Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Smart Signing in Nurseries & Early Years

What is Smart Sign? 

This is based upon Makaton supplemented by BSL where necessary. Our programmes are designed to work on essential interaction and communication skills. All our programmes are developmentally based and are written by me, Libby Hill, a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with advice from colleague, Franky Shepperson a Highly Specialist SLT who is fluent in BSL and Makaton.  They have been piloted and thoroughly evaluated before being used extensively in nurseries and also with children with communication delay including children with ASD. We are also developing a programme for use with bi-lingual children.

Baby Smart Sign

In nursery the group leader will sit with staff and babies and sing interactive songs. Turn-taking, attention, listening, eye-contact and recognising their own name are all important aims of the session.

There will be opportunity to discuss signs around the baby room and how to add sign to everyday commands e.g. ‘Shall we change your nappy?’, ‘It’s time for lunch’.

Toddler Smart Sign

This involves teaching the 2-3 year olds simple vocabulary from a 6 week programme in a circle-time style. This is topic based, as evidence shows they learn vocabulary more effectively this way. We have some songs and a story to follow the topic. The aims here include attention, listening, turn-taking, eye-contact, receptive skills and vocabulary development. The main aim is to teach the staff signs so they can supplement understanding.

Pre-School Smart Sign

This age group just love learning the signs so the vocabulary for the topic can be taught directly and they will be highly involved in signing to the adults. There is still room for a story and a couple of songs. Aims here include attention, listening, receptive language and expressive language skills, as well as eye-contact.

Smart Sign in Reception & KS1

A programme of vocabulary which the children learn to sign as well as to understand. We use stories and songs too. The aims are to aid receptive and expressive skills as well as narrative.

We can also do specific sessions for parents or staff.

For more information: www.smarttalkers.org.uk

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1 comment:

  1. I love using sign language with our little kids. I try to explain to parents that all forms of language help children develop. It just so happens that sign language is a little more accessible to these really young kids first because it involves gross motor movement, instead of the fine motor movement. Anyway, its good to see some good programs out there using sign with kids to help develop their language skills.