Essex primary school learns Makaton to help communicate with students

A SCHOOL is taking on the challenge of learning a new language in order to help communicate with two pupils.

Finchingfield C of E Primary is using their weekly Fun Fridays – where they participate in different activities that do not relate to the curriculum – to learn Makaton, a form of sign language.

All staff at the school have been trained and the children are now mastering the alphabet, numbers, colours, simple greetings, and how to ask and answer basic everyday questions through signing.

Teacher Sarah Nurthern, who is leading the ‘Positive Signs’ programme, said: “The staff are already using the sign supported language in lessons to give instructions and it’s amazing that after such a short time the children are using it to communicate with one another.”

Headteacher Paula Hagan said: “We are delighted that the children are so keen and enthusiastic in learning this system.

“I think it is really important because the children need to be able to communicate with the whole school. If they can’t talk to the other children they are limited with their learning and play.

“The programme fits in well with our skills-based curriculum and it’s something that our children may be able to use in later life.”