Nursery News


Harlequin’s new bug hotel!

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

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Circle Time

Circle Time

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.

Circle

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Portland Nurseries Staff Training Day

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

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Project Tomato

Project Tomato

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.

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Pancake Day already? That crêped up on us!

Pancake Day already? That crêped up on us!

07 Mar 14

The children at Harlequin Nursery had lots of fun this week learning about Shrove Tuesday, especially the part where they got to try Pancakes! They enjoyed taste testing different types of pancakes with various toppings while talking about all the different tastes, textures and colours and counting all the toppings. They also listened to a story about Easter and learnt why Christians celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

The children

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Oodles and Noodles of Fun for Chinese New Year

Oodles and Noodles of Fun for Chinese New Year

05 Feb 14

Harlequin Nursery on Queens Road has recently been celebrating Chinese New Year with all the children and their families. The children have had a lovely time learning all about the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and enjoying tasty Chinese foods using chopsticks, which was a bit of a challenge! As a very special treat on one boy’s mummy came into nursery and sang some traditional Chinese songs

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Huffing and Puffing at Harlequin - The Three Little Pigs

Huffing and Puffing at Harlequin - The Three Little Pigs

31 Jan 14

During January the children at Harlequin have really enjoyed the 'Three Little Pigs' story and have had lots of fun pretending to be the pigs and the wolf! We went on an adventur to the local library and borrowed the three little pigs book and spent lots of time reading and discussing the story. Then we created our own role play areas outside; a house made of straw, a

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Harlequin children bring cheer to local Grandparents

Harlequin children bring cheer to local Grandparents

10 Oct 13

On Thursday 3rd October, the children at Harlequin nursery visited Thornhill Nursing Home  to celebrate Grandparent's Day. We made cards for the residents and cheered everyone up by singing and dancing to some lovely songs.

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Leaver’s picnic at the park

Leaver’s picnic at the park

11 Jul 13

The Harlequin children starting school this September enjoyed a special Leaver's Picnic at the Lindley duck pond with staff and parents. All the children received a special graduation certificate and especially loved sharing their picnic with the ducks. 

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Caterpillar to beautiful butterfly

Caterpillar to beautiful butterfly

11 Jun 13

There has been lots of excitement at Harlequin over the past few days as some of the nursery caterpillars have emerged from their cocoons into beautiful painted lady butterflies. 

The children, staff and parents were excited to set all five of our butterflies free on Friday evening and a lucky few even had the chance to hold and observe them before they flew away in our

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Victory for the early years sector

Victory for the early years sector

07 Jun 13

A big thank you to those parents who signed the petition demanding the Government rethink plans to change staffing ratios. Nick Clegg announced today that this would no longer be happening.

There has been a lot of coverage in press and on TV and we have provided a link below to what I consider to be a fairly reasoned response. Asking staff, no matter how well qualified,

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Birds nesting at Harlequin

Birds nesting at Harlequin

22 May 13

We are really lucky to have Blue Tits nesting in our nursery garden. At the beginning of Spring we set up a special nesting box with a hidden live webcam inside it so the children can watch from a screen inside the nursery. This has been an amazing experience for the children as they have been able to watch Mrs Bird (named by the children) keep her eggs warm ,

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Eureka!

Eureka!

20 May 13

A group of Pre-school children from Harlequin have recently enjoyed an exciting trip to Eureka to experieince their new 'All about me' exhibition. We explored our senses, measured and weighed ourselves and had lots of fun with all the different activities available (although the train ride there was just as exciting!!)

'All About Me is a really clever new gallery because it’s been designed

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Pre-loved donations

Pre-loved donations

07 May 13

The nurseries recently asked parents to donate any pre-loved baby equipment such as cots, moses baskets, prams, car seats and stair gates for a special collection for the local charity Talkthru.

The charity would like to thank all the families that donated items to their baby equipment project, all of which will go to families who are experiencing financial hardship. Several items have gone out to clients

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Getting into character

Getting into character

14 Mar 13

To celebrate World Book Day on the 7th March the children at Harlequin Nursery dressed up as their favourite book character, it was lovely to see all the children trying to guess each others characters. Take a look at our photos at some of our stars from the day. 

The children also had their own cake stall with lots of chocolate treats they had made to

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Make a change today

Make a change today

15 Feb 13

The Minister Elizabeth Truss has recently published a highly controversial paper “More Great Childcare”.  There are a number of proposed changes but a key issue is her proposal to change the staffing ratios in order to force nurseries to reduce fees to parents. While we agree with the principle of making childcare affordable we do not agree that forcing staff to care for larger groups is

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Snow time

Snow time

29 Jan 13

The children have had a wonderful time playing in the snow over the last couple of weeks.  They have been sledging, throwing snow balls, making snow angels, snowmen, snow dogs and even a snow woolly mammoth.

