Welcome to our Autumn newsletter. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new families and we hope your children have settled well and enjoying their time at nursery. We have worked hard to ensure that every child settles in happily and feels confident to explore the nursery environment and access lots of different learning opportunities.

We are so lucky at Holly Bank Nursery to be surrounded by mature trees. The children have the opportunity to observe their changing colours and watch leaves fall around them allowing them to develop their understanding of the world. The children love exploring the fallen leaves, feeling textures, looking at shapes, creating pictures with them and then of course everyone’s favourite activity to jump in them!

If you have any photos to share of your children enjoying autumn activities at home, please share them via ParentZone. We look forward to seeing them.

Even though it is suddenly much colder we have been wrapping up warm and enjoying plenty of outdoor play every day. The children have been exploring loose parts such as sticks and pipes in the garden and using their imaginations and teamwork skills to use them as part of their play. So far we have had a rollercoaster and lots of different dens, which are a great place to shelter in when it begins to rain!

Learning focus at the moment

Baby room

We have been making the most of the changes that autumn has brought and have explored lots of different natural materials such as shiny conkers and crunchy leaves. The babies have enjoyed exploring Autumn textured books and puppets. The babies have also been on an adventure to the local library and loved exploring the different books and singing.

Toddler room

The toddlers have loved spending their days in the outdoors, reading and singing in our secret willow garden, exploring the leaves, twigs and conkers. The toddlers have also shown an interest in looking after the dinosaurs feeding them twigs and leaves that we collected from the garden. They have also been creative and been painting using lollipop sticks to make different lines, marks and prints.

They have also loved doing lots of different activities outside with balls, beanbags and more. We have been learning new skills and showing off how good we are at listening and following instructions, it’s so much fun!

Preschool room

This term the Pre-school have been learning about autumn. We have enjoyed watching the wind blowing all the leaves from the trees. It is an exciting time as there are lots of changes going on around us. We have been collecting conkers for paint rolling, having ‘leaf showers’ and making fairy dens out of twigs and leaves.

The pre-school children have all been busy getting creative and cooking different recipes for our cooking club. They learnt about the different ingredients and identifying all the different changes when mixing the ingredients together.

Outdoor Learning Focus

This Autumn we will be exploring our landscape and observing how the change in weather affects nature. What are the signs of Autumn.

The majority of what we will be doing is helping nature get ready for winter.

We will do this by building habitats like ponds, hibernatoriums bug hotels and bird houses. We will also make some wildlife feeders to take home. These will be re fillable so you will be able to care for your wildlife throughout winter.

Alongside these we will make wildlife trackers and pitfall traps to monitor our wildlife at Portland Nurseries.

Other activities will be to build a giant nest and group shelters. This will help the children think about the effort it takes to create a habitat. This will help us think of ways we can help our wildlife things like collecting pet fur or making a mud bath.

And finally we will attempt to filter dirty water. By using different materials we can clean muddy water to make it much clearer. This is to illustrate the challenges of having safe drinking water.

Safeguarding: Oral Health in Under 5s

Why is oral health important in children?

Keeping your children's teeth healthy will help them to maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums and develop good oral hygiene habits they will need throughout the rest of their lives. Remember the most important thing is brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

For more information and helpful tips visit: Protecting your child's smile | Pre-school | Health for Under 5s

Book and Resource Recommendations



Words: First 100 Soft to Touch by Roger Priddy

Your little ones will love discovering new words, animals, trucks, and more in these bright and colourful board books! With simple words, engaging photographs, and a soft, padded cover, these books are designed for hours of reading and learning!


You Can't Take An Elephant On the Bus

Get ready for a fun-filled ride and join a whole range of crazy creatures on a hilarious picture book adventure!

Resources we love!

We have recently purchased these amazing and climate- neutral blocks for the nursery and are eagerly awaiting their delivery:

Korko – Our Products

Project Update

We have been working over the last 12 months on the Woodland Trust Green Tree award and we are very proud to announce that all 6 sites have achieved the Platinum award. The award centres around helping children understand the importance of looking after their environment especially trees and wildlife by completing fun tasks including taking pictures of the world around them, identifying types of leaves and looking at the world from the perspective of an animal.

