The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Middle School

A quick survey of our Year 8 students who attended an ANZAC Service during holidays indicated that over half of our boys were either at a Dawn Service or a local council Breakfast Service this year. This is impressive and consistent with trends seen across the country. In the last fifteen years, nationally, we have seen an increase in numbers at ANZAC Day services, particularly youth numbers, reflecting on and respecting the contribution of service men and women that have gone before us. For those who have yet to visit the College's new Heritage Centre in the Memorial Hall, the displays of student memorabilia of the war years is well worth seeing. Arthur Bannister (8.6S) represented Scotch College by laying a wreath at this year's Town of Claremont ANZAC Day Service.

Last week's ySafe cyber safety incursion by Jordan Foster to all Year 8 boys and then presented again for parents the same evening was a timely reminder of the codes of conduct and levels of awareness we all need to have in the digital, online world we increasingly live within. A key message or reminder is that we all have a digital footprint. Everything we do online helps create a personal brand of sorts that can be seen by others, well beyond our regular interaction group. It is important that the footprint we create as students is a positive one, one that we do not regret in 5 or 6 years' time.

The value of last week's presentations will be enhanced if, as teachers and as parents, we have critical conversations with our boys on how they use the range of social media platforms that exist. I will not say boys love rules and structure, but they value knowing the rules and where boundaries lie. Jordan highlighted her ABC of cyber management as: Control ACCESS, Set BOUNDARIES, Openly COMMUNICATE. The appearance of anonymity in the digital world is very misleading and a trap for young people and so our combined conversations, guidance and building of knowledge until our boys are old enough to know when enough is enough, and what is appropriate or not are critical conversations to have and sustain.

A summary of Jordan's presentation and access to her resources and helpline can be found when you click here and head to the Parent's Guide to Cyber Safety. This is where you can access the parent guide that summarises the information discussed during the session, and other practical templates like our digital contract. Feel free to look at other areas of the site, including useful websites for parents and other helpful tools.

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School