A Message from Headmaster Jason Fletcher
During the third week of June, we will be holding our Heritage Screen Free Week. It is usually an annual event, which had to be set aside for the past two years, but one which is now more necessary than ever, given the way the pandemic has affected our lives. Now that life is returning to something more like normal, we are pleased to be resuming the tradition once again.
The idea is that from 8am on Monday morning the 13th of June until 8am on Monday the 20th of June, families commit to not using their televisions, computers, video game consoles, tablets and smartphones. It is intended to be a total ‘digital detox’. (We accept that use of phones and computers may be necessary for work and essential communications by adults; pupils should not have access to their smartphone, if they have one.)
This idea will seem alarming —even impossible—to many of us because our devices are so deeply embedded into our lives. There is no denying they are useful. The problem is that they are captivating. They can stop us from giving our whole attention to the things that are right in front of us, or prevent our children from ever feeling bored (a necessary condition for creativity), or disconnect us from those closest to us while relentlessly beckoning us with electronic messages from many others. And digital entertainments are displacing so many enriching activities.
Screen Free Week is an opportunity for us each to pause and examine whether technology has too big a role in our lives. Can we live happily without screens?
We are eager to hear about your experience of Screen Free Week. What impact does it have upon your family and your children? What books did you read? What places did you explore? What projects did you start, or finish? What interesting conversations did you have? I would love for you to start thinking about Screen Free Week with a sense of anticipation, even liberation! It’s only a week, but maybe it will lead to changes that last longer.