Dainfern College has been a regional member of Round Square since 2009. Mr Stuart West was involved with Round Square in Cape Town and was keen to expose the Dainfern College learners to the incredible opportunities it offered. He therefore initiated the philosophy and the impetus to apply.
What is Round Square?
“Round Square is a worldwide association of more than 80 schools on five continents that share unique and ambitious goals. Learners attending Round Square schools make strong commitments beyond academic excellence towards personal development and responsibility. This is achieved by participating in conferences, community service, work projects, exchange programmes and adventuring, which can, and often does, take learners half way around the world.
Round Square schools share an educational philosophy, based on the teachings of Kurt Hahn, which supports the growth of the "whole person". This philosophy is based upon the Round Square "IDEALS": Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. The common goal is to develop every learner into a whole person by enveloping these ideals through interaction with a diversity of learners from different countries and cultures.” [Source: http://www.roundsquare.org/index.php?id=340 [Downloaded: 8/04/11)]
For more details and lists of membership schools and information on conferences and service projects, please visit http://www.roundsquare.org/.
Round Square at Dainfern College
A very brave first delegation set off to the Stanford Lake Senior Conference and pre-service project at the Appel School in 2009 with Mr West and Mrs Russell. They came back with a great deal of enthusiasm, convinced that this was something with which Dainfern College could be associated. Emile Parker (Matric 2009) then established the first Round Square Committee and became the first Round Square (RS) prefect.
In 2010 Emile handed over the baton to Stacey Lee Raath and we attended two conferences that year: Mr Stemmet joined the Junior Conference delegation at Penryn College in Nelspruit and the Senior Conference was held at St George’s Grammar School in Cape Town.
The RS Committee started growing within the College as well, and during September we had our first Adventure Day where 12 members went zip-lining in the Magaliesberg. Three Dainfern College students also went on Round Square exchanges to India, Jordan and Kenya during October to December.
With the growing interest in Round Square we appointed two prefects in 2011: Daniel Bresgi as Head of Senior RS and Rory Boone as Head of Junior RS. The Namibian Junior Conference was a great success with three Grade 9s attending the Pre-conference at Dordabis, joined by another three for the main Conference that was split between Windhoek and Swakopmund. The juniors and seniors joined up for an Adventure Day on 21 March 2011 and went river rafting on the Vaal River before the Senior Conference, hosted by St Stithians Girls College during the April holidays.
In 2012 Courtney Jones was elected Student Leader of Round Square. Dainfern College hosted the Junior Round Square Conference in February 2012 which took a lot of logistical planning as we don’t have boarding houses to accommodate delegates and we had to host about 120 Grade 9s in private homes. The Conference was a great success.
During a prestigious ceremony at the International Round Square Conference at Penryn College in Nelspruit held at the end of September 2012, we officially became a Golobal Member of Round Square. We received our Global Round Square flag and certificate from King Constantine of Greece, one of the patrons of Round Square. With 600+ delegates in attendance, Courtney Jones (Head of Round Square), Laura Bishop and Nick Stein joined Mrs Yvette Russell, Mr Seamus Casserly (Chairman of the Dainfern College Board) and Mr Stuart West to lead the Dainfern College delegation onto the global stage with pride. It was a moment to savour and we are thrilled at the opportunities that will come our way as Global members.
While it has been a significant dream of both Mr West and Mrs Russell to lead a Round Square school and spearhead this adventurous journey into the Round Square family, it has been a wonderful collaborative effort and all the Round Square portfolio leaders and committee members, exchange students, conference delegates, parents and those involved in hosting our recent successful Junior Round Square Conference can claim ownership of this journey and our remarkable achievement in such a short time.
Dainfern College is proud to be part of Round Square and annually participates in the African Regional conferences as well as student exchanges.
Exchange at Dainfern College
Over the years Dainfern College has sent out several exchange students and hosted incoming students from across the world.
In February 2011 we launched our official Exchange Programme with the intention of building up long-standing relationships with schools on various continents to facilitate regular exchanges, and also to seek opportunities for broader exchanges and International Service Projects for Dainfern College learners.
To expose Dainfern College learners to international countries, schools and students in order to become life-long learners by living out our Motto of “A World of Education, An Education for the World”. This is done by striving to:
- Create opportunities for Dainfern College learners to travel and be hosted by international schools;
- Host international students from different countries and cultures;
- Develop long-standing exchange relationships with targeted schools in a variety of countries; and
- Enable Dainfern College learners to participate in RSIS (Round Square International Service) Projects and Round Square Conferences.
Dainfern College exchanges work in conjunction with the following organisations:
During 2008 and 2009:
- Rory Boone went to Texas in the USA;
- Tarryn Els went to Germany; and
- Kamogelo Mafokwane went to Argentina.
At the end of 2010:
- Daniel Bresgi went to The King’s Academy in Jordan;
- Zoë Hart-Curry went to Sanskaar School in Bhopal, India; and
- Dylan Bouchier to Brookehouse School in Nairobi, Kenya.
During March/April 2011 we hosted the following students at Dainfern College:
- Marcello Sottano from Cordoba in Argentina; and Sydney Otieno and Natasha van Hoek from Brookehouse School in Kenya - all three students joined the Grade 10s on the incredible Enyuka Challenge in the Mweni Valley and take home fond memories of conquering the Drakensberg!
- Paloma Girault visted from Ermitage International School in France. Dainfern College student Chloe Connellan went there on a reciprocal exchange during November and December 2011.
- Kortney Acton, a Canadian Rotary exchange student, spent an entire year at Dainfern College, starting in September 2011.
Mrs Y. Russell: Head of Round Square
Mr J. Stemmet: Head of Junior Round Square
Mrs C. Davids: Round Square Committee
Mr R. Nicholas: Chase Foundation Coordinator