RESPECT • SUCCESS • COMMUNICATION
Klemzig School is a Bilingual (Auslan) school. It was established in 1960 as a school for children living in the Klemzig area. In 1967 a specialist unit for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students was included known as the Speech and Hearing Centre.
The students were taught in separate classrooms known as ‘units’, away from their hearing peers. By 1984 the DHH students were introduced to a communication method called Signed English, also around this time the school experimented with a system called ‘reverse integration’ which meant a small number of hearing students were taught in the same classroom as the DHH students.
Italian was the original LOTE (language other than English) program taught in the school, however after much research by the school community, Auslan (Australian Sign Language), the official language of the Australian Deaf Community was introduced to the school as a LOTE program in 1997. It was also around this time the DHH students were moved out of the ‘unit’ classrooms and into the mainstream classrooms with their hearing peers, and by 1999 a preschool was established for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.
This history has built a firm foundation, enabling a strong sense of community, cultural awareness and a celebration of inclusive teaching practices.
The school badge and logo incorporate the Auslan sign for butterfly (the butterfly has had a strong connection to the Deaf community for many years), and in 2013 as part of the school upgrade a new building, known as Butterfly Wing was opened. This building was specifically designed with DHH students in mind to allow for acoustically sound classrooms that can accommodate both deaf and hearing students. All classrooms were fitted with soundfield systems and interactive smartboards as part of the school upgrade to allow for inclusive classrooms throughout the school, including lift access for upstairs classrooms.
We are proud of our history as a bilingual school and our links with the Deaf Community. These links have enabled Klemzig School to be showcased around the world with our bilingual approach to educating Deaf and Hard of Hearing students alongside their hearing peers. In 2005, Queen Silvia of Sweden, who has a keen interest in sign language, requested a visit to Klemzig School when she visited Adelaide for the day with her husband King Carl Gustav.
The school’s signing choir (which is a mixture of DHH and Hearing students) has performed all over Adelaide including with Todd McKenney at the Police Tattoo at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre 2008.
We continue to attract professional visitors from Australia and around the world who want learn from what we are doing as an inclusive bilingual school.
These aspects of our school’s history continue to influence the development and operation of our school.