On the Weekend of the 9th and 10th of December, three of our Secondary students (Darcy Horswill, Lea Fink, and Saker Alabas) took part in the first round of the World Scholar’s Cup challenge in Dubai.
Day one was a great success. Students started the day by taking part in collaborative writing, where they worked as a team to research a number of debate topics such as 'Man is powerless to amend a broken world'. They then spent time independently writing to argue for or against their chosen title.
After a cookie break, there was a multiple choice quiz and, after lunch, students from all of the participating schools took part in team debates where they competed against each other to argue for or against a motion, one being 'That stupidity should be treated as a disease'.
Day two was also packed full of activities, starting off with the ‘Scholar’s Bowl’, a multiple choice team event where choices are chosen on a clicker. The multi media challenge was noisy and competitive – very different from quiet exaiminations and much more enjoyable for all (apart from maybe some adult ears).
A calmer atmosphere prevailed when, after lunch, students watched the Debate Showcase. The top debaters, chosen by points accumulated and special recommendation from the adjudicators, formed two new teams and worked together to prepare an argument for or against the motion, then debated. It was inspiring to watch young people work so diligently with new and unfamiliar people.
Finally, the Scholar’s Show brought an element of surprise to all. Students performed their original and unsual talents on stage. Saker Alabas performed an awesome, crowd pumping rendition of the 90s rap ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ by Coolio, though he made Mrs M-D feel old when he suggested it was an ‘old school’ tune from the 80s!
The day ended with the awards ceremony and, despite being a fledgeling school, this being our first year in the challenge, and only having one team, DBSJP came home with a number of team medals, individual ones (gold ones included), and an invitation to the Global Round Championships that will take place just before the Summer holidays in two confirmed locations - Cape Town, South Africa, or Hanoi, Vietnam.
We hope to encourage some more groups to get together so we can enter the Dubai 1 Round in March and get some more Secondary teams through to compete internationally in the Global Rounds.