I am a nursery nurse at Middlestown Junior and Infant School. My grandson, Jacob, started Middlestown Foundation Stage in January. Due to a traumatic start in life he was left with delayed development. He cannot eat and he cannot speak yet!
As a family we went to Makaton training days. Then, as a nursery nurse I continued training as far as I could go. All the children have been taught Makaton and so have the staff. Jacob uses Makaton every day, he has a SEN assistant who works brilliantly with him, and all around the school are Makaton symbols for different areas.
Earlier this year we decided to hold a Makaton Day, to raise awareness and money for The Makaton Charity, which has helped us all so much!
The children brought white t-shirts to school, and spent some time drawing Makaton symbols onto them. They were judged by our Headteacher and the best ones received a prize.
All around our enclosed outdoor area, Makaton symbols were put up, around 15 in all. All these related to the summer/ beach. Working in pairs, the children took a sheet, with the matching symbols, and began to search for the symbols. When they found one they ticked off the corresponding symbol on the sheet, then wrote down what the symbol meant. The pair with the most correct answers received a prize.
All through the term the children and Foundation Stage staff, including a few parents, had been learning some songs, using Makaton signing: Let it Go, You Raise Me Up and - adults only! - Feeling Good. We were all sponsored to perform these in a Makaton assembly, which included a raffle. Two Makaton tutors were invited to come and watch and to draw the raffle. We managed to raise £450!
We now have a Makaton Club with 24 members, and the school has Makaton Friendly status.
We will continue to promote the use of Makaton in school, something which a vast majority of children already do.
If you would like to organise a Makaton Day, please contact Sarah Drew on 01276 606760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.