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Global Classroom Update and a Debating Champion from BISS Puxi

It has been such an exciting few weeks for the Global Classroom with the Expedition to Tanzania taking place, the culmination of The Water Challenge and plenty of activity online including a Debating champion from BISS Puxi.

During the Expedition to Tanzania there was a real sense of excitement surrounding the work, whether it was students asking questions, posting and reading reflections online or the buzz created by the live Twitter feed. To capitalise on this energy a Tanzania Action 2014 area on the Global Classroom is being created for students to share their plans for action, drawing on their fantastic face-to-face learning experience.

Ten schools including ours entered The Water Challenge.  This year’s in-school activity encouraged our students to work like scientists and engineers to tackle real-life water problems. Students researched global water problems to decide which issue they were going to explore further. They then worked on designing, testing and building their solution to the problem, ranging from ways to produce suitable drinking water to flood-proof housing. The charity Practical Action gave our students the context for the challenge by sharing some of the work they’ve done with local communities around the world to find practical solutions to the poverty they face. Scientists from Imperial College London also shared their ideas about how to take part in the challenge successfully.

Our entry is up against a variety of different solutions to global water problems, including water filters, floating houses and irrigation systems. The winners will be announced this month so look out for more news on that.

Congratulations must go to Natarsha Yan in Year 6 who was named January’s Portal Debating Champion, competing against 186 students from Nord Anglia Education schools around the world!

The motion was ‘To prevent obesity, children under 12 should be banned from eating junk food’ and Natarsha argued that obesity isn’t caused by junk food, but by a combination of health choices, and that such choices are made by adults as well as children.

She went on to be collaborative by responding to others’ posts, encouraging, supporting or questioning them. This strengthened and widened her argument and led to her being named January’s champion. Well done Natarsha!

One aspect of the Global Classroom approach is to give our students access to experts. As part of World Book Day celebrations, students have had the opportunity to pose their questions to authors Tony Bradman and Sally Nicholls, the judges of the Global Classroom short story competition. Joining Sally will be Robbie Kay, a great young actor and a student at The British School of Houston, who starred in the film of Sally’s first book Ways to Live Forever.

Students have been asking questions online and the best ones will be put to the experts. There will also be a host of other book-related activities for our students to engage with during March.

Entries for the 2014 short story competition are starting to be submitted, and we are delighted to announce that this year students also have the opportunity to provide illustrations for the book. They have until 25 April to create an illustration that represents the ‘Changes’ theme and the best ones will feature alongside our story competition winners.

For more information about the Global Classroom, please find the latest Global Classroom newsletter below available for you to download.

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