On a day to day basis the rules at school are easy to enforce; there are not too many of them and they are all there for a reason. Examples such as: stay within the boundary fencing, clearly for the children’s safety and obvious when the line is crossed.
Others that are not so visible are also clear; be kind to each other, calling pupils by insulting names is obviously unkind.
Both examples are quickly dealt with and parental support is a given.
However, there is a grey area that is creeping ever more into school life. The power of technology. School rules across the country are being updated due to the necessity to remove the ability to connect to the internet through a watch; as clearly we have no means of securing the children’s safety if their school access is not through the safeguarded systems.
Equally, and even more difficult to contain, are the discussions about inappropriate games and apps that the children have access to. Now these games are not accessed at school so therefore surely it is not our problem? However, the discussions in playgrounds and re-enactments of scenes played on a sofa have repercussions in our safe environments.
It is a delicate balancing act. Schools do not want to interfere with family life and home rules, however, we have a duty of care to ensure that those parents who do not wish for their underage child to have knowledge of content that is deemed inappropriate by ratings, and individuals, to come home with information gathered in school.
Schools spend a huge amount of time trying to teach the children the importance of kindness, compassion and solving conflict through discussion and understanding. These are key skills that they will need as they grow up to be young adults of the future. Prep school age pupils do not have the ability to successfully filter appropriate language and actions when transferring them from a screen to the playground.
Whilst I am in agreement that we do not need to wrap our children up in cotton wool and protect them from all that is going on in the world, equally I do not think that we should be ignoring advice and allowing our young children access to games that have been age limited for good reasons.
Childhood is precious and we need to support the children to enjoy it in an age appropriate manner.
Happily, when recently walking this tightrope between home and school rules the surge of support that bounced back was huge. Clearly working together with the best interests of ours sons and daughters means that the line is increasingly blurred, and for good reason, as we all seek to support and nurture the next generation in their development.