Sing and Sign baby signing classes in... Putney & Barnes
Hello to the INSPIRING community of little early-communicators out there! My hope is that you and your loved ones are well and that you are able to enjoy the changes in your little ones, developing day by day! This is the start of my eighth year of Teaching and it's rather unusual I must say, shaped by Covid 19. Fortunately, I have had the joy of meeting many Clients on-line since the start of "lockdown". In addition, it has been lovely and reassuring to encounter many marvellous predecessors, during our Family walks around the local area. Currently, my main concern is your HEALTH and well-being, and how I can help and entertain you and your little ones. Since March and the end of the Spring Term, many Toddlers have had a burst of confidence it seems: their signed communications have advanced, which is a highly positive development! For the Summer Term, the Toddlers are due to "graduate" from my classes, because their sounds, some words and even simple sentences are now taking shape... So now, it's time for the new generation of Babies! Therefore, it would be very rewarding to welcome new Families to Sing and Sign, to enjoy this memorable shared experience which can enrich your lives in so many ways. Naturally, we will not be able to meet in a closed class setting for a while, but your Babies are still changing and developing and the opportunity therefore awaits you to learn this invaluable life skill, but on-line! At a third of the termly cost, you can attend weekly lessons on-line and I can continue to hold cafe clinics on-line, enabling you to meet and greet one another, ask questions and so on... This method of remote learning is similar to the option I needed to take when I returned to work with our first - clearly, from our perspective, "home-schooling" can be VERY effective! We had great success! So are you ready to join in? Simply add your names to the register on-line, via the Book Now button to your right... The chance to communicate through signing, to connect with your Baby and understand what they are thinking awaits you! Summer classes can run on-line... Feel free to use the "Notes" section of the Booking Screen to message me with any questions you may have. If you prefer, simply email me instead. It may not be possible to answer your email straight away, due to home-schooling commitments within my own Family at present, but your interest is very important to me... So, use the pink "Book Now" button to the right of your computer screen and we can chat later to discuss options... Hopefully, I can get to meet you in due course and help you begin this vital, memorable journey, making the most of our digital developments! Wishing you and your loved ones all well.
Hello! I'm Louise, your local Putney & Barnes representative...
To all new Parents, THANK YOU for visiting this page, showing interest in my classes.
Are you new to the idea of Baby Signing and you're wondering if it's "for you"...?
If so, please scroll down to the heading below: "Why choose Sing and Sign..." and hopefully, this will help explain to you the value and long term benefits of Baby Signing, as well as the Sing and Sign brand-style specifically, from my personal experience... After reading that information, please return to "STEP ONE" outlined here...
Have you already decided that this is the activity and brand for you and you simply want to book a space...?
Yes? That's wonderful!
So let's get practical for the upcoming Term with three easy steps!
If you have already contacted me and you have yet to hear from me, please contact me by email again, just in case your email failed to arrive... As described above, my communication efficiency may also be a little slow at present, as we try to establish how I can teach from a position of isolation, whilst home-schooling our own Family, so please bear with me!
FORTUNATELY, the "Sing and Sign At Home classes" are on-line, there is no queue, no Waiting List, no class size restriction, so we no longer need to discuss availability and your position in the queue! This could be a big advantage!
If you have yet to make contact and alert me to your intentions, please use the pink "Book Now" function bar diagonally up in the column opposite here, situated beneath my name and contact details and start entering your details...
Select the Stage for you! Decide if you need to be with:
1: Babes (from when you are ready to branch out, to 5 months in age)
2: Stage One Babies (approximately 6+ months of age) or with...
3: Stage Two Toddlers (12-14+ months, depending upon previous experience with us and how active your Baby/Toddler is).
Class times are no longer an issue, based around morning naps and lunch times... YOU can choose when you watch the weekly classes, and you can watch them as many times as you like that week, to help you remember and reinforce the set of signs explored each week before moving on...
Add your names and contact details against the class(es) of your choice - it's quick and easy to do! You'll be pleased to know that your address and other personal details are not required, although there is a box available for you to add notes for my attention, if you feel the need to do so...
Frequently asked questions:
What are your chances of gaining a position from this point in time?
This term, your chances are very high!
Almost ALL Stage Two Clients are soon due to Graduate, and the on-line classes have NO space restrictions! You can find a place on the Register, for sure, which will help you enormously!
Does it matter if I am starting later than hoped in my Baby's life, due to "lockdown"?
Not at all!
Over the years, I have helped many Parents start later than hoped, to catch up, and the results have been remarkable in many cases.
