Caterpillar Class

Caterpillar Class

Teacher: Kirsty Smith

Support Staff: Sarah, Hayley, Charlotte and Kerry.


In Caterpillar Class we are learning through lots of sensory experiences.
Our class has daily routines which give our day structure. Our routines give the children a sense of security and safety and knowing what to expect next helps to calm any anxious minds.

Feeling calm and safe helps Caterpillar students to be ready to learn.

This page will be updated every week and will give you a snapshot of our activities and achievements.

Week commencing 28/06/2021

In lessons this week there has been a lot of directional language used. In our Maths lessons we have focused on putting things IN. This has included Abaan’s feet into socks, the mermaid tail and later in the week he decided to also put his feet IN to Divine’s shoes (see pic below). Oakley really impressed us all by his focus and precise use of utensils while squashing DOWN with the potato masher and also stirring round using the spatula. He remembered the process of making fresh fruit ice cream from last week’s Independent Living lesson and made the fruitiest and tangiest blackcurrant ice cream ever. (Which he also ate!)

We got warmed up for our Sports Day by whooshing our parachute UP and DOWN. This week we did that in the classroom while also watching this fun parachute games video.  You Tube Link

We all got into the Sports Day spirit by putting on rainbow striped sweatbands. Team Caterpillar did great!

Back in the classroom we made our own celebration day party food and ended the day with a visit to the school fayre where Lilly Mae and Oakley both won tombola prizes!
Phew what a great day!


Week commencing 21/06/2021

It’s all things seaside in Caterpillar class this half term! Of course you have ice creams at the seaside so, in our Independent Living lesson this week the students made their own fresh fruit ice creams and ate them from cones. They all individually chose between strawberries and blackcurrants. Then they chose their own potato masher and used these to squash the fruit. Oakley also exchanged a big penny to role play buying his ice cream. In another lesson this week we learned more about our hands and feet and we made hand and foot prints in playdough (just like you make footprints in wet sand at the beach).

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:
Lilly Mae Hotchkiss for: excellent work in TacPac sessions and great use of whole hand grip in Cooking and Art lessons.


Week commencing 14/06/2021

In Caterpillar class this week we have been impressed by the student’s growing engagement in our Sensory Story lessons. The Singing Mermaid has a pink wig which Abaan loves to shake his head while wearing. The stripy umbrella, which signifies the circus tent where the mermaid goes to sing, is proving quite mesmerizing and Divine now helps to spin it with his hand so that he can look up as it whizzes round above his head. Lilly Mae enjoys having her face painted, dressing up in the circus costumes and checking how she looks in the mirror. Everyone enjoys the fire breather’s colourful breath (whirly LED toy) and colour changing lights. Oakley is starting to experiment with the face paints AND he especially impressed us this week when he handed back the sparkly blue sensory putty at the end of the story. He actually put it back in the tub and then put the lid on; all that Tidy-Up time training must be starting to work!

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:
Oakley for improved engagement in Sensory Story & Body Awareness Lessons


Week commencing 07/06/2021

We have thrown ourselves into our new theme ‘To the Beach’ and LOTS of our lessons have featured water. Our new Sensory Story is ‘The Singing Mermaid’ so, obviously, one of our story props is a mermaid tail. On Tuesday Abaan wore the tail almost all of the day!

In Art we have started to paint watery waves onto silver foil so that we can make our Singing Mermaid silvery bay display.
In Phonics we have listened to Beach environmental sounds; these have included waves plus also seagulls. Abaan and Oakley especially enjoy playing with the seagulls and making them flap their wings so now they use the ‘More’ button when wanting to keep playing with them.
In Maths we have introduced directional language UP and DOWN; this is linked to a Fairground seaside themed water ride. We have also explored measures in Maths with a lovely sunny outdoor Maths lesson. You’ll see in the pictures below that Oakley’s sensory foam ‘ice cream’ cone is BIG.
In Independent Living we chose small seeds or big seeds and also between using a water spray or a watering can to water our cress seeds. After Abaan’s cotton wool was sprayed with blue coloured water he tried taste testing it to see if it was really candy floss… Sadly not.

