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
Baby chicks at Holly Bank
08 Apr 16
The children at Holly Bank nursery were delighted when two of their Easter eggs hatched this week! The eggs had been kept warm in an incubator before hatching on Wednesday. The children had chance to observe the baby chicks “pipping” the egg shells to crack out of them.
The children have had chance to hold the baby chicks and we are all surprised as to
Celebrating Science Week
18 Mar 16
As part of British Science Week, pre-school children explored chemical reactions. A few children have been interested in volcanoes and how they erupt. To link with science week the pre-schoolers made a volcano from newspaper and glue, waited for it to dry before painting it to look like a volcano.
The children mixed vinegar and bicarbonate of soda into the volcano mould and were amazed to see
Outing to the Garden Centre
17 Mar 16
Children at Holly Bank Nursery enjoyed a visit to the local garden centre to buy flowers, plants, herbs and bulbs for their garden.
The pre-schoolers challenged themselves to walk to the garden centre and back. They counted their steps in an effort to raise money for water aid. Jointly the children walked well over 10,000 steps and raised £30.00!
The toddlers walked part of the way
From food preparation to table!
01 Feb 16
Preschool children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed preparing their own food to eat.
They helped weigh ingredients, compare quantities and enhanced their fine manipulative skills as they rolled, stretched and twisted the dough to make twisted breadsticks.
The best part was eating the finished product with soup at tea time!
Recycling at Holly Bank
28 Jan 16
Holly Bank Preschool children have been getting more and more involved in composting and recycling.
The children are now keen to recycle their food waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, left over fruit from snack time and our egg shells. The children have also been adding their green paper towels to the compost bins after discovering they can decompose to create compost too!
Children in Need
13 Nov 15
The children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed promoting awareness of Children in Need.
The children and staff wore bright clothes, or mix and match clothes, and enjoyed baking and creating pictures over two days of fun filled activities.
We raised a fantastic amount of £168.05 for Children In Need.
Thank you for all your contributions!
EARLY YEARS TOP TRAINER INSPIRES PORTLAND NURSERIES STAFF!
03 Nov 15
On Tuesday 3rd November we held our Annual Training Day and Review at the Textile Centre of Excellence to enhance and develop the childcare practice of our 107 strong staff team and reflect on the year past.
General Manager, Anastasia Murphy gave an overview of the previous year and reported that over 84% of the childcare staff now hold a NVQ Level 3 qualification, with many of them going far
29 Oct 15
The children at Holly Bank Nursery were very curious when Zoolab came to visit.
Many children have been interested in mini beasts at the bottom of the garden so they were excited to be introduced to other insects such as millipedes, a cockroach, a giant snail, a tarantula and also a rat and a snake!
The children handled the mini beasts very carefully and looked
E Safety for All
01 Oct 15
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.
New technologies, including gaming, can offer our children many exciting and positive experiences. However nurseries and schools are increasingly aware of the negative impact that some online gaming is having on
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!
20 May 15
At the beginning of May the staff at Holly Bank enjoyed an enabling environments training day. The day helped staff to reorganise resources and reflect upon the environment our children learn within. You may have noticed the room layouts have changed slightly as a result of this. The day has been a huge benefit not only to the staff team but to children having fun exploring new open-ended resources.<
22 Apr 15
Holly Bank’s new cook Jamie has been offering the children a helping hand when they planted vegetable seeds this month.
The children have been learning how seeds grow and have helped add compost to the soil beds to then plant carrot, onion and lettuce seeds! Millicent observing soil beds & pointing to lettuce leaves “I can see the leaves, they are starting to grow
Healthy Body, Happy Me Week
09 Mar 15
The children at Holly Bank Nursery have been gearing up for the Healthy Body, Happy Me Week.
The babies enjoyed visiting the local fruit and vegetable shop in Birkby. They noticed the vast array of colours of the fruit and vegetables and on the way back to Nursery they spotted a bright red fire engine!
The Toddlers have enjoyed looking more closely at the
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
Archie’s First Pantomime
19 Feb 15
Archie one of Holly Bank pre-schoolers, is taking part in his first pantomime it is The Cliffites production of Aladdin at St Philips Community Centre, Birchencliffe during half term. Aladdin has been written by his mum Steph and his dad plays the silly policeman PC Ping and granddad is Widow Twankey.
Archie has broken the record as being the youngest person ever to take part in a
16 Feb 15
The Chatterbox Challenge has begun!
Throughout February and March, the children at Holly Bank Nursery will be taking part in a Chatterbox Challenge to raise money for the “I Can Challenge”. This challenge provides a fantastic opportunity to get children chattering and allows parents and carers to join in the fun and support speech and communication at home.
