Abbotsholme has been a member of the Round Square family since 1989. The primary reason that we joined is because the founding principles of Abbotsholme and Round Square are very closely linked. The founding principles of Round Square – the six ‘pillars’ or IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service are interwoven throughout both our curriculum and our cross-curricular activities.
Being a member of Round Square opens up a wealth of opportunities for both our students and our staff. Through our student committee we are involved in fundraising in order to fund special projects each year. The first is the support of a pupil at Starehe Boys’ Centre in Kenya. Our fundraising each year helps to send Collins Kipkorir to school and make the most of educational opportunities that we take very much for granted. In addition we raise money for the Round Square Discovery Fund, which provides the materials for Service Projects in developing countries. In recent years Sixth Form pupils have assisted with building projects in Cambodia and Peru. Fundraising events in the coming weeks are a Bake Sale on 21 November and a Christmas Raffle – any donations for the raffle would be gratefully received!
Every year Sixth Formers have the opportunity to attend the Round Square International Conference where over 500 pupils and staff come together to discuss key topical issues, take part in shared service and adventure projects and listen to inspirational keynote speakers. This October we travelled to Aiglon College in Switzerland (please see my article under Round Square) and next year we will have the amazing opportunity to travel to Cape Town. The conference promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Not all events take place so far away, however! In the coming months we are planning to take a group of Year 7, 8 & 9 pupils to Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, our nearest Round Square partner, to take part in a Ready, Steady, Cook competition, it should be a lot of fun.
In January we have two planned events. For the first time we hope to send a team to the International Basketball Competition held at Herlufsholm School in Denmark. At the end of the month I am taking two pupils to Transylvania College in Romania to attend a weekend conference with the title Rethinking Leadership. The same school is hosting a debating competition in March and we hope to send a team of Year 11 and Year 12 pupils to take part.
And that’s not all. Our bi-annual trip to Costa Rica to work alongside a community in the rainforest in taking place next April. This is a wonderful trip which gives the pupils an opportunity to consider the impact that their actions have on the environment and a chance to help re-forest areas of the rainforest that have been cleared. The money that we pay to the community goes directly to buying further tracts of land, which the community work hard to re-forest.
Our links between schools make exchanges possible, both pupil and teacher. In the summer we sent two pupils on exchange, one to Markham College in Peru and the other to Westminster School in Australia. This term we have benefitted from a teacher exchange. Federico del Carpio has joined us from Belgrano Day School in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has worked tirelessly as a Spanish and OEd assistant.
Federico explains in his own words what the experience has meant to him:
Abbotsholme School has opened its doors and welcomed me as part of its family, with generosity and confidence. Having this experience, is an opportunity for personal and professional growth for me. I never imagined being in another country doing what I love. However, Abbotsholme School and Round Square made it possible. Belgrano Day School, my school in Buenos Aires, is the first and only Round Square member of Argentina. There, I work in the Global Education and Innovation Department, where we promote internationalism and technological and pedagogical innovation. We have done many student international exchanges between different schools around the world, although doing it with staff members gives us the possibility of expanding our pedagogical view and to discover new educational horizons. And who says, maybe it is the beginning of something new. Thank you Abbotsholme. Thank you Round Square.
If you any questions about Round Square or the trips and events mentioned, please get in touch with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org