Heroic Ethics Cup Performance at St Andrews
Our team of 10 pupils from the Fourth Year and Lower Sixth Form have been working hard since their epic regional win at the Ethics Cup Competition in February. With new case sets to research and discuss they had a lot to prepare for.
Just before half term the team made the long journey to St Andrews, where they competed in the National Final. Having a short cultural stop in Edinburgh on the way, they made it to sunny St Andrews by Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning they arose in their student accommodation and after a hearty breakfast, were taken on a guided tour of the University by current students. We were told about the quirky traditions and superstitions followed by the University students, including how to wear your gown, how to wash away any academic sins and May Day activities. The team then gathered their thoughts and prepared to do battle, with their trusted mascots (the ducks) cheering them on from the wings. They entered a draw for the group stage of the competition where they found themselves facing Eton school again. Despite some tough matches, they came out victorious in their group, with another defeat of Eton, and were the second highest scoring team in the group stage.
For the semi-finals the atmosphere was tense, and the team had a difficult case about Airbnbs in New York City. Despite an impressive performance, they narrowly missed out on their place in the final however, were proud to be in the top four teams nationally. This defeat was hard to swallow, but they could do no more and with a subjective competition such as this, the judges’ decisions are not always ones we will agree with. However, a walk to the beach and some fish and chips helped to lighten the mood and the team instead took time to reflect on their amazing successes, the bonds they have formed as a team and the enrichment they have experienced as being part of this highly academic competition.
I am certainly very proud, not only of them as individuals and representatives of the school but of the way they worked together. This competition is designed to encourage discussion, not facing off as opposing sides trying to ‘win’ the arguments instead working with the other team, as a collaborative effort to find the most logical, rational and persuasive response to difficult questions, learning to disagree with humility and respect for differing views, which I hope will give them skills for life.
If you would like to take a look at the cases that the team were working on then please click here
Head of Philosophy & Theology
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