St Mary's Abbotsford Convent 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Victoria | +61 3 9419 9229

News from the Principal

Term 4 2014.

Dear Parents.

Welcome back to term four. The holidays already seem a distant memory as the new term fires up.

Term four is such a vital term in the learning process. As we move closer to the end of the year we

begin to see the fruits of our year’s efforts.

It is interesting that in the Australia, in fact all of the Southern Hemisphere, at this time of year,

we are driven by the renewal forces of Spring as at the same time, we move toward the resolve

processes of the year. While nature is blossoming into the new spring our learning processes are

maturing and consolidating, almost an Autumn process. This can create within us a very unsettling

feeling and often children will feel a nervous energy, even insecurity rise within them.

At this time of the year the teachers will be working with children in a way of confirming, ( we often

call it revision) going back over what we have learned and sowing seeds for what we are going to

learn and do next year. This process helps the children feel secure in their learning journey and

gives them hope and vision into their future. The end of year then comes as a celebration of all the

wonderful things that they have done and learned.

There are always questions about the future and how do we prepare the children for the uncertainty

of what the future brings. There are some things though that we really need to take responsibility

for. While, we as parents give into the pressures of our children and buy them the latest phone with

all the wiz bang technology to keep them current in the world, we are giving them a very powerful

tool that can work for them and against them. I often ask myself why would young children and

adolescents be given a tool that can be so potentially dangerous to their long term well- being.

I would like to share with you some of the problems we have at school and how we may be expected

to deal with them.

1) Wi Fi access to the internet. The school has Wi Fi in many areas of the school as it is

convenient for the senior students to access the internet for their IB studies. Unfortunately

this also allows them and other students to download movies, music and even access

prohibited sites. I personally have felt strongly about the removal of Wi Fi for unknown

health risks, as many ‘Healthy’ schools are now doing. This is now being seriously considered

as the abuse of the system continues to escalate.

2) Students with phones at school. It seems that the phone has become an essential part of

modern life, a reflection of our insecurity and ever growing need to feel connected. If you

as a parent have given your child a phone for safety reason, that is one thing, however if

that phone has internet access then that is a whole different realm of responsibility. I have

heard of students accessing pornography off the internet and showing it to other students.

This is absolutely unacceptable and if your child has such a device then you need to take

that responsibility. One way around this could be that all phones must be handed in at the

front desk every morning. Again it is put onto the school to police issues that are created by

the parents. I know that parents text their children during the day while the children are at

school. This works directly against our efforts to maintain high levels of engagement from

the students.

With the ever increasing issues around technology and its place in education we must remember

some of the very important and fundamental principles of the school.

Steiner Education is centred around the relationship of students and teachers and their engagement

in learning. Modern technology is a distraction from this fundamental process as it servers the

umbilical link between the teacher and student. The school has clear policies and ethos around the

use of technology and the parents need to work actively together with the school in the protection

of children’s innocence and learning processes, if the pedagogic practices are to be of any value.

Please take the time to think about the topics I have raised and share your thoughts with me.

Kindest Regards.


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