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