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Makaton at Wentworth Primary

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 had intended to teach the children and staff in school a new sign each week and then share these with parents and carers on the school website.  With the current lockdown situation we are unfortunately unable to teach them to the children directly in school but we have decided to go ahead and share them on the website each week for you to share with your child instead. We will start with key words and phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘goodbye, ‘sorry’, home, drink, lunch etc which can 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 as more signs are learnt. We hope you will enjoy and embrace this alternative form of communication with your whole family!

What is Makaton?

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.

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 so you may be using Makaton in daily life without even knowing it!

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.

Mainstream schools

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.


Useful links:    The Makaton Charity    Singing Hands We All Talk Makaton  More Than Words Charity. Page included access to Makaton courses.

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