Although of late it might seem that we have had to cut back on a number of our normal Round Square activities, there are still a lot of different projects going on both at Westminster and around the world for Round Square. Not only are our students constantly involved in ways they can fundraise to support others both locally and internationally, they are also able to connect with other like-minded students through a series of ‘Zoom Around the World’ meetings, participate in the Round Square IDEALS challenges, as well as help out, albeit with some social distancing restrictions, in their local community.
We have a number of students/classes sending both hand-written and video messages to residents at our nearby Resthaven aged care facility and others making items for charity in our SEW-Creative group, which meets every Thursday at lunch time in the Senior School. Our Environmental Action Group is continuously working on projects to increase our awareness of environmental issues in and around our community.
Round Square has also recently asked students to contribute to a cultural cookbook, which is aiming to be a wonderful collection of recipes representing all parts of the globe, so I am hoping to receive some recipes by the end of this week if possible. All senior students received an email from me early this week outlining the details.
So, in some ways, although we haven’t been able to participate on the same level globally with Exchanges and Conferences, we have still maintained a focus on what Round Square means to us as a school. I am very much looking forward to the time when we can start up other programs again such as Exchanges, Conferences and Service Projects to give our students even more opportunities for growth in 2020 and beyond.
For students that participate in a Round Square conference, it can be a life-changing experience.
Students in all Round Square schools have the chance at various ages to attend conferences and events at national, regional and global levels. These provide outstanding personal development opportunities, enhancing social and leadership skills, broadening intercultural understanding and forging lifelong friendships.
Although there is a bit of a misconception sometimes of what a ‘conference’ entails, they are anything but boring lecture style events. Each conference has a theme based on the IDEALS of Round Square, and offers a combination of guest speakers, group discussions, workshops, cultural visits, community service and adventure activities.
All Round Square conferences and events are action-packed, vibrant, social and intellectual occasions, which greatly enhance the ability of the young people who attend them to develop a broader world-view, as well as a greater understanding of themselves.
*although most conferences have been postponed for 2020, they will be releasing the new conference schedule for 2021 in September and October, so stay tuned!
The word ‘democracy’ has its origins in the Greek language. It combines two shorter words: ‘demos’, meaning whole citizen living within a particular city-state and ‘kratos’, meaning power or rule.
It is generally agreed that liberal democracies are based on four main principles:
Our country is a democracy. That means it is run ‘by the people for the people’. Citizens in our democracy have rights. For example, we have the right to speak freely, to practice our religion, to vote, and so on.
Citizens in a democracy also have responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to choose our leaders. Another is to keep informed about what is going on with our government. It is also the responsibility of citizens to help make their community a good place in which to live.
A democracy needs active citizens in order to work. There are many ways to take part in a democracy. It is essential in Round Square schools to teach students both the values of democracy and the importance of active participation in democracy. Freedom of thought and speech should be greatly encouraged with appropriate forums and channels of communication set in place.
Appreciating the importance of self-discipline and sharing in the running of the School are all vital parts of democracy. Student government and a genuine sense of responsibility in the management of the School are goals in all Round Square schools.
At Westminster, there are various forums that students can be involved in at House and Year levels with Student Representative Councils in both the Preparatory and Senior Schools. There is participatory democracy through the election of School Leaders and House Captains. This has been extended into most areas of the co-curricular program as well. Round Square at Westminster School is in the hands of a student committee, with groups responsible for overseeing the six pillars and numerous activities.
Not only do we have a great website resource for Round Square, as mentioned in several previous e-news articles, but Round Square also has their own Pinterest site where you can access a variety of photos of projects and exchanges. It is great to have access to all of these different forms of communication and it certainly allows us to keep up to date with the latest Round Square initiatives.
The Climate Clever Initiative is a new and engaging online platform designed to help schools, homes and soon businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, save money on utility bills and become leaders in sustainability and climate action! The platform allows you to calculate and track your carbon footprint, audit your buildings/houses, and create a personalised action plan to reduce consumption, costs, and carbon emissions across all utilities (electricity, gas, water and waste). You can also offset your carbon emissions to become carbon neutral. It is currently discounted by 50%, costing just $15 for a year’s subscription (discount available until the end of July).
For more information and to sign up, please visit www.climateclever.org
For further information on Round Square, our initiatives, exchanges, or conferences, please contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator