MakatonAt Peter Hills, we use Makaton as a means of communication for pupils with speech and language difficulties. There are a number of reasons some pupils may use Makaton to support their communication. For example, it may be that they are ‘reluctant talkers’, who choose not to communicate verbally in the school setting (but who speak with fluency, and audibly at home), they may have a specific diagnosis like DLD (Developmental Language Delay), or their barrier to talking may stem from a neurodevelopmental diagnosis, such as ASD. At Peter Hills, we believe it is vital to provide a means of communication for all children, as it contributes to their well-being, and enhances their overall experience in the world. Children who can express their thoughts and feelings are empowered and can take ownership of their learning and well-being.
How Makaton is taught
All pupils at Peter Hills have exposure to Makaton, throughout the term. This is ensured via:
- Whole-school assemblies
- Makaton clubs
- Makaton Intervention classes
- and opportunities to create video clips for the school website
Pupils at Peter Hills regularly like to refer to our whole-school display, which is updated weekly, with the ‘Makaton of the Week’ resources.
Pupils, with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), who are identified as requiring bespoke Makaton classes, are timetabled into group intervention sessions, with a duration of minimum 20 minutes per week. Parents and carers are notified prior to these sessions commencing.
Training and Resources
Peter Hills makes full use of its partnership across the Federation (Peter Hills, St. Jude’s and St. Peter’s) for support, when it comes to training for staff. However, staff have the opportunity every year to attend full Makaton training, and Makaton refresher courses, at Cherry Garden School (AP).
At Peter Hills, consistency is important to us. Therefore, we make use of an annual subscription with the official Makaton Charity, to access resources, and professional advice.