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

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Children helping children

Children helping children

18 Dec 12

The children, parents and staff at Portland Nurseries have been donating toys to our local charity the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice to help raise funds this Christmas.

The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice has been raising awareness around their toy appeal over recent weeks, and we have shown our support with many kind donations from our families. 

Children at

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Outdoor kitchen fun

Outdoor kitchen fun

09 Nov 12

The children at Harlequin now have their very own outdoor kitchen. They have been collecting leaves, barks, twigs, conkers  acorns, soil and sand from the garden to cook some special recipes. 

Ruth Tattersall the Manager explains " An outdoor kitchen is a great opportunity for creative and imaginative play for the children as they cook, mix, collect ingredients from the natural environment around them. They have

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Jan White renowned expert in Outdoor Play leads company training day

Jan White renowned expert in Outdoor Play leads company training day

06 Nov 12

We were very lucky to have Jan White, the world renowned expert on Outdoor play lead our staff training day this month. Jan posed the question  “How can our outdoor space become an ‘enabling environment’ with the potential to support each child to be a unique, competent learner and to make progress at their own pace in a challenging and enjoyable way?”

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Nursery Staff applaud Outstanding Contribution to Special Needs and their Rising Stars

Nursery Staff applaud Outstanding Contribution to Special Needs and their Rising Stars

06 Nov 12

All 80 staff from Harlequin, Holly Bank, Oakwood House and Portland House Nurseries gathered at the Textile Centre for Excellence on Friday November 2nd 2012 for their training day followed by the Portland Nurseries Annual review and Awards presentation.

Pam Burrell, who has worked at Portland House for over 15 years, received an Outstanding Contribution Award for her work across all four nurseries for Special Needs. Rosemary Murphy OBE  

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Outstanding Achievement

Outstanding Achievement

05 Oct 12

A big thank you to all the parents, family and friends who have helped us raise an outstanding £4752 for our chosen charity the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice. 

Fundraising highlights have included a Den Making Festival, where the children, staff and parents came together to build their own dens out of the nurseries natural woodland resource’s, Sponsored Olympics, Tandem Sky Diving, Travelling

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Sky high for charity

Sky high for charity

10 Sep 12

A big cheer  to our four very daring staff  members who recently took part in a tandem sky dive to raise money for our chosen charity the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice. Sarah Craven from Harlequin, Vickie Sykes from Holly Bank, Stacey Smith and Kayleigh Moorhouse from Oakwood House all jumped from a plane with a qualified instructor which saw them free fall from 15,000 feet reaching

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Mini Olympics for charity

Mini Olympics for charity

24 Aug 12

The Olympic Games have been such an exciting time for our children so what better way to celebrate than to hold our very own here at Harlequin Nursery and raise money for our chosen charity the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice at the same time.

We all had such a fun time with children and their families all taking part in sponsored events such as

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Chocolate and Fudge

Chocolate and Fudge

04 Jul 12

We have some new furry friends at Harlequin-Chocolate and Fudge the Guinea pigs. A group of children went on a special trip to the pet shop to choose our new pets. We have spent the last week preparing a home for them, visiting the library for books and talking about how we will care for them at Nursery. 

I am sure they will be a much

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Safety first at Harlequin

Safety first at Harlequin

18 Jun 12

As part of the Child Accident Prevention Trust's (CAPT) 'Child Safety Week' the children at Harlequin Nursery, Halifax Road, enjoyed a visit from the local ambulance team. The team arrived at the nursery in their ambulance and allowed the children to explore the ambulance and equipment and test out the siren.

Ruth Tattersall, Harlequin Manager explains “The children at Harlequin can all demonstrate an exceptional

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Start Pre-school with us

Start Pre-school with us

13 Jun 12

The transition into pre-school is a very special milestone in your child’s development. Your child will have grown in confidence and ability and is now ready to develop all the skills needed for the new challenge of school. Our pre –school rooms are led by Early Years Professionals (EYPs) and childcare practitioners who plan for the individual needs of each child.

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Who’s egg could it be?

Who’s egg could it be?

11 Jun 12

The children at Harlequin have made a fascinating discovery in the nursery garden. After following some unusual footprints through the garden we discovered a nest containing 2 large speckled eggs. We have been observing the eggs closely and are waiting to see what could possibly hatch from them.

How egg-citing!!

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Get Children Outdoors

Get Children Outdoors

29 May 12

We have found a great website which is all about inspiring  parents and teachers to find new ways of using the world beyond their front door to connect to their children and foster their sense of identity. 

