What Round Square means?
Round Square schools are founded on Kurt Hahn’s belief that all children are innately moral and decent citizens. Corruption of these innate characteristics happens over time due to environmental conditioning. He believed, however, that morality and decency can be maintained and flourish through character education, mainly in the service we do for others and wider humanity.
Round Square schools, therefore, hold that character education around IDEALS can help build skills for morally-grounded global citizens that can navigate differences in culture and nationalities so as to contribute to human development.
Our ideals are defined as:
- International Understanding
- Environmental Stewardship
- Leadership and Service
The Round Square IDEALS are informed by twelve skills called Discoveries; inquisitiveness, tenacity, courage, compassion, inventiveness, ability to solve problems, self-awareness, sense of responsibility, appreciation of diversity, commitment to sustainability, communication and team-working skills
At The English School, Round Square is a team of collaborative efforts from students and teachers, who join the committee at the beginning of the school year to carry out projects based on the six Round Square IDEALS that are of significance, taking into account their role as community members of an IB school in Colombia.
The committee reinforces on the importance of teamwork and collaborative learning, creating opportunities to connect and share between all students between Grades 5 and 11 as peers, rather than as superiors to one another.
These are the members of the committee for the 2019-2020 academic year:
Elizabeth Jane Peters
Juan José Bestene
Ana Sofía Rodríguez
Over the course of this year, the committee participated in the planning of the celebration for the rights of women through the creation of a tunnel decorated with Malala’s life story in the encouragement for education of females and participation in international conferences. Likewise, the committee participated in cooperation with the Green Team in a celebration that aimed to increase community awareness of the importance of sustainable cities in the modern world. Later on, they arranged “Round Square Day,” in which the IDEALS would be encouraged in Middle and Upper School. The work was sustained by the communication with other Round Square schools around the world for the establishment of a global network of young people dedicated to helping their local communities.
Projects from previous years that have made a difference in the school community are the organisation of Bake Sales to support national entrepreneurs, the collection of books to donate to libraries in the south of Bogotá, the collection of hygiene supplies for women foundations in celebration of their rights, and the organisation of conferences with other Round Square schools in the country. These projects have sustained thanks to the personal growth that our members have when joining the committee, which can happen at any point in their academic studies. Additionally, this has helped in the development of the IB learner profile, a differentiator of The English School.
In addition to this, the committee has promoted and helped in the establishment of international academic and cultural exchanges for students from The English School in other countries, as well as from others coming to the country. This is complemented by the Big Build Experiences and International Conferences that have taken students to participate with other Round Square students around the world in putting into action community projects to benefit certain communities, like the projects in South Africa in 2017 and Sri Lanka in 2019.
Going on exchange is one way that students are could actualise global citizenship skills relating to Round Square’s IDEALS. Parents and caregivers should note that exchanges are not for academic tourism or language development. Exchanges are specifically used for the purposes of actualising global citizenship skills around IDEALS.
Candidacy for exchange is available for students from Grades 7 to 10 who have integrated it with a Personal Project, Extended Essay, CAS Project, TOK Project or Service in Action Project.
We strongly urge all students to speak with their project supervisors or coordinators about how they can integrate exchange opportunities in their projects.
Exchange opportunities at TES are mostly short-term, being no more than three weeks in duration. Every application, however, is assessed on its individual merits.
For further information and details about how to apply for candidacy for exchange, please see this form. This form must be returned to the project supervisor and coordinator who can approve the project and refer it to the Round Square Coordinator for candidacy. Students should seek guidance from project supervisors for integrating exchanges.
Exchanges are NOT guaranteed as there are many variable factors that affect chances of placement, such as other schools being on vacation. Students in Grade 10 will most likely need to undertake exchange opportunities during school vacation periods so as to lessen the impact on achieving curricular aims at TES.
Exchange is a chance to think big and aim high with projects! In 2018, Heather Chisholm, a 15-year-old from Rothesay Netherwood School in Canada, was awarded Round Square’s Kurt Hahn award for implementing her project in the Dominican Republic. It encompassed shipping containers being modified to serve as classrooms to provide children access to education after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the infrastructure.
Each year, Round Square holds several international conferences; some are regional, while others are global.
There are two yearly global conferences that bring all Round Square schools together. This year, Canada hosted Round Square’s first global conference for 2018.
José Alvis Cabrera and Samuel Quevedo Velasco of Grade 11 attended Lower Canada College to participate in this conference.
NOTE: Due to the situation caused by COVID-19, exchanges and international conferences have been suspended.