In addition, with the "At Home" weekly learning scheme, you can practise multiple times, and you can watch and learn whenever suits you each week, helping you to catch up even quicker!
"At Home" enables us to be even more flexible and accommodating than usual! Predecessors know that my key aim is to help Parents take part in whatever way they can, to gain/continue to gain the knowledge they need, whilst trying to sort out their personal needs behind the scenes: from work commitments, to child-care, home developments and individual timetables. Now, learning at home, you can do what is exactly right for you as a Family, and perhaps more than ever, the WHOLE Family, including Grandparents and extended Family can perhaps can get involved and learn a new skill!
As new Parents, this is a very busy, exciting AND challenging time in your lives, with many changing needs to attend to and I like to respect and work within the challenges of those needs, to enable you all to still take part and learn. Regardless of what is happening behind the scenes - from day-trips, to house moves, interviews, new births and so on, early speech development can still be possible...
If I enter at the Stage Two level - is it too late to learn and will I ever catch up?
Even if you have missed the chance to start at the Babes or the Stage One level, please do not worry, because over the years, I have managed to successfully work with MANY Families starting at this later point - I can soon help you to catch up, through conversation, email correspondence and the Weekly Handouts, providing revision for all! Clients are often amazed to see how within one or two weeks, their Toddlers start to settle into the classes and the atmosphere, keen to copy, communicate and learn from their peers - in person or on screen!
Let's hope that I can help get you started this Summer and we can meet in a cafe-clinic on-line soon!
Now, at the start of my eighth year of Teaching Sing and Sign, news seems to have spread about the value of the "Sing and Sign" experience. Over the years, I have often felt quite overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and volume of keen and committed Parents out there these days... Some lovely newcomers (and an increasing numbers of returning Parents) even contact me as soon as their new Babies are born!
So, let's now get YOU started!
To new Parents who are looking at this page for the first time and my returning, lovely and loyal Families, WELCOME - teaching you all has been a very rewarding experience for which I am very grateful!Why choose "Sing and Sign" as the teaching framework to help you?...
These days, after seven glorious years of Teaching in Putney, it seems that there is now a delightfully strong community of Signing Families in the Putney and Barnes area. Indeed, as a result of wonderful Word-of-Mouth recommendations, Putney Parents now seem to fully understand the benefits of Baby Signing in general and the value it adds to the lives of all key Family members. The signing industry has grown as a result.
But why choose Sign and Sign in particular as the formula for you?
Sing and Sign is a forerunner, following an established, dedicated and fantastic formula, and it remains a favourite in the hearts of Families across the country. Even years down the line, old Clients regularly reflect upon the class experience they shared with me, stating that the classes were the "highlight of (their) week", the most "fun", the "best value" and/or the most "rewarding" of all classes they attended because they also learned a "life skill" for themselves. At Sing and Sign, we try to train for results, to empower you as a Parent trying to help your Baby, whilst also creating a warm, relaxing and fun environment to enjoy together.
The Sing and Sign classes are termly because we follow a carefully balanced ten-week Curriculum, which gently guides you through the process of Baby Signing. We are training you with a view to providing you with knowledge and skills - therefore helping you to feel you have value for money and an invaluable experience you'll cherish forever.
The Sing and Sign process is gently, and it will soon feel very natural - you'll soon become more gestural in your everyday communications and your Baby will learn how to read expressions and gestures, as well as open up and contribute so many of their own!
The Sing and Sign process is gentle, but also powerful - as each week progresses, we gently build your signing "vocabulary" around key topics, week by week enabling you to become incredibly sophisticated in your shared communications - not just signing almost 200+ nouns but also developing concepts to aid explanations as you narrate your way through your day! In turn, Babies have a LOT to communicate and I like to think that we can help unlock their abilities to express points of interest, as well as their thoughts and emotions in a calm and considered and glorious way!
At Sing and Sign, the songs, lyrics, props and images add to the fun and you'll be soon humming and singing the songs throughout your day, wherever you may be!
Whilst considering whether or not you would like to join our classes, you may like to learn about the effects of “Sing and Sign” teachings in particular on our own Children… Having attended her first "Sing and Sign" class at the age of 7 months, our eldest Daughter made her first signs (namely, “more?” and “all gone!”) between the age of 11 and 12 months. Our youngest demonstrated a good understanding of our signs from an even earlier age, 'though it wasn’t until she was about 13 or 14 months of age that her signing really "took off" - she suddenly had a lightening awakening to the freedom felt when you can initiate a conversation… we were on holiday and she was enchanted by the local birds, cats and dogs and couldn’t wait to tell us about them! A surge of confidence then flowed and she has never looked back!
