Grade 10 Subject Selection REMINDER

The Grade 11 subject information sessions have now been completed. Over the past two weeks, we had each department present information to the students in grade 10 about their subjects on offer next year. The time is now ready for parents and students to make their selection of subjects that they would like to undertake next year in grade 11. Please use the link found HERE to complete the survey.

The survey will close at the end of this month – January 31.

A visit from the Senior Preschool Police Squad!

How nice to receive a visit from the Police on Wednesday morning in my office! They were looking for ‘baddies’ in order to keep the Middle and High School safe. The Senior preschoolers had their handmade uniforms on, their helmets firmly fastened and said all the right things – brilliant. Some of them even drove here in their cardboard cars with tyres made out of instant rice containers!

Grade 12 Parent Conferences

Many thanks to those parents of students in Grade 12 who braved the very cold conditions to spend time discussing their child’s final preparation for the up and coming IB World exams. It was a very important occasion for all people present – teachers gave last minute tips on how students should prepare for the exams as well as discussed the current progress of all students in class. For those parents who attended, it was the last formal opportunity to meet all the teachers at the one time. For some, it was the final parent conference they will ever have as their youngest child moves through the school.

 

 

Should Parents Limit Their Children’s Screen Time?

All Grade 8 students wrote a speech answering the question – Should parents restrict students electronic use?  Interestingly, all but two students agreed that parents should do so. Students researched and used current information from experts to support their point of view.

Should Parents Limit Their Children’s Screen Time?

“What?! That is not fair… You can’t do that!” exclaimed John, “It’s not my fault that my teachers assigned me three hours worth of homework to do on the computer… and now that I am done you’re saying I can’t have my own screen time!” The struggle is real. Children are being assigned online homework, and because it may take hours on end, they might not have enough time to do what they wanted with their technology. This conflict leads to the question, Should screen time be free for children, or does research prove otherwise? Why shouldn’t children be allowed to have free screen time? At least it is not harmful, am I right? Wrong! It is harmful. Raising children with technology has major and sometimes long-lasting effects on the brain and influences the behavioural and physical features of a person throughout adolescence.

First, parenting and raising children with technology is harmful and should be restricted by parents. Children are being introduced to technology way too young. According to research on children and technology put out by The Sydney Morning Herald, there are more 5 and 6 year old children using technology on breaks and at recess than actively playing with their friends and participating in physical activities. This means that children are purposefully passing the chance to do sports and exercise to snapchat or to watch the latest memes like Philosoraptor and Kazoo Kid or popular internet videos with their friends. This all starts the first time they are introduced to technology. In another study by CNN, in 2016, it states that children from 0-8 months should have absolutely no screen time or else children will show signs of mental changes and behaviour changes. However, many parents find that electronic devices provide good entertainment for their children, but when instead of those important connections being made with their parents, infants and toddlers spend bonding time with their phones and other technological screens. According to Chassiakos,”The lack of attention from a parent can make kids levels of irritable behaviour worse.” As stated before, this leads to mental and physical changes to the brain and body. Dr. Colleen Carroll stated that “Technology is too powerful for kids to handle alone.” This means that without parental guidance, technology could control what children do with their life as in taking over time from family and friends.

Second, technology is changing the human brain. Many studies from different time periods claim that technology is unhealthy for a person’s “normal” behaviour. Almost all of these documents state that technology introduced at a young age is unhealthy. There is a “Use it or Lose it Principle” in our brains, according to Raisingchildren.net.au. While our prefrontal cortex and the rest of our brains develop in adolescence, unused connections and knowledge is slowly forgotten and then lost as the name of the principle suggest, and used connections and knowledge is made stronger in the final development phase of the brain.

Technology isn’t all that bad for you. It makes learning new things right at the touch of your finger tips. All the knowledge of men and women that can help you learn or do anything is held within the internet and technology. Technology is good for educational games that help build up connections in your brain. A game like this is called Minecraft created by Mojang and sells for close to 6 US dollars in the App Store on Apple products. (With free shipping straight to your apple device.) According to Mr. Allison, “If kids were unsupervised, the eldest would do it around the clock watching Netflix and exploring the internet.”

Thirdly, whether or not someone uses technology for good or not, technology will always be a part of Humanity’s future. Technology influences everyone into behaving one way or thinking another. “I’ll have my kids trying to talk to me and I’m on my phone … a lot of it is keeping in touch with people through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat” said Mr. Allison. His children’s friends are on the internet, and that feeling of envy and being left out makes his children want to be connected to the internet to join in with the other kids and be accepted and not made fun of or bullied. Technology also influences our point of view based on what it tells us we should believe or do. What people post online or send to friends is basically telling you how to react when you see an image or message, or when something happens like someone says a joke, and because it is popular on the internet everyone thinks that person is cool. It is something like this, that shows how our brains develop around technology. Other people and their technological experience make others want to do the same thing. “Come and join me on Snapchat…” The next thing you know you are on Snapchat during all of your free time messaging to your friends and strangers who are following you.

In conclusion, parents really should limit their children’s screen times because of how many uses of it are harmful at young ages, and once damaged, it is hard to undamage the brain. So after all of that I leave you with a quote you should go home and think about. This is something Nicholas Carr, the author of “The Shallows” once said, “Sometimes our tools do what we want them to do, and other times, we adapt ourselves to our tool’s requirements.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. W.W. Norton, 2011.

Middlebrook, CNN, Hailey. “Internet Addictions and New Guidelines.” CNN, 21 Oct. 2016.

Raisingchildren.net.au. “Healthy Screen Time and Quality Media Choices: Teenagers.” AU, 2017.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Pallavi Singhal. “Families Join Digital Detox to Stop Creeping Screen Time.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Sept. 2017.

Raisingchildren.net.au. “Your Teenager’s Developing Brain.” AU, 2017.

By Aiden Stundahl 

 

Influenza Alert

Your child may have been exposed to influenza (“the flu”). Influenza is a highly contagious, respiratory disease caused by an influenza virus.  Influenza season commonly runs from in November and to April, with most cases happening between late December and early March.

To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms. To decide whether or not to send your child to school, please consider the following guidelines.

Definitely, keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:

  • Fever-greater than 37.8˚C (100˚F) and your child should stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever.  This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Vomiting / Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Frequent congested or uncontrolled cough
  • General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle ache.

To help prevent the flu and colds, teach your children good hygiene habits:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Using a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Colds and influenza are the most contagious during the first 48 hours. A child who has a fever should remain at home until they are “fever free” for a minimum of 24 hours.

Your child should be physically able to participate in all school activities on return to school.  Keeping a sick child at home will help minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.

Thank you in advance for helping this school year as healthy as possible.

Heejung – BIFS School Nurse