We are grateful that the vast majority of students and staff are now back on campus and engaging in classroom learning in person rather than via a screen. The school is alive with learning and activity and we now appreciate, in a new way, that which we have taken for granted in the past. We are very grateful for our teachers, staff and parents/carers who have put in an extraordinary effort to adjust to the changes in the COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of our students, the continuity of their learning and support for their wellbeing. We recognise that the impact of COVID-19 is far reaching for families and that it is stressful managing changes in the way we interact and live. Keeping children home from school and supporting their online learning and other activities, whilst managing ‘time’ and technology, is really challenging. It is our hope that we can work together to create a safe, strong and caring community through which our precious children can thrive.
Whilst we understand that human connection provides the foundation for healthy wellbeing, the reality for many families is that their children are spending more time on screens for online for learning, playing and socialising than before. Therefore, the need to set expectations about screen time and online behaviour is more important than ever. Having conversations about online safety, setting boundaries, using parent control and supporting children to have healthy habits online are steps we can take to keep our children safe and well.
We encourage you to read the e-Safety Commissioner’s blogposts: COVID-19: an online safety kit for parents and carers and COVID-19: protecting children from online abuse. They contain links to useful, up-to-date resources for young people and parents about maintaining online safety. The eSafety website also has information on developing good habits and supporting kids while they are online. In addition, they have created a document that assists parents to create a family tech agreement for children aged five to eight.
Another excellent resource is Too keen for the screen by Madhavi Nawana Parker. It offers parents and carers appropriate tools to navigate the digital world to ensure healthy screen time for children.
The safety and wellbeing of our students is paramount and we know that their online experiences can have a lasting impact.
We hope this information has been helpful and encourage you to email your classroom teacher, the school counsellor or school leadership team if you have any concerns for your child’s learning or wellbeing.
Principal - ELC and Primary School
ELC and Primary School Counsellor