Principal's Message - Westport Campus - 26 June 2020

The internet and digital technologies are now a permanent feature in our lives and those of young people. We cannot ignore this fact or attempt to dismiss the internet, particularly as we have been so immersed in technology as a result of COVID-19.

COVID-19 demonstrated that we have access to and are accessible by millions of people worldwide. The current situation adds an element of risk to all online communication. Smart devices and social media sites have become part of our children’s lives, and they strongly influence how our children create, share and exchange information with others. As adults, we need to be there to guide and advise our children, even if there is some resistance. I believe that is our job – we cannot be casual observers in this space, we must be present.

I ask that our community support us in explicitly teaching the appropriate use of mobile phones and electronic devices. I have noticed that cyberbullying continues to be a concern amongst our students. Repeated harassment, insults and humiliation that occurs through electronic mediums such as email, mobile phones, social networking sites, instant messaging programs, chat rooms and online games is NOT ok.

Our young people will often read, and re-read comments multiple times, further causing themselves distress. We know that cyberbullying can and does contribute to poor mental health. My best advice is to understand what is happening on your child’s media accounts.
If you feel your child is cyberbullied:

  • Thank them for telling you about it – it is a big deal.
  • Ask to see what has happened (keep screenshots or print out the evidence)
  • Reassure them you will help
  • Help them block the person on their device and the site.
  • Inform the school

Cyberbullying is a criminal offence in every State and Territory of Australia.
Semester 1 reports have now been completed by staff, and your child will receive their copy in Week 10. Reporting to parents is an essential component of our work as it provides the opportunity to engage you as parents in both the progress of your child’s learning and in the educational priorities of the school.

With the ongoing lifting of restrictions from COVID19, students will again be able to use the PE change rooms from Term 3. This means students are to wear their formal uniform each day, however, can wear their sports uniform on their designated sports day. If the students have PE or Sports Studies, they are to bring their change of clothes in their bag.

Best wishes

Duncan Kirkland

Principal Westport Campus