Friday, 24th February 2017
I was fascinated to listen to the Moral Maze on Radio 4 this week. It was about post truth news coverage and the fact, if such things still exist, that there seems to be very little concern to provide news which is factual. It seems that with the dominance of social media and the importance of stories which are exciting rather than factual, that getting at the truth is of far less importance than in the past. I find this whole discussion terrifying. I was meditating upon this when my son got into the car and, after I had sketched out the subject of the programme, asked me "Well daddy, what is truth?" Of course it was none other than Pilate himself who asked this question and in some way I had some difficulty in answering him. Something though very strongly inside me wanted to tell him that it was all very simple, that one definition of truth was a statement which corresponded to the facts. Of course worshipping in a Cathedral in which the father of idealism, Bishop Berkeley is buried, one knows that there is a huge degree of naivety in this statement, nonetheless it is, as educators one that we need to hang on to. We need to reinforce with our pupils that they need to tell "the truth". Without telling the truth, proper social interaction becomes impossible, proper friendship becomes impossible, trust in one another disintegrates and the ground upon which one walks becomes unstable. I passionately believe that we should try to account for events truthfully and that our personal histories should be told straightforwardly and our lives lived honestly. Ultimately sensationalist fiction is not as interesting as even the dullest reality, because reality is - well - real!
There is also, I believe, emotional truth and it seems obvious to me that there are ways of living and behaving that will make everyone happier and will lead to their flourishing and there are ways of behaving which lead to the opposite. It is crucial too that we teach our pupils how to live properly. CCCS will be a truth society.
Despite that assertion, I have decided that we will follow Donald Trump's lead in having a Twitter account for the school, though I do not expect that our account will have such a global impact! I will undertake to ensure that the Twitter account conveys only what is true and from it I hope that you will be able to gain an accurate sense of the day - to - day life of the school from it.
I suspected that in the week following our inspection that we might have a quiet week.... Faint hope! I have been very pleased with the way in which our Form 8s have conducted themselves during their mock exams and I want to wish the three boys who will be taking academic scholarship exams in the next few weeks, to Radley, Abingdon and Eton, all the very best.
Next week looks as though it will be even busier.... I am so grateful to all the tremendously hard working staff for making this possible. What a joy it is to work in such a busy and lively place.