Principal’s Update: Academic Assembly & Mobile Phones

March 27, 2024  
Dr Julie Greenhalgh - Principal

Academic Assembly

Last week, the students in the Senior School attended the annual Academic Excellence Assembly. In the assembly, Mr Breheny, Head of Academics, spoke about our definition of academic excellence and then interviewed a student from last year’s Year 12 cohort, Kyle El Husseini, about his academic journey at school and especially during Year 12.

Over the years, I have attended many such assemblies at different schools but I have never attended an Academic Excellence Assembly where the message was clearer: academic excellent isn’t an outcome, it is the journey – a journey of endeavour, courage and persistence; a journey of facing the learning challenges with grit and focus and not shying away from hard work. I am sure that students left the assembly with renewed determination to give their studies ‘their best shot’.

Mobile Phones and The Upcoming Holidays

Earlier this week, I listened to a TV segment which reported briefly on a movement in the USA, “Wait Until Eight” (ie Year 8) which is, apparently, aimed at encouraging parents to delay the purchase of a mobile phone for their children until they are in Year 8, at the earliest.

While I strongly endorse delaying the purchase of a mobile phone until as late as possible, I appreciate that some parents believe that their children need a phone at an earlier age, especially if they are catching public transport to and from school.

My advice to parents is to maintain ownership of the mobile phone for as long as possible. Undoubtedly, parents purchase the phone and pay the monthly bill, so I suggest that parents make it known to their children that the mobile phone belongs to the parents. The parents may then choose to lend the phone to their child as they walk out the door on his/her way to school and to reclaim it when the child returns in the afternoon. This approach means that parents know the password to the phone, and have every right to insist that it be kept on the charger in the kitchen at night-time.

Sometimes, these types of routines fall away in the school holidays. I encourage all parents to maintain strict vigilance over social media usage in the holidays. Rather, at this beautiful time of the year, it is beneficial for the students to be outdoors, involved in physical activity and not spending their days in front of the computer screen or on a mobile phone.


I hope that you and your family are able to attend a Church service this Easter as we remember God’s love for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.



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