As I said at the beginning, we have thrown ourselves into our watery theme; I think everyone, staff included, has been wet at some point this week.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:


for excellent engagement in a new Sensory Story (The Singing Mermaid) plus using the Sensory Sock



Week commencing 24/05/21

Never a dull moment in Caterpillar Class! Highlights include…
Another colourful art lesson where we painted with feet and hands; everyone joined in so well especially as this time they knew what to expect!

We have used our Big Mac buttons to ask for more in maths and cooking lessons. We’ve also used them to listen to animal sounds and Fire Engine sounds in Phonics.

Oakley wowed us all when he worked out which of our Fire Engine toy’s sounds I had recorded on to the Big Mac; that took a lot of concentration and focused listening.

Abaan wowed us when he mastered his skills by building TAAAAALL towers with chunky pegs. His focus and determination was absolutely a big WOW!

Lilly Mae comes in ready to learn every morning and has got better at everything this week!

Divine is our Caterpillar of the week as he not only impressed us with his dance moves while listening to French Beatboxer Eklipse but he also …..

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Divine  for participating in all lessons and especially good work in Body Awareness and Maths.


Week commencing 17/05/2021

Highlights from this week in Caterpillar Class

Improving Communication Skills and making choices.
In Independent Living Skills we made Fairy Bread, a great easy snack which is also really colourful. In this lesson the children made choices about what colour of spatula to use and what colour of sprinkles to use. They built on their spreading skills using the spatula to spread butter on the bread.

In our Art Lessons we have also used spatulas to spread our home made puffy paint; messy but really enjoyable and very effective. Oakley also used a fork to scratch some bold lines into the paint’s puffy surface.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Lilly Mae Hotchkiss for: learning some actions for ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and also fantastic use of fine motor skills in lessons.


Week commencing 10/05/2021

Some fabulous work in Caterpillars this week.
Oakley loved the new racing car zig- zag drop toy … So much so that he used the More button while playing with it ( for 10 minutes). We are really pleased because Oakley is fussy about toys so it’s lovely that he likes this one so much.He is also still really enjoying our new Fire Engine and has used it in our Phonics lessons plus has communicated his choice for it in choice time.

One of Divine’s favourite songs is Two Hearts by Phil Collins. He used the More button several times so that he could hear the whole song. (The sound was muted until he pressed More)

We have some very nice new sensory frog beanbags and they have been used by all Caterpillar students. They are great for our counting songs ( Five Little Speckled Frogs) plus are perfect colours for our colour activities.

Lilly Mae has improved her hand grip; the frogs are just right for her plus she has used a wooden spoon and spatula for mixing and spreading. She also did some excellent grabbing and carrying of hand-fulls of pasta today. She was making a speedy getaway with the pasta (almost running with it in our outdoor lesson).

Abaan did some amazing sorting and organising (mung beans in oobleck) 30 minutes!
Abaan has also been responding well to the tools and equipment that we are using to help him regulate his senses so that he is balanced and able to really focus in his learning. (equipment includes a cardboard box for him to climb into and a spinner board for his vestibular needs).

Well that’s enough writing; these pictures will speak for themselves!

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Oakley Fowler for: Building his communication skills by using the More button, and symbol and photo exchange.



A shorter week but still eventful and with plenty of learning achieved.
Toddle Waddle has new chapters where he goes to the zoo and also to the seaside.

In Maths we have continued to use the More button when we can but most excitingly we have done lots of work on colours and matching colours.

Divine loves socks and it seems that all the other Caterpillar students too. So, after singing ‘I Love my White Shoes’  ( YouTube link ) we have tried lots of socks on our feet and hands too. Very quickly Abaan and Oakley proved that they like to wear matching socks.  ‘I love my white shoes’ is so catchy and can be adapted to ‘I love my blue bear’ when sorting with tiny bears AND even ‘I love my blue/ red and yellow feet’ when we used our feet to make some vibrant new wall art for Caterpillar class.

