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St Cuthbert's Church of England Primary School

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What is Makaton?

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate and express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. Makaton supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression. Makaton, 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. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign. Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate.  We also use facial expression, eye contact and body language to give as much information as possible.



Who uses Makaton?

Makaton is used by 100,000 children and adults around the world. It is extensively used here in the UK but has been adapted for use in 40 countries including France, Greece, Japan, South Africa and Russia. Makaton is used to support individuals with a range of needs including

  • Autism
  • Cleft lip & palate
  • Developmental language disorder
  • Down's syndrome
  • Global developmental delay
  • Multi-sensory impairment (deaf/ blindness)
  • Verbal dyspraxia
  • Most importantly, our children here at St Cuthbert's.



How is it used at St Cuthbert’s?

Makaton is used daily as a form of communication with the children in the PSRP classes. Topic related vocabulary is introduced using Makaton and the signs and symbols are displayed on the Makaton board in each class. Sign of the week is introduced during Wednesday worship using the Makaton Sign of the Week resource. This is then practised throughout the week by all staff and pupils.