Manners matter... they are an opportunity to think generously about another person. They are used every day to make a good impression on others, and when used selflessly, can help you to feel good about yourself. No matter where you are, practicing good manners is important. Good manners (and smiles) draw people closer to you and can pave the way to solve many conflicts.
At Peregian Springs SS we teach children to use Common Courtesies or good manners explicitly and often. We believe firmly that being polite and courteous means considering how others are feeling whatever the situation is. Our Common Courtesies include greetings, polite requests and social expectations, such as being on time. It's old fashioned, you may say, to teach manners. And yes, it probably is.
I went looking in the historical archives for the manners taught in Australian schools a century or more ago. I'm always enteretained by however much we change, there are always some things that stay the same :)