Nursery News


Fun on the Farm

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

Read more »


RECORD NUMBER OF BABIES BORN TO NURSERY STAFF

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

Read more »


February Fun Time

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

Read more »


Wild About Winter

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

Read more »


Our favourite colour is green!

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

Read more »


Flip for fun on Pancake Day

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

Read more »


Men in Childcare - Breaking stereotypes & planting roots for the future

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

Read more »


Buttercups in the Community

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

Read more »


Chinese New Year Celebrations

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

Read more »


Snow babies

Snow babies

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;

Read more »


Snow Snow Snow

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

Read more »


Fun Club budding star on the rise

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

Read more »


Daisies Rhyme time

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

Read more »


E Safety for All

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 –

Read more »


Children in Need Event

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

Read more »


Autumn Play

Autumn Play

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

Read more »


All about Eid

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

Read more »


Go Bananas

Go Bananas

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

Read more »


Group Time - People who help us

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

Read more »


A little stars trip down memory lane

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

Read more »


‘The Zagaro’ Zoo lab visit

‘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

Read more »


Second Generation of Childcare

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!

Lucy along

Read more »


Never Too Young To Play

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

Read more »


Mud Marvellous Mud

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 irthdya 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

Read more »


Tour de France Fun for Portland Toddlers

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

Read more »


Circle Time

Circle Time

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.

Circle

Read more »


Easter Education at Portland House

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

Read more »


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

Read more »


Book Week at Portland House

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

Read more »


The Friendly Giant at Portland House

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

Read more »


Healthy Hair Fun at Portland Preschool

Healthy Hair Fun at Portland Preschool

03 Jan 14

To link in with our 'Health and Self-care' early learning goal we invited Oscars mummy Louise to join us for circle time sessions. Louise owns her own hair salon and she talked to the children about how to keep their hair healthy and showed them some super photos of the salon, how customers have their hair washed, different hairstyles and what the inside of their hair follicles look like.

Read more »


A Christmas Visit to the Garden Centre

A Christmas Visit to the Garden Centre

19 Dec 13

The Bluebell children from Portland House took a magical trip to the garden centre last week! The children saw glowing sparkling sights of an array of colours, rows of tinsel, bobbing baubles and artic animals. After walking along the enchanted path through the forest of glistening trees they peeped in Santa’s grotto and saw Rudolph with his glowing red nose peeking out from behind a tree. They

Read more »


Portland’s Poppies & Sunflowers

Portland’s Poppies & Sunflowers

21 Oct 13

In May this year Portland House Poppies Room had an outdoor Stay and Play devoted to planting, where children and parents could choose to plant an array of seeds. 

Liam and Jack chose sunflowers! They took them home and cared and nutured them so that they grew and grew! Here they are looking very proud of their amazing sunflowers! (click on the photo to see how

Read more »


Portland House Thanks Anne Watson for 20 Years Service

Portland House Thanks Anne Watson for 20 Years Service

23 Sep 13

Staff and children gathered today to congratulate Anne Watson for being the first employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years. Anne was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a Spa Voucher and a company Holiday Voucher. Staff receive a five day holiday voucher for every five years of service and this will mean that Anne has been rewarded with and extra twenty

Read more »


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,

Read more »


Story time with Puppets

Story time with Puppets

24 May 13

Story time with puppets at Portland 

Daisy led a story time with her friends in Bluebells today and superbly  narrated the story of the '3 Little Pigs'using the puppet theatre and puppets as props. She was highly descriptive in her story telling skills, using intonation adapting her voice, rhythm and phrasing to describe the story to her captivated audience and reduce her proud staff to

Read more »


Anayah’s Caribbean Carnival

Anayah’s Caribbean Carnival

23 May 13

The children at Portland House experienced a very special Stay and Play. Anaayah's family all came down to the nursery to join in our very own Caribbean Carnival. Anayah's Mummy and Daddy, Grandma, Auntie and siblings all came along to join in the fun.

Everyone joined in to dance, there was a game of Limbo, food tasting, hair braiding and we all came together to

Read more »


Pre-loved donations

Pre-loved donations

07 May 13

The nurseries recently asked parents to donate any pre-loved baby equipment such as cots, moses baskets, prams, car seats and stair gates for a special collection for the local charity Talkthru.

The charity would like to thank all the families that donated items to their baby equipment project, all of which will go to families who are experiencing financial hardship. Several items have gone out to clients

Read more »


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

Read more »


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

Read more »