Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; simple everyday tasks at home and school such as asking for food and drink, asking for help, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.
Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.
For those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help. Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. It enables all children to have a voice.
Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear.
Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them. In our primary setting it can be used to:
- share thoughts, choices and emotions
- name objects, pictures, photos and places
- take part in games and songs
- listen to, read and tell stories
- play with friends
Today the Foundation Stage staff at Ermine have completed a 2 day training course in Makaton which everyone is very excited about. The children and staff have already been learning key everyday signs and symbols linked to their learning in class since September. A new sign is introduced each week and shared with families so that they can practise it at home. They even undertook the challenge of performing their whole Christmas Nativity play in Makaton – a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
We are looking forward to developing our signing skills to ensure that all our children can fully access their education journey with us.