17 May 16
After our recent Earth Day Stay and Play the toddlers have done an excellent job at looking after our beans and carrots that we planted. The children have enjoyed taking the watering cans into the garden and also getting their hands stuck in the soil pulling out weeds.
A group of children noticed our beans were getting bigger so decided to have a closer look. “Them
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
Cooking up a Storm!
28 Apr 16
Today during our forest session the children discovered a letter sent from the fairies, telling them that the Sneezy Dragon had been to visit again and eaten all of their food! “We can make them some more!”
The children made two teams and set off to find different, natural materials to use as ‘dinner’. They created a 2 course meal together.
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
Sowing the seeds!
20 Apr 16
In the baby room at Oakwood House the babies have had lots of fun planting seeds and they used trowels to help them put the compost into their own planting pots. We talked about the different names of the herbs which were lemon balm, dill, parsley, rocket, marjoram, basil and chives and the children felt the different textures of the compost and seeds.
The babies brilliant planting
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
The Secret Garden
12 Apr 16
Today at our Forest School session the children have really enjoyed exploring a ‘secret’ part of our garden! We learnt about boundaries and how to keep safe in the area and all worked together to make a bridge to get us to the other side.
“Maybe we could use two logs, so we can put one foot on each side, this will help us
Land of the “knock knocks”
07 Apr 16
The Sneezy Dragon came to play at Oakwood today!
The children quietly tiptoed through the garden, being careful not to wake the dragon. We heard some sneezes along the way, so quickly layed down and covered our eyes. “We have to cover our eyes so the sneezy dragon could not see us” “If we tiptoe the sneezy dragon can’t hear our
23 Mar 16
Parents, staff and children had fun at Oakwoods Easter Stay and Play.
There was an egg hunt outside in which the Easter Bunny made an appearance. The children also worked hard on their Easter Bonnets and decorated eggs.
The staff had baked some amazing cakes for the bake sale and a big Thank you to parents as we raised £222.43 for WaterAid!
Woodland Chip Mountain
22 Mar 16
The children in toddlers and pre-school at Oakwood House have been having great fun with a delivery of chipped wood kindly donated to us by Able Tree Surgeons. They really enjoyed climbing to the top like they were conquering a mountain and began working collaboratively together to fill the wheel barrow and move the wood chippings to the bottom of the garden.
Forest school gives children the
Top of the Morning on St Patricks Day
17 Mar 16
The children are celebrating St Patricks Day today at Oakwood House and have been helping to make some colcannon Irish mash! Colcannon is traditionally made from mashed potatoes, cabbage and spring onion.
The children used potato peelers and small knives to peel and prepare the potatoes ready to cut and the children have helped to chop some spring onion and cabbage.
When talking about St
Forest School Learning
14 Mar 16
Teresa and Jordan are having a great time on their 5 day Forest School Training course.
They have been learning lots of new skills and have come back to nursery with lots of ideas! The Forest School ethos is a unique and fun approach to learning outdoors, specifically a woodland environment.
These are a few of the activities they have taken part in: Day 1 An
Cardboard Box to Castle – Open Ended Play at Oakwood
09 Mar 16
The children in Pre-School have been having great fun in their new castle which they built with James out of a cardboard box!
The children decided they wanted to build a castle and then became knights and dragons. They have really enjoyed playing in their new play space.
A cardboard box is one of the most basic and universally loved open ended resources and it
09 Mar 16
The babies at Oakwood House have been having great fun with sensory play. They have been exploring the properties of Gloop which is a mixture of cornflour and water and they were mesmerised.
Babies learn through their senses and this sensory rich activity stimulates the brain and is perfect for this age group. Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine
Babies Butterfly Biscuits for Mothers Day
04 Mar 16
The babies had a fabulous baking session making presents for mother’s day.
They decided to make some butterfly biscuits. They weighed out the ingredients and enjoyed the smell of the orange zest. They loved getting messy mixing it all together; this was a very popular sensory activity. Next they used a rolling pin to roll out the dough and used butterfly cutters to cut out
Up Up and Away for World Book Day
03 Mar 16
The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March.
We saw a few Gruffalo, Peppa Pig, Pirates and Princesses as well as a fabulous Mr Frederickson from UP, Spiderman and even Cinderella! The children brought in their favourite books and were given a £1 World Book Day Book Token that can either
Too Many Cooks???
11 Feb 16
There is no such thing as too many cooks at Oakwood House. The children in our younger Pre-School room have been practicing their cooking skills and modelling their very smart new chef outfits. They have been busy helping prepare their own tea and also have enjoyed baking. The children have been learning and practising a wide range of skills, and have been developing their understanding of food and
Parent & Child Yoga Workshop
02 Feb 16
Oakwood House pre-school children, staff and parents recently enjoyed a Parent and Child Yoga workshop. This was a fun, creative approach to yoga that encouraged the children to explore and discover the mind and body through yoga play. The use of animated poses, story-telling and interactive games helped the children with their concentration and focus, stimulated their imagination and helped to release energy in a fun, safe environment.<
19 Jan 16
We all know that our outdoor environment at Oakwood House is a rich, dynamic and natural space ideal for learning and development. The Pre-School children at Oakwood House have recently had a visit from Batman. He called in to talk to the children about composting and what goes in our compost bins. The children have been collecting the fruit peelings from snack and also the paper towels. Daily they
Oh Christmas Tree!
21 Dec 15
The Toddlers have been very creative making lots of Christmas tree decorations with natural materials. They made baubles from pine cones, stars from twigs and salt dough Christmas trees.
