How

Round Square schools access and leverage the potential benefits to our students of connecting with a community of likeminded schools on an international scale. We recognize that effective character education is not a series of isolated interventions, but a sustained and embedded approach to teaching and learning that is supported, enhanced and brought to life through planned, integrated, projects, trips and adventures.

The Schools that gain the most from their Round Square Membership are those that embed and reveal the Round Square themes – our IDEALS – throughout all aspects of school life. When a school’s curriculum, extra-curricular activities, pastoral care, mission and strategy are visibly infused with the IDEALS, every interaction with other schools in the community is maximized because it has immediate resonance with core programming back-at-school.

Whilst this the utopia, we also recognize that it is not necessarily possible – or desirable – for every school. Because of this, we take a flexible approach that begins with a basic level of expectation in school culture, commitment and ethos, inviting schools to access the opportunities and resources that work for them, and leave out of the mix any that don’t. In this way each school in the Round Square community creates its own particular recipe for Round Square.

 


Collaborations

Round Square Schools have many opportunities to collaborate with other schools across the network, ranging from academic endeavours, to conference participation, from language learning to cultural trips or exchanges, from art competitions to science experiments, and everything in between. School staff swap resources and experience, share ideas and problem-solve together, celebrate each other’s successes and offer support to one another in challenging times.

Click the links below for some examples:

Earth, Sea and Stars

Round Square Schools have many opportunities to collaborate with other schools across the network, ranging from academic endeavours, to conference participation, from language learning to cultural trips or exchanges, from art competitions to science experiments, and everything in between. School staff swap resources and experience, share ideas and problem-solve together, celebrate each other's successes and offer support to one another in challenging times. Click the links below for some examples.

Creative Connections

As one of the Round Square IDEALS, Adventure is a big theme in our community. Traditionally, when we think of Adventure, we might first think of outdoor education and expedition, but in Round Square it also encompasses creative adventure – stepping beyond your comfort zone to express yourself through the arts. As the basis for collaboration, artistic expression is a fantastic medium through which students can explore cultural influences, similarities and differences between their own culture and the cultural contexts of the students with whom they are collaborating. Click the link to read about three recent collaborations through theatre, film, art and poetry.

 


Conferences

Students and teachers in Round Square schools have the chance to take part in age-appropriate local, regional and global conferences that bring them together with peers from different countries to share perspectives, debate topical issues, forge friendships, support local communities, and develop international understanding. Each year there are lots of different conference opportunities on offer, and these are advertised via a weekly e-newsletter sent to every school. During the pandemic conferences have been mostly virtual, with students connecting online, but travel-based conferences are returning in 2022.

Click the links below to find out more:

RS International Conference 2022 – Take Less : Be More

In September 2022 we will once again be face-to-face for the 53rd Round Square International Conference, which will be hosted in the UK, starting in Oxford, with delegates staying for three nights in one of four Oxford University Colleges, and attending keynote speeches, taking part in workshop (Baraza) discussions and other fun activities around the city. The conference will then split out to four UK schools for Adventure and Service programmes: Delegates will travel on to AKS Lytham in the North West of England, or Felsted School in Essex, or Latymer Upper School in London, or Ryde School with Upper Chine, on the Isle of Wight.

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“Life Through Adventure” at Stanford Lake College

In February 2022 more than 70 students aged 14-15, and their teachers, from ten Round Square Schools, gathered for four days at Stanford Lake College in South Africa to explore the theme of “Life – Through Adventure” . Delegates heard from a keynote speaker and took part Baraza discussions. Their service activity saw them lending a hand to help renovate and redecorate Glenshiel Primary School, and the adventure programme included a night hike, an Adventure Race and zip-lining high over the waterfalls and rapids of the Letaba River. Click the link below to watch a clip of the Conference video on YouTube.

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Zoom Postcards and Language Labs

RS schools take it in turns to send out a weekly ‘Postcard’ invitation to invite students from across the world to join a 60 or 90 minute Zoom call hosted by their students on a topic of their choice. Usually bringing together between 70 and 150 students from up to 30 schools each week, the postcards combine informal chat with formal presentation, Q&A, debate and discussion in Baraza breakout groups, games and quizzes. Students also have the opportunity to host, and participate in, language labs, in which the host students lead conversations in their native language for participating students who are learning that language.

Click the links below to find out more:

Wish You Were Here

The Postcard cliché “Wish you were here?” is the concept behind the weekly Round Square Zoom “Postcards”, which have been running since May 2020, keeping students and classrooms connected across the world during the pandemic. Each week students in a RS school somewhere in the world send a “Postcard” from their school to the rest of the RS community, inviting them to join a 60-90 minute Zoom call 2 weeks later, on a topic of their choice. Topics range from the serious and sophisticated, to the downright silly. Postcard Calls are planned and led by students from the host school.

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Language Learning with the Locals

The Round Square network is a truly international community with a rich diversity of languages spoken, which offers a natural resource to those learning languages around the world. Our Language Labs draw on that natural resource by enlisting students to lead conversation workshops via zoom in their native language for those that are learning. Conversation is led by students around topics that are of interest to the learners (e.g. they discuss their hobbies, families, schools, cultures). Within each language lab, breakout groups are arranged according to proficiency. Click the link to find out more.

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Service Projects

Under normal circumstances, students and teachers in RS schools can take part in a Round Square International Service (RSIS) Project. Run to the highest standards of quality and safety, and BS8848 accredited, these bring together participants from Member Schools all over the world to work together in mixed international teams in support of communities in need. During the Pandemic, traditional RSIS projects have been paused for a while, but are due to return in 2023. In the meantime, schools around the world are coming together to campaign and raise funds for our 2022 virtual RSIS Project in support of Lesego Serolong’s One Million Beehives Campaign.

Click the links below to find out more:

RSIS Projects in the Field

Round Square International Service (RSIS) Projects., bring up to 50 students from Round Square schools across the globe together to work in support of a community in need somewhere in the world. Their project might be a “Big Build” to construct or renovate a community building or a school, or it might be an environmental project such as tree-planting or working on an animal conservation programme. In recent years RSIS teams have also built bridges and clean water systems, working with rural communities in locations such as Morocco, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Borneo.

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Bee-ing Round Square

Around the world, students in RS schools are fundraising, learning about bees, and promoting bee welfare, in support of the ‘One Million Beehives’ Campaign, founded in South Africa by Lesego Serelong, former pupil of Round Square School Tiger Kloof, through her social enterprise Bokamoso Impact Investments, supported by its Bee Loved Honey brand. The campaign aims to bring about positive change in the world one beehive at a time. Click the link to find out more.

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Exchanges

 

Click the links below to find out more:

Benefits of Student Exchange

Round Square schools connect to create opportunities for students and teachers to develop international understanding, self-confidence, and a range of interpersonal skills through studying or working on exchange at another school in our network. But what do students get out of an exchange opportunity?

Virtual RS Student Exchange

Student Exchange is a well-established, and proven vehicle for developing intercultural understanding through experiential learning. But when it’s impossible to travel, and therefore impossible to offer this immersive experience to students, what’s the alternative? This was the question, asked at the start of the Pandemic lockdown in 2020, that provided the foundations for a new Virtual Exchange programme, now an established part of Round Square’s portfolio of programmes. Taking place over a minimum of six weeks, a RS Virtual Exchange sees students interact and get to know one another through online video calls with a structured menu of activities to share.

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