Secondary Pastrol

Help teens resist the pull of social media 

Next Tuesday we will be recognising “Social Media Kindness Day”. In a time where social media plays such a huge part in people’s lives, it’s important to recognise the impact that negative statements and online “trolling”, through any online platform can have on the victims of this type of abuse. 

Social Media Kindness Day was started in an attempt to raise awareness on the 9th of November for the need to #BEKIND on social media on this and every other day. You can find out out more or pledge your support for this worthwhile event here. 

How do you convince a teenager to kick their Instagram habit? You might point out that cutting back on social media may help them sleep. Or that what they post in private might become public later. 

But as a rule, teenagers don’t enjoy adults telling them what to do or think—so this approach can backfire. Here’s an idea that new research shows can be effective: harnessing a teenager’s need for independence. 

If you show teenagers the many tricks social-media companies use to make their platforms irresistible and how this scheme drives their advertising revenue. For example, the pull-to-refresh design mimics slot machines, and the thrill of someone liking a post keeps people coming back for more. 

You can also share data showing that half of Australian teenagers report feeling addicted to their phones. Armed with this information, the teens could see controlling their own social-media use as a way to reclaim independence from these companies—and to demand less-addictive technology. 

Of course, social media has benefits. It allows for creative expression, for example, and enables social connections. Beyond cutting back, then, we want to help teenagers maximize “time well spent” on social media in a way that nourishes their values and leaves them feeling fulfilled, not addicted.. 

Do help your teenagers understand how social-media platforms hook you. Consider watching the documentary “The Social Dilemma” together on family movie night. Let kids see how changing their social-media behaviour is an act of autonomy that can contribute to a more just world.  

From the Heads of 7-9 and 10-12

It is great to see our students feeling happy to be back at the College with their teachers and peers. As we chat to the students during break times, we are observing much laughter and smiles, something we are all happy to experience again following lockdown.

This week, Secondary students will complete the Term 4 Tutor Wellness Challenge, where students have been set two easy to achieve activities to complete to help them reflect on, and develop strategies towards, positive mental health and wellbeing. These activities included giving themselves three compliments, meditating, and journaling thoughts and feelings. Well done to all students who got involved with this beneficial experience.

Next week for Wellbeing Wednesday we will be hearing from our guest speaker, Gillian Davis. Gillian has extensive experience engaging and inspiring both adults and students through communicating timeless truths within contemporary culture. She will address students and welcome their questions at the end. The speaker will start at 11.30 at the beginning of Period 4, and run into Tutor time.

The Care and Wellbeing Team are continuing to work busily behind the scenes developing the roll-out and implementation of our Pastoral Program which will commence in secondary in 2022, The Resilience Project, which develops student skills and strategies around Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness, and Emotional Literacy.

A reminder that we are now in Summer uniform. This means that all students must wear hats outside. Boys are in shorts and short-sleeved uniforms now. Also, please ensure all long hair is tied back in a tidy manner for female students if applicable, and all males have neat haircuts with short back and sides, as per the College Uniform Policy.

We wish all students well for the current assessment block. Timetables and relevant information has been communicated via email to students and parents at the beginning of the week. Please remind students to ensure they are getting adequate sleep, eating healthily, and ensuring they still partake in some physical activity which, as we all know, is crucial to positive mental health and wellbeing.

Mr Cummings and Mrs Carlson


Ms Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary School