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Please enjoy the Thought for the Term from Mr Irwin and Dr Khan

Posted on: 13/05/2022

On Wednesday evening, St Birinus School held their first award evening in three years and what a night it was! There was pride, joy, anticipation and excitement, all interspersed with soulful music and brilliant speeches. Students were nominated for a whole host of reasons: academic brilliance, consistent hard work, creativity, determination and commitment. There was however one value that every student received praise for last night; this value underscored all the speeches made by staff as they introduced the students they had nominated; this value was also seen in abundance throughout the evening itself:


You can’t measure it; you can’t buy it and you can’t always teach it outright. Courtesy is nurtured in an organic, wholesome way, over time and with love. You start with one act of courtesy – such as giving the person you are speaking to your full attention or not having a conversation on your phone while in a restaurant or asking a teacher how their day has been. These little acts of courtesy build up steadily until it becomes completely natural for us to be courteous all the time, without any thought or effort. When we do this as individuals belonging to a community such as a school, we develop an ethos of courtesy and politeness. We become recognised for this, albeit that alone is not our reason for showing these values. Our reasons are much bigger than that and lie in our desire to treat others in the way we wish to be treated. It’s helpful to remind ourselves of that feeling of annoyance and humiliation when someone treats us discourteously. It leaves us feeling wronged, affecting our mood for hours to follow sometimes. Showing courtesy is a simple matter of making sure we are not responsible for anyone else feeling that way.

So, in your conversations and your actions, in your classrooms or on the playground, in emails or in texts, remember, being courteous is not just important, it’s also incredibly easy.

Mr Irwin                                                          Dr Khan
Deputy Head, St Birinus School                  RET Director of Ethos

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