Round Square day 2019

– a celebration of intercultural understanding

Round Square Day took place on Friday 29th March, a date aptly chosen for such a theme when we recall it was supposed to be the day for Brexit. Mr Andrew Matthews, now Schools’ Support Director for Europe and the Mediterranean at Round Square, gave a warm welcome to the speakers in the Main Hall and introduced the day. We kicked things off with 4 guest speakers: Richard Cockett from the Economist, Professor Laura Hammond from SOAS, David Andolfatto from UNESCO and Claire Mosely, founder of Care for Calais. The topics ranged from the migrant crisis, to ways of strengthening our diverse society and uncovering people’s beliefs in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Lower School students then took part in two activities: one was a Scavenger Hunt, where they needed to learn about different countries’ cultures, and then answer 3 questions to win a letter, in order to form the words: Appreciation, Friendliness and Gratefulness in an anagram. The other was a letter-writing activity, in which pupils wrote messages of support to refugees, some even managed some Arabic greetings, which were then put up in our Library window to form a ‘bridge of friendship’. These messages will be taken to Calais on the next trip over Easter.

Middle School students were involved in a political role play to get them to think of ways in which we can practically strengthen our society by embracing our diversity. They also enjoyed exploring all the different visible, and less visible aspects of one’s culture, as well as unpacking the deeper significance of cultural stereotypes.

We further celebrated our cultural appreciation by sampling some delicious international meals all week, as well as some sweet treats in the morning bake sale (which raised money for Care for Calais and West London Refugee Centre). At lunch time, pupils were invited to put dots onto maps of the world to pinpoint their ethnic origins, making it a wonderful exhibit in the Atrium for all to enjoy.

The Year 12 students who ran all the events were excellent facilitators and leaders, some certainly have the makings of future teachers! All in all, it was a great opportunity in which to ponder on all the factors that make us who we are and how we can celebrate and better understand our myriad cultural idiosyncrasies.

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