Finally, BIG thanks to Caterpillar LSA’s; Hayley, Sarah, Charlotte and Kerry plus Paula (lunchtime support) They are a great team and make Caterpillars a class that the student’s love being in.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Abaan for: fantastic work in Maths (colour sorting) and also great contribution to our colour­­ footprint wall art.



As part of our ‘Did you Hear That?’ topic we have listened to, clapped along with and also sang/shouted the ‘Mama’s Sleeping song. The children get lots out of this action song. When we do it we work one to one with each student and we really do exaggerate the LOUD when it happens. Please have a look and you might like to try this at home too. YouTube link

This week in Independent Living skills we continued practicing using spoons to scoop and jugs to pour. This time we made Chocolate milk…. BIG thanks to Danielle in Hedgehogs for giving me her chocolate Nesquik when I had forgotten to buy any!
It was really interesting to see how much more interested the students were in tasting their results after I poured it back into the school milk cartons and gave it to them along with  a straw; just goes to show that presentation counts!

Communication skills are continuing to be built and it has Wowed us how much everyone has loved being able to ask for a drink by selecting their drinks bottle photo label to be able to then exchange it for their drink.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Lilly Mae  for: excellent work in Maths and Music and using the ‘More’ button in lessons.



Highlights from our second week back after Easter:

Toddle Waddle, (our Sensory Story) gets a re-write: (That means I re-wrote it into a story that engages the students much more plus includes sensory toys and materials that they enjoy). This time the ice-cream van is really noisy and there are two types of ice-cream – squirty cream and sensory modelling foam. One character, Fluffy Snake, is very popular with more than one student so they have been working on sharing skills (never easy!)

In Maths we have been using jugs and scoops but also improving communication skills by starting to learn ways to ask for ‘More’. (We are using BigMac sound buttons)

We have practiced our listening skills; Listening to musical instruments; Emergency vehicle sounds and also had a refresher of some farm animal sounds.

The weather has been great so our outside grassy area has been used for Sensory Circuits and also some Maths too.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Oakley Fowler for: using the ‘More’ button in Maths and also excellent participation in all circle activities.



We’ve had a really good first week back to school and Caterpillar students have all settled back into school really well. We have a new staff member, Kerry. She says that she’s loved her first week in Caterpillars J Welcome to the team Kerry!

Here’s a selection of photos which are a fantastic reminder of just how much learning has taken place in the week.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Lilly Mae Hotchkiss for: great participation in Phonics lessons



Caterpillar class is fast moving and full of energy; Here’s a selection of photos which are a fantastic reminder of just how much learning has taken place in the week.
We have learned more about feeling happy and have laughed ourselves silly both while listening to The Laughing Song (Muppets version) YouTube link  and also while using puppets. Oakley has been fab at his ‘Ha, ha, ha’ laugh while Divine has beamed lots of big cheesy grins!
In maths we have practiced ‘putting-in’. Abaan is the master at using chunky peg boards while Divine has proven his learning so well by almost ‘knocking- out’ Hayley and Sarah while throwing/putting bean bags into buckets.
In PE we made progress with our working-together skills by using the parachute to play a group game.
In Outdoor Learning we explored the space more; while also hunting for eggs with fluffy chicks inside. This was very funny because of course big sticks are more interesting than eggs (Oakley)!

‘A BIG Happy Birthday to Oakley Fowler who will be 7 on 5th April

Abaan’s Wow moment was being so enthusiastic to complete his peg board that he then went and picked up the pegs from the floor. Sorry no pic of that so here he is holding his spoon perfectly ….again!

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was working with Charlotte and learning how to carefully use her fine motor skills to make the pop-up man spring up high PLUS then put the man back in for another go.

