You may have seen the Japanese flag flying at the front of the School this week in honour of the 18 girls and 2 staff we have visiting from our sister school, Shin-Ai, in Osaka. 

Exchanges such as this enrich the life of our School Community and allow for respect of difference and inter-cultural understanding to be developed. I would like to express my thanks to the School families who have opened their homes to host the Japanese students and their teachers – it is this extension of hospitality that allows our exchange program to flourish. 

It was wonderful to see so many Junior School parents at the recent “iPad tricks and tips” evening where the Digital Learning Captains and Junior School staff shared their wisdom about all things iPad. Technology is ubiquitous in our lives now and certainly affords us much access to information at the swipe of a finger. Sometimes we can be left wondering how we ever managed communication before “devices”! In conversations with students, however, I am often reminded just how important it is that adult guidance is available to assist young people in managing their “connectedness”. The brain of the child and adolescent is a work in progress, with sections relating to impulse regulation and responsible decision making being some of the last to fully develop. This means that for many girls, they lack the capacity to reliably regulate the amount of time they spend on a device and will continue to need adult guidance around this. Similarly, they will most likely lack the neural development required to resist responding to a message from a friend or checking social media. It is so important that we continue to provide clear boundaries and to put in place routines and practices which assist girls to make good choices with technology. Please continue to ensure that you are helping your daughter to manage how and when she is using her device – please be proactive in having her charge her device away from her bedroom, helping her to turn off her notifications, monitoring the amount of time she spends “connected” and talking to her about the challenges of managing technology. We will certainly continue to assist the girls in a school and classroom context to manage their devices responsibly.