The Southport School offers students of the school wonderful opportunities that
are facilitated by the association the school has had since 1974 with The Round
Square. Acceptance as a member was the turning point in the direction of the
school. It facilitated the development of vision outside the confines of the
state or the country, making the school and its members, past, present and
future, part of the world of education and a much broader experience.
TSS, for 17 years, was the only school accepted into the organisation in the
Southern Hemisphere. Our association has seen many members of our community be
involved with aspects of the organization impelling new experience, connections
and friendships. TSS is the environment of today, with comprehensive and
inclusive programmes thanks to its membership of Round Square and adoption of
Hahnian educational philosophy.
Round Square offers a clear philosophy of education which includes six pillars —
the foundation of the development of creative, responsible, caring people. The
Pillars of Round Square facilitate experiences that are pursued for the sake of
knowledge and building character. These include International Understanding, an
important quality for the times we live in as understanding builds a base for
real tolerance. Democracy and democratic processes — in the organisation of the
school it affords students the opportunity and forum to question what is
happening in their environment and with grounding in Leadership skills and
opportunities for positions of responsibility, empowers students to make change
in their environment.
Environmental Understanding challenges the students to accept responsibility for
their physical environment both school and wider afield. The school has a
thorough Outdoor Education programme. Beginning in Year 3 the students are
impelled to develop skills, accept challenge and adventure through the grades
with developmental degrees of difficulty in each year group. This leads to the
self organised camp in Year 11. In Round Square schools, challenge is
everywhere. Students are not only expected to do well in conventional ways, but
to serve and to lead. Leadership is encompassed in the previous four areas with
many of the students offered leadership opportunities. The last of the
foundations is Service. This is striving to achieve balance between
self-improvement and self-denial in the interests of others. This is all
combined with the formal skills of education. The school, through the Round
Square philosophy and Mission Statement of the school addresses the whole person
not fragmented parts.
Much of what your sons experience, or are impelled into, in their years at the
school lay a foundation for their future. The reward of this education will
become part of your sons’ lives in their future. There is immediate benefit from
involvement in all of the activities the school offers, yet the reality is that
years down the track a real understanding of the Hahnian philosophy will sit
comfortably and be a strong foundation. As your sons grow into manhood they will
create new ways and visions not only for themselves, but potentially for the
whole human race.
To understand our involvement with Round Square and the opportunities available
outside those that are interwoven into the operating of the school, I present a
concise account of Round Square.
Round Square Mission Statement
Round Square is a worldwide association of schools which share a commitment,
beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility through
service, challenge, adventure and international understanding.
Round Square’s member schools are widely known; but the common bond they share
is less recognised and understood. This bond is important, however, and
powerful; for Round Square is an organisation that embodies one of the twentieth
century’s foremost revolutions in education.
This revolution led to the creation of dozens of outstanding schools, and to
Outward Bound, the United World Colleges, the Duke of Edinburgh awards, and
other innovations. It continues to influence education in many countries, and
inspires educators at each Round Square school. As of 2005, there are 51 member
schools, with eight in Australia and a number of regional schools.
Kurt Hahn’s philosophy of education inspired the vision of the Round Square,
with quotes such as “in your disability is your opportunity” and “Plus est en
vous” and “There’s more in you (than you think)”. You can see that he was driven
to inspire and impel youth into learning experiences to develop the whole
His motive for these innovations was educational. Hahn knew that self-discovery
comes through challenges. Hahn died in 1974. The Times of London remarked that
“no one else in our day has created more original educational ideas and, at the
same time, possessed the gift of getting them into practice.”
At TSS, Mr George organises student exchanges. Most often these are term-length
exchanges of one student for another, though sometimes they are full or half
year in duration. Exchanges are worked out on a school-to-school basis, with no
tuition money changing hands and students travelling on tourist visas. Exchanges
also bring young alumni interested in a career in education for ‘gap’ year
(pre-university, post-secondary) internships at member schools as teaching
aides. These experiences bring a fundamental alteration in human relationship.
Students ask questions about their education and level of personal independence,
returning with resolve and a strong direction for their future.
It is a singular honour at any Round Square school to be sent on exchange.
The Round Square network makes it possible to match an exchanged student to a
school with minimal bureaucratic burden and little cost beyond travel and
incidental. Because exchange is popular, each school is enriched by an annual
inflow of visitors bringing the views and values of other nations and cultures,
and by returning students whose perspective on society, education and the world
has been deepened through personal experience. At TSS exchange is encouraged at
Year 10 level for term four, which has proved to be the least disruptive
academically. Other year group exchanges are certainly accepted, as are
different times of the year. There are also short term national and regional
exchange opportunities starting with a two week opportunity in Year 8.
