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The impact of social media on our children


Dear Parent or Carer,

As many of you know I am a keen user of technology and have been experimenting with some new platforms over the past few weeks and months.

The collaboration will be increasingly important and I see one's ability to work in a team and think creatively as the real keys to success in the years ahead. You may find this clip about the future of education from Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, particularly interesting.

As humans we are wired to be social and it is no wonder that social media has exploded over recent years. As adults, we have been slow to appreciate the significance of this and some of the comments recently by technology entrepreneurs about the impact of social media on the young in particular makes for concerning reading.

As teachers we see the impact of excessive social media use when your children arrive at school. Often anxiety levels are raised because of comments posted the previous night, children might not get enough quality sleep due to the use of technology throughout the night and friendships can splinter because of comments or posts that have been misinterpreted.

All of this affects their learning and development. In the worst case scenarios (and I have seen this more than once) children open themselves up to criminal accusations as they share images of each other which are moderately or highly sexualised.

Children do not understand the boundaries like we might and so are prone to make more mistakes. Sadly for them these mistakes stay with them as their digital fingerprint remains online for years to come.

Please check what your children are doing online. No one in the Prep School should have a social media account, you are not holding them back by insisting on this.

Children in the Senior School should have their phone usage closely monitored and restricted to no more than two hours per day. I understand that this is hard, especially for children that have already been given a phone, but boundaries can still be set and I would urge you to take action today to change your child's behaviour online.

Thanks for your help and support with this, do let me know if you would like to chat through any of the points raised or for more information.

Kind regards,

David Paton


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