Van Asch College
|Van Asch Deaf Education Centre|
|Type||State, Co-educational special school|
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||519|
Van Asch Deaf Education Centre is located in Truro Street, Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand. It is a special school for deaf children, accepting both day and residential pupils, as well being as a resource centre providing services and support for parents, mainstream students and their teachers.
The school was founded in 1880 and it claims that it "was the first fully government funded school for the Deaf in the world." Formerly called the Sumner Deaf and Dumb Institution, Sumner Institution for Deaf-Mutes and Sumner School for the Deaf, the school was renamed in its centenary year as van Asch College in honour of its first Principal, Gerrit van Asch. It is now known as the van Asch Deaf Education Centre.
In 1904, an Act of Parliament forced parents to enrol their deaf children at the college (then known as the Sumner Institute).
In 1958, the Boy's House was burnt down in the early hours of the morning.
The old main building was centred near the hills and Evans Pass.
Up until the late 1970s, the philosophy of the school was to prevent the students from using sign language (now New Zealand's third official language). Children were taught exclusively via oral methods, forcing them to learn to lipread and speak, with punishments being given for use of sign language.
In the late 1970s, the school switched to bilingual teaching and currently, in addition to presenting the curriculum in NZSL, Sign Supported English and oral (aural) modes, the College now offers the facility for deaf and hearing-impaired students being educated in mainstream settings to learn about NZSL as part of a Deaf Studies curriculum.
The employment of deaf gardeners, cooks and cleaners has been credited with having a significant effect on the transmission of signs between generations, with children picking up signs the auxiliary staff used to communicate with each other, despite disapproval from teaching staff
In 1992 the Board of Trustees had its first deaf chairperson.
In 1993 the first Sign Language tutor was employed.
In 1997 the first deaf teacher was employed.
- "Van Asch Board of Trustee".
- Decile change 2007 to 2008 for state & state integrated schools
- About Us : Christchurch Deaf School - New Zealand Deaf School - Christchurch Deaf School - New Zealand Deaf School
- New Zealand Sign Language Bill: Second Reading: 23 Feb 2006: NZ Parliament | TheyWorkForYou.co.nz
- :: New Zealand Sign Language Week :: History Page