Headmaster's blog:

Tweeting and blogging

Some of those reading this blog will know that I have recently started tweeting. Our boys, along with many other people, of course, were shocked and saddened by the Grenfell Fire and the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, which preceded this disaster. They wanted to do something to raise money for the victims and so we held a cake sale on 21 June. I decided that I would send a tweet on 20 June reminding their parents of this and asking them to give their boys lots of money to spend. The forerunner to my tweet was an email to parents telling them that I had a Twitter account.

I am not sure whether my tweet made any significant difference but we did manage to raise £3,470, which included some very generous donations. Since then I have tweeted twenty four times, including fifteen tweets from the House debating competition on Monday, which were intended to provide parents, and anyone else paying attention, with a running commentary on what was taking place in our debating chamber, also known as the Collyer Hall Theatre. This is our assembly hall, too, and it is a wonderful venue for debating as the raked seating and side galleries bring everyone in close to the speakers. When it is completely full, as it was for the competition at the start of the week, it gets close to being like the House of Commons when there is a major parliamentary occasion. In other words, it is a bear-pit and the speakers really have to be on their mettle. I was standing high up, right at the back, and there was a lovely moment when the House debated the motion, ‘Life is a better teacher than school’. Adam, speaking for the motion, declared, “I am sorry, Headmaster, your system is broken” and everyone turned to look at me. It is, of course, very easy to tweet, especially with my iPhone, which enables me to take a photo, send it directly to my Twitter feed and add appropriate text. iPhones are quite remarkable gadgets and yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the day they first went on sale. Over that period one billion of them have been sold and ten were apparently sold every second in the last three months of 2016. Apple produces desktops, laptops, iPads and iWatches but it is the iPhone which has propelled them to their status as the most profitable company in human history. The iPhone does so much more than enable mobile phone calls. It is an excellent camera, it provides me with a calculator, a torch – I found a dropped cufflink in the dark last night with this facility – a clock, an alarm, a diary, access to the internet and, of course, the opportunity to tweet on the move. There are games, too, but these do not interest me. There are those, however, who argue that disadvantages come with iPhones and mobile technology in general. We are so enslaved by the messages they bring and the information they provide that we fail to build proper relationships with people and gaze at their little screens when we should be listening to the others, talking or even just sleeping. Are they are a curse or a blessing? The truth, as is so often the case, probably lies somewhere in between. iPhones provide us with many advantages and opportunities but they do not provide the same pleasure and satisfaction as time spent with friends and family. This is now my final blog before the summer holiday begins and I can spend more time with my friends and family but I will have to decide whether I should keep tweeting during July and August!

Friday 30 June 2017

30th June 2017

King's College School

Southside, Wimbledon Common,

London SW19 4TT

Senior school

Telephone: 020 8255 5300

Email: reception@kcs.org.uk

Absence line: 020 8255 5303

Junior school

Telephone: 020 8255 5335

Email: hmjssec@kcs.org.uk