We have also achieved our annual Eco Schools Green Flag award, which again teaches children about the environment, not just locally but worldwide. Each site has an eco-committee who have decided on actions to work on during the year and have submitted evidence to Keep Britain Tidy to assess. We have already started on our award for 2023/2024 and will be choosing our eco committee soon. If you would like to be involved with the project or think it is something your child might be interested in then please speak to your nursery manager.

Wellbeing also continues to be a major focus of ours this year. We plan lots of thoughtful and interesting activities for our children throughout our weeks and have some events planned for parents and staff throughout the year too. Please keep an eye on your emails to see what we have planned and ask your child’s key person about the wellbeing activities they are doing in their rooms. If you have any ideas for activities or events, then please speak to your child’s key person or the nursery manager.

Staff News

Please join us in wishing the cooks huge congratulations and all the best as they go to London on 30th September being a nominee for this year’s the Healthy Eating Award at the Nursery World Awards, we are all extremely excited!

Head Office

A big goodbye and good luck to Lindsay our Administrator of over 13 years. Lindsay has relocated to North Yorkshire and will be greatly missed. We can still hear her voice day to day as she’s the recorded message on our phone system!

Welcome to Martina who has joined Head Office as the HR Administrator and to Susan who is our new office administrator.

Diary Dates

Charity Events

Macmillan Bake sale Friday 29th September

We are organising a bake sale to raise funds for the Macmillan charity. The preschool children will be busy practising their baking skills in their science kitchen and their culinary delights will be available to purchase on the day along with the cooks who will making delicious baking from the nursery menu. Please bring along lots of change for the collection pots every penny will go a long way to making a difference for the charity.

Spooktacular Event- Tuesday 31st October.

Children are invited to dress up and wear orange and black and enjoy an array of spooktacular colour themed activities and spooky stories. A donation of £2.00.

Sponsored 5 rhymes challenge. Monday 13th – Friday 17th November

Children will taking part in the national challenge to learn 5 rhymes. Further details and sponsor forms to follow.

Harvest Festival 16th – 27th October

All donations of tinned and dried goods will be distributed within the local community

Selection Box collectionMonday 27th November – Friday 8th December

All donations will be taken to the wellbeing centre

Parents Wreath Making session- Monday 4th December - (details to follow)

Preschool carol concert Thursday 14th December 4.30-5.30pm

Tickets £2.00 including refreshments

Christmas Jumper week Monday 18th December – Friday 22nd December

Children will be invited to wear their Christmas jumpers for a small donation.

Nursery closure dates- Christmas Holidays

The nursery will be closed for the festive period on Monday 25th December 2023 and will reopen on Tuesday 2nd January 2024

Other information

Contact Details

Please can you make sure that we have all your up to date contact details including telephone numbers and email addresses. Please email the office with any changes.

Dietary Requirements

If any of your child’s dietary requirements change, please let us know in writing so that we can update their records and ensure they are catered for at meal times.


Please ensure that all gates and doors are closed on your arrival and departure from the nursery. It is essential that only staff members grant access to the building to ensure the safety of the children at all times.

Lost and Found property

We kindly request your cooperation in labelling your child's belongings, including shoes, clothes, hats and other personal items. Clear labelling with your child's name will help ensure that everything is returned to its rightful owner. This simple step will save time and minimise any potential mix-ups. Please check the Lost and Found property boxes periodically to retrieve any misplaced items.

Warm Clothing

As the nights draw in and the temperature is getting colder, please can you ensure your child has suitable clothing to participate comfortably in all aspects of outdoor play. If you would kindly bring a fleece to wear under the waterproof coats, hats scarf and gloves and wellingtons that are all clearly labelled with their name and that can be kept at nursery.

Mobile Phones

Please can I remind parents that the use of mobile phones on nursery premises is strictly prohibited, you must not take any photographs or videos at nursery or at any nursery events. Using your mobile phone breaks the statutory welfare requirements and is also a breach of safeguarding policies to which we must adhere.

Afterschool and Holiday club

Just a reminder of our Fun Club at Portland House should you require any After School Care from Reinwood School as well as our holiday club which offer ad hoc sessions throughout the school holidays – all children welcome. Please email the office if you would like to be added to the mailing list or require further details.

Copyright © 2018 Portland Nurseries, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Oakwood House, 2 Hungerford Road, Huddersfield HD3 3AL
Portland Nurseries Limited. Company No. 7538309. Registered in England & Wales.

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