Makaton at Wentworth Primary
Makaton is as relevant today as ever. It is used extensively all over the UK in pre-schools, schools, centers, hospitals and clinics, and in the homes of people with communication and learning difficulties, and has been adapted for use in over 50 countries.
Today over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton symbols and signs, either as their main method of communication or as a way to support speech.
In addition to the children and adults with communication and learning difficulties and the community around them – for example, teachers, health professionals, friends, public service bodies etc. Makaton is increasingly used by the general public to aid communication.
Makaton has been shown to be useful for all sorts of people including those who struggle with understanding concepts, those who have poor literacy skills, including grammatical knowledge, and those with English as an Additional Language. By using Makaton, children and adults can take a more active part in life, because communication and language are the key to everything we do and learn.
Makaton users include:
People with learning or communication difficulties
Makaton is the UK's leading language program for adults and children with learning or communication difficulties. It is also used by everyone who shares their lives, for example, parents and other family members, friends and carers, and education and health professionals.
People developing their language and literacy skills
Makaton is used for teaching communication, language and literacy skills with children and adults who are at an early stage of communication and language development. This structured approach can also help people who are learning English as an additional language, helping them to communicate straightaway, while also supporting their learning.
Makaton is regularly used in mainstream schools, to support all children to develop communication, language and literacy skills. It is also supports integration, as children with and without language difficulties can communicate with each other, learn and play together more easily.
People looking after babies and young children
There is a special Makaton Signing for Babies training, available to parents, family members and professionals who wish to sign with the babies and children in their care. Signing while speaking, has been show to encourage the development of communication and language skills. It can also give carers a greater understanding of a baby's wants and needs, which can help reduce frustration.
All of us
Makaton symbols are widely used in public buildings such as schools, hospitals, courts and libraries, to help people find their way around. So, you may be using Makaton in daily life without even knowing it!
Here at Wentworth we are embracing Makaton as a way of communicating with all children and would like to involve all parents and carers as much as possible. We intend to teach the children and staff in school a new sign each week. We will start with key words and phrases such as ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’, ‘sorry’, home, drink, lunch etc which will be encouraged to be used day to day with the hope that this will progress and develop naturally into longer phrases and full sentences being signed. It is our intention to post the signs we are teaching each week on the school website so that parents and carers can learn them alongside the children and utilise them if so desired.
Watch this space for updates on the signs being taught in school.
www.makaton.org The Makaton Charity
www.singinghands.co.uk Singing Hands
www.wetalkmakaton.org We All Talk Makaton
www.morethanwordscharity.com More Than Words Charity. Page included access to Makaton courses.