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Please enjoy the Thought for the Term from Sixth Form student Oliver Allison

Posted on: 10/03/2023

This term’s theme of respect is a concept that a student becomes acquainted with very quickly at school. Traditionally, the idea of respect in schools conjures imagery of silent children in blind obedience to teachers. Obviously, respect for a staff member’s authority is still of huge importance. However, I am going to explore – from a student’s perspective - some other aspects of respect that I feel should have greater recognition in the educational setting.

I am a great believer in the idea that respect for oneself is crucial to respecting those around you. My KS4 and KS5 peers will be acutely aware that school life can place students under immense pressure, especially around exam season. In this situation, it is essential that students display enough self-respect to maintain their wellbeing. My view is that Respect for others, and indeed contributing to our community of respect, is only doable when you respect yourself as you develop into the kind and compassionate students that are found across RET.

Respect for your peers is also vital in maintaining our tight-knit community. As a student, I know that not everyone is friends with everyone else in their year group. However, I also know that this is no excuse for showing a lack of respect for their ideas, interests and identity. I have come to realise that it is only through a general baseline of respect for our peers that we build the feeling of camaraderie that binds the people of our trust into the team that delivers results.

To conclude, I would like to leave the teaching staff with a thought from David Marquet, a former nuclear submarine captain whose leadership outlook I hold in high regard. He said that “A vast untapped human potential is lost as a result of treating people as followers.” In an academic setting, this can be translated to mean that granting your students your respect as they mature can be key to unleashing their motivation and cultivating success.

Oliver Allison
Year 12
Didcot Sixth Form

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