Children’s Centre and Multi-Agency Teams

The workshops we offer to Children’s Centres and Multi Agency Teams are in recognition of the challenging and complex issues you are expected to deal with, particularly at a time when the support provided by other agencies is being reduced.  We welcome any queries from you about additional training/need that you may have and will willingly devise a programme to support your needs.

Starting school – effective transition workshops for children and parents

Who is this course suitable for?

Head teachers, Children’s Centre managers, Key Stage leaders, class teachers, nursery nurses and support staff.


Many parents/carers face a great deal of uncertainty when their child first starts school and schools themselves seek ways to reassure them and build up a partnership that will help the child’s learning.  This two-hour course offers schools the opportunity to develop an approach towards supporting transition into Reception, Y1 and Y3 that has a proven record of success in primary schools in Hertfordshire.


  • you will understand the relationship between parental engagement and school improvement, with raised achievement and expectations.
  • you will consider different approaches to running workshops and look at the relative benefits of each.
  • you will identify what key messages and learning you want parents/carers to take away in order to support learning in your setting
  • you will have the opportunity to reflect with others what would be practical in your setting and develop an action plan to inform development

Some of the schools have adopted the name ‘Building Blocks’ to describe their transition sessions, as is reflected on the comments below from some of those who have benefited from our training.

She has helped to explain so that we have better understood what we can do to help support our families – explaining how we can support parents to support their children and how this could impact on both the school and the community

Head Teacher
As a parent I have been able to look/listen/take part in her learning process, which has helped me open discussions at home and be more of a help to her in terms of reading, spelling, numbers etc

Spending time with Hafsah in the school environment and seeing her learn has been so valuable.  Also, her willingness to spend her mornings with her dad and looking forward to every Tuesday  – she wishes every day was Building Blocks day!

Building Blocks has had a huge impact in enabling the smooth transition of our Reception children and parents.  Transition cluster groups were established with other schools where we could present and share how we ran our programmes and evaluate the overall impact


Working with resistant families


We provide workshops and training to multi agency groups, focusing on the issue of working with families exhibiting ‘disguised compliance’ and a resistance to professional intervention. This also extends into the impact of fear and stress on infants’ mental health, resilience and immune system, often in the context of neglect and domestic violence.


  • recognise their own experience of working with ‘resistant’ families, by acknowledging and reinforcing the insight this experience has already instilled in them
  • reflect on the characteristics and behaviours of families and professionals, who are engaged in a ‘resistant’ relationship
  • explore strategies for maintaining a child centred approach to practice, whilst addressing resistance from families
  • reinforce the role of reflective supervision for frontline practitioners
  • examine current research and academic commentary which informs effective work with resistant families
  • acknowledge the personal impact child protection practice has on professionals, exploring sources of support to build resilience

The style of presentation is unusual and very visual, described as ‘reflective enactment’.

Our presenter, Sue Woolmore, supports her work by drawing on published research, academic commentary and her own practice experience.

She has provided keynote presentations and workshops at a wide range of events and national conferences and has extensive experience of speaking to the press and media about safeguarding children.

Feedback from Sue’s ‘reflective enactment’ work has included:

Sue’s workshop was incredibly powerful. I will carry the impact of that workshop with me

I have read through the evaluations this morning and without exception they are glowing in respect of your session!  It has certainly provided us with a useful metaphor to use when thinking and talking about assessment work with families.

Sue Woolmore’s workshop was powerfully moving and emphasised how important the front line manager is to assist workers to do their job

Please contact us for more information.


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  • "Building Blocks has had a huge impact in enabling the smooth transition of our Reception children and parents"
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