There are some really fun ideas to do outside with your children from Mud Pies, Leaf Kebabs to Build an Imaginary Land. Follow the link to the

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Out and about

Out and about

27 Mar 12

Trips to the local library,post office and parks have been some of the ways in which the Harlequin children have been learning about their local community. These trips are vital in a child's learning as they allow them to develop a knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It also allows them to develop an awareness of  safety;how to keep safe when crossing roads.  

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When I play outside

When I play outside

13 Mar 12

When I play outside.......

I take risks I face challenges I solve problems I make choices I belong I learn about my world I discover and explore I experiment I imagine I create I take responsibility I collaborate, communicate and co-operate I lead I can be noisy, messy and adventurous I am independent I am resilient My body is strong I learn about the natural world I

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Gold for Harlequin Nursery

Gold for Harlequin Nursery

22 Feb 12

Harlequin Nursery have been awarded a Gold 'Healthy Choice Award' from the joint partnership initiative between Kirklees Council and Kirklees NHS. It also incorporates the Five-A-Day-Campaign. This is the highest grading a business can achieve. Harlequin have now held a gold for 7 continuous years. The award is a way of acknowledging businesses that practice good standards of food hygiene and offer healthy food.

Kirklees look closely

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Double celebration Ofsted ‘Outstanding’

Double celebration Ofsted ‘Outstanding’

09 Jan 12

Portland House, Lindley and Harlequin Nursery, Edgerton are celebrating Ofsted grading’s of “Outstanding” Both nurseries from the Portland Nurseries group were inspected shortly before Christmas and found to be “Outstanding” in every aspect of their provision. 

Outstanding is the highest judgment that can be made by an Ofsted inspector and is given only when there is exceptional childcare provision that

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Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ for Harlequin

Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ for Harlequin

04 Jan 12

We are delighted to announce that Harlequin Nursery, Edgerton have been awarded “Outstanding” in their latest Ofsted inspection. Outstanding is the highest judgment that can be made by an Ofsted inspector and is given only when there is exceptional childcare provision that greatly exceeds national standards. Harlequin is the second nursery in the Portland Nurseries group to achieve Outstanding in the last two months.

Harlequin

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Harlequin Festive Stay and Play

Harlequin Festive Stay and Play

23 Dec 11

We had a fantastic Stay and Play yesterday evening at Harlequin. Children and parent's made magic Reindeer dust to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve. There was snow and ice play and pine cone printing too. The parents were also treated to a special carol concert by the children (which made at least two people cry!)

Thank you to everyone who came along and for all your

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Spreading Christmas Cheer

Spreading Christmas Cheer

19 Dec 11

A group of children from Harlequin Nursery, Edgerton have been spreading Christmas cheer in their local community with a special trip to Thornhill Care Home today. The children brought some of their nursery made mince pies for the residents to eat and sang them some of their favourite Christmas carols and songs.

Ruth Tattersall explains  “The trip was planned not only to give the residents

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Harlequin’s Christmas Party

Harlequin’s Christmas Party

13 Dec 11

It was Christmas party time at Harlequin Nursery on Sunday. Children, parents, grandparents and family friends arrived at the Paddock Cricket Club in high spirits ready for lots of festive fun! There was a DJ who had all the boys and girls singing and dancing away to their favourite Christmas songs (as you can see from the photo) and  Father Christmas* flew in on his sleigh with his

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Festival of Light

Festival of Light

09 Nov 11

Harlequin Stay and Play 

Diva lamp, chocolate apples, bonfire collages and exploring Rangoli patterns where just some of the activities the children, parents and grandparents joined in at the latest Stay and Play. 

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we had a brilliant 50% attendance!

The next stay and play will be on Thursday 22nd December at 4.30pm.The theme is Christmas and

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Putting Children First

Putting Children First

02 Nov 11

Portland Nurseries Training Day Friday 28th October 2011

There are two days each year when all four nurseries close and the staff come together for training. On Friday 28th October 80 staff including administrators and cooks spent a day at the Textile Centre of Excellence, reviewing how the tracking and measuring of a child’s development influences the development of staff skills and performance.

The workshops

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Portland Nurseries Staff Honoured with Awards

Portland Nurseries Staff Honoured with Awards

01 Nov 11

Portland Nurseries held their Annual Review and Awards Evening on Friday, October 28th. Over 80 staff from the four nurseries in the group enjoyed a celebratory evening at the George Hotel, Huddersfield which also marked 20 years in Childcare. 

Rosemary Murphy OBE, the owner and managing director of the company, gave an overview of the previous year and reported that over 85% of the childcare staff now held a

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