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Round Square


Roedean Joins Round Square

Kurt Hahn believed that it was crucial for young people to prepare for life by having them face it directly and experience it in ways that would demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution. So he established the pillars of Round Square – the IDEALS:

  • An International understanding and tolerance of others
  • Democratic governance and justice
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Self-discovery through Adventure
  • Leadership
  • Service to others

Round Square Committee 2015

Round Square continues to grow and we are proud of the progress that we are making. Roedean’s Exchange Programme was particularly successful in 2015 with a number of incoming and outgoing exchanges. The success of these has resulted in an increased subscription to the 2016 Exchange Programme, with new schools and new adventures just waiting to happen!

In addition, in 2014 Roedean launched Round Square talks and Barazas. Round Square talks are linked to the IDEALS and Roedean’s values, as well as current issues within our community (local and/or global). This is followed by a Baraza, a discussion forum based along vertical lines, in which the girls each have equal voice. They are encouraged to form opinions about the information related in the talk, and to share those opinions in a “safe” not judgmental environment.

At the Round Square International Conference hosted by the King’s Academy, the Round Square Board confirmed Roedean School (SA)’s application for global membership. This followed unanimous support for our nomination as a global member school at the Africa Regional AGM. Global membership will extend our opportunities within the Round Square Family, including, but not limited to, Round Square International Conferences and Round Square International Service Projects.

If you’d like to know more about Round Square, or Round Square activities, at Roedean School (SA), please feel free to get hold of the Round Square Representative, Mrs Sandy Murray, or the Assistant Round Square Representative, Ms Tamara Nel.

What is Round Square ?

Round Square is a world-wide association of more than 80 schools on five continents sharing unique and ambitious goals. Students attending Round Square schools make a strong commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility. This is achieved by participating in community service, work projects, exchange programmes and adventuring, which can, and often does, take students half way around the world.

Round Square is based on the theories of experiential educational philosopher Kurt Hahn. Dr. Hahn, one of the twentieth century’s foremost revolutionaries in education, believed that schools should have a greater purpose beyond preparing students for college and university.

He believed that it was crucial for young people to prepare for life by having them face it directly and experience it in ways that would demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution. Round Square is an organization embodying this educational revolution.

Dr. Hahn has led to the creation of many outstanding schools, as well as Outward Bound, the United World Colleges and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award., (and its follow-up the “International Award”). As the number of Round Square schools continues to grow and the co-operation among these organizations increases, Hahn’s philosophy is making a solid and creative impact on the lives of thousands of students.

All member schools share a strong underlying belief: this is the view of learning by doing. It is an ongoing process of self-confrontation and formation, involving a fundamental objective of the full and individual development of every student into a whole person…academically, physically, culturally and spiritually, within the supportive environment of a school community.

This underlying belief also embraces the importance of service to others, adventure and leadership training, responsibility and international understanding. All these are essential in preparing young people to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and compassion.

Round Square is a Registered Charity in the United Kingdom

Registered Charity Number : 327117


Roedean School (SA) takes great pleasure in inviting you to the 2016 Round Square Africa Regional Conference for 14-15 Year-Olds.

As one of the oldest schools in Johannesburg, Roedean School (SA) celebrates the rich and varied history of Johannesburg. Our conference will explore the challenges and triumphs of our urban environment, and inspire the delegates to join the conversations around the relevance of the Round Square IDEALS to our city, South Africa, and beyond.

We live in a digitally connected society, and our theme, Tagging Tomorrow Together, links into the growing trend of voicing our opinions and expressing solidarity on social issues. As the conference delegates contribute to our service partnership programmes, reflect on the speakers’ insights, enjoy adventure and experience how our highest court in our land safeguards South Africa’s constitution, they will be able to express their views on our social media platform.

We look forward to sharing this Round Square adventure with you.

For more information, please download the Round Square Africa Regional Conference PDF document:

Click Here to Download PDF Document

View Round Square conference video that was held in February by going to the following link:

View Conference Video


Our hosting of the Round Square Africa Regional Conference was a great success, and, by all accounts, the visiting schools and the MVs who represented Roedean left enriched and energised.
There were numerous outstanding successes:

