While the use of smart phones in schools continues to be hotly debated up and down the country, the challenge of Heritage’s ‘Screen Free Week’ last term, gave many the chance to review their use of screens at home.
Around 1/3 of Heritage families told the School Office that they took the Screen Free Challenge – there may have been more. Feedback was varied, some found it impossible, others found it harder than in previous years, some faced opposition from their children and other families were thankful for it. We have shown below a handful of testimonies.
(1) ‘For me, it was a real change. I would love to simply throw away my phone and laptop for good (if the world allowed it!) They take my attention away from the children – who really feel it and don’t like it. So, to be able to tell friends that I was having a screen free week and wouldn’t be replying to non-urgent emails, was very freeing. (Although, some of my friends didn’t like it!)’
(2) ‘We found we rediscovered the library, which we had got out of the habit of visiting. When our daughter received homework … we would have usually used the internet to answer this. It was fun to go to the library again, I checked out a few books and read beyond the homework references. Certainly a lot gained from not just looking the answers up on the internet.’
(3) ‘All in all, a slightly tougher screen free week than previously, if I’m honest! (Admittedly, we relented with the football and a couple of other things over the weekend.) An observation was that I worked harder midweek, than when not on screen free week… keeping going with jobs seemed easier than reading…’
(4) ‘The screen free week was more challenging than expected. Having said that, we managed to have some quality family time playing Monopoly & various other games. I would like to say thanks to all the speakers who gave such enlightening teaching during the Parent Information & Discussion Evening. It was an eye opener.’
(5) ‘Screen Free… was good! I deleted facebook on my phone and was more present at breakfast time and the end of the day… We found cbeebies radio (on bbc radio iplayer app) and youtube famous five audio books, helpful… and I read books to the boys at the dinner table! We are thankful for the week to rethink our patterns and habits!’
(6) ‘Our boys love to come home on a Friday and watch their favourite programmes after their swimming lesson, but last week they were delighted to make giant ice-cream sundaes and construct an enormous den in their bedroom instead!’