Every year the Geography department enter students into the Trust for Sustainable Living International Essay Competition. This year the Essay was titled ‘How can we protect biological diversity and stop the sixth mass extinction?’ We had some extremely interesting and forward thinking ideas that really considered biodiversity and sustainability. There were 1350 entries from 59 different countries and from the entries that we submitted we received five honorable mentions for Anna C, Caitlin L, Ella D, Freya C and Jeslyn C (Year 10). We also had three finalists: Ebeny W, Hannah H and Visnavi N (Year 10). We are extremely proud of the excellent effort and essays that were written and very pleased that these were also appreciated by the board of judges. Ebeny W was also chosen to represent the United Kingdom in the International Debate on the 6th July, which was not only an amazing opportunity but one that was thoroughly deserved.
Ebeny wanted to let us know about the experience:
In December 2020, MGGS entered 30 students’ essays into the TSL Essay Competition 2021. I was fortunate enough to have my essay picked as a finalist which gave me the opportunity to take part in the International School’s Debate on 6th July 2021 titled “Biodiversity is in crisis. Is the sixth mass extinction inevitable?”
For the debate, I was allocated to the Con 2 team with finalists from other countries. I worked with four students from India, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe and Indonesia. Using the communication platforms Zoom and Slack, we worked together to formulate the key arguments that we were going to use in the debate as to why we believed the sixth mass extinction was not inevitable. These had to be presented in a 5 minute video. The hardest part was trying to arrange our online meet-ups to accommodate the time difference between our countries.
The live debate was held through Zoom and lasted approximately 20 minutes. We worked as a team to challenge the opposing team’s arguments and views and come up with rebuttals that we could support with evidence. Our arguments were strong and persuasive and the judges selected my team as the winners of our group!!
I have really enjoyed working with my team. It was interesting to learn about their different cultures and listen to their ideas. Fortunately for me, the whole debate was presented in English! However, I was amazed how fluent my other team members were at speaking and writing English. Although it was my first time, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a live debate and I am grateful that I was given this opportunity.