Breaking sound barrier

MILDURA South Primary School yesterday marked the start of national Hearing Awareness Week by silently singing the national anthem.

The week is a special time on the school's calendar, with some students and their families affected by hearing loss.

Australian sign language (Auslan) teacher Melissa Powell said staff had begun learning sign language about eight years ago to assist a “profoundly deaf” student.

Now students learn the silent language from Prep through to Grade 6.

“I'd been teaching staff at TAFE level, so they asked me to come and help out and it became a recognised LOTE (Language Other Than English),” Mrs Powell said.

“The kids love it because it's so visual.”

Mrs Powell said 19 students were also part of an Auslan choir, which won a first place award at the Mildura Eisteddfod this year.

The school has installed communication systems across the campus to help students with cochlea implants learn and feel included.

To celebrate its commitment to improving the quality of life for people with hearing impairments, the whole school joined to sign the national anthem at yesterday's assembly.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday's Sunraysia Daily 27/08/2013.

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