Oakley’s Wow moment was showing me that he thinks that speed and colour matching are much more important than learning how to use the hammer when using the peg board.

Divine’s Wow has been how calm he has been while walking in the corridor. BUT also how gentle and friendly he has been with other students both in class and while outside in the playground. Here he is smelling our Monday smell (Vanilla) and also drinking milk from a cup.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Divine Nwadioha

for: fantastic participation and learning in Maths





This week we had more fun with a new Traction man adventure; Oakley got a surprise with the shaving foam and Divine made a new ‘best friend’; the stripey sock who traps the squeaky cupcake.
Divine has responded really well to his Sensory Swing Sessions and Lilly Mae is being great at having a go with all activities even if we had to bring the sand to her on the trampoline!

Divine showed us just how MUCH he enjoys rhythm and sound when we listened to some beatboxing videos.

Abaan’s Wow moment was using his spoon to eat pudding …. 2 days in a row!!
Here he is also doing some excellent independent work in art. He held his brush in a tri-grip first but then changed to a fist grip.

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was patting Hayley’s hands to clap at just the right moment for Wind the Bobbin Up.

Oakley’s Wow moment was having fun dressing up with hats (including his safety helmet).

Divine’s Wow was when he showed us just how MUCH he loves the interesting vocal sounds made by French beatboxer, Eklips.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Oakley Fowler

for: coming to circle straight away and for good participation in Good Morning routine.




Liz, our visiting Sensory Occupational Therapist was back this Monday morning and she was impressed to see the positive results of us following her advice. She also brought some goodies; a ‘twanger’ elasticated band for Abaan’s chair legs, a couple of poppers (a bit like bubble wrap) for Abaan and Oakley and also a mini weighted blanket (which so far has been a favourite of Lilly Mae and Oakley).
Some highlights from our week:
Another brill painting session…. started with using stamps to print stars and (superhero) flashes and moved on to finger painting.
Independent Living Skills (AKA getting to know our vegetables) ended up in a very smelly classroom; Spring Onions!
Moving our bodies and learning how to put umbrellas UP and DOWN and also how TURN pedals was a maths activity this week. Moving our bodies was a fun (Maths/spatial awareness session) where we opened and shut umbrellas and also used our table top pedals for some bilateral movement. Here’s a link to our umbrella song YouTube link

Abaan’s Wow moment was when he finally took part in stacking the cups instead of nesting them. No photos of that…. but here are a couple of him having an amazing time building with the mirrored blocks

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was her great work in Maths; where she used her hands to grip and manipulate the plastic numbered fishes.

Oakley’s Wow moment was his good participation and sharing in PE

Divine’s Wow was his sheer delight shown when he used the new school Sensory Swing. Here’s a photo of him in another moment of delight… when he showed his weakness for a tickly massage from our vibrating bug massager.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Abaan Khurram

for: excellent participation in all activities and exploring of new toys and equipment



We started the week with a special visitor, Liz; a Sensory Occupational Therapist, who spent Monday morning with the students in Caterpillar Class. Divine demonstrated his need for movement and bouncing and also his love of dance. Look at that leg stretch (see pic below)!

In Maths we continued using new tools to scoop and measure; Abaan and Oakley especially loved the new clear plastic scoops.
Lilly Mae was one of our super veg washers when we learnt about washing fresh veg in Independent Living Skills.

We had one of our best ever painting sessions to make Superhero facemasks (see pic of Oakley later).
Oakley also enjoyed playing with our Superhero glove puppet as well as taking part in our Sensory Story where Traction Man flies in his super speedy Space Trainer. Here’s Lilly Mae getting thoroughly involved with both the trainer and Traction Man.

