Down at the bottom of the garden…
07 Sep 15
Over the last few months at Portland House Nursery we have begun re-developing the woodland area at the bottom of the garden; Anne and Julie have created some lovely natural den areas for the children to explore and let their imagination come to life!
The children have enjoyed exploring the tree house, lazing in the hammock making music on the giant xylophone and cooking up a storm
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
20 Aug 15
On Thursday, 20th August Portland House held a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ in order to have fun whilst raising some money for our nominated charity, Water Aid.
The children and staff all wore mad, mismatched clothes for the day and of course their mad hats. This set the tone for the tea party later in the day. All the children and parents had
03 Aug 15
The children in Bluebells and Sunflowers at Portland House held a party to celebrate the leavers moving to big school in September.
Alison from the Melody Makers came to sing and dance, which was great fun. We learned new circle songs and rhymes, had a delicious buffet tea and the parents joined the presentation of the children’s graduation certificates.
We would like to
End of an Era
03 Aug 15
Presentations were made to a family who have been attending Portland House Nursery for over 13 years.
Mr and Mrs Latif brought their oldest son Zayn to the baby room over 13 years ago, followed by his younger brothers Uzayr and Armir in later years. Julie Lister, the manager of the nursery, presented a bouquet of flowers to Mr and Mrs Latif and a book token from a local
Transition to school
31 Jul 15
Over the past month the Pre-school children at Portland House Nursery have been involved in transition to school visits, exploring their new environments confidently and meeting their new class teachers, it’s all been very exciting and several teachers commented on just how ready they felt the Bluebell and Sunflowers children appeared for school and those next important stages.
The Bluebell and Sunflowers team and staff
THANK YOU TO NURSERY MANAGER JULIE LISTER
10 Jul 15
PORTLAND NURSERIES THANK NURSERY MANAGER JULIE LISTER FOR HER TWENTY YEARS CONTRIBUTION TO OUTSTANDING CHILDCARE!
Staff and children gathered today to congratulate nursery manager Julie Lister for her twenty year contribution to making Portland Nurseries “Outstanding”. Julie is the second employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years. Julie was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a cheque, a
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!
Home Learning Kits
12 Jun 15
Over the next ten weeks Helen, the Early Years Teacher Trainee at Portland House, is going to be working on a number of projects leading staff development and promoting home learning opportunities for the children and their families.
One of these projects is a collection of home learning kits filled with resources and advice to support bilingual and EAL (English as an Additional Language) children and families
02 Jun 15
To support Healthy Week we had a special visit from the Water Aid representative, Howard.
He told us a special story about Ababo, a little girl who lives in Ethiopia. She lives in a small shed, like in our garden, made from mud. She doesn’t have a bed or bedroom; she has to sleep on the floor. She doesn’t have a kitchen and
People who help us
01 Jun 15
To promote ‘Health Week’ we had a special visit from Mathew Edmondson’s mummy.
She is a physiotherapist and came to talk to us about the importance of exercise when we are three and four and how this helps make our muscles and bones become strong when we are older. Mathew’s mummy’s job involves making people better. She sometimes works
Fun on the Farm
01 Apr 15
On 1st April at Portland House we held an exciting Stay and Play session "Eggstodinary Fun on the Farm" which also raised money for our nominated charity WaterAid.
The staff along with the children dressed up as animals or farmers and took part in lots of Easter activities including Easter egg hunt, Easter bonnet parade and an Egg and spoon race. They also had 8 quail eggs
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
February Fun Time
20 Feb 15
The Fun Club children have had tremendous fun this February half term participating in a variety of activities. They visited play world for an electrifying skating adventure on Tuesday and refining their physical skills whilst climbing, rough and tumbling in the play gym.
On Thursday we took part in an outdoor Olympic Games challenge. The ‘Lightening Strike’ team narrowly beat the ‘Don’t
Wild About Winter
12 Feb 15
Wild About Winter
This month the children at Portland House Nursery have been working towards strengthening their pre writing skills by undertaking activities to develop hand –eye coordination, elbow & wrist pivot and pincer grip. One of their favourite activities involved using real tools safely and appropriately in which the children hammered golf tees into melons.
With the spare melons some children made wonderful
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
Flip for fun on Pancake Day
06 Feb 15
Flip for Fun on Pancake Day Tuesday 17th February 2015
Creative Cooking Inspiration for Pancake Day Cooking is not only a fun, engaging activity for children, but an important tool for learning and development across all the Early Years Foundation Stages.
Social – Emotional Development: Cooking is a hands on experience for children, it helps develop their confidence while also encouraging them to learn to follow
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
Buttercups in the Community
02 Feb 15
Buttercups in the Community
The Buttercup babies at Portland House enjoyed a trip to Lindley Library to take part in their weekly ‘Rhyme time’ sessions. This was the first nursery outing experience for some of the babies who are our new starters this term, providing the opportunity for a new adventure to explore the local community along the way.
The babies enjoyed meeting
Chinese New Year Celebrations
30 Jan 15
Chinese New Year Celebrations
The Bluebell children at Portland House enjoyed a group time session in January led by Charlottes daddy, who came especially to talk to the children about how Charlotte’s family celebrate the Chinese New Year. He told the children that the family all get together just like at Christmas, but that the Chinese New Year is on a different date which changes
30 Jan 15
At Portland House the children in daisy room have enjoyed exploring the snow over the recent weeks and spent lots of time wrapped up warm playing in it. We used this opportunity to explore and learn about cold, wet and melting and made and followed foot prints to see where they led and the patterns they made. The children used the snow to fill buckets to build snow castles;
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
Fun Club budding star on the rise
08 Jan 15
Portland House Nursery would like to congratulate Tilly Budd on a great achievement for her talented synchronised swimming. Tilly has attended Portland Nurseries from a young age and currently attends the Afterschool Club at Portland House and Fun Club. She took up synchronised swimming at the age of 6 years and has earned herself a place in the England talent development squad; this makes Tilly the top ranked 10 year old
Daisies Rhyme time
01 Dec 14
Following National Nursery Rhyme Week, the children of Portland House Nursery have enjoyed visiting Lindley Library for their weekly Rhyme-time session. As well as joining in with their favourite nursery rhymes, they have been learning some new ones. These sessions have helped to build children’s communication and language skills.