We then decorated our Christmas tree that we planted outside. The toddlers really enjoyed decorating the tree, they concentrated hard and perfected their hand eye co-ordination as well as their fine motor skills. We also planted some snowmen
14 Dec 15
We would like to say a huge thank you to the parents and staff for helping fundraise this Christmas.
We have been inundated with gifts for the Help a Hallam Child organised by Hallam FM. We asked parents to buy an extra present so we could give to Hallam FM who will then pass onto a disadvantaged local child to make their Christmas morning special. The children
Babies Christmas Workshop
02 Dec 15
On the 2nd December the babies at Oakwood House enjoyed getting crafty at their Christmas workshop.
They loved getting creative using glue and festive colours to produce dazzling pictures. The babies had a special visit from Potters Den in Holmfirth, with whom they made lots of festive pottery creations with their parents. Lots of plates, baubles and festive decorations were made with expertise painting from our babies.
Healthy Eating Activities
12 Nov 15
At Oakwood House our younger pre-school room have been looking at and discussing healthy eating. As part of our Food for Life Award we are looking at lots of healthy options and what we can grow in our garden.
Whilst preparing to make our own fruit salad we sorted the fruit in order of size and then from lightest to heaviest?
We have made our
06 Nov 15
The children in the toddler room at Oakwood House have been fascinated by the leaves falling from the trees and have been learning about autumn.
They have taken torches outside and observed the wonderful shadows and shapes the light created in the woodland. The children started to compare the shadow shapes to animals and found a bear in the bushes! The children loved all the different shapes
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
16 Oct 15
Oakwood House Forest School have been busy exploring EID and the traditions it offers.
The babies have explored the crescent moon and star celestial symbols. They worked very hard creating their own versions of moon and stars, they added glue and glitter to create a sparkle to celebrate EID.
The toddlers made moon and star mobiles. They focussed on individual choice and decision making for
14 Oct 15
The baby room at Oakwood House have been exploring the different cultures of the world and this month we have paid particular attention to Harvest Festival.
Celebrating the Harvest Festival at Stay & Play led to parents and grandparents coming into nursery to engage in different activities to learn all about it together. Parents and children alike loved making a harvest soup with different vegetables from around
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
Top rating from Food Standards Agency
22 Sep 15
Oakwood House Nursery has once again been awarded the top Food Standards Agency rating of 5 for the highest standard of food hygiene and well managed food preparation from Kirklees Council. Portland House Nursery has also been awarded the top rating of 5.
Our menu changes with the seasons and is packed with fresh fruit and vegetable and high quality meat and fish. Parents, staff and children are
From the garden to the table!
10 Sep 15
We have had lots of blackberries growing all over the garden at Oakwood House and some of the toddlers have been learning which blackberries are good to eat.
On Tuesday Jessica took the children around the garden to pick the blackberries asking if we could eat the green ones. “No, only the black ones” replied Eve and Isla. The children really enjoyed this activity
First Family Through Oakwood House
26 Aug 15
This week everyone at Oakwood House said goodbye to Caitlin who starts school in September. We have been privileged to not only look after Caitlin, but also her two elder brothers. The family have been using the nursery since 2010, not long after we opened and we will all miss them greatly.
The family came in to say goodbye and have a quick photo with some of the
17 Aug 15
The children were very creative and imaginative at a recent Forest School session. They made a huge clay face on a tree. Clay is a warm, tactile material which sticks to the bark of the tree easily and makes a great base for adding extra materials found in the woods. The children pressed, squashed, rolled and squeezed the clay to create the tree face. The woodland floor provided a
Sports Day Stay and Play
03 Aug 15
A great time was had by both children and parents alike at the Oakwood House Sports Day Stay & Play.
The children, parents and staff took part in various sporting activities including sack race, egg and spoon, long jump and running.
The children made medals from wooden discs for the prizes and the parents took part in a parent’s race. The children and
Bugs and Mud!
07 Jul 15
The Oakwood babies have loved being outside!
They have found lots of enjoyment in digging in the big barrel of mud. They have enjoyed using their sticks and tools to see how deep they can go.
The babies have also enjoyed bug hunting. We have looked in trees, under rocks and under logs to see what bugs we can find and the babies have
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!
Pre-school Releasing the butterflies
29 May 15
Pre-school have had a wonderful time learning about the life cycle of a caterpillar. We put our caterpillars into their own tubs along with some special food and observed them daily to see how quickly and how much the caterpillars grew. The children were amazed to see the caterpillars then build a cocoon around themselves.
“Look he has made a bed, he is very tired
Toddler Room Worm Farm
02 Apr 15
The Toddlers at Oakwood House have been very busy building a worm farm. They layered sand and soil in a clear tank so they could view the worms moving.
All the children have had so much fun building a wonderful home for the worms and learning all about our wiggly friends!
This is a great activity to do at home with your children and covers
Red Nose Day
13 Mar 15
A Wild Time at Oakwood House Nursery for Red Nose Day
The children, parents and staff from Oakwood House Nursery had a really wild time when raising money for Comic Relief.
Both children and the staff paid to dress up furry for the day in their animal onesies and had their faces painted when they arrived at nursery. The children paid to bring in their
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
World Book Day
05 Mar 15
World Book Day
The children and staff at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day on Thursday 5th March.
We saw Peppa Pig, Pirates and Princesses as well as Batman and even Alice in Wonderland! They brought in their favourite books and parents joined them for an extra special Stay and Play that afternoon in which all