Rosemary Murphy OBE
06 Jun 18
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Rosemary Murphy OBE, owner of Portland Nurseries.
Rosemary was recognised as a visionary in the early year’s sector and founder of the charity National Day Nurseries Association.
Both qualified teachers, Rosemary and her husband Michael’s passion for education led them to open their own children’s nursery in Lindley,
Feed the Birds!
09 May 18
This week the Harlequin children have been looking after the wildlife around the nursery! We have made bird feeders to leave out on the bird table for all the birds....and the squirrels rather enjoyed the food we made too!
Planting at Harlequin
25 Apr 18
The children at Harlequin nursery enjoyed planting seeds in our flower beds; we planted sunflowers, pumpkin and broad beans. The children watered the seeds and we look forward to seeing them grow. Hopefully we can all enjoy measuring the sunflowers and eating the beans!
Mother’s Day Stay and Play
09 Mar 18
We Invited parents and carers of Harlequin children to join us in celebrating all the wonderful mums!
We held a breakfast Stay and Play session where we had fresh fruit platters and crumpets, the children made lovely cards and pictures and some mums stayed to read stories with the children.
World Book Day
07 Mar 18
At Harlequin we have been celebrating our favourite stories again on World Book Day; we hold the annual event in celebration of authors, illustrators and reading.
To mark the wonder of reading children and staff enjoyed dressing up as their favourite character from a book, we shared stories and discussed the characters.
The day is dedicated to getting children closer to the books and authors
Happy Pancake Day from Harlequin!
13 Feb 18
Harlequin Poppies have made some delicious pancakes today with our cook Yannick. We helped him to measure the ingredients and mix everything together in a big bowl. Yannick cooked our pancakes in the kitchen for us and at snack time we chose our own toppings!
All the children agreed they were very yummy!
National Storytelling Week
31 Jan 18
At Harlequin we have been celebrating National Storytelling Week. Some children brought books in from home to share at nursery, we talked about our favourite stories and recreated them outdoors: We went on a bear hunt in the forest and used hoops to join children together to make a long “hungry Caterpillar”.
Our Stay and Play was all about telling stories. The children enjoyed using
29 Jan 18
This month, the Harlequin Daisies had a visit from Louise at Jo Jingles. She brought Jo along and introduced the children to lots of fun rhymes! The children joined in using musical instruments and clapping their hands.
Louise brought a parachute with her and the children really enjoyed playing underneath it while Louise sang along to music.
The highlight for the children had to be
07 Dec 17
In the Daisies Room at Harlequin the children have been using all their senses to explore items in the treasure baskets.
Treasure baskets are filled with everyday items made from everyday and natural materials, such as a paint brush, metal spoon, rolling pins, fir cones, and feathers. A simple treasure basket gives babies an opportunity to explore, experiment and make choices at their own pace.
Visit to Lindley Library
06 Dec 17
This week Harlequin Poppies went on an adventure to Lindley Library. They wrapped up warm and walked to Lindley, singing songs and talking about what we could see.
Once there, the children enjoyed looking at books and choosing Christmas stories to bring back to nursery and share with all their friends.
They are looking forward to going on another walk to return the books
26 Oct 17
Here at Harlequin the children have enjoyed being “leaf monsters”! We went on an adventure in to our forest area, making monster foot prints in the mud as we stomped along!
17 Oct 17
Today In Harlequin Poppies the children have had a Spanish session with Jade.
The children have enjoyed learning the “hello”, “goodbye” song and they are learning lots of nursery rhymes in Spanish, such as 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' and 'Tommy Thumb'. The favourite song of the session had to be the bubble song! Fantastico!!
Our Annual Staff Training Day
27 Sep 17
On Tuesday 26th September, we closed the nurseries so our staff team could come together for our Annual Training Day. This is an incredibly beneficial day for our teams and instrumental for delivering outstanding childcare. We use our constant observation and tracking of the children's development to inform the staff teams Personal Devleopment Plans and identify topic areas for training.
