The School actively promotes global understanding among its pupils. Much of this work is sustained through membership of the Round Square Group of Schools. This is a worldwide association of schools sharing unique and ambitious goals.
The common goal of Round Square Schools is to develop every student into a whole person through academic, physical, cultural and spiritual experiences. Its origins come from the philosophy of Kurt Hahn, who taught schools that they should have a greater purpose beyond that of preparing students for future study at University. He believed in educating young people for life in the fullest sense and much of this is embraced by the vision of Windermere School. Round Square programmes help institutionally and culturally different schools work together through service projects, annual conferences, student exchanges and outdoor expeditions. The IDEALS of Round Square The six pillars around which the Round Square association operates are Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Internationalism As Round Square schools are situated worldwide, students share the opportunity to experience exchanges. Schools organise several student exchanges per year. Most last a whole term, worked out on a school-to-school basis. Exchanges also bring young students interested in a career in education for gap year experiences, working as teaching assistants. The Round Square network makes it possible to match an exchanged student or teacher to a school.
As exchange is popular, each school is enriched by an annual flow 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. Democracy Active participation in the democratic process is essential in Round Square schools. Students learn the importance of self-discipline, and are trained and obliged to share in the daily operation of the school. 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. Environment Round Square schools are actively involved in maintaining a concern for all natural environments. Adventure Round Square students are also educated in the appreciation of physical exercise and moral fortitude.
The unique location of Windermere School, in the Lake District National Park, ensures that our pupils place great emphasis on this aspects of the Round Square philosophy. Leadership Students learn that true leadership is found in those whose convictions are rooted in personal responsibility, kindness and justice. Senior students’ roles are substantial in every aspect of school life. Service Round Square prepares students for life by giving them experience of the privilege and values of service. Community service in schools and international projects in developing countries all educate students in the importance of serving others. For more information about Round Square please visit www.roundsquare.org
Round Square have embarked on a program to establish an alumni database and need feedback from any current or former student who has attended a Round Square regional or international conference, have been on an exchange, or worked on an RSIS or regional project. Please follow the alumni link click here and complete the questionnaire. Many thanks.
Every year Round Square organises at least six Round Square International Service (RSIS) projects. These bring students together from around the world to work as a truly international team, helping communities.
Every project aims to help students work towards our IDEALS. A unique opportunity for students and communities When students visit an RSIS project, they spend at least two weeks working on site. Project teams include students from the host country, so the visitors will begin to get a feel for the culture they are visiting. They also have the chance to go on cultural tours as well as adventure activities like treks, white-water rafting and safaris. Every RSIS project is led by a team of trained and experienced teachers from Round Square schools across the world. Leaders are selected on their experience and their knowledge of the area, as well as the experience they have of working with young people. Over the past few years Round Square has been involved in some truly life-changing projects across the world.
• Honduras – Built accommodation and facilities at an agricultural school for under-privileged boys
• Guatemala – Helped to build fog water-catchment nets in remote villages
• India, Ladakh – Teams constructed much-needed facilities in remote villages
• Kenya – A 5 year project provided dormitories and facilities in a Masai Girls’ School
• Peru – Provided essential earthquake relief, rebuilding damaged buildings in affected communities
• Northern Thailand – Brought clean drinking water to the remote villages of the Karen Hill tribe in the north “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Students in Year 9 have the opportunity to participate in the Round Square International exchange programme. This involves spending a term at a partner school in countries such as Australia, South Africa, India, Canada, New Zealand and USA.
This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn about other cultures through their own experiences. Windermere School regularly welcomes pupils from Round Square Schools, enabling all pupils to benefit from living and learning with children from all over the world. We also offer shorter exchange programmes to European Round Square Schools such as L’Ermitage in France and Birklehof in Germany. In 2010, we introduced an exchange programme with our twinned town of Diessen in Germany for Years 9 and 10.
Students have opportunities at various age levels to attend Round Square Conferences during their time at Windermere School. Participation in conferences helps to develop social skills and provides opportunities for broadening international experiences.
Each conference has a theme based on the IDEALS of Round Square, and offer a combination of guest speakers, group discussions, cultural visits, community service and adventure activities. All Round Square conferences are action-packed, vibrant, social and intellectual occasions which greatly enhance the ability of the young people who attend them to grasp a more complete world view – as well as a more complete view of themselves.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.