Children’s Mental Health Awareness

This week is Children’s mental health awareness week. In Nightingales we aim to support mental health by ensuring our timetable includes activities which support:

  • Life skills such as ‘well-being Wednesdays’ where we explore how to take care of our bodies
  • Physical skills such Strictly Come Dancing, rebound therapy, yoga and swimming where we are supported to move our bodies
  • Communication \ Literacy by exploring books and sensory stories
  • Engagement with the world through sensology experiences or exciting events which take place at school.

This week we experienced Chinese New Year. We welcomed pupils from Rushall Primary School who provided a brilliant performance of the Chinese dancing dragon.

Aminah enjoyed unwrapping the surprise of a chocolate coin.

We captured some lovely moments during well-being Wednesdays over the last few weeks.

Elliot has enjoyed exploring washing his face and engaging with the foot spa.

Aminah was exploring teeth brushing.

Nightingales have been engaging with a sensory weather story where we experience the cold snow, the pouring rain and the wind. We observed some lovely anticipation and use of fine motor skills by reaching for the stimuli.

There was relaxation and laughter in swimming this week.

Sudis experienced rebound for the first time! He loved it!

Have a lovely half term – The Nightingales Team

Music with Bev

Nightingales engage with a weekly music session with our music teacher Bev. Bev introduces her session with her ‘hello’ song where she encourages Nightingales to press the switch.

Since returning from the Christmas break Nightingales have been experiencing the sounds of the guitar and having opportunities to use their fine motor skills to reach and manipulate.

This week Bev added in the wooden croaking frog to the music session. We saw exploration of the sound but some of our Nightingales grasped the wooden beater and made the connection by using it purposefully and bringing it to the frog in attempt to make a sound. Wonderful.

This week in swimming Elliot loved being on the Sensafloat as the supporting adults sang and moved the Sensafloat through the water. Elliot is smiling, laughing and moving his body in excitement.

Tom did brilliant in swimming this week by only using a noodle as a floatation aid. Tom was able to bring his body to the surface of the water and move his legs and arms. Fantastic Tom!

In creative we observed Sudis reach and press the music switch and in turn Tom notices the music, turns and reaches to grasp the switch. Sudis works so hard at reaching with prompts from an adult.

Saad was observed during tummy time and encourage to move his body by reaching the snow balls. Saad also carried out some supported sitting and engaged with the penguins coming down the slide.

During our creative lesson Michelle (Head of School) visited Nightingales and Elliot took Michelle’s hand to lead her to where he wanted to go.

Elliot has been doing lots of communicating this week by pushing stimuli away but also bringing adults close to show he wants to listen to more.

Well done Nightingales for always working hard!
Have a lovely weekend – Clare and the Nightingales Team.

The enjoyment of books

We have observed some lovely responses to books this week. Sensory stories are created in Nightingales to enable a book to come to life but we also engage with reading by listening to a story being told. Aminah was a super star this week when engaging with reading. Aminah has listened to the story of ‘There’s a dinosaur in my bathtub’ and when exploring the pages herself she remembered some words and we heard her say ‘Bonjour!’.

Aminah explores the book by turning the pages, turning the whole book and we hear her vocalising as she visually scans the pages. Aminah you are our Nightingale’s literacy super star!

Before Christmas we had the arrival of training steps and parallel bars. We have begun to use our training steps and the parallel bars will follow shortly once some additional material arrives.

This week Tom accessed the steps for the first time. Tom was a little distracted when others entered the hall and we see him attempt two steps at a time as he turns to look.

Tom continues to work hard on his MOVE by walking with reduced support.

We had a birthday this week in Nightingales! A big Happy Birthday to Serenity! Thank you to Serenity’s parents for sending in a cake for everyone to enjoy.

