Nobel Algarve Middle School students, aged 12 to 15, took part in a virtual online debate with seven other European school teams on June 4.
During a difficult period of students not being able to connect with others in person, the aim of the event, organised by Globeducate, was to create an opportunity for virtual interaction with other students across Europe and to give them the chance for a morale-boosting challenge; teams also received constructive feedback to help develop debating skills.
Students from the school’s international section Years 7 to 9 met online three times a week in preparation for the event which took place on Zoom.
Nobel Algarve’s debate with Stonar School in Wiltshire, England, was singled out as a particularly good quality debate on both sides, with the motion “Schools are outdated institutions and should be abolished” being discussed.
The Algarve team argued against the motion and included Sahar Bibi-Roubi, Year 8, Trent Holmes, Year 8, Nayla Idriss, Year 9, Nikolai Musk, Year 7, Evan Keating, Year 9, Abigail Clarke, Year 8, and Harry Doyle from Year 12 took on the role of Juror.
Abigail Clarke, Year 8, said: “I really enjoyed the social aspect of this online event and getting to know some people I wouldn’t usually work with.”
Nikolai Musk, Year 7, said: “I learnt that everyone gets nervous with challenges like this, but that with hard work, preparation and perseverance, anything is possible!”
“We had such an amazing time taking part in this event and the students really impressed us all,” commented Nobel Algarve Head of History and Debating Teacher, Lana de Beer. “The quality of their debating far exceeded expectations with such little time to prepare and we saw some striking ability for independent and quick thinking, and clear, mature construction of arguments and responses to challenges.”
Globeducate Education Director Oanh Crouch said: “The passion we saw in the students for relevant and current issues, and the manner in which they presented their content, was incredibly impressive.
Congratulations on the dedication the teams brought to the process.”
Harry Doyle, Year 12 Juror, said: “I was one of the judges for the middle school Globeducate debate between Nobel and Stonar. The topic was extremely relevant and really allowed both schools to engage in a compelling debate. Nikolai Musk opened the debate for our argument as the opposition and despite being a Year 7 student, he used a quote from Socrates which was the perfect analogy to go along with clear argument that was very convincing. The second speaker was Trent Holmes. He used personal anecdotes that were emotive and compelling, building a strong argument. Finally, Nayla Idriss used prison education to really emphasise her argument, as well as mentioning the free school meals for children from food insecure homes which is very important and relevant to issues that are being experienced due to Covid-19.”