The service day at our Flying Children partnership afforded each delegate the opportunity to engage with a pre-school learner.
Guest speaker, Shaka Sisulu, inspired each delegate, and many adults, to become a superhero for service and change.
Zahra Abba Omar and her team inspired a fashion show from recycled material. This sparked very creative outfits, and the boys entered into the spirit of the event enthusiastically.
Justice Edwin Cameron addressed us in the Constitution Court, and we left with a firm conviction that there is much to be done to ensure that justice and dignity is secured in our country. Rachel Swart and her team ran a Democracy Game which challenged our perceptions of privilege and success.
The young people enjoyed a social evening with Drum Café and with Ms Avril Cummins who ran an inspiring interactive event.
The Amazing Race at the Zoo inspired both adventure and interesting discussions about environment. Thanks are extended to Jo Theron, who worked tirelessly to create a most imaginative and worthwhile race.
Sonja Kruse, our final guest speaker, spoke about her experience of Ubuntu and inspired all of us to engage with all South Africans.
The conference owes its success to many people who gave of their time and expertise.
Thanks are gratefully extended to the staff who ensured the smooth running of the conference. Particular thanks to Charlotte Hulley for her significant role with Flying Children, to the guest speakers, and to Tamara Nel, who ensured that First Aid was available, and that the risk assessment was adhered to, and that the logistics and events ran timeously.
Sandy Murray: Round Square Representative
Hanlie De Bondt: Logo design; Sharon Hanson: Transport; Karla Brice and her FEDICS team; Theresa Briel and her Housekeeping team; Lizzie Monedi and her Supercare team; Gabi Kriel and her Finance staff; Willie Roos and his Grounds staff; Marius Brink and Ralf Schmitt: the Roedean Choir, Jazz and Brass Bands; Charlotte Hulley, Marietjie Le Roux, Nomonde Mkhabela, Tshidi Mogodiri, Anel Natali and Bea Toniolo: Service Projects; Dorian Love and Katherine Aitken: Social Media; Theresa Briel: décor creation; Tamara Nel: risk assessment and first aid; Madeleine Brown, Roger Bourquin and Lorraine Riley: Drum Café; Alison Williams, Ben Adam, Rose Karam and Dave Taylor: Social Picnic; Nicci Carboni, Katherine Aitken and Lareine Rainsford: Amazing Race; Sue Rabie, Chris Skeef and Bamaket-se Ramalia, Kate Lowings and Lareine Rainsford: programme, signage, lanyards and goodie bags; Basil McKenzie and Lise Gordon: students’ social; Emma Shelver: registrations; Sonja Vandeleur: Constitution Hill; SAORA: Mrs Denise White: T-Shirts.
Our Baraza leaders, most of whom are in Matric, planned events for months and gave up their Half Term to guide and nurture our young visitors. Many schools commented on their leadership, which, for a conference of this nature, is the core to its success.

Back Row (L-R): Laura Robinson, Nadine Netshidzivhani,
Jo Theron, Natasha France, Kate Stucke, Tsitsi Chalumbira, Rachel Swart, Kutloano Mokgethi, Jemma Williams
Second Row: Ms. Sue Rabie, Ama Adu, Khaya Mxenge,
Ms. Tamara Nel, Mrs. Sandy Murray, Caitlin van der Merwe, Brittany Vinnicombe, Ms. Charlotte Hulley
Front Row: Yashna Bhutt, Zahra Abba-Omar,
Chloё Stipinovich, Raeesa Cachalia.
Absent: Khadijah Younus

Our photographers gave up their Half-Term, and they have produced a most amazing iMovie of the conference— (please download first).
Thank you to: Dhrutika Patel, Olivia Olsson, Jessica Bachelor, Casey Main, and Robyn Apollus for their hours of dedication both in taking the photographs, and in creating the iMovie. Ms. Rabies’ support in this regard is most appreciated. Layla Li supported Ms. Nel with First Aid. Thank you Layla.
Thank you, as well, to the helpers who supported the Baraza leaders and staff in duties from packing goodie bags and, welcoming delegates to running events, such as the Fashion Show, Democracy Game, and the Amazing Race.
Round Square Reflection-Cassie Nussey:
Who can forget the excitement of opening our hotel rooms with fancy keycards, running around the school, taking selfies everywhere, eating morning breakfast with everyone, and the anti-climax of leaving the hotel on Monday morning?!
One of the biggest realizations I had was that nobody knew me. They didn’t know my name, my origin, my culture, my traditions, my beliefs, and where I came from. I thought I was going to feel as if I were in Grade 0 again, awkwardly walking towards a stranger and introducing myself. But, when waiting in reception and when the St. Constantine’s delegates walked in through the door, all it took was a “Hello” and soon I was making friends from all over the continent, one after another.
When I was in my Baraza group, I became aware of how many different opinions and ideas there were. I learnt how important it is to listen to other people’s perspectives and how one small idea can change the world. We grew together and had fun, as if we had known one another for years. Nobody judged and we accepted one another. I was open to say anything, speak my mind, try to dance, play the Jemba drum, and ask questions about anything and everything.
When listening to all the speakers, I realized that I don’t need a following and expensive resources to be an activist, that I didn’t only need to study law to fight for my rights, and don’t need money to have an adventure, but a good spirit. I’ve probably met the first female president and that is an incredible thought!
The Round Square Africa Regional Conference for 14-to-15-years-olds was one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. Not only because of meeting new people and enjoying my half-term, but because I grew so much as a result of it!

