Every Monday I visit Woolley Wood School in Parsons Cross, Sheffield. I have worked at the school for one day per week since 2013 and, according to our evaluation of the community of practice, the Intensive Interaction provision and skill base has steadily developed over this time. This year I have finally put a strategy into place that has been something that I have wanted to initiate for at least two years now and I thought I would share how this is going so far.
Each class now has a teaching assistant appointed as the Intensive Interaction Lead. The person was chosen for their enthusiasm for the practice as shown over the last three years I have been working in the school developing II. Their role is three-fold:
- To motivate the staff team to do Intensive Interaction and to learn more about the practice
- To lead reflective practice meetings with the staff team
- To be responsible for the intensive interaction recording – initiating the baselines and keeping the records up to date
The support that I give to help the lead person to achieve these objectives is to offer:
- Easy to pass on principles of the practice (Three C’s of Intensive Interaction and RECAPS, 6 observable qualities of intensive interaction). More about these in a future post.
- Twice half-termly reflective practice meetings with the nine class leads to model how to facilitate such a meeting in the classroom after school.
- Training on the 7 levels of intensive interaction and how to take baselines and record.
- In class support to the lead person to model practice, answer questions and support recording.
Even though we are only half way through the first half-term, this strategy is already proving to be a big step forward for my role as consultant because I now have a group of staff to liaise with, each of whom is responsible for the practice in their class. As you can imagine, this is much more practical that one person attempting to facilitate the practice in nine classes with only one day per week to do it. I’ll write more about this strategy as the year progresses.
I will attempt to write a post a day for Intensive Interaction Week, each post referring to the context I work in on that day. Tomorrow will be the Hesley Group service Wilsic Hall School in Wadworth, Doncaster.