As mentioned in my previous eNews articles, I am encouraging as many people as possible to access the new Round Square website - www.roundsquare.org. This is a valuable resource for all of us to help keep up to date with a variety of events, service projects and exchange opportunities on the Round Square calendar. Alternatively, you may just wish to have a better understanding of the Round Square IDEALS and how these play a role in every Westminster student’s education.
All senior students and staff at Westminster have been sent emails asking them to make a conscious effort to access the new Round Square website. Many have already done so and I will continue to remind people of the availability of this website throughout the year. I will also be encouraging our younger students to access this website with their teacher’s help, although a great deal of the website is aimed at students 10 years and above. Students don’t actually need to register, they just need the login and password below:
I encourage you all to have a look at the website immediately to learn more about the network that is Round Square and in turn open yourself up to the global opportunities that our membership brings.
This year I am very pleased to welcome to our Round Square Student Committee a dedicated and enthusiastic group of Year 6 and 7 students. I am very much looking forward to working with them all on a variety of projects throughout the year.
It is important for us all to remember that the IDEALS of Round Square are a whole school philosophy and there are many ways our younger students can also be involved. I hope to be able to include more of these activities in future articles.
One example of this involvement was the recently held Pancake Day. Not only did the students and staff raise an enormous amount of money for Uniting Care, but they were able to truly live the IDEALS of Service and Leadership through their participation. Chanelle Jayakody, one of our Round Square Student Committee members, has written about this event below.
On Tuesday 5 March our Prep School celebrated Pancake Day. Pancake Day is a day people have always looked forward to, especially this year as last year we didn’t celebrate it. When everyone goes up to get their pancake they always have an excited look on their face, some more than others. Just watching kids eating their pancakes with their friends brings great joy seeing how happy everyone is. You can easily cook a pancake at home but the experience Pancake Day gives is way better than the pancakes from home. Pancake day is always fun for everyone, from the staff to the students, whether it’s competing in the race or just giving all the students their pancakes. The pancake race is definitely one of the highlights of the day. Just watching the race is so much fun. Especially when the teachers run. Overall Pancake Day is an awesome day that brings people together as we eat lots of pancakes. It’s a fun day and will always be enjoyed by students and staff.
From my perspective as a leader, Pancake Day was so much fun. As the School Service Leader, I got the opportunity to help out the entire day. Firstly, we started serving the little kids in Reception. That was so funny, most would smile and say thank you. Helping with the day was an amazing opportunity.
There were a lot of mums and grandpas helping out by cooking pancakes. Thank you to those people for all their help. Our efforts together helped raise $1900 for Uniting Care. This is an amazing effort. Uniting Care helps people in our community who have trouble making ends meet, so that money will go to providing food and other things for those families.
It was my pleasure to serve others and to help raise this money as School Service Leader. I am very lucky to have such a role in the Prep School.
Prep School Service Leader and RSSC member
Based on Kurt Hahn’s educational philosophy of experiential education, the Round Square IDEAL of Adventure plays a vital role in any school community. Allowing students to ‘learn’ outside the classroom in authentic, sometimes challenging scenarios, can only be considered beneficial to the development and well-being of young people today. Building the body and soul through adventure, meeting physical challenge and developing an appreciation of the outdoors are all central to Round Square schools.
Westminster has a highly developed program of outdoor and co-curricular activities that not only challenge our students but engage them both individually and within groups. This not only promotes their own personal growth, but allows for self-discovery and builds a strong spirit of adventure. These skills can be transferable to other parts of a student’s life, such as academic or personal goal setting in other areas of interest. This in turn allows all Westminster students to discover that they are capable of more than they might have imagined possible.
Westminster’s development of the ‘whole’ student through a variety of these Adventure programs is significant. Not only do we have an incredible Westventure program for our Year 10 students, but there are a number of other Outdoor Education and Camp opportunities available to students of all ages.
In addition to this, we offer programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme. The academic excellence of the Outdoor Education program is complemented by the high number of Westminster students who achieve their Silver and Gold level in the Duke of Ed Awards.
Taken from the Round Square website: www.roundsquare.org
‘A spirit of adventure is characterised by those who push themselves beyond their perceived limits, cross boundaries and discover that they are capable of more than they thought. It encompasses preparedness to take risks, face a challenge and persist against the odds and in the face of potential failure.
Willingness to rise to unusual, exciting or frightening experiences is evident, as is a compulsion to set and then stretch to reach a personal goal in any hobby or area of interest. Courage, discipline, tenacity and resilience are foundations on which ambition is built and personal development is achieved.
A person living out a spirit of adventure seeks out opportunities to stretch and push themselves beyond their own perceived abilities and the expectations of others. They are dynamic and driven, thriving on practical, experiential learning, and willing to tenaciously pursue their objective, overcoming setbacks and obstacles along the way.
An appreciation that adventure is a very personal experience, and will mean different things to different people, allows for supportive celebration of others’ achievements in all aspects of life. As such, a readiness to embrace uncertainty, to explore and pioneer in any field is supported and encouraged.’
Are you considering going on Exchange? Have you thought about the possibility of hosting an Exchange student?
We have many opportunities through Round Square available to our students here at Westminster to ensure they develop into truly global citizens.
Generally, our Round Square Regional Exchanges are designed to give our younger students a chance to experience an exchange for a short period of time (two weeks) within Australia, New Zealand or the South East Asia region. Our Round Square International Exchanges are designed usually for our older students (Years 10 and 11) although we have had a number of Year 9s also participate in the past. This depends on the readiness of the student and the rules and expectations of the school/s applied for.
I am often asked the question, when is the best time to go on Exchange? The answer to this really depends on the student. I strongly encourage students to consider Exchanges in Year 10 in the first instance if they are emotionally ready, as this generally has less impact on their SACE studies. I also highly encourage students to think about Exchange possibilities early so that they don’t miss out. On the whole, Exchanges can take anything from a few months to a year to organise fully so it is best to start the process early!
We are currently in the process of organising our Regional Exchanges for later in the year, and I am pleased to say we have a number of Year 8s this year wishing to be involved.
I regularly email students to tell them about these wonderful opportunities and am always keen to hear from anybody interested. Hosting an exchange student means there is generally a reciprocal agreement that our students are able to participate in an exchange, something that can greatly broaden their view of the world and enhance their understanding of the Round Square IDEAL of Internationalism and our own Westminster School Values.
Please contact me via Email anytime if you are interested in participating in an exchange and/or hosting an exchange student.
There is 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!
There are a number of opportunities coming up with Round Square for 2020. Whilst that still seems like a long way away, we will need to register for some of these by the middle of this year. As these get closer, I will send out more information to ask for interest. These conferences and projects are open to all students of Westminster, but do have some strict age requirements.
Saturday 7 to Friday 20 December 2019
Suitable for ages 16 to 18
Location: Tambunan, Malaysian Borneo
Application Deadline: Saturday 31 August 2019
Saturday 11 to Friday 24 July 2020
Suitable for ages 16 to 18
Location: Seuang River Valley, Laos
Saturday 11 to Saturday 25 July 2020
Suitable for ages 16 to 18
Location: Sainte Luce, Madagascar
*There may still be other conferences/events coming out, but this is the list so far according to the RS website.
Anyone interested in finding out more information about conferences, or any other Round Square initiative should contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator