A large part of ‘Round Square’ IDEALS being successfully integrated into any school relies on community support and understanding. Thankfully, at Westminster, we have an amazing and supportive group of staff, parents and students who are always willing to expand their knowledge of the Round Square network and the benefits it can have for our School. I hope that through the information I provide in the eNews, I have been able to give some further clarification on what ‘Round Square’ means to us, and the role it plays in our lives at Westminster.
In this article, I have highlighted the IDEAL of Environmentalism and included information about some of the other projects we have been working on despite restrictions over the past couple of months.
Highlighting this IDEAL of Round Square means talking about a topic that is very relevant to all of us, the Environment. At Westminster, students are taught the importance of tending to the future of the planet. Round Square students are expected to demonstrate an active interest and concern for all-natural environments, to be aware of proven problems and to play a practical role in tackling environmental issues. They are taught the fine balance and interdependence needed to maintain a healthy relationship between human beings and the planet. Special programmes, work projects and curricula all emphasise each young person’s destiny to be a guardian of human society and the global environment.
Westminster School has been very active in recycling paper, food scraps, batteries, cans and bottles and continues to bring this issue to the fore with our School community. Students have been involved in the past with tree-planting programs, working bees as well as contributing their time at Monarto Zoo. They have also been active in Clean up Australia and we currently have a driven and passionate ‘Environmental Action Group’, co-ordinated by Ms Rachel Abercrombie, which meets regularly in the Senior School to discuss issues and implement a variety of environmental ideas. Ms Kara Lucas has also been working closely with some classes in the Prep school looking at ways we can improve our overall environmental awareness. I look forward to reporting on some more of these projects in the near future.
Taken from the Round Square website: www.roundsquare.org
‘A spirit of environmentalism centres on the significance of understanding mankind’s place in the universe, the forces that shape our surroundings and the impact we have on those surroundings. A systems-based appreciation of the interdependence between human beings and the planet highlights the fine balance needed to make that relationship a healthy one.
In addition, mindfulness in connecting with the surrounding world underpins a peace and ease with natural cycles. This creates a connected appreciation for the beauty, complexity and fragility of the environment which often inspires creative expression - landscape painting, photography, poetry, creative writing.
A person living out a spirit of Environmentalism takes practical action in tackling issues of sustainability. They question and challenge any practices that impact negatively on the environment. They seek solutions and make suggestions as to how practices can be improved, and consideration of the environmental impact of every-day activity is second-nature.
An active interest in, and concern for, all environments develops awareness and understanding known issues. This leads to a recognition of the importance of tending to the future of the planet, protecting and preserving threatened habitats and creating sustainable communities. Ultimately, through discovering a spirit of environmentalism, each young person accepts and prepares for their destiny to be a future guardian of human society and the global environment.’
Although the Round Square Student Committee has been limited with regards to its meetings and activities, they have been busy working on a few projects for our Resthaven residents. One of these is a compilation of video messages telling the residents about themselves, their hobbies and school life. Several other classes in the school are also spending time writing letters, postcards and messages to our aged care residents in an effort to lift their spirits, especially during this time where they are receiving very few visitors. If you are a student who is interested in being part of the video messages, please come along to our next Round Square Student Committee meeting in Week 6 to record your message.
‘Zoom around the World’ is a Round Square initiative which is encouraging students from Round Square schools to participate in Zoom conferences over a series of weeks. So far we have had invites to Zoom conferences run by Scotch Oakburn College in Tasmania, Athenian School in USA and Belgrano Day School in Argentina. This forum gives students a chance to talk with likeminded students in other countries about up to date and relevant issues. I advertise these opportunities via the SEQTA noticeboard, so please let me know if you are keen to participate. Generally, they are aimed at students above 14 years old.
An enormous congratulations must go to Lauren Ainsby in Year 7, who has been selected to be part of the Youth Environment Council of South Australia for 2020. Lauren is not only a part of the Round Square Student Committee but is also a passionate member of the Environmental Action Group at Westminster.
Since 1997, the YEC has provided an opportunity for young people to voice their concerns and opinions about key environmental issues of interest, enabling them to engage in debate and share their understandings and ideas about how to live sustainable lifestyles. The Council has also provided leadership skill development to empower young people to make a difference in their communities, as well as the opportunity to take part in activities to inform government agencies of the action being undertaken by young South Australians.
Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware, our Exchange and Service Programs have all had to be put on hold for the foreseeable future. I am hopeful though once the situation improves around the world, we will once again be able to participate fully in a variety of exchanges globally. I will certainly be doing my best to help those students who had plans for this year, to look at new options as soon as we are able to. I look forward too, to being able to resume our regular Service projects such as Foodbank and Resthaven once it is deemed safe for all concerned.
One of my main goals over the past few years has been to spread the understanding of Round Square further afield and ensure our Westminster community have a great knowledge of how this can benefit us all. The Round Square website is easy to access and students can log in using the information below. Just click on ‘Login’ in the top right-hand corner of the website to begin (http://www.roundsquare.org)
For further information on Round Square, our initiatives, exchanges, or conferences, please contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator