Home' Focus : Focus Magazine Spring 2014 Contents FOCUS | SPRING 2014 | 9
The learning partnership between school
and home is a cyclic three way process
between students, parents and teachers.
This was highlighted recently with the cyber
safety parent and student workshops hosted
on the Elphin Campus for all students and
families from Prep to Year 5.
Communication about learning with
technology was the central focus.
Marissa Saville (Primary Coordinator),
Brendan Vince (Director or eLearning
Technologies), Kylie Wolstencroft (Wellbeing
Coordinator) and Megan Booth (Junior
School Counsellor) provided expert advice on
the current and future trends on cyber safety.
The responsibility is with all of us to support
learning with technologies; this balance
includes having conversations with learners
about being safe online and minimising risks.
These cyber safety workshops highlight the
positive influence that a connected learning
community can have upon each other.
Deputy Head of Junior School
in the Dark
Scotch Oakburn College Junior School values
community learning opportunities and are always
looking to engage with our learners.
During Term 3, students from Prep Jones
and their families gathered at Trevallyn Reserve
one evening to explore and observe nocturnal
animals in their natural habitat. Mr. Jones (Mrs.
Jones’ husband), who is a wildlife ranger for
the Department of Primary Industries and
Environment, led the night walk as part of the
students Unit of Inquiry, ‘Eyes in the Dark’.
As a community, everyone gathered together
with torches in hand, and excitedly crept through
the Reserve to see how many nocturnal creatures
they could see. The animals didn’t disappoint,
with a sugar glider, several possums and many
wallabies making an appearance.
The following day, students hypothesised about
what makes nocturnal animals different to other
animals. Through researching a nocturnal animal
of their choice, they concluded that an animal’s
physical characteristics play a vital role in the way
They also discovered that there are many
advantages to being nocturnal. “Animals that don’t
sleep at night have more chance of finding food to
eat,” said Lachlan.
“Nocturnal animals’ brains are different to ours,
they just know to sleep of a day,” said Elizabeth.
Scientific literacy, creative arts and technology
were specifically targeted learning areas for this
unit. The opportunity to experience learning in a
variety of settings supports our school’s philosophy
(and educational research) that authentic learning
doesn’t only occur inside the classroom or even
within the designated school day.
Learning happens at all times and in many
different contexts. It was also very special to
observe the students sharing their learning with
Early Primary Teacher
Living in cyber world
When asked by the Junior School wellbeing
counsellor, Megan Booth, at recent cyber
safety sessions what they used technology
for, students from Prep to Year 5 responded
with answers like: to learn, to have fun, to play
games, to communicate, and to research.
The fact is that most children today have
never known a world without the internet. It
is a part of everyday life that is often taken
for granted, and knowing about the risks is
important, but technology is not something to
be scared of.
Just as we teach children to be safe when
crossing the road, to not talk to strangers, and
to follow road rules, we need to teach children
about being safe when online.
Students have been learning the key cyber
• Don’t put your name and age on the internet
• Don’t tell anyone your password
• Don’t talk to strangers
• Only go on websites that your parents or
• If something or someone makes you feel
bad on the internet, tell an adult
• Only use apps or websites that are
appropriate for your age
• Beware of potential viruses on email and on
• Think before you post – once it is on the
internet, it can’t be retrieved
• Think before you post – how would you feel
if this was aimed at you?
Open communication and understanding
of the purpose and types of technologies that
a child uses is very important. Technology
is a social support structure for many;
inappropriate use should not result in the loss
of the technology. Rather, the behaviour and
reasoning that caused that choice to be made
should be addressed.
Parents need to develop open discussion
pathways with their child about what they do
online and the technologies and apps that
they use. Wherever possible be present and
interested in what your child is doing.
Apps should be age appropriate – many are
recommended for over 13 years of age (e.g .
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, tumblr. The
age limit on Kik is 17 years of age).
Further cyber safety resources for parents
created by the Australian Government and
Federal Police are available on The Dash via
the Wellbeing link, then clicking on the ‘Are you
Cyber Savvy’ button.
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