A Fond Farewell to Pam!
26 Aug 16
Today we say a fond farewell to Pam Burrell who retired this week to spend time with her new baby granddaughter. Pam is one of our longest serving members of staff, having worked at Portland House for 20 years with young children of all ages and learning capabilities, supporting them and their families to have the best possible start in life.
She has done so much for the
Oakwood Olympic Games
11 Aug 16
At Oakwood House Stay & Play, Preschool children joined the Toddlers at The Olympic Games opening ceremony waving their flags and carrying the ‘Olympic torch’.
We had several events: stick hurdles, foil shot putt, ribbon long jump, log assault course and the exciting finale ‘The Relay race with Parents’. The sporting event offered an opportunity for us all to see the children try
Portland House wins the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year!
07 Jul 16
A big well done and congratulations to Portland House for winning the Examiner School Award for Nursery of the Year! We are so proud of all of the nurseries in the group and the staff teams who work so hard to provide the best possible learning opportunities and care for all the children who attend. However, this is a brilliant honour for Portland House and one that marks 25 years
04 Jul 16
The children, parents and staff at Oakwood House had a great time at our leaver’s picnic. We celebrated the wonderful journey of those children who will be leaving this summer to start their new adventure at school in September.
We were joined by Alison from Melody Makers who had us all singing and dancing, which was great fun and we all finished by dancing around
International Mud Day at Oakwood House
29 Jun 16
Today at Oakwood House the children have had an amazing time celebrating international mud day! All age groups have embraced mud play.
During the Forest School session the children explored their senses in the wet and squishy mud! They looked for a suitable place for the ‘Giant’ to build his house and thought the bridge would be a good place, “So the giant can
24 Jun 16
This week in Forest School at Oakwood the children have been very creative making stick men from the resources they have found in the garden.
They have learnt how to use secateurs safely and cut their sticks to size. This type of environmental art is great fun and a huge learning activity. The children learnt sequencing and ordering deciding which sticks to use, how long they needed
Babies Baking in the Mud Kitchen
17 Jun 16
The babies at Oakwood House have had a wonderful time this morning playing in their mud kitchen. They have added water, mixed, sat in it, moved it…
Mud kitchens even for the youngest children offer endless learning opportunities such as the stimulation of their senses, hand eye co-ordination, cause and effect and gross motor skills to name but a few. This is a wonderful open ended
Fly Fly Away
17 Jun 16
The children at Oakwood House have had an exciting time learning about the life cycle of a caterpillar. The caterpillars came in a tub along with some special food and the children 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.
The caterpillars, in their cocoon, were then
Secret Fairy House
16 Jun 16
The children at Oakwood House found a ‘secret’ fairy house hiding in the bushes and trees.
They looked in amazement at the detail in the house “look it has a slide and a chimney”, it even glittered!
We put leaves and berries inside for the fairies to eat when they return “the door is closed now, maybe just the fairies
The Giant at Oakwood!
15 Jun 16
The Giant has left another letter in the forest today, asking the children to make some ‘bunting’ for him to have a party in the wonderful house the children built for him last week!
The children set off around the garden to look for different coloured natural materials, to make a colourful party bunting.
We spoke about numbers and symmetry and the children
Walk in Lindley
02 Jun 16
Pre-school 1 enjoyed a local walk today to Lindley. We went to the library and loved choosing stories to listen to and talking about what kind of books we would like to buy at the Children’s Bookshop.
The children loved looking around the book shop and spoke about all the different books that they have at home and what they like to read with their families.
A bridge to safety!
01 Jun 16
Today in our forest school session the children enjoyed making a bridge out of natural materials to build over the Trolls cave. The children worked really hard together to move some very big logs around the garden. They used fantastic problem solving skills to figure out how to move the logs.
Some of the logs were too heavy so one child shouted to his friends "we're
24 May 16
Today in our forest school session we made and moulded our very own mud creatures to hide around the garden. We discussed the properties of mud and learnt that if we added water it went sticky! We looked at different shapes and one child said “I want a long shape” another said “I would like mine to be circle”.
We looked at each
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