Ottawa’s Ashbury College is the only school in the area that’s involved in an empowering international program called Round Square.
Through Round Square, students grow as learners, leaders and human beings. They are inspired to become informed, active and committed global citizens.
“One of Ashbury College’s core values is international understanding. We try to foster this value through programs such as Round Square,” explains Eric Bailey, an English and social sciences teacher who is also the school’s Round Square coordinator.
Dedicated to “developing the whole student” the Round Square approach is based on six ideals: internationalism, democracy, education, adventure, leadership and service. And it stems from the teachings of influential educator Kurt Hahn, who believed schools should prepare students not only for post-secondary education, but also for life. “Essentially, students should experience life in ways that demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution,” Bailey notes.
Round Square’s IDEALS are Internationalism, Democracy, Education, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
Although there are over 100 Round Square schools on five different continents, at the moment Ashbury is alone in offering the Round Square program in the capital city.
Through it, Ashbury students can take part in local and international community service projects and conferences. Its slogan—“there is more in you than you think”— aptly describes Round Square, the teacher says. “Students who participate in our exchanges, service trips and activities are able to learn and grow from their experiences. They meet people from all walks of life and learn how to be valuable contributors to our increasingly global society.”
Grade 12 student Morgan Guimaraes is glad he’s part of it. After participating in a Round Square conference in London in 2011, Guimaraes became the school prefect responsible for Round Square and he call it “a vital part of an Ashbury education.
“The conferences, service trips, and exchanges create balanced students through everything they embody”— including leadership skills, personal growth and fun. “I believe that many students appreciate what Round Square stands for.”