Making Every Drop Count: The Mayo Global Round Square Conference for students aged 11 – 13
Following the success of 2016's Globally Accessible Conferences for younger students hosted by Saint Andrew’s School (August), St Stithian’s College (April) and Daly College (January) 2017 got off to a great start with Mayo College and Mayo College Girls’ School welcoming 293 students aged 11-13 to Rajasthan, India for The Mayo Global Round Square Conference for students aged 11 – 13.
An excellent example of a truly student-led conference, the conference programme was specifically designed to spark inquisitiveness in its young delegates and to offer the ideal environment to foster peer-to-peer learning. The five day conference showcased Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage, and its programme was packed full of age-appropriate, meaningful and fun-filled activities based on the theme of water conservation and ‘Making Every Drop Count’.
The attending schools have heralded the conference a great success. “My students feel this has been an experience of a life time” says Brain Storosko, Deputy Head of Ashbury College, Canada. “Amazing hospitality and impeccable organization” says Preet Benjamin, Round Square Rep at Inventure Academy. “The Brookhouse delegation are very happy and excited with the whole conference” says Willie Nanga, Round Square Rep at Brookhouse School in Kenya.
The keynote speakers included a leading puppeteer, an internationally renowned story teller, and an author and animator, and were skillfully selected with the age range of the students in mind. Each of the keynote speakers used visual mediums to engage the younger audience. The story teller and the puppeteer weaved their narrative and performance around the theme of the conference, making the serious topic of water conservation more accessible to the students.
Dance, voice artistry, puppetry, storytelling and animated films used by the keynote speakers made for an enthusiastic response from the students and lively Q&A sessions and Barazzas. “I am learning new things and enjoying so much at the same time” said Ahaan, a student of Vivek High School.
The adventure destinations enabled students to experience the rich heritage of Rajasthan by way of a night stay at one of the royal palaces in the vicinity of Ajmer. Students were offered a deep insight into the rich culture and tradition of Rajasthan and allowed the opportunity learn about how generations past nurtured the environment.
The Service Activities for different barazza groups took place in four schools for under privileged and orphan children some with Special Needs. “The service activities were well thought of and were a huge learning experience for us; small acts can bring big results” says Rozina Islam from Chittagong Grammar School, Bangladesh.
The official conference opening and closing ceremonies, multicultural evening, barazzas and meal times were all lively, colourful and dynamic and added to this rich plethora of fun, learning and growing together. Mayo College has a proud history of equestrian sports and delegates were treated to an exciting Polo match and horse show, combined with more meditative activities such as yoga, a heritage walk and bird watching.
Globally Accessible Conferences for this age range are a fantastic opportunity to develop vital soft skills such as communication, teamwork and resilience in younger students, and we hope that more Round Square schools are encouraged to participate in these fantastic opportunities in the future. Opportunities already in place for 2018 include a Conference for 12 to 13 year olds hosted by Welham Boys School, India in January 2018, and for 14-15 year olds, hosted by Regent’s School Bangkok in April 2018. Please take the opportunity to get your students involved.