Welcome to our Oakwood House Autumn Newsletter and to all the new families that have started at Oakwood House Nursery. We hope your children have settled in well in their new rooms and are getting to know their peers and the adults caring for them.

We have had a great start to Autumn, with a few days enjoying outdoor adventures and playing in the sun and most recently great opportunities to jump in puddles of rain. What a fantastic amount of sunshine we got over summer, and now let’s enjoy the more traditional side of town – the autumn wind and lots of rain!

The children are busy exploring the garden, learning about nature, and creating wonderful things with the natural resources they can find in our garden. It has been wonderful watching your children enjoy their outdoors and listening to their exploration stories.

We would like to thank our nursery leavers for coming back to say ‘hello’ all smart and proud in their crisp uniforms. Well done to them all; They’ve spread their wings and have embarked on their new adventures at school.

Learning focus at the moment


Since the beginning of our autumn term the Oakwood babies have been developing their physical skills in their outdoor space. The babies have enjoyed taking part in the obstacle courses and have had a fun time running and at times rolling down our garden hill. We have been lifting and rolling away logs when on our bug hunts. Lots of slithery worms have been found and we have enjoyed looking at how the ladybugs from our garden spread their wings and fly away. We will continue our bug hunts and see how many different mini beasts we can find in our garden. We will be learning about autumn colours through leaf collecting and painting using autumn colours. The babies will be keeping a check on the changes that occur in our outdoors through the next few weeks, and we will be introducing lots of new language and vocabulary through this journey.


During the autumn term in toddlers room we will be exploring the changes in colours in our outdoor environment, what happens to the trees and where are all the forest bugs hiding? We will continue to enjoy playing in the mud kitchen, mixing, pouring, spreading and squashing as we play. Mud kitchen play involves lots of physical, social and emotional development and encourages role play, sharing and turn taking. We have been collecting leaves to do our leaf paintings and we will continue this and see how the painting changes over time as the weather changes and so do the leaves. This has inspired us to create our colour trays. Each week we will pick a new colour and toys around the room to match and look around the forest to see what looks the same.

We enjoy collecting natural materials such as leaves, sticks and mud to make mud pies and leaf stew. The children love mixing water and using a funnel to measure, looking at the numbers. After a well prepared mud meal toddlers love exploring our forest and sitting in their leaf/stick made den too!

We have also enjoyed learning some Makaton signs with Amanda, and we have been using these while playing in our small world area, whilst reading stories and when singing our favourite songs.


We welcomed the Autumn term in preschool with lots of activities for the children to play and learn outdoors. As you know Oakwood House nursery is also a Forest School which is an approach to educating children in the outdoors environment on a regular basis in all weathers. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and team work as well as assessing and managing risk in a safe way are important parts of forest school.

We have been creating leaf collages and looking at why the leaves are falling from the trees and why they have changed colours. We are looking forward to following and exploring the changes that are taking place in the forest. We have been learning about our bodies and how to look after ourselves and keep ourselves healthy and well. We will continue to learn about healthy habits throughout the term. Our daily cooking club has helped us in understanding healthy eating habits and has taught us all about reading recipes and making yummy healthy snacks and treats.

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!

Welcome to Chloe our new apprentice who has joined the baby room team.

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 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

Stay and Play - Read a book with your child

Bring your favourite book, do book making, dress up as your favourite book character and the book theme is Animals.

Wednesday 4th October 4.30pm til 5.30pm - Toddlers

Thursday 5th October 4.30pm til 5.30pm - Babies and Preschool

Other information

Community Library

You are kindly reminded to return any books you have at home from the Community Library and/or if you have any books you’d like to donate, please pop them in the box! You and your children are welcome to access the community lending library at any point during our opening hours. Reading books together is key to developing early communication and language skills and we hope our lending library will help promote literacy while building community spirit.

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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