You may have noticed that a few of your friends were missing for a week in June. This is because we had the amazing opportunity to go to the World Scholars Cup KL Global Round. This was the next step after the highly successful regional round, also in KL, back in March. At regionals, we were the most successful yet in both Junior and Senior categories. There were many individual and team successes, and we are proud to say that Poppy Gibson was chosen for the Debate Showcase as one of the most impressive speakers from the day, and alongside her teammates, Uma Scott and Aun Ali, they placed First in Team Debate, out of 400 pupils.
This time around, we made the journey up to KL knowing that the competition would be much tougher. Teams were gathered from six of the seven continents (no Antarctic teams yet!) and 38 countries to compete for the title of Top Scholar. With over 4000 competitors and with preparation hindered by revision for end of year exams (or IGCSEs for some!), we knew it would be challenging but we were prepared to give it our best. The week was manic and although many of the activities and events that took place would usually run slightly later than scheduled, I think all of us can agree they were well worth the wait.
We started off WSC with the opening ceremony which Mr Scott summed up as ‘grander than the Olympics; weirder than Eurovision’, and we then had the chance to hear the keynote address from the poet and artist Gary Turk about why we should ‘Look Up’ from our smartphones and interact with and appreciate the world around us. After lunch, we headed off for a scavenger hunt in Sunway Lagoon where we were placed in teams with complete strangers. As you might guess, this was awkward for some at first, but others were very good at making new friends.
Over the next couple of days, we got down to business. All teams had to take part in three team debates; the dreaded Scholar’s Challenge which was basically 120 questions assessing our knowledge of the whole WSC syllabus; Collaborative Writing and the Scholar’s Bowl, which is essentially a big Kahoot. We debated on topics from whether the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un could be judged a success for diplomacy to the question of whether secrets could be good for relationships. The Scholar’s Challenge was a big jump up in difficulty from regionals, but we still successfully answered questions on everything from Dunbar’s number to the concept of limerence. The Scholar’s Bowl was a much more enjoyable affair, with questions on the syllabus framed by clips from TV shows such as the Flash, Rick and Morty, and even some memes. After all the academic events came to a close, Wenjing Yap was awarded the Top Scholar award from Marlborough, doing brilliantly to come in the top 100 scholars overall out of 4000, and special congratulations also go to Jun Yi, Ji Hoon and Carolina who won trophies for 15th place for collaborative essay writing.
As well as all the academic challenges, we had several social events in which to unwind and socialise. Thursday night saw the Cultural Fair where different schools from different countries had stalls and were either giving out traditional delicacies or distributing souvenirs from their country, and it was a sensational way to showcase all the cultures from the 38 different countries that participated in the Global Round.
Miss Guegantonand Mr Scott kindly organised fun activities for us on our one day off from the competition, where we started the day with a private showing of Incredibles 2in Gold Class, and then spent the afternoon ‘breaking out’ from the Escape Room where we were all surprised by Uma Scott’s ability to scream at an impressively high pitch. We then went for a ‘cheeky Nando’s’before heading to the Scholar’s Ball where we partied late into the night, sensibly and within the usual guidelines for behaviour of course. Most scholars would probably agree that the Scholar’s Ball was the very best social event.
It was fiercely debated, but arguably the best place we ate was at My Burger Lab, a WSC tradition. Mr Scott and Ms Guegantonorganised an MCM closing ceremony as a surprise follow-up to the more official WSC version where we celebrated our inside jokes. Highlights included James Gibson winning the ‘spill the tea’ award and Carolina receiving the Shakira ‘Wave Your Flag’ award. There were so many jokes, it was great fun and it was the perfect way to end the week.
Particular thanks go to the Lower Sixth, as for many of them, this has been their last Global Round. They set an example throughout the week and indeed the past three years of WSC, and, as Miss Guegantonsaid, they have been the embodiment of the motto ‘work hard, play harder’. We all hope to see many of you in the Shell, Remove, and Hundred step up to continue their WSC legacy. It doesn’t matter if you are in the top set or bottom set, have done WSC before or if you’re a first-timer, we would love for you to join us next year.
The biggest thanks need to go to Miss Guegantonand Mr Scott: thank you for organising these trips, for coaching us, and for supporting us throughout the year. We can’t wait for the next WSC season!
By Asyirah Kamal Hisham. Ritchie Lai, and Sohana Jethnani