TSS boys have the opportunity to participate in short-term exchanges within
Australia (Yr 8 Only) and longer-term exchanges to Round square schools around
the world. In 2011 exchanges are available to Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany
Round Square Service Projects
Each Round Square school presents an array of service opportunities to its own
students. The scope of activities is enormous, ranging from support for the ill
and elderly to child care to maintenance and rehabilitation of natural areas to
operation of life-saving. Internationally thousands of hours of such
volunteer-service work are performed by Round Square students each week.
Students also take on emergency service when help is needed. Schools train
students in skills needed to be ready to help others in cases of emergency or
From time to time, an opportunity to serve requires the efforts of a team from
several schools. Such ‘service projects’ normally take place during school
holidays, and may be structured in either of two ways:
School-based projects are organised, staffed and logistically supported by a
‘base’ school. These are opened to all Round Square students once they are up
and running and have proved to be successful.
Round Square International Service Projects: (RSIS) Larger projects may be
directed by Round Square itself. The organisation has the leadership, expertise
and funding needed to take on complex, logistically difficult projects, such as
school construction and disaster-relief projects mounted since the early 1980’s
at locations in India and Kenya. Students at Round Square schools raise money
each year to supply construction and emergency-relief materials. These funds are
kept in The Prince Alexander fund (PAF) for ‘bricks and mortar’ purposes only.
These projects are advertised and open to all Round Square Schools with students
over sixteen being eligible. Currently there are projects in India, Kenya and
All service projects are organised according to the ‘Round Square Ground Plan’
policies and procedures, which promote safety and effectiveness. Each is
followed by an evaluation to ensure service will have an educative result for
Mr George holds all information regarding what is available, and you can find
information by contacting him, looking on the Round Square notice board, or the
school home page under Round Square or at www.roundsquare.org.
Each year Round Square schools are asked to nominate candidates for the Kurt
Hahn Prize, given to one or more students who have acted courageously to serve
mankind or preserve life. This is Round Square’s only award. It reflects Hahn’s
belief that great things — service of consequence, even heroism - are within the
reach of prepared young persons, and that such deeds should be identified and
celebrated. In 1981 Marc Napier (‘76 — ’81 Radcliffe House) was awarded the Kurt
Hahn prize for his courageous effort in rescuing people from the surf whilst on
These and other collaborative activities are explained and supported by Echo,
the Round Square newsletter, which is distributed to member schools and comes
out quarterly. The magazines are
housed in the Library or with Mr George.
The Annual Conference
Each year Round Square schools send teams of representatives to a five-day
conference held at a member school. The teams, including students, the head of
school, a member of the faculty/staff, and a trustee/governor, are expected to
be at least 50 percent comprised of students. During the Conference, the prior
year’s collaborative activities are reported and evaluated and new projects are
planned. Discussions examine topics of importance to schools and the world,
especially as they relate to the special theme of each Conference. An address
(usually from a prominent public figure) called The Hahn Lecture is a feature.
The Annual General Meeting (participated in by heads and trustee/governors of
member schools, but open to observation by all) is held at this time. Through
activities, expeditions and events designed by the host school, visitors are
introduced to the host school’s country, culture and environment, and to a theme
Friendships and alliances form; prejudices based on national or cultural
differences can be overcome. Much preparation and leadership for each annual
Conference is taken on by students at the host school. Annual Conferences move
from school to school and country to country. Hosting a Conference is prized as
a significant challenge to the skills and morale of every member of the host
school’s community. TSS hosted the Annual Conference in 1995.
Conferences for Younger Students
The Junior Regional Conference is held for Year 8 - 9 students over a three or
four day period usually early in the year, and a Regional Conference open to
Year 10, 11 & 12 students in the June/July holidays.
Within each conference the six pillars of Round Square are explored so that
there will be International, Leadership, Environmental, Adventure, Challenge,
Leadership and Service components in each conference.
A host school arranges a schedule of events and activities, and students and
faculty members from each of the region’s schools attend. These regional
gatherings are reported in the TSS Review, Echo newsletter, and at the following
year’s Conference. With the Junior Conference we have linked a period of
exchange, usually two weeks, for delegates to the Conference which is
reciprocated later in the year. TSS hosted the Regional Conference 2010 and the
Junior Regional in 2004.
The Round Square Student Committee (RSSC)
The Committee consists of students interested in Round Square from all age
groups, students who have been on exchange or to a conference and incoming
exchange students. Students on the Committee accept roles specific to them to
research or action. The RSSC comprises of Office Bearers elected into the
position by the student committee. The Round Square Student Committee meets
regularly for meetings to discuss and plan areas of Round Square within TSS.
Activities for fund-raising to support the Prince Alexander Fund (PAF) for Round
Square International Service projects are items on the agenda. The Preparatory
School have a programme in place for Year 7 to be involved with Round Square
through independent student initiated service projects and meetings.
To learn more about the Round Square organisation or Round Square Schools, refer
to the TSS home page at www.tss.qld.edu.au and locate Round Square under TSS
Education — General or ask Mr George.
You also can refer to the Round Square Home page at www.roundsquare.org.