Caloundra City Private School will have a no phone policy for 2020.Year 11 student Eloise Whitney will be leaving her phone at home.
Caloundra City Private School will have a no phone policy for 2020.Year 11 student Eloise Whitney will be leaving her phone at home.

Screens off: Coast school’s new no phones policy

CALOUNDRA City Private School have introduced a "no phones" policy in a bid to help students disconnect from their screens.

According to the latest research from University of the Sunshine Coast associate professor Dr Michael Nagel, technology is having a significant impact on children's developing minds and their ability to learn.

His studies found students who spend more than three hours per school day on electronic devices have higher rates of poor sleep, academic achievement and stress.

Dr Nagel said electronic devices, in particular phones, were one of the top reasons children lack social skills.

"If you take phones out of the equation, kids are going to have to get back to socialising," Dr Nagel said.

"One of the growing issues is children are spending more time in the virtual world and not the real world.

"At all ages whether you're five, 15 or 20 all aspects of healthy development happen through social interaction and that can't happen through a device."

In response to this, for the last three months Caloundra City Private School has implemented the policy where students are required to turn their phones off until the end of the day.

Should all schools adopt a "no phones" policy?

This poll ended on 09 October 2019.

Current Results

Yes, I think it's a great idea.

97%

No, kids need phones these days.

0%

I'm not sure.

2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Acting head of senior school and head of sport and outdoor education Dr Peter McMahon is the brains behind it, inspired by research from a variety of resources including by Dr Nagel of the USC 'Everything is Not OK'.

"This policy was also based on observations of students over the past five or so years as mobile technologies became more accessible, powerful and cheaper," Dr McMahon said.

Dr McMahon put the idea forward to the Student Leadership Team who endorsed it, even though it would be a difficult habit to ignore.

"We introduced it to give the students a chance to focus on what is happening around them and their friends rather than remaining connected to the outside world," Dr McMahon said.

"They were missing so many things - conversations with each other, what is going past them, real focus on what is being taught, interacting with others, respecting others.

"We were also concerned about their safety as they were walking near car parks (and) roads looking at their devices rather than what is happening around them."

Parents and educators joined Dr Nagel and CCPS on Tuesday to discuss the impact technology has on a child's developing brain and their wellbeing.



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