Derwen College welcomed Stephen Hall ,CEO and Zanna Finnerty, Content Director, from The Makaton Charity for a tour around the college and an opportunity to meet members of the Leadership Team, Julie Hawkins Head of Department Speech and Language Therapy as well as see the students at work in their sessions.
Derwen College is a specialist residential college for young people aged between 16 and 25 with learning difficulties and disabilities. Based in Shropshire the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ college provides real life work opportunities for the students at the Orangery Restaurant, Garden Café, Garden Centre, Walled Garden and Print Centre. These outlets are open to the public and here students gain independence skills alongside their work-ready skills.
The visit allowed time to discuss current issues around SEN including funding, Educational Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and the importance of how Makaton and therapies are embedded throughout learning and independence skills.
“This was a great opportunity for our colleagues at The Makaton Charity to meet the Makaton local tutors and see how Makaton is used throughout the college. We appreciate their time in coming to see us and we look forward to further excellent working relationships” said Julie Hawkins, Head of Department Speech and Therapy Derwen College.
Stephen Hall, recently appointed CEO at The Makaton Charity said “We are looking at how we can make resources more available for practitioners to use and to ensure skills can be kept up to date through growing the Makaton community. It’s important that a broader community engages with Makaton in order that when people leave colleges they still have the ability to communicate through Makaton in their community”.
The concept of training the community is already underway at Derwen, with Makaton tutors having already trained local services such as the fire brigade and doctor’s surgeries, dentists and local shops.