Hosted by MLC School, Sydney, Australia
I have recently returned from the annual Round Square Regional Head and Reps meeting. We were generously hosted this year by MLC School, located in Burwood, Sydney.
Founded in 1886, MLC School is an independent girls’ school of the Uniting Church. Their mission is to educate young women to be fearless thinkers with moral courage and compassion, to be agents of change in their lives and in the lives of others.
As part of the Round Square network, it was clear the IDEALS are an integral part of who MLC are, not just something that is talked about. Not only was their new learning environment perfect for a conference, but it was a great place to make connections with other Round Square schools and learn about the ways in which other schools incorporate the Round Square IDEALS and Discovery Framework into their school communities.
Being able to network with so many of the Round Square Reps from the Australia and East Asia region, meant my knowledge of Round Square and the opportunities available to us also grew. During the conference, many plans were made for future Regional and International conferences and we were also privileged to hear speakers from Round Square schools in Indonesia, Australia, South Korea and China who told us about their special programs and plans for this year and the future.
During the course of the conference we were also given time to present information about our own school and discuss how we embed the Round Square IDEALS into our activities and programmes through a series of Good Practice Carousels.
Some time was also spent discussing the Round Square Big Build Projects for this year and next (see below for further information), and just how much Round Square is growing as a network throughout the world (approximately 10% growth per year). Our Region is in fact one of the largest and is growing rapidly. Round Square CEO Rachael Westgarth from the UK was also present and provided us with a number of updates on Round Square initiatives and research, and focused particularly on how the Round Square Discovery Framework is now being incorporated by many schools in our region in a variety of ways.
One of the things that resonated most for me though at the meeting was the concept that we as schools need to focus more on ‘being’ Round Square rather than ‘doing’ Round Square. Round Square should always be the philosophy that underpins what we do, not a separate entity or ‘club’, so rather than saying ‘We DO Round Square’ let’s start saying, ‘We ARE Round Square’.
I look forward to sharing more information about ideas and projects through Round Square as the year progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone.
In each eNews article I like to highlight one IDEAL of Round Square to give our school community, particularly those new to Westminster, a better understanding of what it means to be a Round Square school and exactly how this features at Westminster. The word ‘Leadership’ can mean a variety of things and being a ‘Leader’ doesn’t just mean you are ‘in charge’ of something. We try hard at Westminster to encourage all of our students to develop their leadership skills in a number of different ways whether that be by ‘leading’ a specified school group or ‘leading’ within their classroom, friendship or co-curricular groups.
‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’
‘A spirit of leadership is found in those whose convictions are rooted in personal responsibility, kindness and justice. It recognises that successful leaders are driven by a desire to be of service to others and to nurture, guide, develop and help them to improve and succeed.
A range of leadership skills are marshalled and employed to influence and enlist the support of individuals, teams or communities in the achievement of a shared objective.
Strategic thinking and analysis of both the current situation and the objective enable the creation of a route map for achieving that objective. Self-belief and an ability to gather and process ideas, set direction, and create and share a vision that is exciting and dynamic inspires others to take action and to share ownership. The capacity to generate a sense of belonging in others leads to team members feeling valued for their contributions and taking pride in their efforts and achievements.
A person living out a spirit of leadership demonstrates personal literacy in understanding and employing both their own skills and abilities and those of their team to the greatest effect. Self-confidence, determination, motivation, intuitive decision-making, persuasion and negotiation and creative problem solving are all in evidence as is the ability to spot opportunities and take calculated risks. Self-awareness and emotional-literacy allow for confident tempering, analysis and expression of emotions both for the leader and those that they lead.’
Taken from the Round Square website: www.roundsquare.org
The Round Square Student Committee at Westminster is chaired by students, and various leadership positions of consequence are shared by the students. The annual International, Regional Senior and Junior Conferences are an ideal forum for students to demonstrate leadership skills, both in the planning process and public administration. Leadership is promoted in both the Preparatory and Senior Schools at Westminster through School leadership positions, SRC, as well as in co-curricular activities. Leadership is promoted in Service projects and Adventure activities where the students are encouraged to take a major role in the planning, organisation and evaluation phases.
Many opportunities are given to our students to develop these skills in ‘Leadership’ throughout their schooling and Westminster is proud of the way our students show initiative and leadership in a multitude of ways, a genuine example of character education.
Dates: Saturday 7 to Friday 20 December 2019
Price: Participation fee £990 (GBP) plus flights
Location: Tambunan, Malaysian Borneo
Application Deadline: Saturday 31 August 2019
Dates: Saturday 11 to Friday 24 July 2020
Price: Participation fee £1,155 plus flights
Location: Seuang River Valley, Laos
Dates: Saturday 11 to Saturday 25 July 2020
Price: Participation fee £1180 plus flights
Location: Sainte Luce, Madagascar
Apply online for any of these projects at www.roundsquare.org
You will need to Login with the following details – Username: Students and Password: DiscoverMore
Just a reminder that Round Square has a great website where you can find a lot of valuable information about exchanges, service projects, conferences and events! All staff and students at Westminster have been encouraged to sign up to this website and it is hoped this will assist our overall understanding as a school as to the pivotal role Round Square plays in the Westminster Community. In addition to the website, Round Square also has its own YouTube channel. I have included the links to both of these sites below.
We have an exchange opportunity for a Year 11 student (male) to go to Canada later this year. This is a reciprocal exchange so our Westminster student/family would be expected to host a Canadian student around the end of July for approximately four to six weeks. Please contact me immediately if you are interested!
For further information on Round Square and Exchanges, please contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator