Term 2, Issue 2: Wellbeing | Siena College
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New Victorian Child Safe Standards

Siena College is in the process of updating policies, documents and practices that are in line with the new Victorian Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order No. 1359 (MO 1359), Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools and school boarding premises. The latter provides a framework for how schools can action the eleven new Victorian Child Safe Standards which will come into effect from 1 July 2022. This is an opportunity to build on our existing child safety policies and practices to address the eleven Standards.

The central considerations of upholding the primacy of the safety and wellbeing of children and young people; empowering families, children, young people and staff to have a voice and raise concerns; and implementing rigorous risk management and employment practices, remain key considerations.

Updated and revised policies and guidelines will be shared with our community and updated on the College website.

Screen Time

As a result of the global pandemic, there has been a noticeable shift in the amount of time people spend on screen-based devices. Families are transitioning back to pre-COVID routines but many are still struggling to re-establish the boundaries and rules around screen use. Some continue to deal with digital conflict and tech-tantrums on a daily basis. The latest research found that seventy-seven percent of teenagers spend more than five hours on screens per day, but it is important to note that not all screen time is considered equal.

Parents play a crucial role in modelling a positive and healthy approach towards using screens and assisting children to navigate the content they watch. It is better to model and mentor screen use, rather than monitor it. Children tend to do more of what they see us do, and less of what we tell them to do. However, it is still important to outline the risks and highlight the benefits of screen use to ensure you keep a balanced attitude. Encourage discussions around the issues that people experience in monitoring their screen time and be honest about your own difficulties.

Parents need to remain firm in their approach to managing screen time. Excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child’s overall wellbeing. Ensuring the correct privacy settings are in place is vital to prevent children from being inadvertently exposed to inappropriate content or online predators. Parents need to also be mindful of the potential impact screen time can have on a child’s social, emotional, educational, behavioural, and even physical domains. Reminding your child that they should not be on phones whilst at school is also important in supporting the partnership between home and school.

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents and guardians will be provided with a range of guidelines and strategies to help manage screen time at home.

Free Online Parenting Workshops

Steve Biddulph AM is one of the world’s best known parent educators. A psychologist for three decades, he is now retired but continues to write and teach. Steve’s live talks have had a remarkable public response, reaching 140,000 people to date. Many people express surprise at how moving and emotional these talks are, as well as how much fun.

If you are interested to attend one of his free online parenting workshops, click here for booking details.

Antonella Rosati

Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching
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