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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

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.

2015 Exchange Programme

The 2015 Exchange programme was a great success with girls travel
as far afield as Germany, France, India and Australia.

Outgoing exchange students:

Back Row: Nina Jacobson: Ermitage School, Paris; Georgia Theron: Vidja Devi Jindal, India;
Jessica Martin: St Philip’s Alice Springs, Australia.

Front row: Sarah Martinson: Ballarat Grammar, Australia; Eemaan Nassiep: Birkelhof, Germany: MRs Sandy Murray exchange coordinator; Ella Feldner-Buzstin: Salem, Germany and Zoe Coleman: Vidja Devi Jindal School, India.

Zoe Coleman and Georgia Theron reflect on their exchange to Vidya Devi Jindal School, Hisar, India.

What is it like? Is it dirty? Will they like me? What do I need to pack? These were the questions that pounded in our heads demanding answers. More dominantly though, was our excitement. After the lengthy selection process, we had been chosen for possibly the most exotic exchange destination offered: India.

When people ask us how to describe the way our exchange went, we often struggle to come up with even one word – so many activities, so much memories – and often settle on “indescribable.”

Our exchange began on the 28th of July and ended on the 24th of August. We were hosted by Vidya Devi Jindal School, a beautiful school allocated in a little town called Hisar. We wanted to experience the lives of young Indian girls, learning and absorbing all that we could, while savouring each second.

That is precisely what we did: from learning how to makes flowers out of paper, to cooking chapatis, and to learning how to play songs – such as the Titanic theme song – on the harmonium, we have experienced the full range of subjects offered there. Georgia particularly enjoyed our discussions in psychology, while Zoe enjoyed sociology. We participated in the Jindal Art Festival and travelled to Punjab Public School, Nabha to take part in the knowledge conclave that was being held there. We travelled to Chandigarh with Apoorva Pilania’s parents where we saw Suhkna lake, the Mansa Devi temple, and the Rock Gardens. We later travelled to Delhi with them and visited Dilli Haat and Akshardham temple. We also travelled with Vanshika Arora’s parents to their home in Sirsa. We went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal during our last weekend.

In those short 4 weeks, we have grown incredibly quickly and deeply. Our exchange was not just about brightly coloured saris and sweet aromas. It was about learning about oneself. It was about acquiring an understanding of the India itself and the people who call it home. It was about feeling the commonality of human experience and connecting into a global world of culture and spirituality. But mostly, it was about the friendly smiles in the hallways, the laughter shared in the mess and the deep bonds we forged with so many of the girls.

Zoe Coleman, Apoorva Pilania and Vanshika Arora from Vidja Vivi Jindal, and Zoe Coleman

Nina Jacobson (Left) welcomes Jeanne Rouot from Ermitage and Nontutuzelo Fuleni from Tiger Kloof.

Left to right: Eemaan Nassiep welcomes her host sister Marlene Munz from Birklehof, Germany; Johanna Kaa visits us from Salem, Germany; Jessica Martin welcomes her exchange Sigrid Smith.

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