About RS

Round Square is a UK registered charity that promotes in young people a commitment, beyond academic merit, to personal growth, and responsibility through service to others and through practical, experiential learning.

“Empowering students to become the leaders and guardians of tomorrow's world"

"Education must enable young people to effect what they have recognized to be right, despite hardships, despite dangers, despite inner skepticism, despite mockery from the world....." Kurt Hahn.

RS aims to help students prepare for life by having them face it head-on and experience it in ways that demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution.

History of Round Square

Round Square owes much to the heritage of Kurt Hahn, who founded two of our original member schools, Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, with Prince Max of Baden, and Gordonstoun in Scotland.

Both schools committed to equipping youth for leadership and service in a democracy by helping them to prepare for life despite hardships, dangers, and emotion of the moment.

A pupil of both schools, Jocelin Winthrop Young, later headmaster of Anavryta school, had an idea to found a permanent association of schools that shared in these beliefs, and whose students were prepared to provide practical support to communities in need, as Salem’s pupils had done after the earthquake at Argostoli in the Ionian Islands in 1954.

In 1966, King Constantine of the Hellenes, a former pupil of Anavryta, chaired a meeting of the first seven schools that would form the association, later named after the Round Square building at Gordonstoun, where the first conference took place in 1967. Dr. Hahn did not wish his name to be affixed to the organization, so the building in which they met gave its name the "Round Square".

Since then, countless students have taken part in conferences, service projects and exchanges and continue to carry the spirit of Round Square in them.

Round Square IDEALS

Round Square schools are characterised by a shared belief in an approach to education built around six themes, our IDEALS, drawn from the theories of the educationalist Kurt Hahn.

The Round Square IDEALS underpin our Discovery Framework, which supports schools in developing and structuring holistic programmes that build character, competencies and life-skills in our students.

The Round Square IDEALS provide a common platform, shared by all schools in our network, around which we can collaborate, swap and share learning resources and participate together in joint activities such as conferences, exchanges and academic projects.

The Round Square IDEALS have stood the test of time over decades, proving to be a solid foundation for schools wishing to organise and develop a robust and holistic approach to character education.

Since then, countless students have taken part in conferences, service projects and exchanges and continue to carry the spirit of Round Square in them.

Round Square Discoveries

Round Square member schools have collaborated to distil, from practical experience of teaching and learning with the six IDEALS, twelve route-markers that students can be expected to discover on their Round Square learning journey.

Round Square Discoveries capture and describe the attitudes, attributes, skills and values developed and explored by students as they engage with the Round Square IDEALS. Now an integral part of the Round Square Discovery Framework, our twelve Discoveries are being integrated by schools into lesson planning, used to create curricula for extra-curricular activities, and are forming the structure for a wide variety of reflection and non-formal assessment activities.

Why Round Square

The Round Square community cares passionately about what happens in the future to our world and to the fascinating variety of cultures and communities it supports. We want those communities to thrive and prosper and care about each other in mutual cooperation. To achieve this, we need courageous and compassionate leaders throughout the world who are prepared to discover and embrace different cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful and lasting understanding and respect.

Today’s students are the next generation of business, political and community leaders: It is our responsibility to shape the way in which they understand, prepare for, and respond to the world’s challenges both now and in the future… And this needs a change in the perception of the value of character education and values-based learning throughout our education systems.