We had always used a few signs during the session and knew a few songs using Makaton but it was not used consistently or confidently. Very soon into new management taking over we had a child with additional needs who would be starting with us, knowing this we decided we had to learn more Makaton to support her the best way possible.
When using Makaton and consistently signing we found lots of the children using it to communicate, and frustration when struggling to share thoughts was decreasing. We knew at this point it had to become part of everyday life.
Moving forward 18 months we had the opportunity for all staff to learn more Makaton. With one staff member taking part in a Taster session and seven attending a Foundation Workshop we all became excited, motivated and passionate about using Makaton with all our children. During this training we heard all about Makaton Friendly and decided this was going to be our aim. With the passion of eight staff and an amazing group of children and parents, Makaton has become part of every minute of every day in nursery.
We had an amazing tutor in Sheila who was supportive and informative. During our training we asked her to come and sign off our Makaton Friendly application. We were so pleased to hear her positive comments!
As you move through the nursey now you will see staff and children signing as they share experiences and thoughts. There are symbols through the whole setting to support instructions, choices and labelling. Anyone who comes into Church Lane will be aware that Makaton is very important and a huge part of our nursery life.
We wanted to tell the world about the achievement and hopefully get more of our local community using Makaton. We invited the local paper and Dave Benson Phillips along to 'open' the nursery.
It was a wonderful morning with lots of signing and singing. The parents have given us so much positive feedback saying they couldn’t believe how quickly their children have learnt to sign and how proud they are. Our family Facebook page has a lot of videos of our children with family and at home showing off their signs.
We can't wait to teach more children and families the amazing skill of communicating using Makaton.