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June 15, 2024 7:36 AM

Singleton High Ahead in Mobile Phone Ban

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Year 10 students at Singleton High School Madeline Trickett, Jyztynn Daelle Fontillas and Ruby Watkins are starting to see the benefits of not having access to mobile phones while at school.

Today’s teenager’s phones are typically not far from their hand, but from Term 4 this year, this will no longer be the case when students are at school.

An initiative by the NSW Government will see mobile phone use banned in public secondary schools in a bid to improve students’ learning and social development.

Singleton High School has already seen the positive effects that a mobile phone ban has following the introduction of Yondr Pouches in August 2022.

Yondr Pouches are magnetic, lockable pouches that students are expected to place their mobile phones into before roll call each day, unlocking them at the end of the day at one of the many ‘unlocking’ stations placed around the school grounds.

Deputy Principal Dayna Cowmeadow said the decision to introduce the Yondr Pouches came following an Executive Team meeting discussing the negative effects mobile phone use were creating within the school.

“Teacher frustrations about inappropriate phone use seemed to be increasing, having a negative impact on both learning in the classroom and socially in the playground,” Dayna told The Hunter River Times.

“After investigations, months of consultation and meetings, including gaining support from our P&C, we decided to introduce the Yondr pouches.”

Though there was some backlash from students initially, the effects of the Yondr pouches have been felt at Singleton High, seeing teachers get through more content during their lessons, as well as seeing a revival of the school playground games such as handball and cards.

“Following the weeks when we first introduced the pouches, we noticed a huge difference in the playground where students were talking to each other and not just sitting there on their phones. Handball games have become popular again, and some students even started playing card games together,” Dayna said.

By the Term 4 introduction of the government’s mobile phone ban however, it will just be business as usual for Singleton High.

“We know that mobile phones to teenagers are their lifeline,” Dayna said.

“When we first implemented the pouches, some students would give their phone a kiss before slipping it in the pouch. It is a big cultural change for them. But hopefully when the government ban on mobile phone use is introduced in Term 4, we’ll be ahead of the game.”

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