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
Kirklees Healthy Choice Gold Award
25 Feb 15
Here at Oakwood House Nursery we have been awarded The Kirklees Healthy Choice Gold Award for our healthy children’s menu and the highest standards of food hygiene.
Fresh, healthy, nutritious food is prepared every day by our nursery chef for children from birth to five years. The menu changes seasonally and is packed with fresh fruit and vegetable, pulses, grains, high quality meat and fish
Pre-school Get Physical
25 Feb 15
P E Lessons
In preparation for preparing the children for their transition to school this summer we have been taking part in our very own P.E. lessons at pre-school. The children have been learning all about what they will do at P.E. lessons when they go to school and talking about why it is important for us to have regular exercise.
Chinese New Year
19 Feb 15
Chinese New Year Stay and Play
All the children enjoyed taking part in many activities and learning all about the Chinese New Year festival.
Children in pre-school decorated their own dragon masks and enjoyed wearing them to do the Chinese dragon dance. They also tasted lots of different Chinese food, such as prawn crackers, noodles, sweet chilli sauce and spring rolls. They were all
Pancake Day Fun
19 Feb 15
We celebrated Pancake Day in style at Oakwood House baby room. The children enjoyed playing with the pots and pans as they helped make pretend pancakes. The older babies really enjoyed the imaginative aspect of this play and put the pots in the oven in our home corner.
At snack time we had pancakes! The babies joined in and selected the pancakes they
Our favourite colour is green!
11 Feb 15
OUR FAVOURITE COLOUR IS GREEN!
This week the children at Portland Nurseries have been taking part in the National People and Planet ‘Go Green Week’ by learning the importance of recycling, up-cycling and greener homes!
To support this event for the children, parents and employees at Portland House Nursery are setting up their very own recycling centre to collect materials for their brilliant
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
Cooking Season has Begun
02 Feb 15
Cooking season has begun in the Oakwood House garden. The toddlers have been busy in our mud kitchen with originality, creativity, and generosity from nature. The children have had a fascinating time with natures abundant "loose parts" comprising of mud, sand, water, parts of plants and cooking utensils.
This type of open ended play gives endless opportunity for creativity, which is only limited by imagination. These
Let it Snow
29 Jan 15
While the wintery weather can often cause chaos for many, the children at Oakwood House Nursery and Forest School took full advantage of the snow fall on Thursday 29th January.
The snow is a wonderful spontaneous opportunity for the children to have fun outdoors. For some of the children, it was their first time to experience snow and the staff at Oakwood House wanted to make the
Toddlers savour the Scottish Celebration
26 Jan 15
Och Aye the Toddlers Savour the Scottish Celebration
At Oakwood House Nursery on Monday 26th January the Toddler Room celebrated Burns Night with their first Stay and Play of the year. To mark this occasion the children enjoyed their Burns Supper of haggis, neaps and tatties. The children really loved it with some even asking for seconds!
Throughout the afternoon activities included Scottish flag
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
23 Jan 15
In the Baby Room at Oakwood House we have been exploring food and the different textures and tastes.
The babies have enjoyed playing with rice and pasta and have enjoyed taking part in an indoor winter picnic. They enjoyed playing on the picnic blanket and selecting their own sandwiches from the gardener’s picnic platter.
The babies also enjoyed singing the “Teddy
Happy Hungry Caterpillars
22 Dec 14
The Pre-school children at Oakwood House ended their “Hungry Caterpillar” month by designing their own t-shirts based on the story.
Each child created a picture, choosing something memorable from The Hungry Caterpillar story. Some children chose to draw a caterpillar or the butterfly, and some chose the cocoon!
The children’s artwork was given to Beau’s mummy who kindly transferred
Putting the ‘Roar’ into babies - Learning with the Lion Learner!
17 Dec 14
Lion Learners came to the baby room at Oakwood House to deliver a Christmas story and an animal sensory experience.In total, 30 children, parents and grandparents attended to join in the festive cheer.
The babies enjoyed looking at the mini lop bunny ‘Arthur’ and giving him a kind stroke. The story was a success and the families gave a round of applause when Santa
Christmas Workshop at Oakwood House
08 Dec 14
Christmas Workshop at Oakwood
The baby room enjoyed a fabulous festive workshop this morning. It was a huge success with over 27 Mum’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s and Granddad’s attending. They had a wonderful time exploring the cold snow, mixing it together creating a winter wonderland. They also enjoyed a host of creative Christmas crafts including paint, glue and Christmas songs.
Oakwood House Parent and Baby group
02 Dec 14
Oakwood’s first Parent and Baby group was a great success. It gave our new parents a wonderful opportunity to make friends and to have a good chat. We hope to continue this on a monthly basis and include sessions on rhyme time, tummy time, and sensory experiences for the babies. These sessions provide parents with an opportunity to play with their child, giving them their undivided
Little Robin Red Breast
23 Nov 14
The Oakwood House Babies have had a very exciting morning. We were very lucky to receive an early visit from a Robin red breast who was extremely courageous. The Robin loved spying on our babies watching them play outside and kept flying closer and closer. The babies were so excited, they smiled and clapped at the Robin, and he responded by putting on a show with a series of
We are Going on a Leaf Hunt
20 Nov 14
It’s that time of year again, the wind is picking up and the air is getting cooler. What could be a better activity than Leaf Play? Nestled in Oakwood’s garden is nature’s own unique activity centre with lots of opportunity for open ended play. The sensory benefits that can be found from a romp in a pile of leaves is endless.
Pre-school Building a ‘Fairy House’
16 Nov 14
Today the children from Oakwood House Pre-school we set off into our garden to make a magical fairy house. Our persona dolls Sage and Onion came with us and told us a story about how the strong winds in the night had blown the fairies house down and that they had chosen us to help build a new one! We were very excited and embarked on a search