Junior School - Term 2, Week 9, 2019

Hands On Performing Arts Concert
The mid-year HOPA Concert is on this coming Tuesday for Year 3 and 4 students. This is a practice concert, to give the students an opportunity to perform.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day, 22 August
We are already planning for this exciting event. Mark it in the diary and let your family know of the date. Notes and official invitations will be sent home in the first week of next term with information about the day and the all-important call out for parent helpers.

Mobile Phones
If a Junior School student needs access to a mobile phone for bus travel, please be aware of the need to have this device locked down with restricted internet and app use. Junior School students may not use their devices whilst on the bus and should hand them in to Junior School office each morning when they arrive to school. It is my strong recommendation that ‘call only’ phones be issued to Junior School students, as these provide no access to the internet or any online activity.

Digital Citizenship – It is OK to Tell
All of our Stage 2 students undertake a Digital Citizenship course at the start of the school year. It is reviewed at regular intervals during the year to remind students of appropriate ways to conduct themselves when using digital technologies. We use the terms Wise, Caring and Skilful to summarise how we all should act online. Wise is about making good choices. Caring reflects the idea that students should think about the impact on others before in all of their activities. Being skilful with technology is essential in today’s world, we need to understand and navigate technology well.

In all of the lessons, one message is reinforced to the students. "It is OK to tell”. This is such an important message because children may something online that they do not like. It may be an intentionally placed image or text, or just something they do not understand or like. Rather than hide or pretend it was not there, we encourage the students to tell a trusted adult. It is in communicating to an adult that a good solution can be found.

One of the challenges to this message is the FOMO concept – Fear Of Missing Out. Children tend to be slow to report their concerns because they are worried about getting into trouble and losing their technology access. This means missing out on the latest game, or similar. My encouragement to all parents is to promote open and honest conversations with your child. Create an environment where it is completely safe to "Tell”. Likewise, keep accountability high and always check your child’s online activities whilst they are online and after. It is easy to slip into a habit of not checking so be encouraged to stay vigilant and engaged with your child.

A 2013 research paper (link below) provided some insight into how to assist our children with knowing right from wrong when online. Simply put, it is not about separating online from offline behaviour but providing a solid, moral compass for our children in all aspects of their life. It is from this set of values and beliefs that they will then behave whilst online. The report states “Rather than sliding into a moral vacuum when they go online, young people draw upon the same moral framework that shapes their offline engagements. This underlines the importance of parents continuing to have open and ongoing conversations with young people about the online activities that reiterate their family’s values”. In the context of Pacific Hills, we partner with parents to bring consistency in the teaching and living out of values at home and school. Our programs are designed to help students develop habits that are grounded in Biblical truths.

View research paper here
E-Safety website – click here
It’s OK to Tell – video

Mr Scott Cousins
Head of Junior School

Dates for Your Diary
29 July First week of term 3
22 August Grandparents and Special Friends Day