Makaton in the morning

Steven signing with pupils

Walking into school every morning, hurrying to the staff room for my first cup of tea, I pass the ‘Breakfast Club’.

Holbrook Primary School, where I teach, runs a breakfast club for its pupils every day, a chance to eat something nutritious and start the day in a settled and inspiring way. It’s an important time and can have huge influence over the rest of the day, positively or negatively. The school works hard to give the best possible start to its pupils, encouraging their mind and bodies to be prepared and ready to learn.

On a few occasions I’ve noticed the pupils standing in front of the screen copying dance moves or doing a mini morning workout. My first thought is ‘Maybe I should put down my biscuit and join them’. Afterwards, I thought it would be a good opportunity for them to use some Makaton, promoting signing and giving their brains a kick start, to the day.

The staff running the club were enthusiastic about the idea and the very next morning I walked in and saw a very large version of myself high up on the wall. All of breakfast club were joining in, including the staff. The pupils were engaged and focused, being active and concentrating, it was a great way to expand their muscles and their minds. I could tell they were having a lot of fun too.

The great thing about Makaton is that it benefits everyone in our school, even if pupils don’t use the signs to communicate, the physical and cognitive benefits are enormous. Pupils begin their education each day with focus, energy and enthusiasm.

Now when I walk in and see the pupils excitedly signing, I feel lucky to work in a ‘Makaton Friendly’ environment, that positively promotes inclusion and is able to celebrate our differences, recognising the benefits for all.

Pupils at breakfast club

Holbrook Primary School is a Makaton Friendly school, click here for more information about becoming Makaton Friendly and its benefits.