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Bishops: Diocesan College - Prep Post
FRIDAY 18 August 2017
Dear Parents

iPads / Screen Time / Social Media, etc

I was surprised to hear a while ago that boys were bringing their iPads on play dates and to sleepovers at each other’s homes. Then, on the way back from the Grade 7 tour on which no cell phones had been allowed, I heard one Grade 7 remark to another, “Can you imagine what’s sitting on my cell phone? I’m going to have thousands of messages, and the spam ….!” It’s not long ago that both would have been inconceivable.

As adults we have had to slowly (some much more quickly than others) accept the integration of technology into the lives of our boys. Our one-on-one iPad programme is testimony to our acceptance of this, with the iPads employed to enhance teaching and learning and to provide learning experiences not possible without such devices. Similarly, social media is a part of our lives to varying degrees, and for boys almost a non-negotiable as a means of easy communication often on a broad scale, particularly in the Grade 6 and 7 years. In both areas we need to be teaching our boys how to use what is available for good purposes, to add to their lives and growing up, rather than control or diminish their experience of life.

We are concerned about the amount of screen time some of our boys are exposed to. As a school we have an iPad protocol and iPads are not used in every lesson all the time. Writing, discussing and listening still form an integral and essential part of teaching and learning and when iPads are not needed they have to be put away. The boys are not allowed to use them except under supervision of a teacher, so not at breaks, waiting for lifts, etc. This breaks down, of course; boys do take chances and we do deal with these incidents when they occur. Similarly, screen time has to be controlled at home and I have a few suggestions but ultimately you, as the parents, make the choice and manage usage. But research does show that too much screen time does deprive children of other development: emotional, physical, relational and creative.

  • Your son will seldom have homework of more than half an hour on his iPad. I would not allow more than half an hour for recreational use per week day and a bit more on the weekend.
  • He shouldn’t get in the car and sit on his iPad all the way home – talking, looking out of the window, day dreaming are great and important down time after a school day.
  • We all see families out for a meal at a restaurant where the children are busy on their phones or iPads – I often wonder why they bother to go out as a family if they are not going to talk to each other.
  • Phones and iPads should not stay in a child’s bedroom overnight – we know of instances where messaging goes on into the early hours.
  • Have your son’s password and tell him you will look at what he is doing from time to time.
  • 3G/sim cards are not allowed at school – it’s your decision as to what to do at home. If it’s only Wi-Fi, you can introduce online controls.

One of our parents, Kirsty Horn, has a wonderful take on how families can embrace their children’s use of social media and time on portable devices so that boys learn how to best utilise these and also learn how to control their usage, both in terms of appropriateness and time. A notice was sent out earlier this week advertising her presentation (here) which takes place in the Jagger Hall this Wednesday, 23 August and I urge you to attend if you can. She will also be presenting something similar to our Grade 7s. Her presentations are positive, uplifting and very practical.

Best wishes

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Prep Family Service

Memorial Chapel

11h00 to 12h00

Friday 25 August 2017 Civvies Day

Further details under TAKE Note
Thursday 31 August 2017 Grade 7 Design and Technology Evening

Further details under TAKE Note


Music Achievements

In the June ABRSM practical exams our boys faired very well indeed. We are very proud of them and their teachers. We had 24 candidates and our average mark was 130/150 - 87%. The world average is 117/150 - 78%.

We would like to single out two of our boys for their exceptional results.

Christopher Gray 5M Piano Grade 1 achieved 141/150 - 94%.

James Grieve 5T passed his Grade 4 Voice with Distinction.


Civvies Day


Civvies Day is on Friday 25 August. Boys are asked to bring a can or packet of dog or cat food to school. The donations will be given to various animal organisations from Khayelitsha to the Karoo. Bowls, blankets, brushes and leads are also welcome.

Save the Date


Is this our teachers practising a rain dance? Don't forget to save the dates - 20th, 21st and 22nd September for a great performance! Bookings will open soon.

Grade 7 Design and Technology Evening



Acts of Kindness
Three Grade 3 boys, Leo Cohen, Sam Bey and Kai Bacher, decided to forgo birthday gifts and donate the funds to a worthy cause instead. The money will be used towards rugby jerseys for the Vusa Rugby Academy's U9 Busy Bees teams. These boys are to be commended for their selfless and caring behaviour and are a credit to their school!
Rick Bear Winners
The deserving winners of the Rick Bear this week are the U9 C and E Teams. Very well done to them!
Fir Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
Phone:+27 (21) 659 7222 | Fax: +27 (21) 659 7227