It has been fantastic to have the sun shining and our boys this week, while outdoors exercising. We have definitely noticed an increased level of well-being in our students.
We have been very fortunate to host JOHN PARSONS this week. John spoke to every student and all staff, as well as those parents who attended his seminar in the evening. His messages were fantastic and his own life story inspirational. I sat in several of the student talks, our boys were engaged and interested in the key messages that came through.
The key messages that John expressed started with our role as parents in “Anchoring our children to what’s important” his three steps in keeping young people safe online included
1. Educating them to understand the value of self
2. Educating them to respect and protect family and friends
3. Educating them to broadcast decency and positive values across the internet.
John used past experiences and stories to expand on these three key messages, including the hidden messages our young people pick up through their first and most important role models, us as parents. This included parents having an active connection with their sons social media profiles, as well as an interest in the games our boys play online, in the same way we would do for a sport or cultural pursuit.
For me personally, his message around our young people being in bedrooms with doors shut, on social media and online gaming, with access to the world and all the hidden dangers that are associated with this, resonated. His solutions around safe use of devices and the cyber world, are based on open discussion and honesty, based on family rules and values. This is something that I see could make the world our young people are growing up in, a safer place.
John has written a book “Keeping your children safe online a guide for New Zealand parents” I thoroughly encourage you to read it, it can be purchased via his website www.johnparsons.nz. He also has a Facebook account with lots of valuable tips and advice search him at John Parsons S2E https://www.facebook.com/johnparsonsS2E/
Next week we celebrate our special character and the feast day of St Thomas Beckett. Alongside a lot of fun activities throughout the week, we celebrate our faith and special character on Thursday morning with a special mass. This celebration is the most important event on our calendar and a time where we can come together as a community and celebrate our faith.
We have been through a process of re-developing our website, it has been a considerable amount of work and time. We are very proud of the finished product and feel it reflects our school and community. It also has a calendar with all school events and dates, this will also be our key forum for sharing information. We hope to launch the new website early next week.