Have a lovely weekend – The Nightingales Team

Welcome to the Spring Term

Our first week back has been challenging for some of our Nightingales. Having a few weeks off for relaxation and going back to getting up early for school can be very tiring. We have started to experience two new topics which is ‘ice worlds and tombs and temples’. Nightingales will be exploring stimuli which represent hot and cold properties but also stimuli which may have different textural properties and come in different shapes and sizes. This will enable our Nightingales to engage in different skills that support physical, problem solving and communication.

The Nightingales classroom had an ice world to explore this week. There was a fan and switch to support problem solving by using cause and effect. When the fan was activated snow was presented. We saw some lovely reactions including anticipation and awareness when the snow was released.

The ice world also allowed for a visual experience where Nightingales were surrounded by white material to represent the snow and silver for icicles. There were ice cubes so we could feel the cold. In our ice world Nightingales followed their physiotherapy plans which allowed for engagement of gross motor skills. We also had snow balls to practise fine motor skills but also upper body strength by throwing the snow balls!


Saad has been using the bench for supported sitting and was seen using his upper limbs to reach for the icicles. Saad also worked on cause and effect by activating the fan by using the switch.

In our desert we had treasure to explore. Aminah has done some lovely independent sitting this week. Aminah engaged with physical activity and then demonstrated problem solving by opening the bag of coins. Aminah retrieved the coins from the bag and began to explore by manipulating and visually exploring the coins.

After lunch we have introduced a sing and sign session. We saw our Nightingales show listening and attention skills but we also saw some smiles and head movements in response. We do have some wonderful staff in Nightingales!

We observed some lovely responses in rebound this week. Ben the Physiotherapist was on hand in the afternoon to support the session.

Have a lovely weekend – The Nightingales Team

It’s Christmas!!!

Thank you to all the parents that attended the Christmas assembly. We are so proud of our Nightingales.

Santa visited Nightingales. One of our Nightingales was Santas helper and supported Santa to deliver the chocolate presents.

We enjoyed our last day of term with a breakfast of croissants and fresh fruit.

Nightingales would like to say a big thank you to our dinner lady Kim. Kim supports our class during lunch and has also volunteered her time to help us during the Christmas assembly. Thank you Kim for your hard work and dedication.

We would like to express a thank you to parents who have kindly brought gifts for the Nightingales staff.

I would like to thank the Nightingales team for always being amazing and going above and beyond every day to ensure we give the best experiences for our young Nightingales.

Have a lovely Christmas!!

Clare and The Nightingales Team

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

We started our week with rehearsals in the hall for our Christmas Celebration Assembly. We are looking forward to welcoming parents next week to show you what we have been working on in class.

We enjoyed a Christmas dinner!

We were so proud of Elliot during Christmas lunch. Elliot loved the chocolate tree choc ice!

In the sensory room this week Tom was making music with Joe. Tom is showing fantastic cause and effect skills and turn taking with a familiar adult.

We observe some fantastic vocalisations from Aminah this week during the sensory story.

Tom showed lovely listening in the sensory story this week.

Have a lovely weekend! Clare and the Nightingales Team

Keep Moving

In Nightingales movement is always in our daily routines. This week we have captured pupils following the MOVE programme, Rebound Therapy and pupils personal physiotherapy care plans.

Serenity accessed Rebound Therapy for the first time this week. We started with some side sitting with light bounces and we also did some side lying stretches. Ben Harrison our Physiotherapist was able to provide support this week during our Rebound Session with Serenity.

In the classroom Serenity also did supported side sitting whilst engaging with stimuli which had been located in front and to the side. Lovely sitting balance with some prompt support by a familiar adult.

Elliot did some lovely engagement in Rebound this week. We observed Elliot listening to his name being called and he notices someone under the trampoline and was able to follow the sounds of his name.


Saad has been carrying out a sitting balance whilst using the bench. We are encouraging side to lean forward to engage in stimuli and then bring is body back into an upright sitting position. Saad works so hard during this activity.