By the age of two years, I loved the little conversations we shared through both words and signs, cementing the very close bond we already enjoyed. For some months prior, she had been able to tell me so much, from her food choices, transport vehicles and animals, to even colours and her emotions! It never ceases to amaze me how much processing there is in the hearts and minds of even very young Babies - from a very young age, these little people can grasp complex concepts and even tell us that they feel happy, or even sad and angry, especially if ideas in their world haven’t gone according to plan! The fact that as Parents, we can acknowledge each emotion and show that we are listening demonstrates empathy and as a result, can often stem a tantrum from escalating.
Our youngest loved to “chat” using her signs and sounds so much that her verbal skills were soon becoming more and more sophisticated and ambitious for her age, constructing words into sentences to compete with the rest of her family! Sometimes however, her articulation was still a little unclear, leading to confusion if a subject was raised out of context. Thankfully, however, because she knew how to sign the words in conjunction, we could all share the thrill of a “Eureka!” moment when we suddenly understood one another once more!
As an extension of this experience, I feel keen to help other Parents and Carers to stimulate an early rapport with THEIR children. It has been an enlightening experience for us to uncover what thought processes have been happening in our Daughters’ minds. Seven years of Teaching in Putney and Barnes has confirmed how magical it can be to listen to and communicate with Babies and Toddlers, inviting them to express ideas from an early age. Guided by my delightful Parents/Carers, there are now some AMAZING young communicators in our area... It would be a wonderful therefore to extend this pleasure by working with you and your little one(s)…
As a Parent, patience and perseverance is key, but as we all agree, the signs you will encounter are intuitive and easy to learn and you’ll love the “Sing and Sign” songs that guide you - you'll soon find it easy to blend our teachings into your world. In our home, I have found myself singing my way through many events each day to conjole or calm our way through tricky moments. Even these days, now fully able to express themselves verbally, our girls still like to place "Sing and Sign" song requests with me wherever we are: in the car, playing with toys or perhaps at mealtimes, simply to amuse and entertain themselves! By this stage, I often struggle to think of the original lyrics to well known tunes, now over-written by "Sing and Sign’s" lyrics in my memory!
In our classes, Children can feel entranced by the music and their communicating Baby & Toddler chums. For you, you can enjoy a relaxed, fun, learning environment and make new Friends along the way! I hope you do...
Why did I decide to train others to Sign? Well, Signing fascinates me! Makaton and its merits were introduced to me nearly 30 years ago by the Children I voluntarily cared for at a MENCAP linked respite centre. When I became a mum 12 years ago, I actively sought the existence of a baby-focused form of Makaton and found “Sing and Sign”. We now have two delightful Daughters - both confidently signed and maturely expressed themselves from an early age – the eldest even helped me to teach her little Sister and translated when necessary! Our youngest Daughter, ahead of when she started School, really enjoyed signing the letters of the alphabet and used the associated Phonic sounds to help her pronounce and attempt to spell simple key CVC words. Indeed, she often used to refer to certain letter-signs to remind herself how to identify them and write them down. She soon had such a firm grasp of the letters. Now aged nine years of age, it is no longer necessary to sign but the benefits of the signing experience still exists in our home! The positive benefits felt from early communication has motivated me to help others in a similar way, and our girls are delighted that I am doing so!
My background: Apart from my personal enthusiasm to help Children (and Parents!) as best we can, Training and Communication have always been my focus. I have a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, and so the communication of thoughts, (as well as the physiology, the neuro-plasticity of the brain, its development and its effect on behaviours) has always interested me. This led to a career within the Publishing Industry, where I gained further Diplomas in various Communication Studies, and spent 18 years training young Graduates to become effective communicators in the world of Marketing, Sales and Management. For 5 years, until November 2014, I was the Volunteer Leader of our local playgroup, having fun and singing songs as well as guiding Toddlers and their Parents or Nannies to make and create specific ideas at our Arts Activities Table each week.
Over the years, we have loved seeing the results Signing within our home - we still feel the benefits of it today on many levels! My aim: I would love to work with you to achieve the same joy for your Family. I hope you can join me and my loyal and lovely Clients within our Putney and Barnes-based classes and in doing so, meet and make lovely new contacts from your neighbourhood!
Written originally in April 2013, updated 24th June 2020.
Currently, I remain in contact with the current Spring Clients, completing the classes on line for free, due to the isolation period. New Parents can register their interest for the Summer "At Home" learning scheme, using the "Book Now" button on the right of your computer screen. Simply enter your names... In addition to registering your interest, please email me your hopes or questions and I will see what I can do to help you... Please be assured that I will contact you as soon as possible. If you haven't heard from me, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me again, or indeed call me on 020 8780 1444... Thank you for your patience in the interim and I wish you and your loved ones good health at this time.
