Low energy ion scattering has been used to investigate the early stages of the oxidation of a Ni(100) surface. This technique allows simultaneous study of the oxygen uptake in the surface and the development of surface structures. Bombardment induced surface damages was minimised by performing the experiments with low ion doses, while keeping the target at 200-300°C. The measured kinetics of the oxygen uptake are in good agreement with recent work, using different techniques. It is concluded that during the early chemisorption, a two stage process takes place: an initial oxygen adsorption during which the O atoms probably reside within the fourfold surface hollows, followed by a reconstruction process, caused by the combined action of at least two nearest neighbour O atoms, trapping mobile Ni adatoms, after which the O atoms stabilise at a site in or close to the reconstructed 〈001̄〉 row. Observed structural changes at higher exposures are compatible with a transition into a (3 × 1) structure and subsequently NiO, but cannot, as yet be positively identified.