Stay & Play Den Building
17 Jul 14
Parents, children and staff had a wonderful time at this week’s Stay & Play session at Oakwood House. We were all outside building dens using natural materials, tarpaulin and old sheets. Everyone was keen to show off their den building skills and some fabulous hideouts were built.
The materials available outdoors such as soil and leaves, sticks and stones are ideal for children to manipulate
15 Jul 14
The Oakwood House pre-school children and their parents joined us to picnic in the garden on Monday tea time. We said goodbye and good luck to all our little graduates who will be starting school in September. To mark this special occasion the children were presented with a certificate and their Learning Journal in celebration of their time spent at nursery, followed by lots of fun and games. A
Having a ‘Wheel’ of a Time!
07 Jul 14
The children at Oakwood House had a ‘wheel’ of a time on 4th July. They all brought their bikes and wheeled toys to nursery to race as part of the Tour de France celebrations. The children really enjoyed the races and sharing each other’s toys. Even the staff had a go!
Oakwood House Staff Swimathon!
16 Jun 14
Congratulations to the Oakwood House Team! An energetic group of nursery staff started swimming yesterday at 10.00am and managed to swim the width of the English channel accumulatively. The team all put in a great effort with some people swimming as many as 130 lengths. Each member had to swim 90 lengths to make the distance and many surpassed this. A big thank you to Huddersfield Sports Centre who generously gave
National Smile Month
30 May 14
On Thursday 29th May we had a gleaming visitor in nursery. Lindley Dental Practice came to visit Oakwood House to talk to the children about oral health. They told toothy tales and had ‘Alfie’ the Dragon with them. The children loved Alfie and were able to brush his teeth making them gleam!!, why not try it at home...
Sang to the tune of Row, Row,
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
World Book Day
09 Mar 14
The children at Oakwood House Nursery got dressed up and in character for World Book Day on Thursday 4th 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. The pre-school children also had a trip to Lindley Children’s Book Shop
Show and Tell
24 Feb 14
Last week the Pre-school children at Oakwood House were all very excited to share their special things from home and stories with their friends at nursery. They shared their toys, instruments, stories and even information about animals they had seen, taking care in the sun on holiday and useful travel advice on how to get to Dubai! We had lots of fun listening to each other’s
Creating Artwork for the Lawrence Batley Theatre’s Christmas show Rapunzel
12 Dec 13
Oakwood House Pre-school children took part in a wonderful workshop creating magical artwork to place in the foyer of the Lawrence Batley Theatre for its festive production of Rapunzel.
The children worked with the show’s set designer Catherine Chapman to create masterpieces to decorate the theatre. They will get the chance to see their artwork on show when they attend to watch the stage adaptation
05 Nov 13
Today the children at Oakwood House Nursery and Forest School celebrated Bonfire Night both indoors and out!
After listening and learning about all the bonfires and fireworks the children and staff have seen over the last few days they headed outside to construct a huge and wonderful bundle of twigs and branches to make a bonfire. When the pile was high and the shape was just right
Sky Dive Daredevil
09 Oct 13
A big WELL DONE to Nursery Practitioner Brook Evans from Oakwood House Pre-school Room, who took part in a tandem sky dive on 22nd September to raise money for our chosen charity the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice. He jumped from a plane with a qualified instructor which saw them free fall from 15,000 feet reaching a terminal velocity at 120mph! This is his second dive and he clearly
31 Aug 13
The staff team at Oakwood House have recently taken on a “Krypton Factor” challenge (as seen on television) which consisted of a 900 metre army style obstacle course. With the kind support of the children, staff and parents we reaised over £1,050 for the 'Forget Me Not Children's Hospice'. This event was not only a fantastic team building session, but a great opportunity to test their fitness!
Ofsted Judges Oakwood House Nursery “Outstanding”
02 Jul 13
Oakwood House and Forest School became the third nursery in the family owned group, Portland Nurseries to be judged “Outstanding” by Ofsted. The nursery, which has been opened for less than three years has already been celebrating it’s well deserved result and the manager Samantha Richmond, who has been with the company for over 20 years complemented her staff team
“I am immensely
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,
“Again” “Again ”
26 May 13
In celebration of Children’s Book Week 13th -19th May Oakwood House held a book themed Stay and Play for all the children and families.