Currently I am considering the exact start date of the Summer "At Home" learning scheme, given the current situation.
THANK YOU to my current Clients who are hoping to return again, as well as PREVIOUS Clients who are planning to return to me with their new Babies - what a treat!
Together, old and new Parents alike, really help to make my classes relaxed, fun and a highlight to the week - for me as much as you it seems!
The Summer "At Home" Booking Site is open for the use of new Parents, to register their interest... Currently, you'll see that there is "Waiting List" status only for most of the classes but that's because I am trying to establish the exact start date for you all...
So PLEASE feel free to just book yourself in, adding your names to the lists (as explained, step by step, overleaf) with no need to pay anything at this stage! Please note that the speed and efficiency of my communications may be somewhat slow, currently, due to the home-tutoring needs of my own Family, with my apologies. If however, your message is urgent, please do make that clear in an email communication to me. Please be assured that so long as your name is on the registers, with a Waiting List position given, then HOPEFULLY, I can start your learning process as soon as possible.
Thank you for your understanding.
Please note, sometimes I feel nervous and have evidence that some email messages fail to arrive in my Inbox. If, therefore, you have been trying to reach me without success, feel free to contact me on 020 8780 1444 for speed and I will help you from there...
Thank you for both your patience and understanding on all matters.
Class times and dates for the Summer Term:
The Term is 10 weeks in length, and will be hopefully on 6th July 2020.
At a cost of £40, the Summer Term will lead us towards the Autumn Term in September...
Since I would relish the chance to meet you myself, I would like to chat to you on line at the start of the term, mid term and at the end of the term, as a group, to say "hello" and to answer questions and clarify your thoughts. In addition, I will be sending through Handouts and I will be available to answer questions by email or by phone, if necessary, during the term time.
CLASSES IN PERSON:
Wednesdays and Thursdays:
Putney, St Mary's Church, SW15 1SN
Temporarily suspended: due to Covid 19...
Barnes, Methodist Church by the Pond, Common Room, SW13 0NH
The Common Room: 9.30am, Stage Two
Temporarily suspended: due to Covid 19...
Barnes, OSO Community Arts Centre by the Pond, SW13 0NH
Studio One: 11am, Stage One
Temporarily suspended: due to Covid 19...
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Historical developments to date, shaped around Clients' needs and requests:
Summer 2013, classes are launched in Putney.
Autumn 2013, classes begin at the OSO in Barnes.
Spring 2014, due to high demand, a second centre is found in Barnes at the Methodist Church.
Summer 2014, Stage Two is launched in Putney.
Spring 2015, Stage Two is launched in Barnes Methodist Church.
Autumn 2015, Sing and Sign Babes is launched for the first time... Parents want to start signing earlier and earlier these days which is admirable!
2016 & 2017, there is an increase in the number of Clients returning with their second Children - the new generation!
2017, Waiting Lists for future terms were released on-line as a trial, to help proactive, enthusiastic new Clients plan ahead and hopefully gain a slot.
2019: The timetable gradually reduces in size until the Barnes classes are suspended completely to enable me to attend a course. Future plans are not yet known. As I entered my seventh year of Teaching, with a heavy heart and after MUCH debate and consideration, I decided to reduce my Teaching timetable, to help me catch up after a very busy year as a Family and to enable me to attend a course for further education. As a result, for the time being, I will not be at the OSO or the Methodist Church in Barnes. Since May, Barnes-based Clients have been attending Putney classes instead. It does involve travelling to Putney, just as Clients did in 2013 when I started... When I was attending classes myself, I needed to travel too but clearly, I am glad that I did! FORTUNATELY, I have had so many lovely and loyal Clients travelling some distance to my classes previously, I am hoping that new Parents are also happy to adjust. THANK YOU for your cooperation, your understanding and your interest!
Hopefully, this information enables you to see how the timetable is constantly evolving as I try to accommodate Clients' needs, as well as those of my Family. As such, it's always worth asking or making suggestions if you would like to take part but cannot find a day to suit your personal timetable.
Thank you and farewell to my "graduating" Toddlers - it's always hard to say "good bye" to you but, I look forward to hearing your continuing news and anecdotes from your Parents, via email or by bumping into you around the streets of Putney! A few new Babies have just been born and others are due very soon, so I send you my very best wishes too...
