This is a teaching approach devised and validated by Dave Hewett and Melanie Nind in 1988, derived partly from work on early infant interactions by Gary Ephraim. Essentially it is the means by which pre-verbal children or adults are enabled to accept and enjoy close physical proximity, meaningful eye-contact, turn taking, and all the other key elements which are essential to create a full and reciprocal communicative exchange. At Rosehill School, staff first observe what a pupil enjoys doing and then aim to be MORE engaging, motivating, rewarding, stimulating, enjoyable, predictable and communicative to enable the individual to engage. We use imitation as a primary method of engagement and follow the child’s lead to enable them to retain control of the interactions. Intensive Interaction has proved to be the means through which many pupils have moved from introspective, needs driven relationships to becoming true interactive communicative partners communicating through enjoyment and with a genuine desire to do so. Parents are involved in developing programmes that can be followed in the home and we have been lucky enough to have one member of staff leading in this area. Intensive Interaction training will be offered to other schools by staff from Rosehill in the near future.
We use massage for pupils and young people to augment their already tailored curriculum. The aim of the Massage is to develop a trusting and open path of communication with the pupil to enable both to engage in a shared experience. We find that pupils with complex communication needs gain a great deal from this approach. Staff are able to support the pupil’s concentration and attention span; to stimulate or relax the pupil’s limbs and, in some cases, improve the pupil’s general wellbeing.
Rosehill School delivers educational programmes through a multi-disciplinary approach (where relevant). For pupils with complex needs, this approach is at the heart of their education. The child’s parents are seen as an essential and integral member of this team. At Rosehill School, a range of appropriate professionals often support a pupil; teacher, Support Assistants, Speech & Language Therapist and/or Occupational Therapist (from Health Teams). In addition, some pupils will also have involvement from a Family Support Worker/ Social Worker. Each member of this team has an essential and valuable contribution to make in the identification of the learning aims for each child, as well as the delivery of those aims across all areas of the curriculum, learning opportunities and activities.
Occupational Therapist (OT)
The OT works closely with the teaching staff to develop appropriate strategies to enable pupils(across the entire School) to optimise his/her potential when carrying out activities of daily living. In this way, the child can feel a sense of achievement and control over their environment. OT at Rosehill covers Self-care and independent living skills and Sensory processing skills.
At Rosehill School, communication is fundamental for every child. We strongly believe it is every child’s right to develop their own communication skills as fully and as competently as possible ensuring they achieve their own potential to interact with others, access the curriculum and the world around them. The schools communication team is a multi-disciplinary team involving education staff and Speech and Language Therapists working in partnership across the school to support in class and with individuals, where appropriate. This team develops and promotes the school’s Eclectic Communication Policy. In line with the schools philosophy and approach to working in partnership with parents, the Speech and Language Therapy Service provided by Health, strives to work in partnership with the school in order to develop and support continuity and consistency of approach.