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College Makaton choir brings festive spirit to Sunderland shoppers

Students with special educational needs performed in a Makaton choir to bring the festive spirit to shoppers in Sunderland.

The talented students, who are all studying on the Foundation Learning programme at Sunderland College, have a variety of learning disabilities.

They were invited to The Bridges Shopping Centre to perform some popular Christmas songs through singing and signing, and there was even some dancing!

Claire Daly, Curriculum Manager for Foundation Learning at Sunderland College, said:

“We are very proud of our inclusive environment at Sunderland College. The staff and students who took part in the Makaton choir were a credit to the College. We are really proud of what they have achieved. Their dedication and enthusiasm was truly inspiring.”

She continued:

“You cannot underestimate the impact that this type of activity has on the young people that we work with. It is fantastic for developing their communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Our Foundation Learning students love to show the world their skills and it is a great opportunity to showcase their talent to the local community and their parents. We are extremely proud of them.”

The students practiced every Tuesday afternoon for 11 weeks, prior to their appearance at The Bridges, where they developed their Makaton signing skills and self-confidence for performing in public.

Foundation Learning student, Ellie Jane Oware, said:

“I really enjoyed the Makaton choir and seeing everybody in the Bridges!”

Makaton is designed to support spoken language and uses speech with signs and symbols to help people communicate.

For more information about the Foundation Learning programme at Sunderland College visit the next open event on Tuesday 8 January 2019, 4-6pm, or contact the College 0191 511 6000 / info@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk. (Please note, the College is closed from Friday 21 December 2018 until Wednesday 2 January 2019.)

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