Mobile Phone Agreement for Middle School (G6 to G8)

Catherine Chiuco

The Primary school has spent the last year looking hard at our Home Learning Policy. A collective of teachers and leaders met on a regular basis to review this policy. Our first step was to reflect on the existing policy, and to raise concerns and questions. We then began researching home learning and tried to find out what up-to-date studies have shown, as well as, what other school were doing. In order to make meaningful and relevant changes we asked all stakeholders (students, parents, and teachers) to tell us what they think about our home learning: strengths and weaknesses. All this information was then analysed for commonalities and finally synthesized into a new Home Learning Policy in the Primary School. Below you will find details of the policy including our key objectives, beliefs, and vision for the future. The big idea here is that we would like to focus on LEARNING. Whether inside or outside the school we aim to maximize the learning opportunities for our students. As members of our school community, and as parents, you play an essential role in facilitating and promoting our school’s home learning policy.

A new mobile phone agreement in the Middle School had been implemented . Students in Grades 6 to 8 are not allowed to use a mobile phone during the school day, including break times, and while participating in any school-related activity.

Please note that our Middle School are allowed to bring their phones to school, as long as these are switched off and out of sight during the day. They may switch on their phones at the end of the lessons for you to arrange pick up and to access any other important messages you shared with them during the day. 

It has been a pleasure to walk through the corridors and atrium during breaks and see students playing cards, taking up a Lego challenge and simply having a chat and a laugh with their peers and friends

The Leaders of Student Developement are particularly pleased with the positive feedback from parents and students. Questions were received for clarification on the new agreement. For your convenience, here some frequent Questions and Answers:

Q: Is there any entertainment for my child during break? 
A: We have provided students with board games during breaks in the Atrium and Chess in the Library. Furthermore, we encourage all students to engage in physical activity in the Gym, while the weather is still hot and outside when the weather cools down. We are also expanding quiet study areas inside and outside the library for students who wish to study during break time. 

Q: How do I contact my child in case of an emergency
A:There are no changes to our practice in an emergency situation. You can contact the school on 44338600. Our Front Office Admin will locate your son or daughter in the classroom. 

Q: How do I contact my child for arrangements at pick up time? 
A: Your child may switch on the phone at 2:25pm, at the end of classes (12:05 pm on Tuesdays). You can leave instructions in a message or call them at this time. 


Q: If one sibling needs to leave school early, how will the other sibling be informed?
A: The student who needs to leave early, can speak to their sibling during break, or can leave a message with the relevant LoSD or HR teacher. 

 

As well as the obvious social disadvantages of phone use in school, recent research has shown that their persistent presence may come at a cognitive cost. Our Leaders of Student Development would like to highlight the research carried out by Ward et al, which underlines that even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention—as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones—the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capacity. This research has been published by the University of Chicago Press Journals and you can access it on this link.

Finally, here is the ISL Qatar Smartphone Policy.