Round Square

St Mary’s, Colchester is a global member of the Round Square Organisation, a worldwide network of 200 top schools in 50 countries, which offers the school a unique framework for excellence and continuous improvement, as well as opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with like-minded peers and establishments across the globe.

Membership was granted to St Mary’s in June 2017 after passing a rigorous inspection by representatives of current Round Square member schools, which focused on six key ‘Ideals of Learning’ – internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership and service – identified by German educational philosopher, Kurt Hahn, who founded the Round Square organisation in 1966.

The first international education event to which St Mary’s was invited was the Round Square International Conference in Cape Town in October 2017. Year 11 students attended along with St Mary’s Principal at the time, Mrs Vipond, and Head of History, Mr Rassell, the school’s Round Square Representative.

Students have the opportunity to become a member of the St Mary’s Round Square Committee and attend regular conferences in places such as India, South Africa, Canada and Denmark.

See below a short animated film that gives an introduction to Round Square.

View the closing video from the latest Round Square Conference in India:

The Round Square ethos is very much in line with that of St Mary’s. At our school, the emphasis is on encouraging pupils to be happy and to make the most of all the opportunities school life brings. When they feel secure and supported, students do their best academically while developing as individuals, building confidence and discovering talents and interests that bring them fulfilment throughout life.

We are a British Council INTERNATIONAL School; we have a thriving and DEMOCRATIC School Council; we are an Ambassador ECO School; We promote ADVENTURE through a programme of visits and trips and regular Forest School sessions; student LEADERSHIP is embedded; we make a difference through SERVICE by charitable fundraising and community involvement, which is part of our ethos.

For more information about Round Square please visit:

Round Square Website

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