Proud of our Nightingales

This week we have been continuing our explorations of Halloween by using our fine motor skills to explore pumpkins by reaching into the pumpkin to remove the seeds and pulp. The pumpkins gave the classroom a wonderful aroma so we have been able to use our sense of smell. Some pupils enjoyed bringing the pumpkins to their mouths to taste.

On Thursday we had our fancy dress day which coincided with Oakwood Schools Walk-a-thon to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the school. Pupils and staff did laps of the playground. Bev Oakwood School’s Music Specialist joined Nightingales in the playground and we enjoyed the walking rap! We also heard staff singing ‘Walking on Sunshine’ which was enjoyed by pupils. Thank you to parents for sending your children in fancy dress, they looked brilliant!

Here’s the highlights of the week:

The Nightingale pupils have worked so hard this half term and the Nightingales staff team are so proud of them all. Here are some highlights from this first Autumn term of 2021 in Nightingales.

Have a lovely half term!

Sensory Halloween

Nightingales have enjoyed the start of our sensory Halloween activities! On arrival into class on Monday morning, pupils were able to explore the Halloween sensory den. Pupils were able to use their gross motor skills by reaching up for the hanging stimuli and then use their fine motor skills to swipe, grasp or manipulate. The sensory den has also enabled pupils to show visual awareness through noticing the stimuli. There were torches in the sensory den which helped support learners visual awareness by making stimuli more prominent but also directing the pupils vision towards stimuli.

Tactile Halloween

Nightingales has been exploring stimuli which offer varying properties for the pupils to experience. The Nightingales got very messy during our explorations! In one lesson we explored spaghetti worms which offered different visual colours and an opportunity to seek out the spiders hidden within the spaghetti. The contrast experience was slime in which divided opinions. Many learners used a finger in isolation to examine this stimuli when others went in with their whole hands. Those that used a finger in isolation were very unsure about this stimuli.

Continuing with exploring the varying properties of stimuli, the Nightingales got creative using ice paint and paint gloves. The gloves were filled with paint and contained holes so this enabled learners to build awareness of cause and effect e.g. if I squeeze this object something will happen. Like the slime , the ice divided opinions. We observed learners liked the effect of the paint squirting out of the glove and being able to spread the paint across the table. During the ice experience we noted learners didn’t like to pick up the ice but to swipe it across the tray or table.

Nightingales will be revisiting our tactile experiences to build awareness of varying tactile stimuli but also observing whether learners anticipate the stimuli they are going to explore.

It’s been a lovely messy week Nightingales and we look forward to doing it again next week!

Swimming – Physiotherapy & Social Interaction

Ben,Oakwood’s physiotherapist, has been joining the pupils in the pool. Being in the pool is a vital part of our pupils physical development. Ben is able to spend time with individual pupils promoting movements of their joints and working on their physical management plans. Importantly the warm water helps our pupils muscle tone to relax and decrease spasticity.

In swimming we have also been joining our sessions with Rabbits which allows us to promote social interaction. We have missed being able to interact with other classes so being about to bring pupils together is brilliant.

Nightingales love their swimming sessions and enjoy the calming environment in which we promote. We use stimuli to promote fine motor skills such as passing the ball and use songs such as ‘I’m a little tea pot’ to promote communication. Nightingales have carried out intensive interaction in the pool this week so when the child splashes we splash back and the pupils show great joy to this play activity.

The Sensory Room – Body Awareness and Creative Movement

Nightingales have been exploring body awareness and creative movement whilst in the sensory room. Pupils explore a range of stimuli which encourages their bodies to move for example reaching for the shakers or catching the bubbles and for body awareness we use cold and tapping of the body. During the session Nightingales have access to the interactive floor which lets us see how pupils track moving stimuli e.g. the fish but the interactive floor will also respond when the pupil touches the floor by the water rippling as contact is made. We have been observing this week whether pupils are of aware that their actions are causing effects.

Hard Working Nightingales

Nightingales have worked very hard at developing communication, physical and cognitive skills this week. Intensive interaction is always an integral part of our week in the Nightingales Class and this week we are starting to see pupils fully engage in the process. Having our consistent routine in class has enabled the pupils to develop an awareness and anticipation of the activities and build tolerance to the use of physio equipment or physio exercises. Importantly it enables staff to see the pupils developmental progress by seeing the changes over time.

This week Nightingales have started to explore upcoming celebrations in ‘What’s in the box’. It’s important for our pupils that we give them time to explore stimuli and we allow them to do the activity more than once over a period of time. Our current ‘what’s in the box’ celebration is ‘Diwali’. A range of senses are used to explore ‘Diwali’. We used our noses to smell the spices, our ears to listen to the sound of the bangles as they moved on our wrists, the touch of the sarees with the amazing embroidery but also using our eyes to look at the bright colours of the beautiful sarees.
The Nightingales class would like to say a big thank you to Tina Mistry who kindly donated the beautiful sarees and bangles for the pupils to explore for our ‘Diwali’ exploration.