Welcome to the Woodpeckers Class! 


The Woodpeckers’ Class uses a ‘Total Communication’ approach, which ensures that the children receive as many cues as possible; to help them gain an understanding of what is happening throughout the day. This involves aiding communication by the use of Signalong, real objects, photographs, symbols and speech.


The Woodpeckers class is a mixture of children ‘learning to learn’ and ‘emergent learners’. All the children in the Woodpeckers experience sensory processing difficulties causing them to require a specific structure to their learning. Some of the children also have varying VI needs.

The children are split into 3 learning groups. Each group structures the lessons, environment and activities around the children’s learning needs, styles and levels. We find this helps the children focus and engage with their learning enabling them to develop the skills they need. 

Yellow group and Green group – Flightpath 8-9 – focusing loosely on a TEACCH approach to teaching working on a one to one with an adult as well as some independent learning activities using the IPad and plasma screen computer – They have a box which holds at least 3 set tasks to complete (this is conducted in the register area of the class with a table and chair each).

Orange Group – Flightpath 1-7 – focusing on exploratory learning/play/intensive interaction this is based in the small class work room with calming music playing in the background. There are always 3 different activities (one in the tuff tray, one on the light box and computer based activity set up on the plasma screen computer). The activities take a very sensory route to help engage and motivate learning especially for those children with VI. We ensure the children have a wide range of experiences through different textures and materials aiming to target the visual, olfactory and auditory senses.

Learning Styles

The Woodpeckers class is a mixture of children ‘learning to learn’ and ‘emergent learners’. All the children in the Woodpeckers experience sensory processing difficulties causing them to require a specific structure to their learning.

DMP equipment and intensive interaction techniques are used in all aspects of the Woodpeckers learning. We find by meeting the children on their level/letting the children take the lead in learning sessions it aids in developing their independence, life skills and communication skills. By teaching the children using activities and stimuli they enjoy and interact with they become much more engaged and focused during lessons.

Getting Ready For Learning

Each morning as the children come into school they are given the opportunity to access DMP (Developmental Movement Play)equipment, sensory toys or outdoor play. This helps the children alleviate any anxieties they may have during the transition from home to school to the class room. The children need time to centre themselves so they are ready for their learning. We are now finding that the children require further ‘getting ready for learning’ time between 12-12.25 as they finish their morning of lessons. The children require some ‘down time’ to regulate themselves after a busy morning of learning and engagement. We find giving the children this time helps to settle them ready for their afternoon sessions.

By having this time to regulate their senses the children become more engaged and focused during lesson time.

Sensory breaks – Sensory Boxes

Sensory breaks are incorporated into our daily routine. Once the children have completed/attended a 15-20 minute learning activity they have a sensory break. Due to the children’s sensory processing difficulties we find the children need regular breaks during their school day to help regulate themselves and their senses. Each child has their own sensory box which has toys, twiddlers, chewlry etc. in them. These are items are stimuli which have been suggested by Occupational Therapy found within their sensory profile report (see PLP’s). If during any time throughout the child’s day we feel they are showing signs of sensory distress they are offered a sensory activity to help them regulate. 

Key Days / Activities

Tuesday– Year 5 and 6 go to Royton pool, please can year 5 and year 6 children bring swim kits in.

Friday –  Whole class hydro pool swim session, please can all children bring in swim kits


Teacher: Kimberley Maxwell

TAs: Claire Mullen, Danielle Taylor and Nafisa Choudhury

Mid-Day Leader: Sam Grundy

Sign of the Week

At Kingfisher we use Signalong as a part of a Total Communication Approach, we are constantly using core vocabulary with the children to support their language development and then through each of our topics we introduce new signs and language, which extends their vocabulary further. We also have two “Signs of the Week” which helps maintain and extend key knowledge and skills of everyday vocabulary.

Each half term we will be creating a short video showcasing and demonstrating our ‘Signs of the Week’ for the current term so that you can learn the signs and further this learning at home.

To view this signs of the week for this topic please watch the video below


If your child has a school dinner, the school menus can be accessed by clicking here. For children who bring a packed lunch, please remember to provide healthy and balanced options. We are a Healthy School and will be focussing on healthy eating and how children can make healthy lifestyle choices.