Round Square International Conference 2022

Wednesday, 14 Sep 2022

By Heather, Abbey and Lily

Round Square is a not-for-profit network of schools around the world that share a passion for experience based learning. Round Square is built around six IDEALS: Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. There are 230 Round Square schools spread over 50 different countries and six continents. Round Square students are encouraged to discover and develop their own capabilities through a range of experiences, activities, collaborative projects and challenges, both within and outside the curriculum, including social service projects, exchanges and conference participation.

The Round Square International Conference is an annual event run by, and for, Roundsquare students aged 16-18. It is hosted by a different country and its schools each year. Due to COVID, the conference has been held virtually for the past two years, the last in-person conference was hosted in September 2019 in Indore, India where 3 BDC students attended. This year's conference is the first one back face to face. 

The theme for the 53rd Round Square International Conference in 2022 is Take Less: Be More. This theme reminds us that we need to consider how much we are taking from our environment and from the people around us, and puts an emphasis on always putting back more than we take. Furthermore, in lockdown we were reminded that what we miss most is not material things but being able to spend time with friends and family members. 

BDC is sending 7 students from Years 10 and 11 to the conference along with Mr Johnstone and Mrs Rothacker. On the 17th of September (end of Week 9), we will be leaving Coffs and flying over to the UK for this amazing opportunity. For the first 3 days of the conference we will be at the fabulous and historic Oxford University, staying in the beautiful surroundings of Pembroke College which was founded in 1624. At Oxford we will meet the other 1550 students from around the world and hear from expert keynote speakers on climate change, net zero, animal welfare, poverty, education, energy, oceans etc. We then split into our baraza groups to discuss, collaborate on and workshop ideas on these topics of taking less and being more to bring back to our schools. On top of this we are able to participate in fun activities such as a literary adventure race, and creative, theatrical and dance opportunities in locations around the City of Oxford.

After our time in Oxford, we will be heading to AKS Lytham for the second half of the Conference week. We will be travelling North to the seaside town of Lytham St Anne’s and Lake District National Park for high ropes and kayaking on Lake Windermere. The Service programme at AKS will include turning crisp packets into blankets and working with local charities that focus on caring for the elderly, and on beach restoration.

We are so excited for this amazing opportunity and can not wait to share what we learn and hopefully implement some new initiatives back here at the school.