Weekly Message from the Principal

Weekly Message from the Principal
Weekly Message from the Principal

Disconnect to Reconnect

More than one in 10 children aged eight to 13 are spending the equivalent of 61 days a year online, new figures show.

Study from Cybersafe Ireland, Irish Times, Tuesday 10th September.

Just imagine the full months of June and July spent in front of an Ipad, games console or indeed a computer screen – the full two months not moving, interacting with parents/friends or indeed playing games outside in the sunshine. This alarming figure was presented in the Irish Times on Tuesday by Cybersafe Ireland and it is shocking to see the impact that mobile phones, the internet and social media is having on the youth of today and the future of Ireland’s prosperity. In schools today we are already experiencing the health effects of mobile phones as the above picture demonstrates. So, what can we do? The answer is simple – Disconnect to Reconnect.

Instead of affording us time, mobile phones eventually take away time that we can spend together talking, playing, enjoying each other’s company as a family. This is where we must disconnect (switch off) our mobile phones to have face to face conversations, look someone straight in the eye and ask, ‘How are you feeling today?’. We won’t achieve this if we have our faces down buried into our mobile phone screens feeling anxious to see if someone has liked our message or tweet.

So how can we reconnect in Willow? First thing is we must ban all smart phones on the Junior school campus, secondly, we must get our heads up and politely ask how our fellow classmates and indeed teachers, parents are feeling today? This will be the first and most important rule in the Willow Breakfast Club

I hope that the Breakfast Club open to Senior Infants through to Sixth Form boys will provide the opportunity for the boys to have a healthy meal to begin their school day. But more importantly, the boys will have the chance to sit down with their fellow classmates and talk about the latest sporting event, new movies or indeed homework tasks as they eat their cereal or toast. I will be looking forward to sitting down myself enjoying a Willow breakfast with the boys and listening to any suggestions that they have in ways to improve our Junior school.

I also look forward to Cybersafe Ireland coming into the Junior school to talk to parents and the boys in the coming months on the lasting health effects of the internet, gaming and social media on the youth of today.

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Co. Dublin,

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