Round Square


Round Square 2Dainfern College is a Global member of Round Square, a world-wide association of more than 200 schools on five continents that share unique and ambitious goals. Students attending Round Square schools make strong commitments beyond academic excellence towards personal development and responsibility.


As a proud Round Square School we take a holistic approach to education and inspire our students through experiential learning using the Round Square IDEALS of International Understanding, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. One of our deliberate intentions is to embrace Round Square in its totality and bring the IDEALS of Round Square to the core of all that we do. Not only does this benchmark us against the top schools in the world but it continues to expose our students and staff to international best practice.


The Round Square Discovery Framework, linked through all three areas of our school, looks to create more ways of synthesising academic, skills-based, experiential, personal and moral learning. This powerful combination of skills and personal characteristics allows vital character-based education to take place. Our students are encouraged through Round Square to be the best individuals they can be by developing the essential discoveries of Tenacity, Courage, Self Awareness, Compassion, Inventiveness, Sense of Responsibility, Teamwork Skills, Commitment to Sustainability, Inquisitiveness and Appreciation of Diversity.


The founder of Round Square was Kurt Hahn (1886-1974) was a key figure in the development of experiential education and founded the first United World College, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (President’s Award in South Africa), Gordonstoun school in Scotland, and Outward Bound, the international network of outdoor education schools. He believed that students could only really understand life by experiencing it in many exciting and challenging ways. By testing themselves, students would be able to develop their courage, generosity, imagination, principles and resolution. He also believed that the greatest thing one could learn – and inspire in others – was compassion. Inspired by this principle, the Round Square network of schools share practical opportunities to guide and support students in becoming courageous and compassionate leaders. Kurt Hahn , a German educator and a key figure in the development of experiential education. To this day his philosophies have far-reaching international influence that has stood the test of time.

Round Square – Prep School

Preparatory School students get the opportunity to enjoy school activities and local outings based on the Round Square IDEALS and our Grade 7 students are offered the opportunity to attend the annual regional Conference each year. We intend to do more academic collaboration with other Round Square Schools as this is a wonderful learning experience for individual growth and an opportunity to make friends with pupils at other Round Square schools.


In April this year, Dainfern College will host this age group for the Africa regional conference under the theme of ‘Discover’.

Round Square – High School

Our High School students have the opportunity to participate in conferences, community service, work projects, exchange programmes and adventuring, which can, and often do, take students half way around the world. We hosted our first regional conference in 2012, an international conference in 2014 and in 2019 we are delighted to be hosting the Africa Regional Round Square Conference for 12-14 year-olds where our Grade 11s will be acting as Baraza leaders for the young delegates.


All of our tours and excursions fall under the Round Square umbrella at Dainfern College, incorporating one or more of the Round Square IDEALS and specifically chosen discoveries. Our Grade camps also incorporate aspects of the Round Square IDEALS as do the many service projects and tours that we undertake.

Regional and International conferences are hosted by the Round Square Schools on a rotational basis. This gives our students the opportunity to experience travelling opportunities and embrace different cultures. Once the hosting school has confirmed dates we have the option to customise our own pre or post conference in that country in order to maximise the experience. All conferences have a theme that aligns the conference with the keynote speakers, Baraza group discussions and all activities. Within each conference all of the IDEALS are highlighted and the students engage in cultural performances and an opening and closing ceremony.

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Camps and tours, both locally and abroad, encompass all aspects of the Round Square IDEALS and discoveries, to differing degrees. A compulsory grade camp is held each year at which various aspects of leadership are covered. These camps are a wonderful opportunity for students to make new friends and take part in adventure and leadership activities that contribute to their holistic development. Attendance at all Grade camps is a prerequisite to join the Leadership Programme.


Educational tours within South Africa as well as overseas are undertaken regularly. These are wonderful experiential learning opportunities for our students, who get to absorb, interact with and become immersed in different cultures and countries. Local tours explore elements and areas of our own beautiful country and we reach out to our local communities and organisations.


In 2019 Dainfern College students had the opportunity to visit South America for the first time with the Jumanji Tour to Brazil and Peru.

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Dainfern College has for many years sent students on exchange and hosted incoming students from across the world. Our official Student Exchange Programme was launched in 2011 to build up sustainable relationships with schools across the world and also to seek opportunities for broader collaborations (such as on academic projects) and international service projects for Dainfern College students.


Our College explores different aspects of cultural diversity through interactions with incoming students from various backgrounds and cultures. Our Dainfern families are always so willing to host and accommodate these students.


To date our own students have gone on exchange to schools in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Germany, India, Jordan, Kenya, Tasmania, Thailand, Peru and the United States of America. This is an amazing experience for our students to meet people from diverse backgrounds and learn about other countries and cultures.

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