I would like to give a warm welcome our new parents and children who have started at Portland this term. I hope you are all settling in and look forward to meeting everyone during the coming weeks at our monthly stay and plays and upcoming charity events. These events are a fabulous opportunity to meet the staff team and other children and families whilst having a fun time taking part in exciting activities which will also give you lots of ideas to try at home too.

We would be delighted if you could send into nursery photos of your autumn walks and adventures at home and any autumn treasures such as conkers, leaves, acorns that you may have collected along the way that we could use for our autumn displays and sensory areas.

We are delighted to share the news that Portland House Nursery has once again been judged ‘Outstanding’ in every category by Ofsted. Outstanding is the highest judgment that can be made by an Ofsted inspector and is given only when there is exceptional childcare provision that greatly exceeds national standards. This is the Fourth consecutive time that Portland House has received Outstanding making it one of the most sort after nurseries in Huddersfield.

I am immeasurably proud of this achievement, as I know the staff team have worked so hard to deliver the very best for the children in our care by constantly developing the nursery and our practice to ensure the standards remain high.

I hope you all have an amazing autumn and that we will see most of you at our upcoming nursery events.

Learning focus at the moment


We are currently focusing on our new topic ‘all about me’ and are learning about what makes us unique, sharing information about our families and the types of homes that we live in noticing differences between ourselves and others.

Our pre-schoolers will be busy experimenting with colours as they mix up their own daily paints in the art area, make their own playdough in the malleable area and bake delicious culinary delights in the science kitchen. We are planning a little trip to Lindley book shop to purchase the colour monster book as we have started linking colours to feelings and emotions so we will be exploring lots of activities around this.

We are looking forward to visiting some new elderly friends at Thornhill care home and have arranged regular bi weekly meetings to see them starting in October. We are also excited to welcome special visitors into the setting with dates in the diary this term for the dentist, postman, hairdresser, herbologist, optician, audiologist and parents reading stories in other languages. If you are interested in coming in for a session with the children you would be most welcome, please speak to Charlotte who will be delighted to arrange.


The toddler team would like to welcome all the new children joining the room and a warm welcome to your families too. We can't wait to be a part of your child's toddler experience, watching them continue to grow and learn. If you haven't already done so please could you bring a maximum of 2 photos of close family/friends to add to our 'Toddler Tree board'. If you can write on the back who is in the pictures too. Over the next few months we will be focusing on learning more about our friends, recognising faces and talking about our families. As we step further into the autumn months we'll be doing lots of lovely autumnal activities exploring colours, weather, animals and collecting various natural resources that we can talk about. If you go on any autumnal walks please feel free to take pictures and upload them to parent zone so we can have a look and talk about them. You may also bring in anything you collect.

Baby Rooms

We have been focusing on lots of sensory play over the last few weeks which we will be continuing over the next term. The babies have been learning all about their own senses while taking part in a variety of different activities. One of our favourite activities has been making our own sensory bottles, using rice, bird seed, feathers, pom poms, cotton wool and coloured water. These are a very easy resource could have a go at making at home too using some empty bottles and items you can find around the house or in your kitchen cupboards. This activity promoted sharing and turn taking, hand eye coordination, balance, simple language and understanding as well as exploring textures and sounds when shaking the bottles. The babies have been enjoying lots of water and sand play along with using our hands and tools to explore and make marks in paint, shaving foam and playdough.

During the Autumn term the babies are planning lots of lovely outdoor activities. We will be going on a bug hunt to see if there are any creepy crawlies under stones and logs then we will see if we can identify them on our bug wall. We will collect pine cones and leaves of various colours so we can talk about Autumn then we can use them in the mud kitchen to make Autumn soup!

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 Resources 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

A warm welcome to the new staff members who have joined the Portland team this Autumn term they are looking forward to meeting all the children and families over the coming weeks.

.Preschool welcomes India who is our new QTS and also Sabrina QTS who has transitioned from Oakwood Nursery.

Toddlers welcomes Mandeep who has transitioned from Hollybank nursery.

Good bye and thank you to Shelley who is transitioning to Bradley House to work in the baby team.

Maternity news

Melissa is enjoying her maternity leave as she awaits the arrival of her 3rd baby.

Danni has returned from maternity leave and has joined the daisy room team, you may have seen her over the summer weeks during her keep in touch days.

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

Pottery spot - will be visiting Portland House on Thursday 5th October. If you would like your child to make one of these please complete your order form and book your time slot with your key person. All monies will be payable on the day.

Food Bank collection Monday 18th September – Friday 29th September – collection boxes for donations will be situated in the entrances.

Parents Evenings

Babies Tuesday 28th November 6.15-7.30pm

Toddlers Tuesday 24th October 6.15-7.30pm

School Transition Evening Monday 23rd October 6.15-7.30pm

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.

Preschool cinema experience Sunday 10th December

Enjoy a family film at the rex cinema (film and timings to be confirmed details to follow)

Stay and Plays

Celebrating World Animal day

Babies Tuesday 3rd October 4.30-5.30pm

Toddlers Wednesday 4th October 4.30- 5.30pm

Preschool Thursday 5th October 4.30-5.30pm

World Kindness day

Babies Monday 13th November 10.00- 11.00a m

Toddlers Wednesday 4th November 2.00-3.00 pm

Preschool Monday 13th November 4.30-5.30pm

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

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!

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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