Welcome, welcome to new Clients and new Siblings! It's fun meeting the new Babies and it's a privilege to see your Families grow. I hope that this can be the start of a wonderful experience for you, too!...
Please contact me for further details via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 8780 1444.
I hope the current choices of classes and Stages accommodate your needs when planning your weekly timetable of events and interests.
Last updated 24th June 2020.
St Mary's Church, Putney, and The OSO & Methodist Church, Barnes.
At St Mary's Church, Putney, Wednesday classes are generally held in the Lancaster Room, situated above the Pantry/Cafe. Thursday classes are now in the carpeted Godly Play Room which can also be found on the first floor, alongside the Lancaster Room, near the lift. The Church itself is situated by the bridge, alongside the cinema, at the junction of Putney High Street and Lower Richmond Road. There is plenty of room to leave prams at the back of the Church. Many Clients attending the 9.30am Wednesday class often choose to bring their Babies in their prams directly into the Lancaster Room via the lift. The lift is particularly welcome if the Babies are still napping at that time in the morning - they can be easily wheeled into class without being disturbed enabling me to teach you!
The Cafe serves as an ideal location for you to relax with new and existing friends, to chat and swap ideas at the end of sessions. There are high chairs available and a good range of food choices, all cooked on site. A loyalty discount card exists to help you make lunch or a coffee/tea break part of your weekly routine. Issa, the cafe Owner is now offering some pureed food choices for Babies... but just in case you can't find a food choice to suit your needs, it may be wise to bring your own reserves at the start of the term until you feel familiar with the selection on offer for you. He has recently been trialing a range of homemade Baby food on Wednesdays and Thursdays to help Sing and Sign Clients. Pre Summer, I believe that he was creating a Baby-friendly Spagetti Bolognese, a Fish Pie and he hoped to trial a vegetarian option, possibly including lovely lentils. Feedback and ideas will be GRATEFULLY received by Issa.
Putney is served well by buses, tubes and trains. Metered parking on SOME side streets is possible (please read the signs carefully!) but, many Clients choose to park at the neighbouring supermarkets for ease (such as Waitrose and Sainsbury), completing their shopping before journeying home.
Our original venue choice in Barnes is at the lovely OSO, the "Old Sorting Office" and Arts Community Centre, in the heart of Barnes, by the duck pond. Increasingly, as the venue plays host to an array of scheduled plays and dramas, we will be allocated to the glass fronted Studio Three which looks onto the cafe area, rather than the traditional slot in Studio One. There is a cafe within the building which was refurbished in 2014. Also keen to cater for your needs, Lisa, the Manager has introduced healthy, satifying food options, so feel free to chat to her and she will endeavour to help you. Again, just in case, it may be wise to bring your own reserves at the start of the term until you feel familiar with what choices could be on offer for you. After class on a Friday, there is often a lovely relaxing atmosphere with musicians and a singer, to lull you into a relaxed, Friday-afternoon mood!
Due to popular demand, a second exciting new venue was been secured within Barnes: namely, the Methodist Church by the Duck Pond, next door to the OSO Community Arts Centre. There is a coffee shop, but not at a time which coincides with our timetable. That said, given the Church's proximity to the OSO, Clients can easily find a relaxed environment to chat and have a snack once the class comes to an end.
Please note, if arriving by car, although metered parking does exist, it is limited. It can be found at certain points around the perimeter of the Green, along Station Road and Church Road. More spaces are available early in the morning, but as the 11am class is due to begin, spaces can become increasingly scarce. Some slots are available offering one hour for free (please read the signs carefully!) which can appeal, but again, they are in limited supply. As such, if coming from further afield, to enjoy the benefits of easy parking and a more relaxed class accordingly, you may prefer to choose a Putney based class...
For more information, please do not hestiate to contact me... 020 8780 1444
Day Time Stage Location Friday AM Stage 2 Barnes Methodist Church Friday AM Stage 1 The OSO Community Arts Centre Wednesday AM Stage 1 & 2 St. Mary's Church, Putney Thursday AM Stage 1 & 2 St. Mary's Church, Putney
Nursery Affiliations are now available...
If you happen to own or manage a Nursery and would like me to help train your Team, introducing them to the world of Baby Signing and helping the Children in your care accordingly, then please do not hesitate to contact me - I would be more than happy to discuss our Nursery Affiliation Scheme.
Many of my early Clients have now moved on and are attending Nurseries. Some feel that they would benefit enormously if their Nursery Teams could communicate with their Children using both speech and supporting signs.
You can reach me via email@example.com or via the "Make an Enquiry" button opposite, on my page, to consider this further...