A NOISY revolution is taking place at Castle Hill School in Newsome.
Students and staff are spreading the word in sign, symbol and song of language programme Makaton.
Twice a week pupils at the school join together with regional tutors Linda Ellis and Lynn Chapman for a Sign And Sing workshop with songs as diverse as Little Green Frog to various numbers from pop groups JLS and The Wanted being performed.
And they are also passing on their skills to their local community through workshops for neighbouring schools, playgroups and youth clubs.
Their latest project involves teaching an old people’s group to sign and sing songs from the wartime years and they have also worked with travel and tourism students from Huddersfield New College as part of an ongoing link to teach them new skills.
Linda said: “Makaton is giving our children the opportunity to communicate with their peers and family, but also using it in the immediate community such as shops and doctors’ surgeries.
“Makaton uses universal signs and symbols, unlike British Sign Language which is regionalised, so it is ideal for people from all communities.”
Lynn added: “Our sign and sing sessions are just a more fun way of teaching people how to sign. It all depends on the level of the students and their understanding, but they all get a lot out of the sessions.”
The school gained specialist status in communication and interaction in 2009 and Linda and Lynn have recently won an award for teaching Makaton throughout school so children and adults with difficulties can communicate with their peers.
They are also hoping to achieve the Centre of Excellence Award in Makaton.
The pair are described as “a breath of fresh air” because of the energy and expertise which they put into their training and they are praised for their outstanding contribution to training and communication.
They are running several workshops at school for people who are interested in Makaton to learn more.
Details can be found on the school website at: www.castlehillschool.org.uk
Makaton is a language programme that teaches ways to communicate through a combination of speech, signs and symbols;
It helps convey meaning because it gives an extra visual clue when speaking eg drink or book;
Makaton symbols are simple black and white drawings that represent words;
It helps reinforce the main ideas in the message;
It slows down speech to enable people to process language more easily.