International Conference: Singapore 2-8 Oct 2016

(L – R) Mrs M Williams, Rachel Swart, Nadine Netshidzivhani, Jemma Williams, Yashna Bhutt, Zahra Abba Omar, Mrs S Murray and Khaya Mxenge accepted our Global Round Square membership from King Constantine of Greece, patron of Round Square.

Zahra reflects on the conference:

The Round Square International Conference of 2015 was hosted by United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore. The College, which was founded on the principles of Kurt Hahn, is a vibrant environment with a diverse student body – more than 70 nationalities are represented at the school!

The Roedean delegation met at O.R. Tambo on September 28th brimming with excitement. Months of anticipation and conference preparation workshops and the frantic arrangement of the necessary documents for our passage culminated in a ten-hour flight. We spent our first three days in Singapore exploring the city-state and acclimatizing to the agonizing time difference. We journeyed to the world-famous Singapore Zoo, the home of two Giant Pandas; a species on the brink of extinction. We surveyed the exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum and explored the magnificent architectural feat of Gardens by the Bay.

The conference began on October 2nd , and it proved to be a whirlwind six days around the conference’s theme of “Act today, change tomorrow” of engaging discussion, fascinating speakers, and bonding with people from all over the world. The conference approached sustainability in an unexpected, multi-faceted way. Sustainability does not merely relate to the preservation of the environment, but it must balance that focus with the economic and social spheres; a notion reiterated throughout the conference.

We were privileged to attend the addresses of several phenomenal speakers during the conference. Our first keynote address was by Tim Jarvis, the celebrated explorer who retraced Ernest Shackleton’s journey across Antarctica. Tim Jarvis used the same rudimentary equipment. Jarvis’ work highlights the necessity of formidable leadership within environmentalism. Our second keynote address was from Kavita Ramdas, current representative for the Ford Foundation and former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. She spoke passionately about how impossible dreams start in small places within the world of activism. The final keynote address was delivered Nidhi Kapur, who has worked for a number of international organizations in conflict and post-conflict zones. She discussed the bridging of our beliefs and our actions, a notion that perfectly tied the conference to a close.

The theme of sustainability was also explored in our Baraza groups, which were more like workshops on this conference. Our Baraza leaders taught us about systems thinking and how it can be used to create and implement sustainable solutions. We learnt fascinating thinking tools that are used in scenario planning and public policy, and we hope to share what we’ve learnt with Roedean. The idea of sustainability within service was also investigated on our service day of conference when we worked with UWCSEA’s myriad of social responsibility partners to learn about the work they did. A very hands-on exploration of sustainability in practice took place on our Discover Singapore Day, when we toured Singapore using only public transport.

I believe that attending this conference prompted personal growth in each one of the six of us. For me it certainly expanded the scope with which I view sustainability and learning about systems thinking transformed my approach to solving problems. It shook up some deeply-rooted personal beliefs of mine and fortified others. This conference also showed me the importance of idealism when tackling our global challenges. We all loved meeting students from around the world and forged meaningful bonds with many of them. Furthermore, I was blessed to be a part of a dynamic Roedean delegation and I am thankful for the chance to bond with them on this trip. I encourage all Roedean girls who are looking to have their lives changed to apply for regional and international conferences in the coming years.

On behalf of my delegation I would like to extend gratitude to Ms. Nel for facilitating conference workshops, to our parents for their support and patience, and to Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Murray for accompanying us on our unforgettable journey.

2016 Exchange Programme

Round Square exchanges: Exchange news.

Danielle Henwood from Ballarat, Australia, reflects on a most successful exchange with her host sister, Andrea Jury:
I wanted to come on exchange because I had never been overseas before and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different culture from that which I am normally accustomed to, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
At Roedean I’ve enjoyed so many things, from being a part of the tennis team, the UV camp to Babanango, participating in Community Service, to taking subjects I normally wouldn’t take. Also listening to all the Aussie-accent impersonations was quite interesting, but there are quite a few people I reckon have got the hang of it now!
What I’ve learned from being at Roedean is to be grateful for the time my school back in Australia starts at. I thought starting school at 9 was early, little did I know, I would be expecting a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call every morning when I came here. I also remember, on my first day, sitting in on a period of Afrikaans for the first time. Now that was an interesting experience! I’m sure it would have been good if I could have just understood one word of what Mrs Le Roux was saying! Since then, though I’ve come far in my knowledge of the Afrikaans vocabulary, I can safely say that my time here has been pretty lekker.
South Africa overall has been absolutely amazing, and I’m so lucky to have gone to all the places I’ve been to. From Cape Town, to Durban, to a game reserve, I really have seen it all, and am grateful to my host family for giving me all the wonderful opportunities to explore this country. So, thank you so much to the Jury Family: Nicola, Brett and Michael, you have been so accommodating and I really have started to feel as if I’m at home. Thanks, Andrea, for being a great host sister, and I can’t wait for you to come to Australia soon!
Of course I have to thank the UV’s a well. Every single one of you has contributed to making my time here an experience to remember. Your friendliness is something I will cherish and I will miss you all so much when I leave! I’d also like to thank Sarah Martinson, because you were a familiar face around the school. When I first arrived, you answered any questions I had, so thank you for that!
I would also like to thank Mr Hanlon, the Ex-change coordinator at Ballarat Grammar, and everyone else who assisted me back home, such as my parents and my trusty travel-agent. I would also like to thank all the teachers at Roedean, as you have all helped so much, and I’m entirely grateful for that. Special thanks to Mrs Murray for all your help with getting me here. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you to Mrs Williams for giving me the opportunity to come to Roedean. Thank you, Roedean as a whole, for making my experience such a memorable one.