Along side this toddlers and pre-school children focus on a new book each month at the nursery “Book of the Month”. One of the main advantages of repeatedly reading the same book to young children is that
Out and about at Oakwood
26 Apr 13
Take a look at what the Oakwood children have been up to over the last couple of months.
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.
Taking the forest indoors
14 Dec 12
Even the icy conditions couldn’t stop our Forest School session at Oakwood today. It was so slippy outside that we had to bring the session inside and created a den with our temporary shelter. The children learned how to whittle and started to make some stick Santa’s which they will finish off in pre-school later!
Teddy bear’s picnic
22 Nov 12
"If you go down to the woods today you are sure of a big surprise"
To raise money for Children in Need this month, the children, staff and parents at Oakwood Nursery all donated money and brought their teddy bears in from home. They spent the morning taking their bears on a very exciting treasure hunt around the nursery woodland. They followed brightly coloured spots and clues
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
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
Den-making festival at Oakwood House
22 Aug 12
Last month we held our first den-making festival as a way to involve families, educate them about the delights of den-building and raise some money for our chosen charity, the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
Children, parents, relatives and staff all joined in building some magnificent structures, using natural materials from the nursery’s own woodland. Dens could be small enough for fairies or
International Mud Day
03 Jul 12
To celebrate International Mud Day on June 29th the children at Oakwood looked at different ways in which to use mud From mud kitchens, to mud pies, painting with mud to exploring the texture of mud on their hands. Have a look at our recent news story Making a Mud Kitchen for more information on exploring mud with children.
Olympic Torch arrives at Oakwood
03 Jul 12
The Olympic Torch has made its way to Oakwood House Nursery...well the Forest School alternative has! The children spent a great day making their own torch out of the natural resources found in the nursery woodland. Leaves became flames and twigs became the torch, they even carried out their own relay.
03 Jul 12
Breaking news! Our first baby chick hatched today! It has been a very exciting day for everyone down at Oakwood. The children have named her Milly. She is the first to hatch out of her 12 brother's and sisters. We will keep you updated.
20 Jun 12
Safari Sam has been on his travels again. This time he made a trip to Anglesey with his friend Jonah and his family. Where will you take Safari Sam on his next adventure?
Babes in the wood
20 Jun 12
Oakwood House babies have lots of fun exploring the nursery woodland and discovering its hidden secrets. The outdoors for these young children is an exciting place to explore, where there is always something intriguing and fascinating to discover and investigate.
The outdoors provides babies with many varied opportunities for sensory experiences; discovering, watching and reaching for objects and materials to touch, feel and handle and different sounds
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.
06 Jun 12
Oakwood Nursery have their very own Jubilee Queen Annabel Howe. Pictured here with her Crown made from the Rhododendron in the garden.
Baby Robins in our tree
29 May 12
We have some very special news to share with you. There is a mummy Robin nesting in our Sycamore tree at Oakwood House and she has four hungry babies! She has found a tiny hole at the bottom of the trunk for her nest.
We have been watching her fly in and out over the last couple of days with food for her babies. It
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
28 May 12
Oakwood House Nursery are being featured in a four part case study within Nursery World focusing on the nurseries robust safegurading policies and procedures.
*Nursery World is a fortnightly publication which provides access to best practice advice for nursery managers and practitioners and helps to ensure that all children have the support they need to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve.
Forest play aids nursery children’s mediation skills
16 May 12
A great article below we found on the BBC news website
A trial of outdoor learning in the woods designed to promote independent play in nursery children led to them learning to solve disputes themselves.
The Pontycymer Nursery youngsters were part of a test project in Bridgend.
The children were encouraged to play together and with materials such as buckets and trowels
Mud and rain
15 May 12
A bit of mud and rain does not stop the children at Oakwood from enjoying the outdoors, in fact it makes it even more fun. Mud pies, splashing in muddy puddles, climbing through branches are just some of the exciting activities they children have been enjoying in this wet weather.
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