Makaton at Castlebar School

Castlebar School is a Makaton Friendly School and we have also achieved the Makaton Centre of Excellence Award.

We use Makaton throughout the school. It is a language development programme which uses speech, signs (simple hand movement) and symbols (simple line drawings) to encourage speech development and understanding. All staff are experienced in using Makaton and participate in on-going training.

Alison Stone is our accredited local tutor with 20 years experience working with Makaton, she coordinates the Makaton team at Castlebar School.

We run regular parent/carer Makaton workshops and also offer one-to-one sessions.

Makaton Resources & Sign of the Week

Please visit the Makaton website for information and Makaton resources (there are some free resources available to download).

Also check out the Sign of the Week. In 2019 Makaton are featuring signs from the Core Vocabulary, which is the starting point for everyone learning Makaton.

About Makaton

Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, 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.

With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.

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. This opens up all kinds of possibilities.

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. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign.

Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them. It can be used to:

  • Share thoughts, choices and emotions
  • Label real objects, pictures, photos and places
  • Take part in games and songs
  • Listen to, read and tell stories
  • Create recipes, menus and shopping lists
  • Write letters and messages
  • Help people find their way around public buildings

Today over 100,000 children and adults, use Makaton symbols and signs. Most people start using Makaton as children then naturally stop using the signs and symbols as they no longer need them. However, some people will need to use Makaton for their whole lives.

Makaton at Home

Scan the QR code for videos on how to sign the story.

For more stories please click here: Makaton Singing Hands

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