The Southport School offers students opportunities that are facilitated by the association the school has had since 1974 with 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.
Round Square offers a clear philosophy of education which includes six pillars or IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service) — the foundation of the development of creative, responsible, caring global citizens. The Pillars of Round Square facilitate experiences that are pursued for the sake of knowledge and building character.
Much of what your son’s experience, or are engaged in, in their years at the school lay a foundation for their future. The reward of this education will become part of their lives in the 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 for life. 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, the following presents a concise account of Round Square.
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; 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. Currently, there are 150 member schools, with seventeen in Australia.
Kurt Hahn’s philosophy of education inspired the vision of 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 person.
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 Stephen Eardley 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 incidentals. Exchange is popular, and as such, 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 but other year group exchanges are certainly accepted. There is also short term national and regional exchange opportunities starting with two week opportunities 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 2015, TSS hosted students from Canada, Scotland and India, and ‘gap’ students from South Africa and Great Britain.
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 elderly 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. 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. 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 each student.
Mr Hawkins holds all information regarding what is available, and you can find information by viewing the Round Square International website 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 surf patrol.
Each year Round Square schools have the opportunity to send teams of representatives to an international 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 topic.
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.
Young Round Square conferences are held for students aged 10-12 and 12-14, over a three or four day period usually early in the year. Within each conference, the six pillars of Round Square are explored so that there will be International, Democracy, Environmental, Adventure, 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. TSS hosted the Regional Conference 2010 and the Junior Regional in 2004.
All students at TSS are members of Round Square. A democratically elected Round Square 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. At TSS, there is a Senior School Round Square Committee and a Prep School Round Square Committee. The RSSC comprises Office Bearers elected into the position by the student committee. The Round Square Student Committee meets regularly for meetings to discuss all things Round Square within TSS.
The Round Square Student Executive for 2017 will be Heaven Elishav, Joel Gray, Sandy Hickson and Max Murray. Meetings will be held in B2 every odd week in 2017 commencing Week 3, Term 1.
To learn more about the Round Square organisation or Round Square Schools, refer to the Round Square Homepage at www.roundsquare.org
Round Square Schools: https://www.roundsquare.org/our-schools
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