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Introduction to Makaton - Inset (Rainbow Nursery)

Event/course Code EY 19/010
Event/course type Workshop
Event Introduction ‘Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language; the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order’ (The Makaton Charity, 2017).

This Makaton taster session is an introductory and experiential session. Delegates will learn about the Makaton Language Programme: what it is, how it works and who it is used by. They will see demonstrations of approximately forty signs and symbols. Delegates can use and try these signs and symbols in their own workplace or with the individual(s) with communication needs.

According to the Makaton Charity (2017), over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton symbols and signs in their everyday life. So why not come along to this introductory session to find out how this can improve the lives of the young people or adults you work with.
Event Content ‘We know that being able to communicate is one of the most important skills in life… Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate’ (The Makaton Charity, 2017). This two-hour Taster Session is very practical, Delegates will be able to really engage with the process.

Through the course of the session, delegates will also discover what Makaton is, how it works and who it works for. Significantly, we know that using symbols can help those children and young people who have limited speech. In addition, the session will also focus on how Makaton can support early language development and how it can be used in a variety of settings by the children’s workforce.

We are confident that by the end of the course, delegates will be able to go back to their own organisations with a better understanding of what the Makaton Language programme is.

A delegate who attended the course in February 2018 stated ‘Having this introduction to Makaton has opened doors for me to consider caring for children who may need the communication via sign language. It has given me a great understanding into how isolated they may feel if they can't communicate and now (with more practice) I can communicate and hence offer a better standard of care.’

We hope future delegates will similarly explore the benefits Makaton provides to those children and young people who struggle to communicate.

The session will be led by Mike Harris. Mike is a Makaton Senior Tutor, SEN & Social Communication Specialist and a qualified teacher. He is a member of the advisory panel of The Makaton Charity, which is comprised of 12 Senior Tutors. Mike has actively worked with children and adults that present with disabilities, including communication needs. He currently works for the London Borough of Southwark as a specialist with Children and Adult Social Services.
Event Learning Outcomes By the end of the session delegates will be able to:

• Explain, in brief, what MLP (The Makaton Language Programme) is
• Describe the underpinning principles of the MLP and how they apply to children with communication needs
• Make 40 immediately useful signs and recognise the matching symbols
• Demonstrate how to use these signs and symbols in their relative settings
• Determine the next formal training steps they should take
• Locate the identified Makaton professional they need to contact to further their Makaton skills, gain advice, or register their interest in attending a formal workshop
Trainers Mike Harris
Course categories SEND, Inclusion and Behaviour
Age Ranges
0 - 5 yrs No 5 - 7 yrs No 7 - 11 yrs No 11 - 19 yrs No 19 yrs No 
Event/course administrator Ellie Cresswell (
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SessionSession DateSession TimeSession VenueMap
Session 1Monday 3 June 201909:30 - 12:00Rainbow Nursery School Holy Trinity, Sheen Park, TW9 1UP