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Signing System Update
We are really pleased to announce we are updating our school signing system to Makaton. This has come about in consultation with the school Teaching Team and the Speech and Language Therapy service (SLT). We have training plans and are working on a development plan to implement this as a whole school system.
Makaton is a unique language programme that uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. It has been found to make a positive contribution to the development of communication, language and social/ learning skills for children and young people across a range of settings.
What is Makaton?
- Makaton is a unique language programme that uses signs, symbols and speech to help people learn and communicate.
- Makaton does not replace verbal communication, and it is different to British Sign Language (BSL).
- The signs are used alongside speech in spoken word order.
- Makaton provides a visual representation of language which increases understanding and makes expressive communication easier.
Who uses Makaton?
- It is estimated that over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton every day.
- Using Makaton and gestures has benefits for a range of children and young people including those with Learning Disabilities, Autism, Down Syndrome, and pupils with other speech language and communication needs including verbal dyspraxia, cleft palate etc.
- The elements of the signing system used will be adapted to each child/young person’s level and used to develop their language, learning and communication skills.
Why use Makaton?
The benefits of Makaton are endless, here are some ways Makaton can support:
- Attention and listening skills
- Different learning styles since the message is reaching the brain through yet another sense i.e. kinaesthetic and visual.
- Recall of verbal information if auditory memory is impaired
- Successful processing of language, supported by slower delivery speed used by teaching staff/adults.
- Participation and engagement in speaking, listening and learning activities
- Understanding of expected learning behaviours asked for in lessons
- Reinforces language as part of a communication supportive environment alongside other visual system (e.g. symbols)
- Understanding of spoken language including verbal instructions and sentences used by adults in the classroom and free times.
- Language learning including newly taught concepts/ vocabulary and grammatical structures as appropriate to the individual child/young person.
- Word storage and retrieval/finding.
- Use of appropriate word order and extension of sentence structures.
- Clarity of speech when children or young people present with reduced intelligibility (i.e. unclear speech)
- Inclusive communication where Makaton can be part of a child/young person’s multimodal communication system i.e. used alongside speech, symbols etc.
If you would like to discuss Makaton further please contact the school’s speech and language therapist.