Nursery News


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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World Book Day

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

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Show and Tell

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

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Creating Artwork for the Lawrence Batley Theatre’s Christmas show Rapunzel

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

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Bonfire Fun!

Bonfire Fun!

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

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Sky Dive Daredevil

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

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Super Team!

Super Team!

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!

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Ofsted Judges Oakwood House Nursery “Outstanding”

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

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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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“Again” “Again ”

“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

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Out and about at Oakwood

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. 

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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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Taking the forest indoors

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!

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Teddy bear’s picnic

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

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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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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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