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Visual Media Policy

VISUAL MEDIA

CONTEXT

Thornlie Christian College is an interdenominational Christian College that provides complete education from Kindergarten to Year 12. The goal of the College is to offer a quality education where students learn the importance of academic performance, a balanced spiritual life and self-discipline. It is from this that we derive our motto, “Learning for Life”. It is our belief that educational goals are best achieved by providing continuity for students and their families in an atmosphere where relationship and community are fostered and encouraged.

VALUES

We seek to develop in each student the capacity to do the best that they can by using the talents with which they have been blessed. We cultivate an environment in which respect, courtesy, consideration and empathy are the norm rather than the exception. We acknowledge the right of every student to learn in a positive, nurturing and encouraging environment as well as the right of every teacher to be able to teach in a positive, supportive and focussed teaching environment. We enjoy celebrating the successes, achievements and personal victories that mark the life journeys of each of our students.

INTRODUCTON

Thornlie Christian College is primarily a ministry to children from Christian families and it is important that what we present to our students is entirely consistent with the Bible. Visual media are a very useful teaching resource but there are difficulties with their unrestricted use within our College.

This policy is a guide for the use of visual media within the College. It is to be followed when visual media is used within the class context or for general viewing with students.

RATIONALE

Teachers must be aware that visual media can have a significant impact on children. Whilst they are freely and readily available to children outside school, their use in that context is a parental responsibility. Their use here, however, is our responsibility and we must be careful that we are fully aware of the content and material that the visual media contains before it is shown. We are ultimately accountable to God, but in the immediate term, we are accountable to the parents of our College for our decisions in this regard.

We are mindful of the impressionability of children and young people and accept responsibility to ensure that what is presented to our students through the College Curriculum is consistent with our Biblical World View and that its content seeks to build Godly character and instil Christian Values.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” PHILIPPIANS 4:8

PRACTICE

Previewing - All visual media must be previewed by the teacher prior to showing it to students. The teacher must be satisfied that the content material is suitable to the curriculum area to be taught and for the age level of the students.

Suitability - Visual media can be overused in classrooms and can be a substitute for normal classroom teaching. Visual media must be shown in order to achieve a set educational outcome. All visual media must be referred to in a curriculum program and must fit and be appropriate to the context of the overall curriculum. If there is any doubt as to the appropriateness of the visual media, then it should not be shown.

Follow up and De-brief – any visual media shown in class that is part of a teaching curriculum, should be accompanied by a de-briefing lesson and/or activities. Such activities need to be planned and may include:
  • written reviews
  • notes taken in class books;
  • completion of a work sheet; or
  • open classroom discussion.
There should also be included in the program an appropriate teacher evaluation of the effectiveness of the visual media.

Ratings - Visual media is rated by a Censorship Board according to their assessment of their suitability for viewing.
  • A “G” rated film means it is for general exhibition and should be suitable viewing for the school. Caution, however, should be taken for younger children, that concepts are appropriate for the age level viewing the and teachers should be sensitive to the wishes of parents. Not all “G” rated films are entirely suitable. Even “G” rated s should be previewed before showing.
  • As a general rule, any rated “PG” should not be shown in its entirety to children of primary age. Where there is variation from these guidelines, a teacher should consult their Assistant Principal before showing the .
  • As a general rule, “M” s should not be shown in their entirety to any students younger than 15 years. This includes being shown as part of a lesson or for entertainment value.
Types of Films - It is highly inappropriate for films that contain explicit sex, adult themes, bad language, violence or occult content to be shown unless it’s use can be clearly substantiated and justified. Such films may be appropriate in supporting curriculum outcomes for senior students however it is advisable for teachers showing films of questionable content to contact the parents before showing either the complete film or an extract from the film.

Extracts from Films - Films that are rated “PG” or “M” may be shown in part using extracts from the main film, as long the teacher is selective in the portions that are shown. This can be a very effective teaching resource, especially in the Senior School, to provoke or initiate good classroom discussion. The entire film does not need to be shown for the film to be a valuable teaching resource. It simply needs a bit of forethought before showing.

General Viewing - It is inappropriate for some students to be excluded from watching the visual media. The general rule should be that it is appropriate for all students or it should not be shown.

Pirated s - Only original copies or approved copies under the copyright regulations may be shown in the College. If you are in any doubt as to whether a film should be kept or shown, please talk to the Business Manager. The College cannot sanction the showing of illegal visual media.

Copyright - Teachers can show visual media that has been copied from free-to-air television, as the copyright laws permit limited viewing of such material.

Camps and Bus Trips - Visual media shown on camps and bus tours must be first selected by the teacher and is to be appropriate for the age level within the school guidelines. Visual media may not be selected by the bus driver. Any visual media shown should first be previewed by the supervising teacher, so that it can be “fast forwarded” through inappropriate sections.