Friday 18th March 2016
A questionable recreation
As our series of veritas lectures continues, Dr Aric Sigman’s talk on the contentious issue of recreational screen time attracted the curiosity of many. As a thought leader on matters of health education, Dr Sigman’s candid approach is, as one might expect, well informed, respected and authoritative. But is the danger of excessive screen time one of those inconvenient truths that we just don’t want to hear? Apparently not…
During the school day girls in Lower IV and above engaged in an interactive workshop in which they considered the different types of screens we use and what impact the frequency of that use might have. The girls quickly grasped the concepts being debated, responding intelligently and with maturity. Feedback has been very good and we’ve had reports of girls going home the same evening and instigating their own changes to digital consumption in light of what they had learned.
As the day turned to night and we would ordinarily be aiding our digestive system with a dose of Sherlock, Downton Abbey or Doctor Who, Dr Sigman achieved his second small win, by getting us off the sofa and into the Chapel at St Augustine’s Priory to engage with his presentation for ‘the grown ups’.
Parents, neighbours and members of the community learned of the impact recreational screen time has on one’s physical health, social wellbeing, emotional development and academic performance. The audience then heard of the significant degree to which this activity is influenced by role models and simple measures parents can take to manage associated risks.
The presenter was charismatic and his advice practical. A parent’s feedback included:
“I just wanted to say what a fabulous talk you organised for us. It was very thought provoking and I’m so glad that I was able to attend.”
Many in attendance remarked that the talk had better prepared them to tackle this subject with their children in an informed manner.
We are delighted that this calibre of industry leader was so well received by our community and extend our thanks to all those who supported the event. We also thank parents for their patience and encouragement in response to girls’ possible new-found enthusiasm for switching off the television and embracing the world of recreational literature, conversation and, dare I say it, moments filled only with thought.
Dr Sigman’s handout is available to download on the parent portal under ‘events’.