Round Square has since grown to a family of 120 global member schools around the world. The Lyceum, having been founded on similar principles, was the first and to date only school in Pakistan to be invited to join Round Square, in 2011.
As a Round Square school, the Lyceum commits to the six RS IDEALS of learning: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. They are incorporated into the curriculum throughout all Round Square member schools.
This also means that Lyceum students have the opportunity to interact with students from around the globe at conferences, service projects, adventure trips and debates to name a few.
How did Round Square Start?
Round Square started as a group of European schools, led by German educational philosopher Dr. Kurt Hahn. These schools shared unique and ambitious goals regarding human development based on Dr Hahn’s theories of experiential education. 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. As a result, he felt that young people would become empowered and develop the skills and abilities to be the leaders and guardians of tomorrow's world Round Square is an organization embodying this educational philosophy.
All member schools share a strong underlying belief: this is the view of learning by doing with the fundamental objective of the 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 values are essential in preparing young people to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and compassion. As the number of Round Square schools continues to grow and the cooperation among these organizations increases, Hahn's philosophy is making a solid and creative impact on the lives of thousands of students.
The Round Square International Conference
The Round Square International Conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young people to interact with their peers from 87 countries, during a week in which they all participate in Adventure, Environmental, and Community Service activities, interact with distinguished keynote speakers and other guests, and discuss important global issues relevant to the conference theme. We were particularly excited to attend the conference this year as all Round Square schools will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Round Square.
Each year Round Square schools send teams of representatives to a five-day conference held at a member school. During the conference the prior year’s collaborative activities are reported on and evaluated, and new projects are planned. Discussions, related to the theme of the conference, examine topics of importance to the member schools and the world.
Programmes initiated by Round Square help institutionally and culturally different, but like-minded students meet and share their points of view. Friendships are made through activities, expeditions and events organized by the host school. Visitors are introduced, not only to the host school, but also the country, the culture and the environment.
The 2016 Conference
This year's conference was hosted at Aiglon College in Villars, Switzerland, and the theme was "The Journey that Makes Us." The idea of a journey is not only referring to the journeys made to arrive in Europe, but also encompasses the journey each one of us makes through his or her life and the journey Round Square has made through the last 50 years.
Students from all over the world came together to collaborate and engage with activities, keynote presentations and discussion groups reflecting upon the process of individual and collective development and growth.
The Lyceum & Round Square
At the Lyceum the Round Square philosophy naturally complements the founding principles of our school. Part of this entails attending the Round Square conferences, service projects, adventure expeditions, and Model United Nations.
Our Student Council and its Round Square Committee is charged with increasing engagement among the entire student body with the values of global understanding and the environment, by forging new connections with others around the world and deepening their understanding of global and local issues, democracy by learning to negotiate and collaborate within the microcosm of the school and the community at large, environmentalism, adventure, leadership and service.
I want to take part
You, as a Lyceum students, may refer to the Round Square Activity Calendar (below) and are encouraged to talk to the Round Square Rep, attend RS Committee meetings or ask the Student Council about Round Square opportunities while they are at the Lyceum. A good rule of thumb is to try and plan attendance at a conference, service project or other activity three to six months beforehand in order to successfully raise funds, apply for visas and prepare.
Round Square Service Projects
Every Round Square school offers students a wide range of projects to help them learn how to be of service to others. These projects can often be challenging, forcing students to step out of their comfort zone.
Schools can provide projects individually, or can join with other schools to create an initiative across a region or sometimes on a wider international scale.
In addition to these school-run projects, Round Square itself organises International Service (RSIS) Projects for students from its member schools. These bring together young people from all over the world to work as a truly international team providing much-needed assistance to disadvantaged communities.
In 2013, Round Square secured enough funding to operate ten RSIS projects. While the number of projects have now been reduced to one in December and one in July, the experience and opportunity to work for a cause in unison with other cultures remains a life-changing experience for students who have the opportunity to attend them.
In 2015, three Lyceum students attended Round Square international projects and leadership camps in South Africa and Peru
Once Lyceum students have returned from an International Conference or Service project, they are expected to apply and spread their experiences and learning to the community at large in collaboration and with the support of the Student Council and the Round Square Committee.
What do we do in RSIS Projects?
When students visit a Round Square International Service project, they spend two to three weeks working on-site. The work they do is simple, of real local value and physically hard. It provides a win-win situation whereby the local community receives much-needed sustainable assistance, and the young workers learn responsibility and selflessness, learn about other students their age from different parts of the world, and most importantly, that they are needed by so many communities worldwide.
How is RSIS structured?
Each project team is made up of an experienced adult Leadership Team (all of whom are staff/faculty from Round Square member schools) and on average 20 young people aged 16-19 from Member Schools around the world. Our participants meet each other for the first time on arrival in country but bond as a team very quickly as they set about their task. Round Square works alongside local NGOs, organisations and communities to identify needs and ensure that the well-being of the locals and volunteers is a first priority. To help local economies, every effort is made to ensure that local labour and materials are used. We work alongside local people so that they can take ownership of the work once the project is complete.