Our Mission: To prepare students to work and lead in today’s interconnected world
Our vision at Transylvania College is to create “a global journey for mindful leaders,” so we aim to instill in our pupils a global awareness, to help them, through character education, become well-rounded individuals, with the knowledge and the skills needed to be successful in the global society of the 21st century, while continuing to have a passion for lifelong learning.
Every year, one student and one teacher at Transylvania College receive the Global Awareness Award for successfully meeting the above challenges and for demonstrating a global perspective.
The objectives of the Global Awareness programme are met by all of the activities organized in observance of the Round Square pillars and they are supported by the opportunities provided by the series of international visits and exchanges organized throughout the school year.
Transylvania College was awarded ROUND SQUARE GLOBAL MEMBER status at the Round Square European Region Council meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, in March 2013.
Transylvania College is the first East European Round Square school, one of the eighty Round Square schools around the world. Out of these, only about 20 schools are in Europe, as for example Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil in Switzerland, or Gordonstoun, the school attended by Prince Charles. Transylvania College is the first and so far the only school in Romania which has been granted membership into Round Square. All the schools that are members of Round Square share a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility through service, international understanding, challenge, adventure, democracy, and environmental stewardship.
“Transylvania College richly deserves this membership and will undoubtedly find this to be beneficial to the school and inspire to the students and staff. Round Square has the capacity to transform those who fully embrace the philosophy and to generate opportunities of undoubted value to member schools. I urge you to explore the potential that global membership offers and challenge the school to find the courage that will allow it to dare to be more”.
Round Square is a worldwide association of schools which share a commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility. It was founded by Kurt Hahn, an educator, and initiator of several innovative educational movements, who wanted schools to do more than just preparing children for University. The main pillars of Round Square’s activities are the so-called IDEALS, an acronym for Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, and Service.
Our Global Member status of Round Square requires involvement in activities to support the 6 IDEALS. A committee of 7 students and 7 teachers work together with all the teachers and students in our school to raise the awareness of the entire community regarding the importance of service to others, adventure and leadership training, responsibility and international understanding. All of these are essential in preparing young people to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and compassion and to become well prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of adult life.
“My congratulations and very best wishes to all in the Transylvania College community for a bright, innovative and inspiring future, setting the pace and example in Romania for dynamic, multicultural education for many generations to come.”
Everything in our school, from the 34 nations our students, staff and parents come from, to the many languages taught here (Romanian, English, German, Spanish, French, and Hungarian), contribute to the creation of a friendly, international, and multicultural environment. Throughout the school year, we organise many events that promote cultural diversity, like for example International Day. The International Day concludes the Community Spirit Week, traditionally organised in October, and it involves all the students in the school. Each class is assigned one of the countries represented by the pupils enrolled here. The students have the opportunity to do research on the country they represent and, at the end of the week, each class sets up a stall for the specific country, showcasing food, traditional attire, artefacts and so on.
Due to our Global Member status in the Round Square network, our students and teachers are invited to participate in all the Round Square Regional and Global conferences. Other opportunities for international trips are given by MUN conferences, Debate Competitions and European Youth Parliament meetings.
Also through Round Square, every year we have the opportunity to organise student and teacher exchanges with schools from different countries around the world. In the last couple of years, our school welcomed students from India, South Africa, Great Britain, and Australia, for various-length study periods. Our students have participated in study abroad exchanges with schools in South East Asia, India, Germany, Morocco, Mansfield, UK and USA. The exchange programme offers an extraordinary opportunity for self-discovery and it perfectly matches our vision of creating, at Transylvania College, “a global journey for mindful leaders.”
In the 21st century, the efficacy of Mindfulness and contemplative practices are no longer questions for debate. Now we focus with ever greater interest on how they can be applied to different professions.
“The Teacher Within,” the curriculum developed by Ms Susan Shapiro and our very own Harry Shuttleworth, Director of Training and Staff Development, and Teacher of Chemistry, is a curriculum for teachers which guides and shows them how the school, their classrooms and students can become an anchor to stay present in the here and now.
The Teacher Within gives teachers the opportunity to learn about mindfulness, to try different mindfulness techniques and see how they can be practically applied in classrooms with ideas and suggestions supported by the latest teaching pedagogy.
As always, we are keen to share best practices with other schools and interested teachers. That is why we hope that “The Teacher Within” book, to be released soon, will make a difference in the lives of many teachers and students and their attitude toward continuous learning and self-discovery.
At Transylvania College, pupils are introduced to mindfulness early on, with specific actions being integrated with daily activities, such as reflection time or breathing techniques. Starting in middle school, students are invited to participate in the “Mindfulness Camp”, which has been organized for the last three years at the school’s mountain resort in Baisoara. There, they learn meditation techniques, reflection and introspection; they are offered music and art therapy classes and they learn to discover and appreciate themselves for who they are. The camp is open to children from all over Romania and abroad.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is all about going the extra mile – gaining new skills, pushing oneself physically, helping others and exploring new territories. At the same time, each participant will gather friendships, experiences, and memories that will last a lifetime.
There are three levels of the programme which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The main differences between them are the minimum length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age requirement when each may be started.
EACH LEVEL OF THE AWARD HAS FOUR SECTIONS:
The adventure part of the award starts with expedition training which includes map reading, rucksack packing, putting up tents, basic first aid techniques, learning how to cook outdoors and how to respect the countryside. In other words all the basic skills necessary in order to safely conduct the basic Bronze Expedition. The training is followed by a practice expedition to try out the newly acquired skills – a short walk, setting up camp, cooking a simple meal on the camping stove, packing away the tents and rucksacks and setting off on another short walk. An assessed longer expedition is organized later in the year, which includes an overnight stay in the tent.(AT GOLD LEVEL ONLY)
In addition to preparing for the expedition, the students work independently towards getting their volunteering, physical and skill qualifications. The students can choose from a wide range of activities – anything from dog training to aerobics, volunteering at an orphanage, or running a small business in the school’s Young Enterprise programme.
At the Silver Level, additional time is dedicated to each activity. The expedition is also longer, by one day.
Award Coordinator – Daniela Ganea, Teacher of PE, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the Award here.
And about Award Romania.