Old Park School in Dudley relocated to its new building in November 2011. Makaton signage was planned into the build project from an early stage. The vision has been to develop a total communication environment both indoor and outdoor.
All rooms and areas frequently accessed by pupils have signage which includes an object of reference, a photograph of the room itself, the accompanying Makaton symbol and the written word in the school’s standardised font.
This communication is augmented by Makaton signs and speech. Symbols are displayed on a yellow background.
The Makaton Charity has provided invaluable support during the thirteen months and seven drafts through which the signage has passed.
Consideration has also been given for teaching pupils to recognise symbols they will encounter in the community.
Changing rooms and toilet signage include both the Makaton symbols and the generic symbols for “male” or “female”. This supports the pupils’ generalisation skills when they are off-site and it prepares older students for leaving school
Old Park is a Forest School and it has been important to include outdoor signage.
A purpose-built woodland path, which is wheelchair accessible, weaves it way through established woodland and down to the Forest School outdoor learning area.
Nine woodland animals have been carved by chain-saw and sit on treated posts along the way. Makaton symbols have been carved by router into to the posts along with the written word in the same font used throughout the school.
A band of yellow stain around the posts links them to the rest of the school signage.