Four Year 12 linguists have reached the next stage of a prestigious German debating competition after enjoying success in two early rounds.
Two of the four also appeared in a French competition, where the QE contingent won multiple debates against fierce opposition from sixth-formers from other schools, many of whom were older.
The next stage of the German competition – organised by the Goethe Institut, the Federal Republic of Germany’s highly respected cultural organisation – will be hosted by QE early next month, with the finals taking place at the Institut’s London headquarters at the end of March.
Head of Languages Nora Schlatte said: “I pay tribute to these dedicated and talented debating teams. I especially congratulate our German students: their progress in the Goethe Institut competition is a well-deserved result of the hard work, commitment and sheer linguistic ability they brought to two very different online debates.”
Towards the end of the Autumn Term, A-level German students Theo Mama-Kahn, Olly Salter, Ansh Jassra and Jai Patel beat Croydon’s Coloma Convent Girls’ School on the motion, School canteens should offer vegan and vegetarian food.
In the recent second round, the QE boys faced the Royal Grammar School Guildford. They were debating the motion The use of social media is harmful to the health of young people.
These first two rounds took place online, but QE has been asked to host the third round in person. Competitors will gather at the School on 3rd and 4th March.
Wishing the four boys well for the future rounds, Languages teacher Helen Shephard added: “Their spoken German is outstanding and their debating skills are second to none.”
Still basking in their success, current School Captain Theo and classmate Olly were then joined by fellow Year 12 pupils Alan Yee Kin Kan and Antony Yassa for the French debating competition, which was held at St Paul’s Girls’ School.
They found themselves competing against 24 other schools, mainly from the private sector, who fielded more than 30 teams.
The QE four were split into two teams, with each debating three motions. These covered very diverse topics: Korean pop music, the environment and politics. Both QE pairs won two of their three debates, often facing opponents who were already in Year 13.
“It takes a lot of confidence, preparation and an excellent standard of French to be able to participate so successfully in such an event, and we are very proud of these students!” added Ms Schlatte, who served as a judge at the competition, together with QE Languages Assistant Joelle Simpson.