This month, our Stay and Play sessions have been focusing on nursery rhymes. Parents have taken
E Safety for All
24 Nov 14
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.
‘Home hackers’ spy on you and your children… with YOUR webcam Footage from inside homes, offices and shops is being intercepted and broadcast live on the internet –
Children in Need Event
21 Nov 14
To support this year’s funding event for Children in Need the children and staff at Portland House Nursery came dressed as their hero or favourite superhero. The Bluebell children joined in activities such as making super hero dust, face painting, and guess the name of the teddy, making hero masks and outfits. The nursery children had been busy creating an assortment of home baking delights and along
13 Nov 14
As we approach the tail end of Autumn and we're about to embrace Christmas (and with it Winter), there are still plenty of natural play resources falling from the trees to enjoy this type of activity for a few weeks yet with your children.
Autumn Play dough The no-cook play dough recipe can keep for months in the fridge if wrapped up in clingfilm or plastic
All about Eid
22 Oct 14
At Portland Nursery, Amir’s daddy came into Bluebells to lead a very special group time, talking about Eid. We learnt that it is a celebration similar to Christmas for Muslims. At Eid children and adults dress up in special party clothes, eat lots of treats and play fun games with friends and family. They pray on special mats to show they are thankful for such a special
17 Oct 14
The children in the Bluebell room engaged in a morning of monkey mischief as they enjoyed having special friends which were cheeky chimps visiting bluebells today.
The children entertained toy monkeys at a chimps tea party. The mischievous monkeys devoured an assortment of banana delights that the children busily created at the play dough activity table such as banana sandwiches; banana bread, cakes, soup and even banana
Group Time - People who help us
09 Oct 14
Today we had a very special group time led by our new friend Hector. He is spending some time visiting with the preschool children in Bluebells before he goes to work in Canada where he will be teaching young children 4-5 years old how to learn to ski.
Hector spoke to the children all about his favourite sport which is Skiing and brought in some of his
A little stars trip down memory lane
02 Oct 14
Anjali Singh who is now 16 years old attended Portland House nursery in June 2001 came back to visit Portland House Nursery to say hello to her key person Pam and Debbie to give them pictures that she had made them as a special ‘Thank you’ for looking after her. Pam, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who specialises in working with children with additional needs, had worked closely
‘The Zagaro’ Zoo lab visit
21 Sep 14
Zoolab came to visit the Bluebells and Sunflowers preschool children and retold their own version of the much loved children’s story ‘The Gruffalo’ using exotic animals to illustrate the tale. The children listened attentively to the story as the heroic Gordon the rat took them on a trip through the deep dark wood and introduced them to a host of fantastic animals along the way
Second Generation of Childcare
17 Sep 14
This is Oscar Beeby who has just turned one year old, with his Mummy Lucy Haigh.
Oscar has just started Nursery at Portland House where his Mummy Lucy attended as a child over 20 years ago. Anne Watson and Julie Lister who have been with the company over 20 years looked after Lucy when she was a baby and now will care for Oscar too!
Never Too Young To Play
12 Aug 14
On Friday 8th August children from Portland House Nursery and Holiday Club took part in one of their regular fun Rugby sessions. Portland Nurseries’ General Manager Michael Murphy, not long back from his rugby career playing for Cootamundra in Australia, led the session with a helping hand from Harrison Lister; one of Portland House’s own alumni.
Harrison attended Portland House Nursery from the
Mud Marvellous Mud
30 Jul 14
The children at Portland House have been spending lots of time mixing up a treat in their new state of the art Mud Kitchen!
They have been making mud pies and mud soup and even some mud birthday cakes!
Mud provides a fantastic sensory experience and provides endless options for experimentation and discovery about materials and textures. Mud connects the children directly with the natural
Tour de France Fun for Portland Toddlers
07 Jul 14
To celebrate Le Tour De France the toddler and preschool children of Portland House nursery in Lindley have been rapidly racing round obstacles for their charity bike ride on Friday 4th July 2014.
The fun and colourful obstacle course was set up in the nursery’s outdoor area and the children were challenged to complete as many laps as possible. Each little rapid racer was sponsored by
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.
Easter Education at Portland House
17 Apr 14
Today we had Suzanna's Mummy Deborah Hopkinson come and visit us all at Portland House!
Deborah who is currently on maternity leave after recently giving birth to wonderful twins is a local minister and came into nursery to talk to the children about the true meaning of Easter. The Oreschool children were delighted to have another visitor at Circle Time and learnt all about the
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
Book Week at Portland House
14 Mar 14
We would like to thank all the parents who came in each day last week to help celebrate of World Book Day by sharing their favourite stories from home .
Portland House also had a visit from the Mobile Library on Friday 7th March. In small groups we had the opportunity to explore around the bus and we learnt how to handle books with care. The librarian had
The Friendly Giant at Portland House
10 Feb 14
Recently while the Bluebell children were playing outside, one of the children found a HUGE footprint in the mud. From this the staff members helped the children's imaginations and creative thinking run wild, forming a story about a BIG FRIENDLY GIANT who visits the Portland House garden. Read on to hear all about their adventures....
One day while playing in the garden Calum found some footprints