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Mobile phones prohibited for years 9 & 10
Cranleigh School, Surrey, has become the  rst in the UK
to prohibit the use of mobile phones for pupils in its  rst two year groups (Years 9 and 10). Staff claim that the move has proved popular with parents and pupils alike.
Deputy Head (Pastoral) Dr Andrea Saxel said: “We were already on the stricter end of smart phone use but this academic year we have decided to limit use in those two-year groups completely. Pupils have plenty of opportunity to contact home via private landlines and e-mail.
“There is extremely compelling evidence to show that constant access to social media sites is damaging to children’s self-esteem and mental health. Staring at a phone screen instead of sitting and having a conversation with friends does not allow children to grow
up with empathy or patience or all the qualities that society and employers value.
“Teenagers do not need the temptation to be checking social media sites during their breaks
and leisure time. We are removing that temptation from them and allowing them time to simply
be children again, to talk and play sport with each other, to make friendships and to grow up without the constant shadow of the smartphone.”
Mounting evidence suggests that ever-present social technology is making teenagers very unhappy. Rates of teenage depression and eating disorders are rising and many researchers claim they can be directly linked to the constant use of social media sites, with reported rates of mental illness directly correlating with increased time spent on the sites. Children’s Commissioner Anne Long eld recently launched a campaign to help parents limit the time their children spend online, stating: “When phones, social media and games make us feel worried, stressed and out of control,
it means we haven’t got the balance right.”
Adolescence is a time for developing social skills, yet in surveys teenagers report going out
less and having fewer relationships than their counterparts in
previous decades. At the same time, social media sites require relentless documenting of
activity and a constant need to present themselves in attractive photographs. Experts in the adolescent years claim that this is putting too much pressure on the teenage brain.
Dr Saxel added: “At Cranleigh
we have a huge range of sports and activities that teenagers take part in and a very busy calendar ensuring that they participate, and yet even in this environment we have still seen the hugely addictive nature of smartphones and social media. It is especially important for the younger years to be able
to grow and develop without constant fear of not looking right or presenting the best image on social media. We want to take away the choice for them and allow them to be children for longer. Our parental body has been extremely supportive and has even asked if we can extend it to other year groups.”
Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow, pupils got to grips with the combined intelligence of humans and machines, as the world’s leading innovation school came to Scotland.
Leading academics have hailed the exclusive partnership between the Glasgow school and NuVu, which challenges the concept of the traditional education system in this country.
The pupils attending NuVu’s design and technology camps worked with experts from MIT and Harvard to explore the combined intelligence of humans and machines to solve problems.
Ian Munro, the school’s Rector, secured the exclusive partnership with NuVu, which aims to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes education. This closely aligns with Mr Munro’s core philosophy to embrace a wide range of ideas to create the best-rounded education possible for his pupils.
He commented: “We are thrilled with the success of the studios that
At the same time as removing mobile phones Cranleigh is trialling a one-to-one iPad device programme with approved apps installed and social media blocked. Technology is used throughout the curriculum and there are specialist departments teaching robotics and performance technology. Pupils have ready access to House and private landlines from which to contact relatives.
“This is not an anti-technology move, we are embracing digital learning in all lessons and extra- curricular activities. It is simply a way of helping teenagers to live with less pressure,” said Dr Saxel.
Cranleigh is hosting a one-day conference on Technology and Teenage Mental Health in March next year, in association with
the Charlie Waller Memorial
Trust. The conference will host Deputies and Pastoral heads from a range of South East schools and feature experts from the  elds of neuroscience, mental wellness and adolescent psychology. A similar conference for parents is also planned.
have been running at Kelvinside Academy. The buzz around the school has been electric and our pupils’ enthusiasm is contagious. The skills they are learning are vital for the world beyond the school gate which is constantly evolving. I’m so pleased our partnership with NuVu has allowed our children to experience a very different, but no less valid, way of learning.
“Inviting world-leading experts
into our school can only help our pupils develop their thinking. It’s awe-inspiring to see some of the work they have produced in just one week. ”
Based in Boston, NuVu was established in 2010. Since then, thousands of pupils experience its unique educational model. Rather than classrooms and subjects, pupils work on collaborative projects, immersing themselves in the creative process and all its challenges,
under the guidance of designers and experts from Harvard and MIT, solving real life problems through a critical and rigorous innovation process.
Aye, Robot
Martha Armstrong, S2 pupil at Kelvinside Academy, shows off the robot she designed and built during the NuVu Swarm Robotics studio at the school. Image courtesy Elaine Livingstone
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