assistant principal message
Already this term has started with a bang. It was so wonderful seeing many of you last Thursday night when we discussed literacy learning difficulties. Alison Sharp, the speech therapist, gave great information and provided practical tips for families at home.
On Tuesday 30th of July, 6th and 13th of August, we are facilitating 3 Tuning Into Teens sessions. Deb and I are really looking forward to these and are confident that Christiane Kehoe, the author of this program, will inspire and support you to have even deeper conversations with your children, once again giving some practical tools and tips. Deb sent out a Sentral note at the end of last week, please let me know if you need any further information about this.
I am dedicating this newsletter to discussing our Personal Mobile Devise Policy. This policy which has had input from students, teachers and the Education committee, provides an example of both the purpose of developing policies, and the process.
As a Department of Education school, we are required to develop and communicate a whole suite of policies. These policies cover all functions of the school, including teaching and learning, administration, including finances and student wellbeing. Updating, reviewing and in fact creating these policies is an on-going task, one which the Education Committee manages.
The personal mobile devise policy is interesting as it was developed in response to a need, as many policies are. As a school, we were increasingly seeing students bring mobile devises such as smart phones, tablets, and smart watches to school.
While we understood that students may need to bring a personal mobile device to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school or to extra-curricular activities, we were becoming increasingly concern in relation to possible privacy breeches.
When developing policies we start the process by referring to the Department of Education’ School Policy Template Portal. When reviewing this, it was apparent that what we were asking for wasn’t yet developed. After speaking with the department’s legal unit, we worked collaboratively with them to develop a draft policy. This policy then received feedback from students, teachers and the Education Committee.
Given how integral students are in implementing the policy, we sought student voice including working towards creating a mutual understanding of some of the potential risks. In order to do this, Hannah met with the senior students and they undertook a risk assessment of smart watches and phones, considering the risks of bringing them to school, including where they should be kept.
Below shows the outcome of this discussion:
|Watches / Phones||Office / Classroom||Camp|
Office – anyone can take them When placed on the bench)?
Stolen / taken
Be in bags
Limit bringing them
Process for collections (e.g. tags)
Shut them down
Locked cupboards like ipads.
Camp photographer – ipad each team.
No sim cards,
As you can see from the above table, it was a great discussion, with our students showing maturity and appreciation for the risks both to themselves, other students and even staff. From this it was decided that during school hours, personal mobile devices must be switched off, and locked securely in the main office. (This is currently being discussed further with the senior staff and students).
Leading from this discussion as well as much consideration of the purposes and learning objectives of camp, along with the privacy and supervision risks involved in having devices on camp, the students agreed that devises were not necessary on camp. As such on Monday Hannah sent out a letter to all senior students and their families, outlining this. While we acknowledge that it may be challenging for some children not to have a devise for 4 days, we are going to have a ‘camp photographer’ to capture the moments and then share the images with family consent. Music will also be played under supervision.
Please read the Mobile Devise Policy attached to this newsletter, and feel free to seek further clarification where need be.
On another note, as mentioned at the start of the year, all parents and caregivers are welcome to join Education Committee. This year we are focusing on Cultural Safety. Please let me know if you are interested in joining.
personal mobile devices
To explain to Brunswick North West PS’s policy requirements, and expectations regarding the safe and appropriate use of personal mobile devices by students, at school or during school activities.
This policy applies to:
- All students at BNWPS and,
- All personal mobile devices that have not been approved by BNWPS and/or classroom teacher for the purpose of carrying out and engaging in the teaching and learning of the curriculum.
Personal mobile devices are portable computing and communication devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and smart watches.
BNWPS understands that students may bring a personal mobile device to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school or to extra-curricular activities.
- During school hours, personal mobile devices must be switched off, and locked securely in the main office.
Personal mobile device use
Personal mobile devices must not be used:
- during class or assemblies or in any way that disrupts the learning of others
- to send inappropriate, harassing or threatening messages or phone calls
- to engage in inappropriate social media use including cyber bullying
- to capture video or images of people, including students, teachers and members of the school community without their permission
- to capture video or images in the school toilets
Students who use their personal mobile device inappropriately at school may be issued with consequences consistent with our school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement and/or Bullying policies.
In some circumstances, students’ personal mobile devices may be confiscated and stored securely at the main office. In these circumstances, the mobile device will usually be returned to the student or their parent/carer at the end of the school day.
Students are not permitted access to devices at lunchtime and recess.
Students are not permitted to access their personal mobile devices during lunchtime or recess, unless they have sought and been granted permission from a supervising teacher or have been granted an exemption to this Policy by the Principal.
There may be circumstances in which a student may apply to the Principal for an exemption from this policy on the basis of safety and/or wellbeing requirements particular to that student. If this is the case, please contact Wendy White or Hannah Reid.
Students are responsible for their personal mobile device. Please note that the BNWPS does not have accident insurance for accidental property damage. Students and their parents/carers are encouraged to obtain appropriate insurance for valuable items, including personal mobile devices that may be brought to school. Students are responsible for items brought to school.
Camps and excursions
In most circumstances, students will not be allowed to bring their personal mobile device on overnight school camps or excursions. BNWPS will provide students and their parents and carers with information about items that can be brought to special activities and events, including personal mobile device.
RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
- Student engagement and wellbeing policy
- School Policy and Advisory Guide: Students Using Mobile Phones
- School Policy and Advisory Guide: Ban, Search and Seize Harmful Items
This policy was last updated in May 2019 and is scheduled for review on May, 2021