Makaton is the UK's leading language programme for adults and children with learning or communication difficulties.  It is also used by everyone who shares their lives, for example, parents and other family members, friends and carers, and education and health professionals.


Makaton is used for teaching communication, language and literacy skills with children who are at an early stage of communication and language development.  This structured approach can also help people who are learning English as an additional language, helping them to communicate straightaway, while also supporting their learning.


Makaton is regularly used in schools, to support all children to develop communication, language and literacy skills.  It is also supports integration, as children with and without language difficulties can communicate with each other, learn and play together more easily.


We use Makaton in school as a general way of communication, always alongside speech.


Signing supports people with communication in many ways:-

  • Signs give extra visual information about the spoken words 
  • This extra information supports the learning of new words and models how and when to use them.
  • Signs provide a way to communicate messages for people who have speech complications
  • Signing as we speak, slows our speech down, we also use less words, which helps with understanding    
  • Signs help to gain attention and maintain it.  


Please see below the core vocabulary we use in school to use with your child at home, including symbols.





Why not take a look at Singing Hands UK, who have lots of songs and stories that are signed: