Let it Snow!

What a lovely surprise we all had when we woke up on Saturday 27th November! I was woken up by my own children with cheers of joy and the rush of wanting to go out in the snow!

It’s now Monday 29th November and the snow is still here. With schools closed to keep our children and staff safe, I have put some activities together for you to enjoy with your children at home.

Experiencing Cold and Warm

Let your children experience the snow by bringing the snow inside. Use a baking tray because the dark background with the white snow makes excellent use of mark making. Place the tray in front of your child and encourage them to bring their arms forward to experience the cold by placing a finger or hand in the snow. Place your own hands in the snow to show them. Look for their reactions – do they remove their hands automatically or do they swipe through the snow enjoying the cold?

We have our Christmas tree up in my own home so we added baubles from our tree to the snow tray. If you don’t have any baubles then add some small favourite toys to the tray. By adding objects into the snow it works towards their visual awareness, fine motor skills (reaching and grasping) and tactile awareness (cold). Show your child the objects before adding them to the tray and then show them you are hiding the objects in the snow. Now encourage them to look for them. By doing this we are working on our problem solving skills.

As the snow melts the colour disappears and the children now have water to play with. We know all our Nightingales love water !

After you have enjoyed the cold snow it’s time to warm up. Why not make a hot chocolate and warm up with a hot water bottle.

Experience the smell of the cocoa powder and if you have marshmallows in your home then place some on a plate and your child can work on using their fine motor skills by either using a pincer or palm grasp. They will also enjoy eating them!

Story time – Oh Dear

In class on a Monday afternoon we enjoy story time. One of our stories is ‘oh dear’ by Rod Campbell. If you don’t have the book at home don’t worry because there are some excellent recordings on YouTube. I have placed one below for you. In class we bring the story to life by using toy animals and other resources. If you have the animals from the story at home then bring them out for the story. We like to hide the animals using jars or boxes so it gives the children an element of surprise but it also helps them to explore by encouraging them to open the box or remove the lid to reveal the animal.

I hope you all have a lovely day at home with your children and enjoy the activities set for today. If you manage to take any pictures of your children enjoying the activities then please send them over. Take care – Clare Grubb and the Nightingales team.

Children in Need

For creative this week we have been exploring splashes of colour to create Pudsey’s eye patch. Pupils were given the opportunity to use a range of fine motor skills during these activities. Pupils had access to a tuff tray which had small puddles of paint and two different textural balls. Some pupils reached and swiped their hands through the wet paint when others reached in for the balls. It gave an opportunity to observe pupils visual awareness but also preference of textures. We observed some pupils disliked the spiky ball and would always seek out the smooth ball. In addition to reaching into the tuff tray, pupils would push the balls, grasp and manipulate by throwing or rolling them around in the tray. Not only were some pupils using fine motor skills we had pupils developing their standing balance. Using the tuff tray at a height enables the pupil to stand at the tray and for some of our learners a standing balance is a key part of their physiotherapy management plan.

The use of fine motor skills created some wonderful patterns in the tuff tray which was then cut out into small circles by the Nightingales team. The pupils then used their fingers to pick up the small circles and with the support by the Nightingales team, stick them to Pudsey’s ears. Our Nightingales did fabulous !

As well as being creative with paint the Nightingales explored the ingredients to decorate cupcakes. The ingredients explored were the icing sugar in dry and wet form, sprinkles, rolled icing and the cupcakes. We themed our activity for Children in Need so we had yellow runny icing and colourful rolled icing balls. By exploring the different textures we are able to observe pupils preferences by the choices they make by showing likes and dislikes of textures.

Nightingales have also been doing some fantastic developments in their Well-being and Physical lessons this week. Following their physiotherapy management plans and increasing the time on their individual exercises to independently holding a toothbrush and tolerating having their hair brushed have been observed this week. Well done Nightingales!

Star of the Week!

Well done to Zahra for being Nightingales star of the week! Zahra has showed some fantastic engagement in activities this week. Zahra shows great termination when working on her independent sitting and will always try again if she loses her balance. Well done Zahra! You are a superstar princess!


Nightingales this week have been exploring Remembrance. Bev, Oakwood’s music specialist was in class this week, who gave learners a sensory experience of remembering the armed forces service men and woman. There were the sounds of marching for hearing awareness, visual and tactile awareness when the poppies were dropped from a height and the flag which was presented in front of the pupils.

During creative, Nightingales explored the colours red and green for poppies. The pupils created art using the paint pendulum by reaching for the hanging cups of glitter and bottles of paint to create green markings on the paper below. We saw some pupils reach and swipe their hands through the paint creating additional marks.

We also used additional fine motor skills by creating art through shaking bottles. Some of our pupils dislike the wet of the paint or glue so this was placed into the tube and the learners were encouraged to shake the tub. Dapper brushes were used for those pupils being encouraged to use palm grasping.

Star of Week!

Nightingales star of the week was ‘AB’. We welcomed AB back to school this week after some time away from school and we are all so proud of how AB has settled back into the school routine. It’s been so lovely to hear you say ‘hello’ to us all throughout the day! Well done AB!

After our assembly we had a 70’s disco in celebration of Oakwood Schools Birthday. Oakwood School opened its doors in 1971 and is celebrating its 50th birthday. This term we will be listening to 70’s music in Nightingales Friday afternoon disco. The pupils explored wigs and hats during our disco! Was a lovely end to our week and I thank both Nightingale pupils and TA’s for their hard work this week. Well done!

Celebration Time!

Nightingales have settled back into the familiar routines and have been engaging in lots of activities. This week we have been celebrating Diwali through creative arts. The pupils were given the opportunity to use gross and fine motor skills to explore the stimuli on the painting pendulum activity. Visual tracking was seen by pupils as the paint and glitter fell making marks on the paper below. We used the art to create diva lights which we displayed on the classroom window and the rockets for fireworks in the sensory tent. The pendulum art was a lovely reflection for the festival of colour, Diwali but also a great opportunity for the pupils to use a range of skills to support their development.

Pupils enjoyed the sensory tent for Diwali which was created to allow pupils to enjoy the sensory experience of Diwali. In the tent pupils experienced the smell of cardamom which hung from above , the reflection of lights that bounced off the foil blanket, the sounds of crackles by manipulating the foil blanket, the pops of fireworks as they walked into the tent as their feet touched the bubble wrap and the colourful scarfs for the colourful clothes worn in celebration.

As well as celebrating Diwali , Nightingales also continued their familiar routines. This week in music Thursday, we saw pupils who previously showed little reaction to the music became engaged and even sat on the drum! This is fantastic progress and shows that having a consistent routine and repetition for our pupils is key to their development.

Nightingale pupils also showed fantastic developments when following their physiotherapy management plans this week. One pupil was able to walk further than before half term and tackled an incline walk up the ramp and decline walk down the ramp. We also saw some independent sitting and balancing taking place ,so well done to you all Nightingales!

Star of the Week!

Well done to our star of the week ‘Joshua’! Joshua became engaged in the music session and responded by sitting on the drum, moving his feet across the surface , vocalising and moving his arms. This is a fantastic development and it was lovely to see Joshua so happy with the activity taking place.

Well done to all our Nightingales this week! All the team are super proud of their developments this week!