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Makaton in North Ayrshire

Author: Angela Noble, North Ayrshire Council

In North Ayrshire ASN schools, the aim is to teach Makaton to pupils and their surrounding community in order to open up pupils’ world of communication for everyday needs, learning and play. Through this, we aim to:

  • facilitate reciprocal communication between all members of our community
  • allow children to communicate as fully as possible
  • use Makaton to enhance a system of total communication

Once Makaton is well-established within these schools and surrounding communities, we aim to teach Spanish alongside Makaton.

We have a very pro-active working party comprised of senior management, teachers, speech and language therapists and the North Ayrshire 1+2 Team. Every member of staff in each school is being trained up in level 1 Makaton this year and further training is already in place for CLPL twilights and in-service days next year. Parents are learning alongside staff.

Eglinton Park rangers and café staff are going to receive Makaton training, meaning Eglinton Park will be the first place of business in the community to be ‘Makaton friendly’. They will gain valid certification and look forward to being able to chat with young people who regularly frequent this beautiful space. We hope many more businesses will follow suit.

Stacey and I are learning Makaton alongside families at Elderbank Primary. We will be able to sign alongside French/Spanish in all schools. This is a very exciting project, which is taking shape and making good sense for everyone.

Languages for all and all for languages!

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