Blog / Articles

I am often inspired to write about the situations I encounter in my work in the fields of creative communication and communities of practice.  Please feel free to browse the articles and start a conversation if you have any questions :0)

Do What You See (Intensive Interaction Essentials)

For an approach to be taught and passed on effectively, the practice should be communicated in a way that is simple and easily understood.  For Intensive Interaction, I believe that the most straightforward explanation is ‘do what you see’. ‘Do what...

Ofsted, Woolley Wood and Intensive Interaction

Ofsted visited Woolley Wood before Easter and the report has just been published.  The school was graded overall as good with some outstanding features.  I had the opportunity to meet with the inspector and explain the Intensive Interaction work that I had been...

Making progress

A question recently posed by a parent at a recent training session at Woolley Wood was “How do I move on from these fun interactions to make sure I really progress my child’s communication skills?”  We had been talking about how to engage a child with a...

I'm singing your song

Music-making and singing is a way for people to be enjoy being together and I believe that an understanding of music can therefore help to create positive experiences of social engagement with people who are at the early stages of communication development. Music can...

I’m singing your song

Music-making and singing is a way for people to be enjoy being together and I believe that an understanding of music can therefore help to create positive experiences of social engagement with people who are at the early stages of communication development. Music can...

INSET at Woolley Wood

This week was a bit of a landmark in terms of the work at Woolley Wood.  On Wednesday 8 staff completed the new five week intensive interaction course and today I delivered a half day INSET session to the whole school team.  I was very happy with the results of both...

Forms of Observation

Each week at Woolley Wood I deliver a 45 minute classroom based course for 8 of the staff.  Each course runs for 5 weeks and is an opportunity for me to present the principles and method of Intensive Interaction through presentations and social learning activities....

Verbal Intensive Interaction

In response to a few recent questions I thought I would explain my thinking about how the principles of Intensive Interaction can be applied with clients/partners who are more skilled at the fundamentals of communication ie. people who are able to use speech, more...

Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 3

In the previous two parts of this series I have talked about the attitudes of non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind and trust.  My opinion is that while regular practice in intensive interaction can teach us about these attitudes implicitly, our practice can be...

Let’s talk about themes!

When I arrived at Woolley Wood on Wednesday the first thing that was brought up in discussion by my colleague Bev was that she had been approached by staff from one class team who said that they would be uncomfortable replicating some of the things that I had been...

Let's talk about themes!

When I arrived at Woolley Wood on Wednesday the first thing that was brought up in discussion by my colleague Bev was that she had been approached by staff from one class team who said that they would be uncomfortable replicating some of the things that I had been...

Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 2

Last week I wrote about Intensive Interaction in the context of Jon Kabat Zinn’s foundation attitudes of mindfulness.  The first two attitudes were Non-judging and Patience and I explained that I find that these ideas can be helpful in Intensive Interaction...

Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 1

Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach that is accepted and taught across the UK by organisations such as the NHS.  This post reflects on my experience as a teacher of mindfulness and how this skill can help intensive interaction practice. First I think it would be...

Co-ordination strategies

Establishing a sustainable community of practice requires a strategic approach.  Some of the techniques that have worked at Woolley Wood are: Whole school briefings: For the staff team to unite behind the challenge of learning and developing intensive interaction it...

Developing themes (what do I do now?)

At the recent Intensive Interaction Co-ordinators Weekend participants had the opportunity to show films of their practice.  One video that we watched showed one teacher doing a very good job of copying the behaviour of her partner.  The interaction continued for over...

Parents, teachers and friends

This week i delivered the first of our Intensive Interaction workshops for parents.  The school has a budget for parents events and it was decided this year that Intensive Interaction would be the priority.  This is an important element of my strategies for developing...

Small talk

Every Monday I co-ordinate socially engaged arts and music practice at the Woodlands Mental Health Unit for Older People in Rotherham.  Many of the people I work with at the unit have difficulty communicating and there are often interesting parallels between my...

Intensive Interaction Recording Sheets

For the most recent posts about how we record intensive interaction at Woolley wood school click on ‘recording’ in the menu above.   The intensive interaction recording sheets that I use have gone through many revisions over the years and change...

Resources: Thumbjam for iPad

In my work I make frequent use of an iPad because is offers such an intuitive interface for people with limited manual dexterity. The application that I use the most is called Thumbjam, a flexible musical instrument that has some very nice sounds.  The main...