Training delivered during the
Thornhill Care Home visit!
15 Sep 17
The Harlequin children went to Thornhill Care Home on Friday to visit the residents, they took jigsaws and books with them which both the children and the residents enjoyed doing together.
It was one residents 99th birthday, the children made her a birthday card and gave it to her.
Shredded paper play!
27 Jul 17
In Harlequin Daisies the babies have been enjoying exploration play in shredded paper, they have been using their fine motor skills to see what they could find hidden in the paper.
They are getting very good at grasping objects using hand-eye co-ordination and really enjoying the feel of all the paper. For the older children we introduced descriptive words, encouraging them to begin to describe the
Poppies Leavers Picnic
11 Jul 17
This month has been very busy for the children in Harlequin Poppies; we have had some children leave us ready to start school in September.
We held a leavers picnic where the children and their families all came together to celebrate the end of their time at Harlequin. The sun was shining and the children enjoyed eating all the lovely sandwiches and snacks prepared by our cook
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,
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
‘Little Superstars’ visit
23 Jan 17
This month Harlequin Poppies had a visit from a member of the ‘Little Superstars’ team. He came and introduced the children to lots of fun outdoor sporting activities including athletics, cricket and weaving their bodies in and out of some cones. The children showed very good balancing skills as they balanced bean bags on different parts of their bodies and ran round trying not to drop them.<
Thank You Samantha for 20 Years Contribution to Outstanding Childcare!
22 Jan 17
Staff and children gathered last week at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School, to congratulate nursery manager Samantha Richmond for her twenty year contribution to making Huddersfield based Portland Nurseries group “Outstanding”. Samantha is the third employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years and she was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a commemorative award, a cheque, a company Holiday
Discovering the moon!
16 Jan 17
In Harlequin baby room this month the children have been interested in the moon, and have enjoyed looking for the moon as it gets darker at the end of the day.
We made some moon pictures using paint and stuck them up on the doors so we can always see the moon during the day. Then we made some paper mache moons using balloons and
Daisies mud kitchen play
09 Dec 16
Harelquin babies have enjoyed exploring the mud kitchen; we added paint and cinnamon to it to alter the colour and the aroma and the children used natural resources to mix it all together and scoop it out on to the floor. Once on the floor they enjoyed doing welly prints, observing the different patterns they had made.
We even brought some mud in doors to play
Outdoor play with the Couldron
05 Dec 16
The children in Harlequin Poppies have been spending lots of time outside in the forest area mixing potions in the cauldron using natural resources found in our outdoor area.
The children have demonstrated their amazing imaginations with the roles they have taken on in their play; from being witches and wizards making their potions to turning the troll in to a friendly fairy and making their
15 Years of Fun!
23 Nov 16
Happy 15 Year Anniversary to our lovely staff members Debbie and Vickie.
Debbie and Vickie were both working at Holly Bank Nursery when Portland Nurseries took over in 2001. They have stayed with us ever since, supporting staff across the company.
They've made a difference to the lives of so many children over the years, and we just wanted to say a huge thank you for
Children in Need Stay and Play
18 Nov 16
This month the Harlequin children enjoyed helping to raise funds for Children in Need, we held a Stay & Play session where all the children and parents/carers got involved with all our spotty themed activities, we made Pudsey bear eye patches, we decorated Pudsey bear biscuits and made lots of spotty pictures, we even came to nursery in our best spotty clothes!
17 Nov 16
Harlequin have welcomed a new French cook. Yannick, originally from Normandy has joined the team to continue cooking fresh and nutritious meals on site for the children. Yannick has been teaching the children about French food and healthy eating, and helping them learn a little French along the way too. The children have been learning the names of different fruits and vegetables and can now ask for an
Flexible Term-time Sessions Available at Portland House
16 Nov 16
Portland House is now offering 3, 5 and 7.5 hour a day, term-time sessions in their Sunflower room.
