Yankalilla Area School

School History

Education at Yankalilla and the surrounding districts has a very long and interesting history, with the first public school building erected on our present site in 1859. This building is now our Annexe classroom.

The land for the school was donated by Mr Septimaner Herbert, Mr Robert Norman gave the bricks and tradesmen gave their labour. Finance for equipment and materials was provided by the Board of Education and local trades people.

The building was named the Wissanger School after Mr Herbert's early home in Kent, England. Mrs Donnen was the school's very first teacher and by the time she resigned in 1859 and was replaced by Mr James Poole the average attendance was 20.


The first record of scholars is for 1877, with the first entry being a Miss Fanny Fowler. Newbold, Mitchell, Bennett, Smith, Dunstall, Mayfield, Polkinghorne, Roads, Symonds, Stacey and Bowyer were among the other first names recorded.

Over the years students from surrounding schools came to Yankalilla to sit for their Qualifying Exams, some children travelling as far as Hindmarsh Tiers. Attendance memebers fluctuated from 96 in 1886 to as few as 17 in 1914, possibly due to children helping with farm work while their fathers or brothers were at war.

In 1956 we became an Area School, with the consolidation of Second Valley, Wattle Flat and Torrens Vale. Today Yankalilla Area School is a modern facility with approximately 400 students and some 50 teachers and staff.