Renaissance and Round Square
Founded in 1966, Round Square maintains and facilitates a worldwide network of 160 schools in 40 countries. Those schools share a holistic approach to learning built around six IDEALS of learning. Membership of the Round Square network offers schools a framework for excellence and continuous improvement, along with structured opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with like-minded peers around the world.
Students have an incredible opportunity to explore other cultures, develop international friendships and learn the value of helping the less fortunate. International service projects, conferences and exchange programs all work to develop a truly international, diverse and exciting education for students.
In April of 2011, Renaissance became a Regional member of Round Square and April of 2016, proudly became a Global member. The Round Square Committee are a voice to guide Round Square initiatives. The school’s many dedicated staff willingly volunteer to take part in organising charitable works and services within the local community.
Renaissance is dedicated to working with the students and the parent community to ensure that the Round Square IDEALS are embedded within the school culture.
Round Square schools share an educational philosophy that supports the growth of the “whole person”. At Renaissance this philosophy embraces a series of six pillars or precepts which can be summed up in the word IDEALS. They are Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Students at Renaissance make a commitment to addressing each of these pillars through residentials, educational visits, work projects, community service and international awards.
The common goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every student as a whole person through the simultaneous realisation of academic, physical, cultural and spiritual aspirations.
IDEALS Opportunities at Renaissance
Curriculum Options Lessons
In keeping with Round Square philosophy, providing a well-rounded education, the Curriculum Options Lessons (COLs) programme enables students to participate in learning that compliments classroom learning. This gives students an opportunity to try something new or to receive expert coaching in a chosen area. Activities are led by staff or peripatetic instructors. Not all activities happen at school, so sometimes students travel off campus to participate in their favorite activity.
Activities are offered in the areas of sport, creative, language, ICT, dance, community, social and music, allowing students to achieve in all areas of the IDEALS. Students are offered the opportunity to change their selection of activities at the beginning of each of the three terms.
Primary and Secondary Parliaments
The voice of the students: Each year two student MPs are elected from each form class, year level and key stage. This elected body of students meet weekly to discuss important matters concerning the learning environment, social climate and general satisfaction of the students they represent. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of democracy, leadership and service to their peers.
From Year 4, students take part in Residential visits. These take place both locally and abroad, and are a wonderful opportunity for students to see the world from a new perspective. During the residential students are given the opportunity to experience and achieve within the IDEALS framework in a way that would not be possible whilst on campus. Each student will gain new skills based in adventure, learn about the heritage and culture of the people they are visiting, participate in community service work, and discover more about themselves and others.
Each year Renaissance dedicates itself to a variety of charitable initiatives to support the wider community and to enable the students to learn the importance of social responsibility, compassion and caring. We actively encourage the wider community to become involved in these events.
Kurt Hahn’s IDEALS:
International Understanding – Students are taught to appreciate, value and respect all cultures, religions and languages. They learn to see themselves as global citizens and are asked to look beyond gender, class, race, nationality and culture to understand human nature. Round Square Schools organize term-length exchanges among students, GAP students (who are pre-university, post-secondary) and faculty. Annually, delegations of students and staff gather at a member school to attend an international conference and learn about, and tackle, some of the most challenging world issues through presentation, discussion and debate.
Democracy – Teaching students both the values of democracy and the importance of active participation in democracy is essential to Round Square schools. Freedom of thought and speech is greatly encouraged and appropriate forums and channels of communication are set in place. Students are also taught to appreciate the importance of self-discipline and are trained and expected to share in the running of the school. Therefore, student government and a genuine sense of responsibility in the management of the school are goals in all Round Square schools.
Environmental Stewardship – Students learn about the importance of tending to the future of the planet. Round Square schools and their students are expected to demonstrate an active interest and concern for all natural environments, to be aware of proven problems and to play a practical role in tackling environmental issues.
Students are taught the fine balance and the interdependence needed to maintain a healthy relationship between human beings and the planet. Special programmes, work projects and curricula all emphasize each young person’s destiny to be a guardian of human society and the global environment.
Adventure – Building the body and soul through adventure, meeting physical challenge and developing an appreciation of the outdoors: these are all central to Round Square schools. Each school arranges outdoor and extra-curricular activities that challenge and strongly engage students, individually and within groups, in ways that promote personal growth and self-discovery. Round Square also recognises that Adventure is not just about the great outdoors, and that students can develop a strong spirit of adventure and enquiry through setting and then stretching to reach a personal goal in other hobbies and areas of interest. All Round Square schools are expected to offer activities that foster a spirit of adventure and allow students to discover that they are capable of more than they might have imagined.
Leadership – Students of Round Square schools learn that true leadership is found in those whose convictions are rooted in personal responsibility, kindness and justice. Opportunities for student leadership in the school’s community are fostered.
Leadership roles, held by senior students, in particular, are substantial and range from management of housekeeping positions to holding key leadership positions. A high level of responsibility is passed on to students individually and collectively. Round Square committees in schools are chaired by students, and various leadership positions of consequence are shared by the students. The annual conference is an ideal forum for students to demonstrate leadership skills, both in the planning process and public administration.
Service – A key method used by Round Square schools to prepare students for life is by the expectation of serving others. Each student is encouraged to perform a substantial number of service hours, either in school-sponsored, regional or international projects.
Round Square International Service Projects bring together students from member schools across the globe to work as a truly international team in some of the poorest parts of the world. The work they do is simple, of real local value and physically demanding. Round Square international teams currently work in Cambodia, Peru, India, and South Africa and tasks tackled include building and refurbishing schools, classrooms and community centres.
For more information about Round Square: https://www.roundsquare.org/