Round Square

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Round Square
Round Square logo.jpg
Round Square logo
Type International Organization of Member Schools
Membership New schools inducted by election of member schools
Official language Working language is English

The Round Square Conference of Schools is a worldwide association of more than 100 schools[1] that allows students to travel between schools, tour foreign countries, involve themselves in community service and discover cultures along the way.


Round Square is based on the thought of German educator and philosopher Kurt Hahn.[2][3] Hahn believed that schools should not just prepare pupils for higher education, but should in fact be places to prepare them for life.[2]

In 1966, representatives from six schools based on Hahn's philosophy met in Salem, Germany to celebrate Hahn's eightieth birthday.[3] The meeting was presided over by King Constantine II of Greece, who was to become patron of the conference.[3] The group's next meeting took place in Gordonstoun, and the name "Round Square" is derived from a 17th-century building at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. Built in the 17th century as an estate square to house horses, carriages and equipment for the estate, it had a circular design recalling buildings the designer, Sir Robert Gordon, had seen on his travels in Italy. That led to the oxymoronic name, the "Round Square".[3][4]


Similar to Outward Bound, Round Square schools share an educational philosophy that supports the growth of the "whole person". This philosophy is based upon the Round Square "IDEALS" (a backronym that represents the six pillars around which Round Square schools function):[5]

The common goal is to develop every student into a whole person through academic, physical, cultural and spiritual experiences.

There are more than 60 Round Square schools located around the globe in Africa, Australia, Asia, Continental Europe, India, the Middle East, North America, South America, and the United Kingdom.

Round Square Activities[edit]

Student Exchanges[edit]

Students at any Round Square schools may go on an exchange for a semester to any of the other schools, and thus both schools benefit from the experience of direct interaction with people from another part of the world.

Round Square International Service Projects[edit]

Round Square International Service (RSIS) Projects embody all six pillars through community service projects, such as raising a new building. Over a school break, students from different Round Square schools will converge on a single location, which is often one of the less privileged schools, where they will work together on a project. The materials required for these projects are raised through the Prince Alexander Fund, and do not require funding from attending students.

Regional Projects[edit]

Regional Projects are similar to RSIS projects but are by invitation only.


There are a variety of conferences that allow student delegates to meet from around the world and progress Round Square.

Annual International Conferences[edit]

Annually, a conference is held at a member school. All schools are invited to attend and it is at these conferences that the Annual General Meeting is held and the future of Round Square is decided. It is also an opportunity for student delegates to meet and discuss issues related to the IDEALS principles. The most recent was held in the United States in 2013 and the next conference will take place in Jordan and India in 2014.

Regional Conferences[edit]

Usually, a school will host an annual conference for other member schools within its region.

Young Round Square Schools[edit]

Conferences are held for students in middle school. These conferences are annual and are divided by region.


  1. ^ "Member Schools in the Round Square". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b Wendy Bosberry-Scott (October 2010). The John Catt Guide to International Schools 2010/11. John Catt Educational Ltd. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-904724-82-7. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ashley Thomson; Sylvie Lafortune (1 October 1999). Handbook of Canadian Boarding Schools. Dundurn Press Ltd. pp. 621–625. ISBN 978-1-55002-323-7. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "'Round square' page on Gordonstoun website". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  5. ^ "Round Square IDEALS symbolism". Archived from the original on 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 

External links[edit]