Like many of you reading this, Round Square was something I had heard about and was interested in but never did I understand its true power and true meaning until I experienced it for myself at the Round Square Global Conference at Aiglon College, Switzerland. I am so privileged to have been given the opportunity to attend, along with Molly and Sadie in Year 12 and Mr McKeown. The experience was unlike any other and I have thought long and hard about the reasoning behind this. I look back on it as a highlight of my career to date…why? Well, that is a little harder to explain.
I think the first thing that struck me was its energy; a shared understanding with like-minded people, a togetherness sharing the love for the IDEALS that make Round Square so unique and the power it has to make everyone involved feel they can (in whatever way possible) become ‘Agents of Change’.
The love and pride each school had to be a part of this organisation was tangible; with pupils from all over the globe coming together to understand more about who they are as individuals and trying to understand better their place within the world. As a fairly new school to Round Square, AKS was able to mix with schools who have been part of this organisation for many years, some of which since it began.
As I connected with both Molly and Sadie throughout the week about their experiences, I was taken back to thinking about how much my younger self would have got from this experience at 16 years of age. Although I am extremely happy with who I am today, I know this would have answered many unanswered questions I had about myself and the world I lived in growing up as a teenage girl. I put so much pressure on myself to be the person I thought I should be; I rarely stopped to think about who I truly was.
Everything we believe right for our pupils at AKS, everything we strive for in ‘better’ learners resonated in the Global Conference we attended. The message was simple; it is the journey that makes us. And what a message to unpick! Sometimes we are so infatuated by the end goal, we forget about life’s lessons along the way. As learners we need to accept failure and learn from it, understand that self-reflective thought is the most powerful tool and be inspired by stories from influential people who have learnt lessons from the journey they have been on. We need to learn from those who have struggled in order to gain courage and inspiration for ourselves and seek perspective on our own lives and the world around us. We do this to become more confident, articulate leaders of the future and where better to learn this than with those same like-minded people.
Here at AKS, I am delighted that I am part of a team that is able to look at all the Round Square opportunities on offer and tailor them to ensure individuals experience to get the very best out of the pupils in our care, giving them chance to push boundaries and step out of their comfort zone.
Although the Global Conference sparked my interest in the organisation, Round Square is not just about conferences, service projects and exchanges. However, its spirit is hard to miss within those who have had the opportunity to experience it. Round Square is about learning from the ‘doing’ in order to ‘become’, for ‘it’ to then be inherent in our nature, spreading to all those willing to open their eyes to see the power and the energy. For me, the Global Conference gave pupils like Molly and Sadie an insight into what RS was all about, it ignited something within them. They are now the spokespeople of the Round Square movement at AKS and, alongside their team, are passing this onto others in the school and community each and every day. They understand that together, united we are stronger.
F E Horrocks