The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

There is always some major event each week at the College and last week was no different. Congratulations to our Year 11 boys and their fine turn out to their annual dance. I would also like to acknowledge the many hours of planning and preparation put in by many parents. I hope your sons gave you a big thank you for making their Cuban Nights dance such a special evening. As with all of these events, when the Dickinson Centre (DC) is decked out thematically for major functions, it is hard to reconcile that on most days the DC is a regular assembly hall. Thanks also to all of the staff who turned out to support the boys. Well done everyone on a magnificent evening.

On Friday, one of our Round Square exchange visitors came to see me to thank us for the incredible experience he had on exchange with us for the past six weeks. Priyank Nahata came from one of our fellow Round Square schools, Daly College in India. On the inside cover of the note he gave to me as a gift were these words

'It was an amazing trip; you have a beautiful campus and it was an honour attending school at Scotch. Thank you for the plethora of opportunities you gave to me at Scotch'

 In these very simple and genuine words he summed up what has proved to be one of the real benefits of being linked to a series of global colleges through Round Square, that is, the extensive international and national exchange opportunities.

Given Priyank's reflections on his Scotch experience, and the fact that we have a teacher in residence and on exchange with us at present, Mr Simon Walker from Colorado Springs, I thought it is fitting to provide the community with a reminder about the background to Round Square and what our membership is about.

Round Square founder Kurt Hahn

Kurt Hahn was 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. Hahn 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. Ultimately, they would develop the skills and abilities to become the guardians and leaders of the future. 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.

Who is Round Square?

Round Square is a not-for-profit membership network, registered as a charity in the UK and governed by a Board under the Presidency of His Majesty King Constantine. Currently there are 150 Round Square member schools worldwide representing a student capacity in the region of 90,000 and a teacher/management workforce of around 7,500. The Round Square Management Team has a worldwide office in Windsor, UK and Regional Support Managers based and working with the network in each of the Round Square regions.

What does Round Square Do?

Round Square schools share a passion for experiential learning. Together Round Square Schools endeavour to ensure that pupils have every opportunity to achieve in ways and to levels beyond their perceived limits. The Round Square also believes that in order to prepare for adult life, young people must be encouraged to discover and embrace the similarities and differences between cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful and lasting understanding, tolerance and respect.

The Round Square approach does not focus on what is taught but rather how learning takes place. It recognises that learning is most effective when it is practical, cross-cultural and collaborative, and when it is infused through a broad spectrum of inter, extra and co-curricular activities. In joining the Round Square Network, member schools make a commitment to embedding our shared IDEALS throughout every day learning activities within our College.

Why does Round Square do what it does?

Round Square cares passionately about what happens in the future to our world and to the fascinating variety of cultures and communities it supports. As a combined group of schools, we want those communities to thrive and prosper and care about each other in mutual co-operation.

That is quite a challenge. As educators we believe that we have a responsibility to shape the way in which the next generation of business, political and community leaders understand, prepare for, and respond to, this challenge.

How does Round Square try to achieve its goals and aims?

Round Square is a collaboration of like-minded schools.

Supported by an elected Board and an employed staff team, member schools work together to build and benefit from a mutually supportive and respectful network. Each school shares - and benefits from others' - ideas, methods, experience, opportunities, locally, regionally and internationally. Collaborative initiatives include local, regional and international:

  • Projects that connect students directly with communities where their hard work as volunteers can be of real practical benefit;
    • student and teacher visits and exchanges
    • student-led conferences that celebrate cultural diversity; and
    • training and professional development opportunities for teaching staff.

In essence, we believe that our vision and mission at Scotch College closely aligns to the work of Round Square. Our membership opens up opportunities to enhance the educational journey of students, staff and families as a result of being part of the Round Square group of schools.

In terms of longevity, we have only just begun our journey as a Round Square school and there is still much to be done to embed the IDEALS into our College. Should anyone wish to discuss anything pertaining to Round Square please feel free to contact Mr David Kyle, our Director of Service and Citizenship. Mr Kyle has Executive responsibility for Round Square at the College and has been integral to how far we have come in such a short time. Should anyone wish to do their own research about Round Square they can do so by visiting

Sometimes in the busyness of all that we do, we need to reflect on the many initiatives, such as Round Square, that we undertake at the college in order to ensure that all of our boys are given every opportunity to graduate with open minds and multi-tiered experiences.

Have a great fortnight.