The room will be open from 7.30am - 3.30pm allowing you to use your 15 hours a week of Free Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds in a variety of session patterns.
Morning Session: 3 hrs x 5 days (between 7.30am and 11.30am)
Afternoon Session: 3 hrs x 5 days (from12.30pm to 3.3
Peg Painting in Daisies
07 Nov 16
The babies at Harlequin have enjoyed using alternative methods to paint pictures; we attached string to pegs to paint firework pictures, dipping the string in the paint then moving it along the paper created beautiful pieces of art the children then added glitter to make their fireworks come to life.
The babies then enjoyed just getting their hands in the paint and feeling the texture.
First Aid Training
03 Oct 16
Our staff teams across our nurseries recently updated and gained valuable First Aid knowledge and practical skills on their 12 hour paediatric first aid course. The course was run by Kiss it Better and everyone passed with flying colours.
All our staff are trained in first aid and qualified to level 3 in paediatric first aid. Our forest school staff are also trained in a level 3 outdoor first aid
A Fond Farewell to Pam!
26 Aug 16
Today we say a fond farewell to Pam Burrell who retired this week to spend time with her new baby granddaughter. Pam is one of our longest serving members of staff, having worked at Portland House for 20 years with young children of all ages and learning capabilities, supporting them and their families to have the best possible start in life.
She has done so much for the
Stay and Play Mini Olympics
24 Aug 16
At Harlequins Stay & Play the children participated in their own mini Olympics.
We had lots of events going on; long jump, egg and spoon race, sack races and a parents race, needless to say the parents were the most competitive! The babies took part in their own mini obstacle course and all the children finished off by receiving a medal.We even had a visit from
17 Aug 16
This week at Harlequin the Poppies children have been in the forest with their torches hunting for bugs!
They found lots to look at: spiders, slugs and wood lice to name a few. The children helped to make a bug den in the snug area where they can use the magnifying glasses to look closely at our pretend bugs! The children then drew lovely pictures of the
Portland House wins the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year!
07 Jul 16
A big well done and congratulations to Portland House for winning the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year! We are so proud of all of the nurseries in the group and the staff teams who work so hard to provide the best possible learning opportunities and care for all the children who attend. However, this is a brilliant honour for Portland House and one that marks 25 years
12 May 16
Working in teams of two, the pre-school children took part in some woodwork activities using a range of tools from hack saws to screwdrivers and hammers.
Before they started, the children took part in a safety discussion where we talked about how to be careful and sensible.
Allowing them to manage risk and learn a range of new skills, the pre-schoolers worked on
10 May 16
Today in the baby room we have enjoyed making music using lots of different instruments to create loud and soft sounds, both fast and slow.
We encouraged all the children to use the instruments themselves and sang songs such as “Twinkle Twinkle” and our favourite “Horsey, Horsey” because we liked the “clip-clopping” noise the wooden instruments made!
OUTSTANDING again for Harlequin Nursery!
03 May 16
We are delighted to announce that Harlequin have once again been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ grade by Ofsted in all categories!
We would just like to say a big congratulations and well done to all the staff who have done so well to achieve this working together as a new team. The high quality childcare and education we provide would not be possible without all their
02 May 16
Lots of the children have been talking about a troll that is living in our forest area but we don’t see him because he is scared of all the children and staff at the nursery.
To show the troll that we are very kind and caring, the pre-school children worked together making a large card and present to send to the troll.
Healthy Body Happy Me
28 Apr 16
NDNA’s Annual Healthy Body Happy Me campaign encourages better health and happiness by giving children ideas for play, learning and fun, sponsored by Hope Education and Citation Professional Solutions. Each day of the week-long campaign has a special theme promoting healthy messages with fun activities, tips and ideas.
At Harlequin children were taking a look at themselves in the mirror. The children in the Poppies
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
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