We are both Makaton Regional Tutors and can offer a range of training workshops for professionals. We have run training sessions for EYPs, SLTs, Teachers and TAs who are supporting children in either mainstream or special settings. We have trained hospital school staff, paediatric nursing students and the educational team at London Zoo. The more professionals we can get signing, the better!
We have a range of training to offer – it could be that you are nursery/school setting and are looking to embed more Makaton into your curriculum. You can contact us for Makaton Foundation & Enhancement Training for your INSET days or a Makaton Taster session if you prefer a shorter session to introduce some basic signing.
You may be a setting that already has signing experience and staff have completed their Makaton training but you need some inspiration to reinvigorate everyone’s signing knowledge. Contact us for information about our singing/signing/story time workshop which is a practical workshop to teach you how to apply your signs through our wide range of stories, songs, games and activities. We know our lively workshops send staff away buzzing with ideas!
Makaton is very much a ‘use it or lose it’ skill and all too often we hear professionals say something along the lines of this:
“Oh I did my Makaton course years ago when I had a child with…(e.g. Down’s Syndrome) in my class….but you know what it’s like….once they moved on, I stopped using it and forgot it”
If we had a £1 for every time we heard someone say this, we would be millionaires! Why stop using it? Why lose those vital skills you have learnt? That child most definitely was not, and will not be, the only child in your class who needs access to gestures and symbols. We want to help change the perception that the signing is only beneficial for the child in your class with the statement or EHCP.
Many children within the classroom struggle to communicate. I CAN (the Children’s Communication Charity) state that as many as 1:10 children have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) who will need long-term support. This includes those children with specific language impairment (SLI) and those children who have communication difficulties associated with other conditions such as ASD, Cerebral Palsy and other learning needs.
For a teacher, this means that in any given mainstream classroom, there can be 2-3 students who have significant communication difficulties. In certain areas of the UK, there may also be high numbers of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) who most definitely can also benefit from sign & symbols to help them learn English.
Furthermore, in areas of deprivation, I CAN state that over half of children start school with SLCN. This might present as having immature expressive language where their spoken vocabulary is smaller and more limited or their speech may be unclear and comprised of shorter, more simplistic sentences than their peers. Similarly, from a receptive language perspective, they may also only be able to follow simple instructions given by the teaching staff. However, if the school are proactive and put the right support in place (including things like sign & symbol use), this can enable some of these children to catch up with their peers over time.
Some schools are facing all three of these challenges in a class setting so all of a sudden the cohort of children who will benefit from sign & symbol support has grown from just that child with the statement /EHCP to a significant percentage of children.
So join us and take action now! We want you to learn Makaton but once you’ve learnt it, we want you to keep up your skills and use them daily with all the children you support. Remember: “Use it or lose it”.
The Makaton Charity has a huge number of tutors all over the UK who can help you learn how to sign. We provide Makaton Training in and around SW London area and we provide our singing/signing/story workshop anywhere in the UK.
This is to say a very big thank you for making the commitment to come to the Enfield EY conference today. The evaluations were amazing and you know, from the amount of interest in your products, that the delegates loved you both – I loved the frog song which reminded me of a very special time when I was a Head Teacher in Bristol.
Diana, Enfield EY Team
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8288 1706 if you would like Makaton Training in our area.
If we are not available for training, then other members of our local SW London Makaton tutor network might be able to help and we can put you in touch with them.
If you are further afield and would like Makaton training, please contact the Makaton Charity or visit their website for further information and to find dates and locations of training courses nearest to you.
The Makaton Charity
Tel: 01276 606760
Fax: 01276 36725
Please also visit our online shop for a wide range of Singing Hands resources (featuring Makaton signs and symbols) to use in your setting to support your signing journey.