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Avoch Primary Nursery's Makaton training will 'benefit confidence' of children

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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Theo Stratton, Donna Golden, Sarah Stuart, Suzie Campbell, Alan MacDonald and Avoch Primary Nursery children.
Theo Stratton, Donna Golden, Sarah Stuart, Suzie Campbell, Alan MacDonald and Avoch Primary Nursery children.

Avoch nursery staff are going back to school after a generous donation from their local community has funded placements on their level 2 Makaton course.

Makaton is a simple way of communicating which is based on signs and symbols and used alongside speech. It is not a formal sign language but it is a very useful tool in supporting people with range of learning and communication needs.

The children of the nursery are currently using Makaton on a daily basis and some staff members already have their level 1 accreditation.


The collective donation of £170 from the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council, local business Rosemarkie Amenities Association, and parent Gareth Phillips, who organised the collection, will enable a group of staff to take part in the level 2 training.

Lynsey Third, Head Teacher at Avoch Primary School and ELC said: “This generous donation will allow us to take a big step towards our goal of the nursery gaining a Makaton friendly status. We are already using Makaton with success, but this training will widen our knowledge of the language and build more confidence in using it. This in turn will benefit the children’s learning and also their confidence in using Makaton to express themselves and their wants and needs.”

Cllr Lyndsey Johnston, Chair of the Black Isle and Easter Ross Area Committee, thanked the groups for their donation, she said: “It is a truly lovely gesture from the Fortrose and Rosemarkie community to invest in the ongoing work to make the nursery more inclusive for our young children. I wish the staff every success on their training course and look forward to seeing the use of Makaton develop and grow within the school.”

Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair added: “Makaton is an excellent tool which helps children to better express what they are thinking, how they are feeling, and what they need from others. Across Highland, we are working to make sure that children and young people are supported to meet their potential in their education. It is therefore wonderful to hear that this hard work to improve equality and inclusion at the school has the investment and support from the local community.”

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