Students’ phones: excellent tools when used appropriately.
Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste. Kumusta. Konnichi wa. Guten tag. Warm greetings to the Linwood community.
On our first day of being on our LCŌ site, term 3 last year, I spoke with students and staff about a “reset”, the term Noeline Taurua had used in the then netball world championship success. I suggested that we take advantage of our new beginning to ensure that we all sharpen our focus and reset for even higher expectations. The four expectations were:
- personalised learning and teaching,
- career pathway thinking, not just thinking of getting enough credits “to pass”
I am repeating this information because we have begun 2020 with our same expectations on these four points. Your child’s kaiārahi (ako teacher) or dean is the person to ask if you have any questions about these, particularly the correct wearing of the school uniform and punctuality.
Further to a learning-focussed environment, we – the school staff – have been discussing together, and with students and whānau, the place of students’ phones at school. This is a topic that across the world attracts a range of opinion and school responses.
Our view is that phones are a part of society and, sensibly used, are an advantage. However, we also know, both through everyone’s daily experience – and it’s completely obvious! – and through academic research that some students have more difficulty than others in self-management to do with their phones. For some of these students, phones are a barrier to learning.
Our phone-response starts from two principles. Firstly, and most importantly, we have high expectations of our students and will support them to self-manage. Secondly we wish to keep things simple. Therefore our reset on phones is that phones in class are under the direction of the teacher. If there is a reason for phones to be used in the lesson then the teacher will inform the class of this and students with phones will get them out. At other times phones are away, either in the pocket, the bag, or in the case of Yr 7-8s following whatever system the teacher has set up.
Finally, schools can be complex places, so if any member of school whānau wishes to talk to us about anything, including the above, please contact your child’s dean either directly or through the office. Alternatively to talk with me, my direct dial is 982 0100 ext 839. My door is open.
Ngā mihi nui
Richard Edmundson Tumuaki-Principal