Tor Bank School in Belfast is a special school for children and young people who have profound and multiple or severe learning difficulties. We are committed to advancing children’s rights and as such we ensure that all of our pupils regardless of ability are given their right to a voice. This is why we embarked upon our Makaton journey as a school.
Makaton is infused into all aspects of our learning and teaching with key signs used during routine activities such as circle time, lunch and Assembly.
We have a sign of the week linked to topics/seasons that is modelled and taught to pupils in Assembly, and a display board in the reception area uses Makaton visuals to let pupils know what’s on the lunch menu on a daily basis.
Teaching staff and Classroom Assistants have completed the Makaton Beginners’ Workshop and are supported in school by on-site Speech and Language Therapists alongside three members of key teaching staff who have completed the Makaton Foundation Workshop.
Expanding the use of Makaton within school and ensuring that new staff are sufficiently trained are ongoing targets on our School Development Plan. We have already booked a Makaton Taster workshop for our lunch time supervisory assistants for August 2018 so they can communicate with our pupils at this important time and extremely busy time of the school day. We are delighted to be a Makaton Friendly School.