Speech, language and communication skills
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
All About Me
25 Sep 14
September has been a time of transitions with children settling into their new rooms and also making relationships with new friends. Our recent STAY & PLAY presented the perfect opportunity for families to be invited into the nursery to have a look through their children’s Learning Journals. Some parents enjoyed decorating Learning Journal’s with their children, but most loved looking through the photos with their
Simmy & Squidge - new friends at Holly Bank
15 Sep 14
At Holly Bank Nursery there have been a number of new faces! We welcome all our new children that have recently started and we also welcome our new Guinea Pigs, Simmy and Squidge. The children have enjoyed looking after the guinea pigs and have developed their understanding of them by finding out how they like to live and what food they like to eat. The children have been very
03 Aug 14
The Holly Bank Preschool children and parents really enjoyed their leavers picnic and we were pleased that it almost stayed dry!
All the children received a certificate to show how well they had done and that they are now ready for school! They even wore the special graduation hat for a photograph. We will miss you all a lot, please do come back and tell us all
Fun in the Sun
01 Aug 14
All the children at Holly bank have been enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having by spending time doing lots of water play to keep cool. The children have really enjoyed the sensory experiences this provides and have been observing how the water changes. They have painted with it, made footprints and watched it all disappear in the sun.
Baby Birds at Holly Bank
03 Jul 14
Here at Holly Bank we have some birds nesting in the bushes. The toddlers have really enjoyed watching the Mummy and Daddy bird come with worms and other food for the baby birds in the nest. We can’t really see the baby birds, but we can hear them chirping from the nest. Hopefully we’ll see them as they get a bit bigger and learn to
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
Charity Car Wash
08 Apr 14
On Saturday 5th April all the staff from Holly Bank nursery got together to help raise money for Water Aid. To discourage our friends and parents from using the commerical car wash companies who use gallons of water they put on our own cheap, easy and environmentally friendly Charity Car Wash. Conserving as much water as possible the Nursery Practitioners worked up a lather on over 25 cars! They also
Healthy Body Happy Me at Holly Bank
28 Mar 14
All week the children at Holly Bank have been taking part in the NDNA’s* 'Healthy Body Happy Me' week. We have learnt about keeping active and how fun it is to spend time outside in the fresh air (but we already knew that!) We’ve also learnt about germs and how it’s really important to wash our hands properly to keep the nasty bugs
A Letter from Lydia
26 Mar 14
When Louise from Holly Bank went to visit Finland her little bear Lydia decided she wanted to stay!
Lydia promised to write to all the children at Holly Bank to tell them all about the nursery in Finland she is now living in and they have just received their first letter! All the children are very excited and are going to write back and tell her
Chinese New Year at Holly Bank
03 Feb 14
The Bluebell children at Holly Bank have been learning all about Chinese New Year! They have been very busy creating an array of artwork for our display board, inluding Chinese dragons. We all got to taste various Chinese snacks and learn about different foods from around the world.
One lucky boy has jumped on a plane and flown all the way to China with his mummy and
Yummy Apple Pie Gifts
08 Nov 13
The Children in Poppies at Holly Bank Nursery have been busy making good use of their abundance of apples this year, making a special apple pie to take up to the care home as a treat for all the residents.This yummy treat was gratefully received and they are looking forward to the mince pies at Christmas!
Mini Beasts visit Holly Bank
08 Oct 13
The children at Holly Bank Nursery have enjoyed a very special visit from Zoo Lab who brought all sorts of insects and mini beasts that we haven’t seen before, including a giant snail named Flash, an albino corn snake named Rizzle and a tarantula!
We learnt lots about what they like to eat, where they live ,how they see and even how some of them
Apple Picking at Holly Bank
18 Sep 13
The children in Bluebells have enjoyed picking the apples from our very own apple trees in the garden this morning. We brought them inside, peeled and washed them before enjoying them for our snack this afternoon.
The Poppies room have also been busy exploring the apples, talking about the different patterns and shapes they can make when creating their apple print pictures.
Mini Musicians at Holly Bank
24 Jul 13
The boys and girls at Hollybank enjoyed a visit from Liz today who brought some special musical instruments for them to play with and explore. The children had a lovely, musical time creating loud ,quiet ,high and low sounds on instruments such as recorders, accordions, guitars and flutes. With all the fantastic tunes being played everybody enjoyed some dancing and singing in the garden!
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,
Going on a bear hunt
03 Jun 13
This afternoon the pre-school children at Holly Bank went on a bear hunt in Clayton Fields behind the nursery.
We’re going on a bear hunt, We’re going to catch a big one, What a beautiful day! We’re not scared.
Uh oh, grass long wavy grass. We can’t go over it, we can’t go
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
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