by taking it in turns with each line.
“Once upon a time, a long long time ago there was a princess. The princess was jumping on the bed and fell off. Her mummy came
31 Jan 17
Today Portland Poppy Room children had their first visit from Kerry who is a qualified Speech and Language Therapy Assistant as part of a Nursery Programme ‘Chatter Away’. It is specially designed to provide Speech and Language input to children from birth to 5 years through fun interactive classes for the young children to boost the language communication development of all children.
In small groups
Burns Night Stay and Play
25 Jan 17
At Oakwood House and Forest School the children, staff, parents and grandparents celebrated the birth date of Scotland’s national bard Robbie Burns on Wednesday 25th January with a Scottish themed Stay & Play. The children tasted haggis, and took part in some Scottish themed activities such as tartan weaving.
The highlight was a visit from Stephanie Ward a bagpipe player. Stephanie talked to the children
Letters in the Forest
25 Jan 17
Today at Oakwood House in Forest School the children collected some sticks and started to form the first letter of their name. The outdoors is a uniquely effective space and the children are often observed talking more, cooperating, socialising, mark making and doing many literacy activities often through their own choice. They then went on to name animals that started with the letter they had made.