Round Square

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

The Round Square is a not-for-profit network of schools in 40 countries on five continents that collaborate on a holistic approach to learning. The Round Square approach guides students into becoming well-rounded, informed, responsible, principled and confident global citizens. The Round Square schools build and benefit from a mutually supportive network that shares resources, ideas, methods, experience, opportunities, locally, regionally and internationally.


Round Square is based on the thought of German educator and philosopher Kurt Hahn. Hahn believed that schools should prepare pupils for higher education and be places to prepare them for life.

In 1966, representatives from six schools based on Hahn's philosophy met in Salem, Germany to celebrate Hahn's eightieth birthday. The meeting was presided over by King Constantine II of Greece, who was to become patron of the conference. 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".


Round Square schools are characterised by a shared belief in an approach to education based on six pillars, or IDEALS, drawn from the theories of education philosopher Kurt Hahn:

  • International understanding, empathy and tolerance for all cultures
  • Democratic governance and justice
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Adventure, motivating self-discovery and courage
  • Leadership, with courage and compassion
  • Service to others

The common goal is to develop every student into a whole person through academic, physical, cultural and spiritual experiences. The RS method recognises that learning is most effective when it is experiential, cross-cultural and collaborative, and when it is infused through a broad spectrum of inter-, extra- and intra-curricula activities.

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


Student exchanges[edit]

Students at any Round Square schools may go on an exchange for a semester to any of the other schools. 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 Round Square schools converge on a single location, often one of the less privileged schools, where they work on a project. The materials required for these projects are raised through the Prince Alexander Fund and do not require funding from attending students.


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

Round Square International Conferences[edit]

Annually, an international conference is held at one or more member school(s). All Round Square schools are invited to attend and through the conference student delegations have the opportunity to meet and discuss issues related to the IDEALS principles with an international group of their peers. The 2014 conference was hosted in the South Asia and Gulf region of Round Square in India and Jordan. The 2015 conference will be hosted in Singapore at United World College of South East Asia, on both campuses (East and Dover).


External links[edit]