A sign of the times as Makaton is introduced at Footsteps Maple Cross
We support the needs of every child at Maple Cross, as well as encourage development in communication techniques and understanding of the world around us. We are pleased to be introducing Makaton sessions into our setting.
Here are a few frequently asked questions we hope will help:
What is Makaton and why do we use it?
Makaton is a language programme. It aims to teach communication, language and literacy skills. It supports children to understand language (as each concept has a visual clue) and/or to express themselves.
What are the benefits of using Makaton?
- Basic communication
- Helping understanding
- Developing language skills
- Facilitating social interaction
- Helping build relationships
How do we use Makaton at Footsteps?
We will be using Makaton with all children from our younger rooms up to our pre-schoolers. We use it during free play activities as well as in group and story times.
Children are encouraged to learn a new sign each week. Nursery staff will regularly use signs they have learnt along with speaking to support children’s understanding.
Is it the same as British Sign Language?
Signs are taken from BSL, the naturally occurring language of the deaf in this country.
Only the key words or important words are signed.
Won’t it prevent children speaking?
- Signs, Symbols and Speech are used together.
- Research shows that signing encourages speech and language development.
- Gesturing is an important stage in typical language development i.e. children gesture before they say their first words.
- Makaton is simply standardised gesture, all of us use the same gestures.
For more information, do speak to a member of our team and find out about sign of the week so you can practise at home.