Nursery News


Goodbye Bluebells

Goodbye Bluebells

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

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Fun in the Sun

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.

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Baby Birds at Holly Bank

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

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Circle Time

Circle Time

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.

Circle

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Portland Nurseries Staff Training Day

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

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Charity Car Wash

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

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Healthy Body Happy Me at Holly Bank

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

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A Letter from Lydia

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

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Chinese New Year at Holly Bank

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

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Yummy Apple Pie Gifts

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!

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Mini Beasts visit Holly Bank

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

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Apple Picking at Holly Bank

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.

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Mini Musicians at Holly Bank

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!

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Victory for the early years sector

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,

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Going on a bear hunt

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

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Pre-loved donations

Pre-loved donations

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

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Make a change today

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

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Snow time

Snow time

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

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Children helping children

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. 

Children at

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World Food Day

World Food Day

16 Nov 12

To celebrate World Food Day on October 16th the children at Holly Bank took part in food tasting activities to discover different foods from around the world. The babies experienced a mouth-watering medley of exotic fruits such as passion fruit, pomegranate and mango. While the toddlers tasted dips from tzatziki to sweet chill. Our amazing cook Karl made some healthy tortilla crisps for the children to dip into

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Jan White renowned expert in Outdoor Play leads company training day

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?”

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Nursery Staff applaud Outstanding Contribution to Special Needs and their Rising Stars

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  

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Outstanding Achievement

Outstanding Achievement

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

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Peas in a pod

Peas in a pod

11 Sep 12

Peas, strawberries, tomatoes, beans and potatoes, just some of the tasty fruit and vegetables the children at Holly Bank have been growing this year in their vegetable plot. The peas and strawberries were so tasty we ate them straight from the pod. Our nursery cook used the potatoes for lunch so all the children could taste them. A big thank you to Kirsty (Callum's Mummy) for

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Sky high for charity

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

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Start Pre-school with us

Start Pre-school with us

13 Jun 12

The transition into pre-school is a very special milestone in your child’s development. Your child will have grown in confidence and ability and is now ready to develop all the skills needed for the new challenge of school. Our pre –school rooms are led by Early Years Professionals (EYPs) and childcare practitioners who plan for the individual needs of each child.

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Get Children Outdoors

Get Children Outdoors

29 May 12

We have found a great website which is all about inspiring  parents and teachers to find new ways of using the world beyond their front door to connect to their children and foster their sense of identity. 

There are some really fun ideas to do outside with your children from Mud Pies, Leaf Kebabs to Build an Imaginary Land. Follow the link to the

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Natural hideouts for children

Natural hideouts for children

21 May 12

The Willow Den at Holly Bank is a magical place for the children to develop their imagination and spend time exploring the outdoors.  In the space of a week the willow den can become a space ship, a train, an igloo, a castle, a secret hideout and that’s just the start. It also becomes a quiet place for the children to sit together and listen to

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Little gardeners

Little gardeners

15 May 12

The toddlers at Holly Bank have been making their finishing touches to the nursery vegetable patch. All the fresh compost is down now we just need some vegetables to grow. 

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When I play outside

When I play outside

13 Mar 12

When I play outside.......

I take risks I face challenges I solve problems I make choices I belong I learn about my world I discover and explore I experiment I imagine I create I take responsibility I collaborate, communicate and co-operate I lead I can be noisy, messy and adventurous I am independent I am resilient My body is strong I learn about the natural world I

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Animal time

Animal time

31 Jan 12

The children at Holly Bank had a special visit from Zoo Lab last week. The Rangers brought along a very interesting collection of animals for the children to examine, from giant snails, to rats and snakes! The children took it in turns to hold and stroke the animals while learning about the way they move, the textures of their skin and their natural habitats. 

Manager Karen

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Holly Bank Christmas Stay and Play

Holly Bank Christmas Stay and Play

21 Dec 11

The Bluebells had their Christmas Stay and Play on Tuesday afternoon at Holly Bank. Children and parents made snow flakes and baubles, festive shapes out of Plasticine and sang their favourite Christmas songs and carols. We hope to see you all next year. Thank you to all the parents for coming along throughout the year.

Stay and Play Dates 2012

9th Jan - Bubbles - Babies,

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Christmas Party Fun

Christmas Party Fun

12 Dec 11

The children , staff and parents at Holly Bank Nursery have recently celebrated their annual Christmas Party. Each year everyone gets together at the Jubilee Centre for lots of festive fun, from singing Christmas Carols, to party games, to a live magician and of course a visit from Father Christmas. Holly Bank also  raised £106 for the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice with the Christmas raffle. A big

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Putting Children First

Putting Children First

02 Nov 11

Portland Nurseries Training Day Friday 28th October 2011

There are two days each year when all four nurseries close and the staff come together for training. On Friday 28th October 80 staff including administrators and cooks spent a day at the Textile Centre of Excellence, reviewing how the tracking and measuring of a child’s development influences the development of staff skills and performance.

The workshops

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Portland Nurseries Staff Honoured with Awards

Portland Nurseries Staff Honoured with Awards

01 Nov 11

Portland Nurseries held their Annual Review and Awards Evening on Friday, October 28th. Over 80 staff from the four nurseries in the group enjoyed a celebratory evening at the George Hotel, Huddersfield which also marked 20 years in Childcare. 

Rosemary Murphy OBE, the owner and managing director of the company, gave an overview of the previous year and reported that over 85% of the childcare staff now held a

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Harvest Time

Harvest Time

27 Sep 11

Toddlers and staff from Holly Bank Nursery have made a special trip to Alwoodleigh Nursing Home to celebrate the Harvest Festival with the residents. The children presented a basket of home grown organic courgettes, turnips and carrots that they have grown in the nursery garden this year. They also made a beetroot and chocolate cake and sang some of their favourite songs. 

Debbie Platt the Nursery

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Fantastic turnout at Lindley Carnival

Fantastic turnout at Lindley Carnival

06 Jul 11

Thank you to all the parents who supported Portland Nurseries at our stall at the Lindley Carnival last week.  We raised £243 for the Forget Me Not Trust from the sale of  our delicious homemade cakes, buns and toys. See you next year. 

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Portland Nurseries Investors In People

Portland Nurseries Investors In People

01 Jul 11

The nurseries have recently taken part in the Investors in People review (IIP). Portland House was the first nursery in Kirklees to be recognised for this award and the group has been continuously recognised for almost 12 years. The feedback was extremely positive:

“There is a clear ethos, strong vision and good understanding of what the nurseries are about and what is important.  Staff are very

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Potatoes for everyone!

Potatoes for everyone!

20 Jun 11

The green fingered children at Holly Bank nursery have been digging up their fully grown potatoes, spring onions and carrots  with a little help from Ella  and Callums mummy (our parent gardener). The children filled a whole wheelbarrow full to the top with yummy potatoes.   Everyone helped wash and scrub them and then made them into a giant potato salad to enjoy at tea time

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Helping Hands

Helping Hands

09 May 11

Mummy of Ella and Callum spent a fun afternoon with the pre-school children at Holly Bank helping them to plant seeds in the raised beds. We always welcome any green fingered parent, carer of friend to come down to the nursery and help the children. 

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