Andrea Jury (l) with her exchange sister Danielle Henwood.

Nathalie Franke from Salem reflects on her exchange with her host sister Kirsten Boyce.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After the choice had been made that my exchange was going to take place in South Africa, I began to occupy myself more intensivly with the country. The first search results such as: “What did South Africa use before Candles? -Electricity.” ,follwed by satirical news about politics and finacials could not exactly be called calming.
My initial motivation to go on exchange was to gain experiences, as much diversity as possible and to find myself as an idividual in the big picture. So where, if not in the Rainbow Nation, would the entire spectrum of cultures be provided?
My school in southern Germany is called Schule Schloss Salem, and what is remarkable about my school is the fact that we are one of the eight Round Square Foundation Schools. Therefore, we focus particularly on the Ideals. In one of our services, the sustainability service, I heard for the first time about Load Shedding. To be sure, these measure affected you as well because one needs electricity to get up at half past five in the mornig and study until eleven in the evening what leads me to my next point- the academic excellece at Roedean.
Your are already significant in your methods of mastering the daily challenges with plenty of engagement and ambition. And considering all the academic pressure, it is even more exceptional how warm and welcoming students and teachers always behaved towards me regardless of whether it was during Community Service, Interact or even during my quite complicated and eventually failed first and last hockey session. Everyone always had a few nice words: for instance “Howisit?”, even though it took me two days to understand what it was supposed to mean.
Next to the activities I will particularly remember a few special events such as the unifying Foundation Day and House Night as much as the humorous Houseplays that proved again how a strong community influences the quality of a school.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t only the Roedean-Family who made this experience special but also my host family, Inge, Peter and Kirsten Boyce, who afforded me so many various impressions of South Africa. Their general knowledge always provided relevant facts that supported my understanding of politics and culture enormously. In addition, their understanding and consideration helped me particularly over the tough times of homesickness and nostalgia.
Excuses to all Joburgers, but I must admit that my fantastic trip to Cape Town represents the outstanding highlight of my exchange. Standing on top of Table Mountain, climbing the 120 steps of Cape Point, watching the stunning sunset above the Atlantic Ocean and being surrounded by a scenery of winefarms in front of overwhelming mountains is simply unique. That experience strengthened once more the impression of the beauty of this coutry, but also the massive contrast between rich and poor.
Although not everybody mentioned can be present at the moment, I want to express my great thanks to Kirsten and her parents, as well as to my school for the financial support, the whole of my family and of course all Roedean members for my memorable time. Awe!

Kirsten Boyce with Nathalie Franke from Salem, Germany

Senior School experiences a Round Square Baraza

One of the many ways of engaging in the IDEALS of Round Square is through Baraza.

A Baraza is a discussion forum where each girls’ opinion is heard and valued.

Section 27 spoke to the school about their work in engaging with government about ensuring that the standards and services of education are honoured in schools.

The address was followed by girls dividing into their Baraza groups (Consisting of girls across all grades) and discussing the issues that the speaker raised.

A second Baraza was held in the third term which highlighted South Africa’s water resources. A discussion followed concerning water conservation – especially in the context of the current heatwaves and drought.

Ms Tamara Nel hosted Section 27


One of Roedean’s many social reponsibility partners isFlying Children.

All the Senior School girls are invovled in preparing rescources for the creches that foster early childhood development.

The boxes of teaching material that supports arly childhood development are created by the girls and delivered to the creches main in the West Rad of Johannesburg.

The boxes of teaching material that supports arly childhood development are created by the girls and delivered to the creches main in the West Rad of Johannesburg.

Girls give of their time to refurbish the Flying Children Creches.


These two exchange students are Vain Singh and Kashni Dahli from the Lawrence School in India.

“I learnt how to take a responsible risk and try something new that could be a challenge but also fun.”

“I learnt that it is important to be selfless and not to think about yourself and to help others for a change.”

Giving Back to the community