Being part of such a buzzing and action packed community this term, it is hard to imagine that in about another week many of us will be getting ready for Christmas and other celebrations and re-charging our batteries ready for the excitement of 2019.
From a Round Square perspective, not only has it been another busy and rewarding year for our Westminster students, but it has also been an incredible learning experience for me as Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as I continue to discover many new things about my role, and endeavour to put into place and coordinate a number of programs and activities for our students and staff.
One of the main things I have learned in this role, is that it is always important to understand that our learning doesn’t stop once we finish school and university, and that it is a life long process which constantly opens up new doors.
In a place like Westminster, learning is an integral part of everything we do and our Round Square framework allows all of us to engage in a variety of challenging, thought provoking and worthwhile activities throughout the year.
On Monday 3 December, approximately 140 Year 10 students (our largest group so far!) participated in our annual ‘Spirit of Service’ day. Students were given the choice of 16 activities for the day and worked hard to show their spirit of Service in their local community. As previously mentioned in the eNews, ‘Service’ is an integral part of the Round Square philosophy and something we are very proud of at Westminster.
So many of our students already give their time throughout the year to a variety of Service projects and this enables them to get a true sense of the Round Square IDEALS in action. We often talk about giving back to our community and unfortunately, due to our busy lives, we sometimes struggle to find the time to fit this into our schedule. Service is one of those ‘learning’ opportunities which is so valuable that we should all make time for it. As they say, every little bit helps and even if you can only manage a small amount of time in your week, month or year to help out others, then it is worth it and probably means more to others than we even realise.
I would personally like to thank all the Year 10 students for the way they conducted themselves throughout the day. I am proud to hear such positive reports back from organisations and staff about their mature and dedicated approach. Thanks too to the staff who participated in this very worthwhile day for without your efforts, this would not be possible.
An enormous thank you to the following organisations/people who gave up their time on this day to coordinate and assist our students in a variety of activities:
The following is taken from the Round Square website:
A spirit of service celebrates personal development through practical experience bringing sustainable support and benefit to others. Keenness and ability to learn in real-world contexts delivers meaningful and lasting value to others as well as to the primary learner. An understanding and respect for cultural difference develops through shared experience and partnership.
Co-creation of knowledge is underpinned by a genuine desire to work collaboratively to the benefit of individuals, a neighbourhood, city, nation or internationally. Practical experience provokes an emotional and intellectual response, and periods of reflection develop personal literacy through mindful consideration of ability, motivation, beliefs, perceptions, goals and ambition.
A person living out a spirit of service considers the opportunity, in all aspects of everyday life, to provide for the needs of others and take social action. They seek to ensure that their impact, and the difference they make in the world, are positive. Socially-responsible decision-making infuses every area of life from employment and business to personal, financial and domestic decisions.
Knowledge of how wealth is created, earned, used and managed by individuals and organisations enables consideration of the ethical and social impacts of financial decisions. This develops understanding of how the right application, investment and donation of financial resource can positively impact an individual, community or wider society.
Over the year I have regularly distributed information about Round Square International Service opportunities. These are an amazing way for our older students to work closely with a community overseas and give their time to help make a true difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Below is some information about the projects and the benefits these can have for our students. It may be something our students want to consider at the end of Year 12, as part of their GAP year or simply before the demands of university commence. Adults are also more than welcome to apply!
The following information is taken from the Round Square website www.roundsquare.org:
Round Square have been running International Service Projects (RSIS) since 1953, when a group of schools with links to Kurt Hahn formed a working party to help rebuild destroyed infrastructure after a massive earthquake on the Ionian Islands.
Since then, Round Square Schools have worked on projects in Ladakh, Kenya, Romania, Guatemala and Cambodia helping communities in need and allowing young people from around the globe to grow and develop important life-long skills.
Each year Round Square hosts two unique service projects for 50 students from Round Square Schools. The projects take place every year in July and December and run (on average) for two weeks.
Students work together with a rural community in need to build a vital piece of infrastructure. In the past this has been classrooms, accommodation for teachers, bridges and clean water systems.
Participation in a Round Square Big Build Project is a great way for young adults to learn about global citizenship, community engagement, develop a deeper understanding of the world’s problems and experience a new culture. Packed with challenging adventure and cultural awareness opportunities, the project programmes are designed to ensure that students have an exciting, experiential and holistic learning experience that is second-to-none.
Participants take it in turns to be Student Leaders during the project, taking responsibility for the organisation of the day, briefing their peers, giving an overview of safety and risk management and organising a student rota to help with different chores at camp. Students are given feedback by their peers and the adult leaders, and will all receive a personal report after the trip.
Please apply directly on the Round Square website. Adults can register on the website to access this information. Students can use the following:
Please contact me via Email if you have any problems accessing this or if you wish to discuss the programs further.