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!
World Book Day
13 Mar 15
World Book Day The children of Harlequin took part in World Book Day and a week of activities with lots of dressing up, favourite books and acting out our favourite stories. Our activities were even “tweeted” about when one of our parents contacted the author of The Queens Hat, Steve Anthony, about her daughter’s props for the day. He tweeted back wishing her a &ldquo
RECORD NUMBER OF BABIES BORN TO NURSERY STAFF
05 Mar 15
Portland Nurseries has seen 35 babies born to employees over the last 3 years and an amazing 17 in the last year alone!
Anastasia Murphy, Joint General Manager of Portland Nurseries’ said “This remarkable number of maternity/paternity leaves has been a challenge to manage but it has been worth it. If you have a predominately female staff team that stays with you for many years, having babies
Harlequin Daisies visit to Holly Bank
05 Mar 15
Harlequin Daisies visited Holly Bank’s soft play room. The children enjoyed bouncing, climbing, sliding and investigating with all their senses. Thank you to Hollybank for letting our children visit, they had a great time!
Poppies book of the week
02 Mar 15
Our Pre-Schoolers book of the Week has been “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. The children have made play dough with porridge, bear collage pictures and used these pictures to measure sizes in Duplo using comparison language and learning the Goldilocks song using Makaton.
Our Poppies have been also looking at stories, what comes next and filling in the missing words. <
Celebrating Chinese New Year
27 Feb 15
Harlequin has been celebrating Chinese New Year in style! We started our celebrations with a Stay and Play where we made Chinese zodiac masks, tasted Chinese food using chopsticks and made Chinese red lanterns. This year one of our children and his family when to Malaysia to celebrate New Year. William’s mum, Liane came in to talk about how Chinese New Year is celebrated and showed
Matching games using dinosaurs
09 Feb 15
The Harlequin Toddlers have been using their interests in dinosaurs to play matching games.
The games helped our children to look at similarities and differences in colour, shape and size. They also helped to develop the children’s mathematical language, for example” big”, “bigger”, “small” “smaller”, in addition to developing sorting and classification skills. <
Visit to Lindley Library
06 Feb 15
The children at Harlequin visited Lindley Library to choose some books about our forthcoming celebrations and projects.
The children chose books on Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Keeping Healthy for Health Body Happy Me week on 16th to 22nd March. We also chose books on recycling for our work towards our Eco Schools Green Flag Award.
The Library will be coming
Men in Childcare - Breaking stereotypes & planting roots for the future
06 Feb 15
Across our nurseries the male practitioners are making their mark on the early year’s sector!
Forest School Practitioner Brook Evans rallied the ‘Portland Nurseries boy’s together at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School to help the children plant a Christmas tree. The children continually learn the importance of nature and caring for their environment and the Portland Nurseries men have picked up
Snow Snow Snow
23 Jan 15
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 in their environment: they have a chance to explore the snow, its temperature, texture and how it melts when held. If children can experience snow first hand they can investigate its properties and learn whilst having fun and enjoying
Room news from Harlequin
07 Dec 14
Daisies In Daisies we have been getting very festive this season. We have been making lots of decorations to make the nursery look like a winter wonderland. The babies decorated a snowman, a Christmas tree and some snowflakes which have all been hung up in the baby room. Together we have also enjoyed singing lots of Christmas songs too. Merry Christmas from all of us
E Safety for All
24 Nov 14
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.
‘Home hackers’ spy on you and your children… with YOUR webcam Footage from inside homes, offices and shops is being intercepted and broadcast live on the internet –
Woodland Adventures at Harlequin
29 Aug 14
The children at Harlequin have been exploring the woodlands and getting to know the natural environment. They have been looking at how to keep safe in the woodland by using ribbons to mark out where they feel safe, they have also been exploring the leaves on the trees , practicing walking on different natural surfaces and steep slopes and investigating leaves from different trees with staff. Some children picked blackberries
Ice and Water FUNdraising
15 Aug 14
On 5th August, Harlequin held a charity stay and play to raise money for Water Aid. We had lots of water themed activities including Ice Jenga, Ice dinosaur excavations, and Staff Splash!, but all had a message of how important clean water is in keeping us healthy. The children baked buns for their parents to buy and we held a raffle with prizes kindly donated by parents and local
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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 ,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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?”
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
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
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
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
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
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