With a combination of guest speakers, group discussions, cultural visits, entertainment, community service and adventure activities, Round Square conferences are an opportunity to explore the IDEALS and meet people from across the world. Each conference usually has a theme that relates to one of the IDEALS.
Round Square International Conferences are held twice annually, hosted by member schools, in one of the five Regions (Africa, Americas, Australasia, Europe or South Asia and Gulf). International Conferences are attended by delegations from all full member schools every year, resulting in gatherings of more than 1,000 students from diverse cultural and experiential backgrounds. Cobham Hall takes a delegation of up to six students to each International Conference, and each year they return with a vast set of new experiences and ideas that have a profoundly positive impact on their world outlook and on Cobham Hall’s community. Girls often take what they’ve learned and develop the ideas and themes to educate their peers, either through barazas or assemblies. In the past few years, Conferences have been held in Thailand, South Africa, England, India, Singapore and Germany.
Regional Conferences are held for both younger and older students. These are closer to home, but run in a similar, age-appropriate format to International Conferences, giving students a chance to make new friends, broaden their minds and join activities celebrating the Round Square ethos. Cobham Hall recently hosted one such conference, based on the pillar of Environmentalism, entitled ‘Planting the Roots of our Future’.
Organising the conference was led by Year 9, and Cobham Hall welcomed children from sixteen other schools across Europe. A meeting of the Heads and staff representatives of European Round Square schools was also held at Cobham Hall at the same time. Between the conference and the Heads’ and Representatives’ meeting, 21 out of the 22 European Round Square schools were in attendance, along with a further two schools who are considering joining the organisation. A selection of images can be seen below. Students created a greenhouse using recycled plastic bottles, planted trees and wore name badges that contained seeds and could be planted.