Makaton is a form of communication which is simplified British Sign Language (BSL). The pace of Makaton is slower than BSL and Makaton is flexible in that it can be personalised to the children’s needs and abilities.

At The Collett School, we use Makaton to support our pupils to develop communication, language and literacy skills. At the same time, the use of Makaton promotes integration, as children with and without language difficulties can communicate with each other, play and learn together easily.

Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate and signs and symbols provide extra visual clue. This supports understanding of word’s meaning and improves comprehension. When using Makaton, we also add facial expression, eye contact and body language to give as much information as possible.

Children experience Makaton throughout their time at The Collett through both singing and whole school assemblies, in lessons and throughout the school day. If children struggle to formulate words, Makaton can support them to find the words they want to say. Makaton is used in conjunction with other whole school strategies such as PECS and shape coding which enables pupils to further their understanding and communicate in a way in which they prefer.

Staff embrace Makaton and consider it to be an effective teaching tool at their disposal. A number of teachers and teaching assistants have developed competency in this area with some undertaking extra studies to achieve expert status.

Makaton Signing

Collett's Assessment of Communication