Finally, we had a fabulously sticky two sessions using Slime Jam (which we have renamed ‘SUPER STICKY Slimey stuff’. We are so very lucky to have such understanding cleaners at NorthRidge

Abaan’s Wow moment was when he (with only a tiny bit of encouragement) pulled up his own trousers. Working on those Independent Life Skills

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was when she SPEEDILY sneaked up behind Sensory Occupational Therapist, Liz, and quickly knocked down the stacking cups before anyone else could get a look in!

Oakley’s Wow moment was his fantastic use of paintbrushes, sponges and scrubbing pads when he painted his own superhero painting.

Divine’s Wow was when he followed on his Independent Living Skills lesson with a demonstration of how to blow bubbles using only his mouth and lips.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Divine Nwadioha

for: Developing your communication skills and showing excellent improvement in using symbols to choose at snack time.



This week in Independent Living Skills we learnt about leafy vegetables. The students handled cabbage and lettuce, separated leaves and washed them.

We started a new Sensory Story. Traction Man is a toy who is a superhero. In this week’s episode he rescues some farm animals from two pillows who are being unkind and holding the animals captive. This has been great as it ties in with our phonics this week; which has been listening to and learning the sounds that various farm animals make.

We have enjoyed the sunshine and used the Outdoor Learning Area to collect leaves, twigs and grasses.

Abaan’s Wow moment was when he worked out the order of the nesting cups. He has loved playing with these since.

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was her great work in Maths. She’s done lots of good work this week but here she is sorting numbers from pasta.
She has also been fab at wearing her glasses!

Oakley’s Wow moment was when he played with e stacking cubes and built this huge tower.

Divine’s Wow has been his good effort at using the table top pedals. He has also shown us how much he enjoys listening to Phil Collins Greatest Hits!! Divine is quite a dancer!

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Lilly-Mae Hotchkiss

for: Wearing her glasses in school and for such fabulous engagement and focus in lessons.



This week in cookery we made a treat for the birds. The students mixed birdseed, breadcrumbs and raisins together to make bird seed balls and then yesterday, in Outdoor Learning, we went out and tied the food balls into some bushes. It was lovely and sunny but really cold so the birds should be hungry.

Our Phonics lessons this week have focused on wild animal sounds. The students have all shown an interest in playing with the toy safari animals and listening to the sounds that they make.

Abaan’s Wow moment was when he drank at snack time for the first time in Caterpillar Class. We discovered that he had to see with his own eyes that I was putting squash (and not just water) in his drinks bottle!
No pic of that moment so here’s another of him closely inspecting our birdseed mix instead.

Lilly Mae’s Wow moment was her great work in Maths. She’s done lots of good work this week but here she is working with an inlay puzzle.

Oakley’s Wow moment was when he pressed the doll’s tummy to make the music play. He did this loads of times but is quite camera shy when playing so I only got one sneaky pic of him.

Divine’s Wow was his brilliant drumming in our Phonics Session that turned into a percussion session.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Divine for using his new therapy chair so well and also for participating so well n Sensory Story time and Music sessions.



This week has been a good one. Snowy weather always makes things more interesting.

Our Phonics lessons this week have focused on sounds in the environment, on Monday we had a fantastic waterplay session while we listened to a common bathroom sound; the sound of a bathroom shower. It was a brilliant session especially as Abaan, Divine and Oakley all shared the water tray and explored and played alongside each other. The photos show it all!

On Thursday we listened to sounds of snow crunching. Everyone enjoyed handling snow inside as well as outside.

Abaan’s Wow moment was when he made a car sound while moving his favourite toy car along one of the wooden ramps in our construction session.

Oakley’s Wow moment was when used the Henry vacuum cleaner nozzle to suck up balls. He experimented to see if he could suck up two balls at once.

Divine’s Wow was his brilliant five minutes of Intensive interaction with Hayley on Wednesday.

Our Caterpillar of the week goes to:

Abaan for really good participation at circle times and coming to circle when tidy up music is played.


Star of the Week W/E 29.01.21
Oakley Fowler
For fantastic engagement with lessons. Using tools to fill and empty and showing curiosity about new materials.


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