Movement is also encouraged in a range of activities rather than just in one single lesson. We want movements to be purposeful so they can be used in a range of situations and environments. Nightingales have been using gross motor, fine motor skills and upper limb movements in the bucket activity, sensory story time, Yoga and in a winter themed creative session.


We wanted to say how proud we are of Aminah. Aminah is back in school on a phased return while she still recovers from surgery and this week we were able to support with supportive sitting. Aminah managed 15 minutes. This was amazing and we are so proud of her!!

The wonderful Tom has been out celebrating Christmas with his family. Tom saw small and big Christmas trees and had the opportunity to listen to a brass band and a barber shop choir.

We have a birthday in Nightingales this week !
Happy Birthday to our wonderful teaching assistant Joe!

Have a wonderful weekend – Clare and the Nightingales Team.

Bouncing our way into December!

It’s beginning to look like Christmas in Nightingales!

The tree is up!

In creative we started to explore Christmas with frozen puffy paint and switches hidden in presents. We observed lovely listening skills, physical development and social interaction during the session.

During our music session we have been drumming, ringing bells and singing to the ‘Little Drummer Boy’ which we will perform at our Christmas Assembly.

Last Friday during rebound Elliot experienced rebound for the first time. It was a short session with Elliot but he engaged in communication by showing us he had finished.

Saad enjoyed rebound with a friend , the lovely Zahra. So far in rebound pupils have been experiencing rebound on their own with supporting adults but now pupils are familiar with the activity we want to see social engagement with peers.

Have a lovely weekend! – Clare and the Nightingales team.

Keep Dancing!

Nightingales have been enjoying a new weekly ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ session since returning from half term. The aim of the session is to move our bodies to different types of music, influenced by the different dances we watch on Strictly Come Dancing.

Tom is a big fan of a Strictly Come Dancing and notices the theme tune at the start of the session.

Saad is supported to move his body to salsa.


We continue to enjoy our sensory story time. WOW said the Owl is always a popular choice when we pick which story to read. We observe excitement and anticipation of the rain.

In the sensory room this week we observed Tom explore the sound beam and switches. Tom is seen exploring where the sound is coming from as he touches the switch and then explores the sound beam sensor.

Elliot has been engaging through his favourite type engagement and that’s singing.

Positive praise is really important and is used every day in Nightingales. To support the communication of positive praise we have recorded some signs for you to learn at home.

This week why not practice ‘good sharing’ & ‘good looking’.

We observed some lovely sharing between Elliot and Tom. Elliot has been accessing the iPad to support his eating and drinking. Tom has taken an interest and Elliot is sharing his reward with his friend.

Sudis did some amazing looking during registration. Sudis was so proud when he pressed the switch.

We currently have a Ly-on in school. The Ly-on has kindly be loaned to us by Jiraffe. We are observing some lovely engagement while Sudis has been using the Ly-on. The supported equipment supports postural care by allowing a pupil to experience different supported positions.

Have a lovely weekend! – Clare and the Nightingales Team.

Super Nightingales

I want to start by saying how wonderful our Nightingales have been since returning from half term. Nightingales have had lots of different visitors in the classroom since returning from half term and we have been meeting unfamiliar faces which sometimes can be overwhelming but Nightingales have welcomed everyone. To best support our Nightingales we often need to invite in lots of different people into class. We have had wheelchair assessments, dysphasia assessments and supporting equipment assessments taking place in class so it’s been very busy.

Nightingales have been engaging in Remembrance with Bev in music. We saw some lovely drumming from Saad and we observed Sudis moving his arm to feel the drum. Tom was engaged with the sounds Bev was making.

There was paint and glitter when celebrating Diwali!

Sudis was working on his physical exercises when we were observing some anticipation and awareness skills.

Nightingales worked hard during well-being Wednesday by communicating choices, washing their faces and experiencing the foot spa.

Nightingales you are all superstars!

Have a lovely weekend ! – Clare and the Nightingales Team