Head's View

4 October 2019

I might not have the Maths department’s mastery of Pilish (in which the lengths of consecutive words correspond to the digits of the number pi), but I did enjoy their equation limericks: what a treat to have our teachers’ favourite poems displayed on classroom doors for National Poetry Day this week. Poems invite us to look at the world through fresh eyes, and the English department did just that with thought-provoking assemblies on this year’s theme of truth. It’s an almost painfully relevant topic, and the selection of verse chosen by Upper V and Lower VI students took in its many strands: deception, trust, fact, honesty, shared understanding. Their choices prompted some important questions: how do we recognise truth? What does it feel like to be deceived? How can we trust what we read and hear and see around us?

Former Head of Eton Tony Little writing recently in the TES stressed the importance of teaching our children critical thinking skills as a means of successfully navigating their online experience, in particular: ‘“Fake news” is not just a slick term to describe a passing fad. The online world’s capacity to twist and misrepresent has the potential to grow into an overwhelming cancer… Teaching children to distinguish between the fake and the real underpins their ability to see right from wrong.’ It’s why posing questions to which there are no easy answers is a vital part of what goes on in our classrooms.

Budding poets are invited to submit their pieces on the theme of truth by 15 November, so if your daughter loves experimenting with words and ideas do encourage her to have a go.

A word or two of congratulations: to our brilliantly successful swimmers and to all our Upper IV who have risen so superbly to this week’s Charity Challenge. Well done!

Wishing you a happy weekend

Jan Cresswell