Round Square Week at MLC Sydney

Posted: 04 January 2021

IDEALS 

Discoveries

Overview

Every year a week in July we celebrate MLC School’s annual Round Square Week! The week is our opportunity to celebrate all that is Round Square and is comprised of various activities, installations, assemblies, and performances all run by our Round Square committee.

Planning

The planning and organisation for Round Square week is driven by our student committee and leadership team. They usually begin planning in the term prior to the event week. We try to give the week a similar feel to a Round Square Conference so that all students at MLC School has an understanding of what it is like to attend a conference. The girls at the start of the process pick the theme for the week and this is often influence by the previous or next international conference. Our most recent conference delegates will share their experience and look to implement some of the activities they participated in whilst away.

After the theme is selected the next few weeks are spent proposing ideas for the week and developing an event plan with then students selecting which aspects of the week they wish to work on and divide into groups. Each group is led by a member of the student leadership team who ensure timelines are being met and reports back progress to the group. We also share the theme with other groups / clubs / activities within the school and they to create workshops, displays, activities for the week. This year we had the following involvement from:

Our student committee meets on Monday at lunchtime and our Leadership team meets Thursday at lunchtime and this is our primary planning and work time. During the school holiday break before the week we had 2 day working bee to allow us to develop some of the projects that need more time to completed than that is available during the lunchtime sessions.

Detail

Throughout the week we were selling the 2020 Round Square Week badge. Through the sale of the badges we support the charity Kidz Positive. Kidz Positive is an organisation that provides paid work for women to assist them to care for children and their families impacted from HIV/AIDS in South Africa. This was the 15th consecutive year that MLC School has contributed to this organisation.

During the week we were able educate the school community what it means to be Round Square School. This was demonstrated this not only through the speeches during assembly but also through dance, debating, lunch activities, a discovery dash, music, food, fashion, and sport.

Throughout the week we held dance performances by the curriculum dance students, a salsa dance workshop that got the girls active during lunch, a mock debate around the IDEALS, an international film, as well as MLC School’s first live streamed assembly and inter-faith devotional that celebrated the diversity within our student population. The interactive installations that were set up for the whole week encourage students to engage and participate. These included a string art installation, an MLC student heritage map, a global concerns installation, a multicultural fashion exhibit and a wishing tree.

Along with all of this, we were able to see the true spirit of our MLC School community come alive at the Round Square Fair on Friday lunch. The Round Square Fair was created in order demonstrate to the school community how the Round Square IDEALS and philosophy is interwoven into everything we do at school. This event involved various clubs running stalls, live music, interactive activities, sport games, and of course, food!

Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this week possible, with special thanks to Mr Fatouros, Ms Skeeper, Mr Kennard, Rev Vinnie, the Round Square team and Art and Design Committee.

By Lily Smith Round Square Captain.

Challenges

 Time is always our biggest challenge every year. Senior students’ exams and assessment schedules can affect the time students have to devote to the project. I would say the other challenge is managing student expectations and ambitious. Our students love to engage in ‘blue sky thinking’ and their ideas could fill a lifetime of Round Square weeks. It is really important with the leadership team to set achievable goals, break down the time it takes to do specific task and reinforce the importance of communication and project timelines.

Co-vid also presented challenges as we had planned for the United Nations Youth Ambassadors to come to assembly and present a keynote address but at the time, we weren’t allowed to have external visitors onsite.

Impact

MLC School has been running a version of a Round Square week for the past 15yrs. The goal and function within the school has shifted and changed across this time. Initially the week was to raise awareness of Round Square membership, then it moved focus of the projects the student committee were working on and become a fund-raising week to support charities the students were passionate about.  In recent years as mentioned we have moved to create the vibe of a Round Square conference to give every student at the school insight to what happens on a conference and hopefully inspire them to be a future delegate.

This year we mirrored the theme of RSIC 2019 “The world we wish to see” as initially was to run concurrently with ‘Harmony Week’ in Australia. Due to co-vid the week was post-phoned and as we went this new social landscape the theme took on even more relevance. The other underlying theme or motto the student committee embedded in the week was, “we don’t do Round Square, we are Round Square”. Through this lens we wanted to demonstrate our school community all the learning experiences and activities we undertake at MLC School demonstrate the Round Square IDEALS and we want to make these links more explicit.

In the future we have discussed the possibility of creating events or aspects of the week that are community focused

Long Term Outcomes

For those students who are involved in the organisational process it has a lot off benefits. It can aid in developing and refining both their project management and time management skills as well as improve their ability to problem solve and develop their resilience especially when projects fall short of their expectations.

An event like this also gives the students a platform in which they can advocate and educate their peers on topics and issue that they are passionate about. It also can help develop school spirit, it is great to see the students supporting each other.

Advice

Author: Blake Fatouros, Round Square Representative, MLC Sydney

 

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