24th January 2020
We are working hard at HDHS to ensure the ethos of the school is one of learning, reading and working together and that it is a place of opportunity to secure future success and choices. In order to establish a mindset and culture of learning as soon as the students enter the premises, we have amended the entrance protocol to include a ban on earphones being used on the school premises.
We currently have the school rule of mobile phones and earphones to not be seen or heard in the building and certainly not in lessons. At present, mobile phones are not impacting on the learning in the classroom as there are very few problems with the rule being broken. However, earphones are disrupting the school day in the following ways:
- The current rule of them not being seen is not being respected and adhered to by a significant number of students. This takes up staff time in speaking to students at all points around the school about it.
- The wearing of earphones around the school is a visual sign of non-compliance and a signal that conversations in the school with teachers and students are of little importance: not being given the full attention they should.
- The wearing of earphones cuts a student off socially. They create a barrier to oracy and developing oracy is a priority of the school.
- Anytime earphones are seen in lessons it interrupts the flow of teaching and learning as it takes up time in dealing with it. This is disruptive to the effective education of the class.
- The prevalence of wireless earphones has become a divisive status symbol. It also means that there is a possibility that they will be surreptitiously worn and go unnoticed, therefore preventing the learning of at least that student.
- Perhaps most importantly, persistent use of earphones can cause damage: the hair cells inside the ears, vital for hearing, can become bent by earphones and permanently damaged, as well as the volume having a long term, sometimes irreversible, detrimental impact on the ability to actually hear.
So, from Monday 27th January, earphones and headphones will be banned from the school site. Students will be expected to remove them upon crossing the threshold of the school and to place them in their bags until they have left the school site.
If earphones or headphones are seen, they will be confiscated, to be collected by the student at the end of the day. Any refusal will result in contact being made with you, the parent, and a sanction issued.
To avoid the same action being taken with mobile phones, students must use them responsibly and adhere to the rules.
Additionally, there is a serious safety issue at present with some of our bikeriders. We have a number of students who ride their bike to school, and we fully encourage this. However, can we please ask that you encourage your child to wear a cycle helmet and to ride responsibly. We have had a number of reports from residents that HDHS students have been seen riding dangerously on the main roads, causing a safety issue for themselves and also the drivers and pedestrians around them. If we observe a student riding irresponsibly to or from school, or of it is reported to us, we will issue a warning to the student that a repeat of the incident will result in them no longer being permitted to park their bike in our bike sheds during the school day.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
Mrs Kate Finch