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Please enjoy Mr Irwin's Thought for the Term

Posted on: 31/03/2023

Give the respect you want to receive; embody the grace you hope to encounter;
and help others with no expectations whatsoever

Corey Booker, US Senator

Over the last few weeks, we have read the reflections of several members of our community on the topic of respect, with Mrs Ashton last week challenging us to build the habit of practicing respect to those around us.

As we reach the end of term, I am struck by the way in which the concept of respect manifests itself in the daily life of our RET community. One of my favourite parts of my mornings is the time I spend on the school gates, engaging with students from Years 7-13 about their day. The students are all conspicuously polite and often look to initiate conversations and wish myself and other colleagues a cheerful “good morning”. It is these small acts of engagement which help us connect with each other on a human level that help foster the sense of mutual respect that Mrs Ashton was reflecting upon.

Whilst these individual interactions say so much about the underlying respect between staff and students across our community, it is always wonderful to see students take the time to appreciate and respect the talents and endeavours of each other. Just this week we had the fabulous Spring Concert with students from across the Trust collaborating and enjoying each other’s talents. Equally last week the Dance Showcase exemplified the way in which the Dancers from SBS and DGS could collaborate so beautifully to produce something forged from the respect of each other’s talents and the appreciation of the time, effort and skill required to produce art of that quality.

Today, in between the rain, we have come together as Year groups at St. Birinus to hold our termly celebration assemblies. I have seen boys from across the school celebrate and enjoy the success of others in overt displays of respect and admiration for the hard work that their peers have displayed. Notable for me was the Year 11 celebration assembly where we were able to award the next tranche of ‘Blue ties’ – a highly prized and much respected, long-standing tradition. These boys wear their blue ties with real pride and it is already evident the respect that the younger students have for them as they are fully aware of the significance of the award. These markers of respect, be they individual interactions, collaborative performances or recognition of the individual endeavour and strong values can be found everywhere across the Trust. Recognising these moments and efforts are important and the act of taking the time to notice and thank people is itself an act of respect – one that I am proud to say is writ large through our community.

I wish you all the very best of Easter breaks.

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