As a Round Square school, we offer our pupils a range of opportunities to develop international understanding and interpersonal skills, as well as the opportunity to broaden intercultural understanding.
Regional Conferences are held for both younger and older students. For Cobham Hall, these are usually within Europe, and run in a similar, age-appropriate format to International Conferences. They give students a chance to make new friends, broaden their minds and join activities celebrating the Round Square ethos. Cobham Hall hosted one such conference, based on the pillar of Environmentalism, entitled Planting the Roots of our Future.
Our Conference was led by Year 9, and Cobham Hall welcomed their peers from sixteen other schools across Europe. Students created a greenhouse using recycled plastic bottles, planted trees and wore name badges that contained seeds and could be planted.
Seeing some of the world’s most famous sites, immersion in an exciting new culture, exploring stunning new surroundings, meeting new people, hearing from inspirational speakers, supporting and helping those less fortunate: that’s the life-changing summary of an International Conference. Cobham Hall takes a delegation of up to six students to each International Conference, and every 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. Students 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, Germany and Canada.
Round Square International Conferences are held annually, hosted by member schools, and 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.
With a network of more than 180 schools, the choice for an exchange is vast. Australia or India? Canada or China? America or Singapore? Africa or Europe? With so many options open to students – all giving an incredibly different experience – the difficulty isn’t so much deciding whether or not to go, but where! You could improve your language skills by visiting a school with a different first language or explore how different cultures live by choosing a homestay.
At Cobham Hall, students from Years 7 to 13 are able to choose from any school within the Round Square network. Exchanges can last for two weeks to a full half-term, and students can either stay with a host family or within the school, depending on the facilities available. The activities undertaken by the student will vary depending on the programme offered by the host school.
‘Big Build’ Service Projects
Year 12 have the opportunity to join international teams of students from other Round Square schools to help some of the world’s poorest communities. Projects have involved working with local people to build, repair or renovate schools and community centres, or provide facilities to improve drinking water. In addition to the service work, the students also have the chance to take in the culture, sights and experiences the country they are visiting has to offer. Cobham Hall students have been involved in projects in Peru and South Africa.