Poppies at the ready!
20 Jun 18
The Holly Bank Poppies have shown a big interest in toilet training recently as we approach transition time. Today we created a mini nursery, helping to look after our baby dolls. We helped them to use the potty as well as with their other self-care skills such as putting nappies on, bathing and dressing the babies.
15 Jun 18
The Holly Bank Bluebells have had the fantastic experience of raising some baby chicks for two weeks.
We watched our eggs hatch in the incubator into 9 beautiful baby chicks. The children learned that the boys are yellow and the girls are brown. The children counted them to find we had two boys and the rest were girls. The Bluebells found it funny that one little girl chick
Caterpillars to Butterflies
08 Jun 18
Holly Bank Bluebells have enjoyed watching some caterpillar’s transition into beautiful butterflies.
Our five caterpillars grew bigger and bigger every day, eating lots of food inside their container. We read the story of The Hungry Caterpillar and all the children knew our butterflies were called ‘painted ladies’. We took them outside to watch them fly away. They even sat on our noses!!
Big Bug Hunt!
06 Jun 18
The Holly Bank Poppies have enjoyed learning how to show care and concern for living things this spring.
We took some magnifying glasses and set out on a Big Bug Hunt. On our bug hunt we found some snails, woodlice, a spider and even some baby lady birds. When we finished our hunt we talked about where the animals live, what they eat and what they might
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,
28 Feb 18
Holly Bank nursery children have really enjoyed the snow today. We have been throwing snowballs, making snow angels and we are so proud of our snowman. We had a go at putting on our own coats, wellies, hats and scarves so we were nice and warm.
We all love the snow here at Holly Bank!
Rain and Dark!
18 Jan 18
This month at Holly Bank the children have been enjoying playing out in the rain. We've loved putting onour wellies and splashing in all the muddy puddles!
We have also enjoyed playing out after tea time, using our torches and glow sticks to explore our outdoor area and talk about llight and dark!
18 Dec 17
Holly Bank have been getting very Christmassy this month. We have been decorating all our Christmas trees by ourselves, making new baubles to hang on the tree and having ‘tinsel baths’ which the babies really enjoyed. We have shaking the musical instruments and singing Christmas songs, really getting in to the Christmas spirit!
Christmas Fayre Stay & Play
12 Dec 17
Holly Bank had a very successful Christmas fayre at our Stay & Play this month. We sold lots of Christmas biscuits and buns and the children made Christmas Eve sacks to sell. With our Christmas jumper day today we have raised a total of £142.50 for our nominated charity Candlelighters.
Well done everyone!
06 Dec 17
The children at Holly Bank have been very busy this week making new art work for our Christmas displays. We have talked about Christmas and why it is a special time for some of us. We have also talked about different religious celebrations for different faiths throuhgout the year.
We are looking forward to sing our creative skills to make some baubles and a topper
03 Dec 17
The Holly Bank children had an amazing time at our Christmas party. We had a very special visit from Santa Clause and we played with the balloons and did some dancing! We were all very excited and full of Christmas cheer!
Thank you to all those who came.It's lovely to spend time with you all as a family.
03 Nov 17
The children in Hollybank Bluebells enjoyed helping to make our bonfire display. We talked about fire and how to stay safe. We talked about the colours and the noises the fireworks make.
Holly Bank Scarecrow
03 Nov 17
The children at Holly Bank have been making a ‘Holly Bank scarecrow’ this week. The gardener collected a huge bag of leaves for us which we used to stuff the scarecrow. We drew a face on him with pens in our own design. The scarecrow played on our slide with us, we enjoyed pushing him down!!
01 Nov 17
The Hollybank Bluebells have had a very busy afternoon. After talking about fireworks and bonfires and all the lovely colours they make, we decided to make some out of Lego. Then we used our whole bodies to show the movements and sounds fireworks make.
19 Oct 17
This week at Holly Bank the children have been celebrating Diwali. We have been talking about Diwali and what it means, using torches and a coloured disco balls to celebrate the light festival.
The Bluebells have made some glitter mendhi hands for our display board. Everything is very sparkly including the children!
11 Oct 17
At Holly Bank finally with great excitement, the grass heads we have made, watered and watched grow over the last few weeks in Bluebells have sprouted grass hair!
Using scissors we carefully ‘snipped’ and ‘cut’ the grass hair to give the grass heads a new look!
We have talked about ‘long’ ‘short, ‘curly’ and ‘straight
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
01 Aug 17
The Bluebells at Holly Bank celebrated Yorkshire Day on August 1st. They made ‘Yorkshire flags’ created by tearing up and screwing up pieces of tissue paper and gluing them onto card to make a White Rose.
The children talked about different places they had visited in Yorkshire and of course there was a lot of talk about Yorkshire Puddings!
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.
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
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
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
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!!
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
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
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
14 Oct 16
The Daisies at Holly Bank have enjoyed exploring the Autumn leaves and conkers.
The babies have loved exploring their garden and have been very interested in conkers. They felt how smooth they were, how they rolled and posting them. Indoors they then mixed the conkers with paint to make marks and created some fantastic Autumnal pictures!
06 Oct 16
Pre-schoolers at Holly Bank Nursery had a lovely surprise when Pietro turned four this month!
Pietro had helped his mum and dad make two healthy fruit cakes! One was a hedgehog and the other a dinosaur! His friends sang Happy Birthday to him and then all enjoyed a piece of his fruity hedgehog and dinosaur!
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
Fruit from the trees!
08 Aug 16
Holly Bank pre-schoolers have finally been able to pick the fruit from their trees!
The children have been observing the apples and bilberries growing in the garden and have enjoyed picking them, cleaning them and tasting them! We were all amazed at how big the apples had grown!
14 Jul 16
The children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed cooking up a feast in their mud kitchen. Using grass, leaves, mud, stones and sticks they pulled, mixed, sprinkled and patted the natural resources to create their concoctions.
The children were also on the hunt for mini beasts! They learnt the use of magnifying glasses to help them look closely at the world around them.
07 Jul 16
Holly Bank Nursery enjoyed a visit from “Rugby Tots” on Thursday to learn multiple skills used in rugby.
Children loved the sporty session and got chance to show off their running, throwing and catching skills.
The rugby session also demonstrated how well the children could listen to instructions and to work as a team.
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
International Mud Day at Holly Bank
29 Jun 16
The preschool children at Holly Bank enjoyed exploring the texture and feel of mud as they created mud pies and cakes in the mud kitchen. The children squished the mud on their hands rubbing the mud up their arms and creating mud masks. The children explored numbers as they counted the mud buns onto the baking trays and added leaves and twigs as candles and decorations.
Children’s interests in spiders!
26 May 16
Preschool children have been on the hunt for mini beasts! They have spotted some big spiders in the basement area at Holly Bank Nursery. The spiders ignited their imaginations and creativity skills and many of the pre-schoolers enjoyed using different materials to create their own spiders!
Our fantastic spiders will be on display in the basement.
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
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