From the Head of the Senior College

As expected, our return to school for 2019 has presented us with a busy and exciting first two weeks. New and returning students have begun and it has been wonderful to see students and teachers reconnect after the summer break. I am pleased that we have our usual buzz of noise and movement around the Senior College.

I would like to thank all staff and parents involved in our Information Evening on Wednesday 6 February. If you were unable to attend the evening, please check your son/daughter’s Year Level page on the myTintern Portal for copies of information presented by their Year Level Co-ordinators.

Last Friday, we held our Tintern Grammar Foundation Service celebrating our School’s rich history. It was a fantastic event and we were very happy to have alumni, past staff, Board Members and Life Governors in attendance.

We have a number of upcoming events I would like to highlight for you:

This Friday 15 February is our House Swimming event. Days such as this provide students with an opportunity to develop relationships and build their allegiance to their peers and House. All students are expected to attend and to contribute to their House by either participating in individual and group events, or by providing support to others in the House or assisting with official duties. The success of the House Swimming event is dependent on all students actively contributing. It is an especially enjoyable day thanks to the outstanding leadership of our House Captains who expect and need the support of all their House peers.

Years 10, 11 and 12 Camps and Conferences will take place from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 February. The Camps flyer is available here and provides further information about the individual camp programs for each year level. It is also worth noting the Camp Refund Policy which is also included in the information flyer.

On Friday 22 February, we will hold the Year 12 Induction and 2018 Duces Assembly in the CM Wood Centre from 1.30-2.15pm. Parents are welcome to attend this assembly to acknowledge the achievements of our Class of 2018 and support our Class of 2019.

This time of the year is one that for many staff and students is one of new beginnings. We have Year 10s adjusting to the Senior College and working with their new classmates, Year 11s commencing VCE, VET and IB classes and Year 12s starting their final year of secondary schooling. I hope that the year ahead is a positive and fulfilling one for all of our students and I look forward to celebrating and sharing with you their achievements with you throughout the year.

Smartphones in Schools – Special Report

In June 2018, the NSW Minister for Education commissioned an independent review into the non-educational use of mobile devices in NSW schools.

The review was led by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and supported by other independent experts as well as many students, parents and guardians, teachers and principals, who were consulted in the process. As a result, the use of mobile devices during school hours will now be restricted in NSW public primary schools.

Currently, School policies around the use of electronic devices during school hours vary widely. Technology does have a role to play in the classroom, but this needs to be facilitated. Personal smartphones, on the other hand, are proving to be a distraction for students in terms of their access to social media sites, as well as potentially being a source of bullying activities. Tintern Grammar’s Phone Policy Philosophies are available here. This policy works alongside our Social Media and Digital Citizenship Policies which is available here.

We ensure expectations around management and use of mobile phones is age and stage appropriate and enables academic use in senior years where relevant. We also appreciate that many families use a mobile phone in order to communicate between school and home and as a safety measure for students travelling to and from school. In this Special Report, parents and guardians will learn about the importance of helping their kids find a balance to get the good parts out of technology. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered here and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about your child’s phone use, please contact your child’s Mentor or Year Level Co-ordinator.

Read the Special Report on Smartphones in Schools here.

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