TSL 2018 International Schools Essay Competition and Debate
My plan to protect and manage our oceans, seas and marine resources
Global essay competition and debate invites schoolchildren to explore practical ways to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources (SDG 14)
NEW!Primary School Essay Results – Secondary School Essay Results
According to the UN, the world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are ultimately provided or regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation. Yet as a result of human activities, over 30% of marine habitats have now been destroyed, ocean chemistry is changing and more than half of all marine species could face extinction by 2100. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.
We are inviting children to share their best ideas for conserving and sustainably using the marine environment. The livelihoods and wellbeing of the world’s population, especially Small Island Developing States, are dependent on this great marine environment. Through UN SDG 14 and newly emerging concepts like the ‘blue economy’, countries are encouraged to protect and sustainably manage the oceans and seas while tapping into their economic potential.
The annual TSL essay competition and debate is aimed at primary students (ages 7-11) and secondary students (ages 11-17), supported by Teacher Champions, parents and schools.
One overall Grand Prize winner (plus Teacher Champion and parent) will win a free trip to the TSL 2018 Debates & Awards in the Seychelles (2-7 July, 2018). In addition, medals will be awarded in each category for the top ten essays and for the best individual and group contributions at the Debates.
All students and Teacher Champions who participate in the essay competition are invited to attend the Debates, regardless of whether their essays are singled out for special recognition as Finalists or Honourable Mentions.
TSL 2018 Debates & Awards Programme (2-7 July, 2018)
Register now to attend the 2018 Schools Debates & Awards (closes 31 May)
Debate Accommodation Options
Veda Fernandes (Jumeirah Primary School, UAE) collected the 2017 Grand Prize at the TSL International Schools Debates & Awards at Oxford University, while Aninthitha Nath (RN Podar School, India) won 1st Prize in the Secondary Schools category. Around 200 children, teachers and parents from 30 countries participated in the 2017 Debates & Awards.
7 September to 17 December 2017 – School/Teachers register to participate as Teacher Champions.
19 December 2017 (midday GMT) – Deadline for submission of essays (and Schools Sustainability Challenge videos).
31 January 2018 – Announcement of essay competition Finalists and Honourable Mention awardees. Primary Schools – Secondary Schools (please note: all students are invited to participate in the Debates, whether or not their essay received Finalist or Honourable Mention recognition)
31 May 2018 – Registration deadline for the Schools Debates & Awards (registration is compulsory in order to attend).
2-7 July 2018 – International Schools Debates, Awards and Visits, Victoria, Seychelles. In addition to the Primary and Secondary School Debates, which will take place on consecutive days, delegates will attend a Children’s Ocean Conference, a CPD Workshop for Teachers, educational Day Trips, and and a specially planned Cultural Evening. All participants other than the Grand Prize Winner are responsible for making their own travel arrangements (e.g. flights, transfers, accommodation, subsistence and miscellaneous costs). Debates & Awards Programme – Accommodation Options
Each student is invited to submit one essay in English, entitled:
Primary students (ages 7-11): ‘My plan to protect and manage our oceans, seas and marine resources’ (max. 400 words)
Secondary students (ages 11-17): ‘My plan to protect and manage our oceans, seas and marine resources’ (max. 600 words)
The top prize winning essays from our 2017 essay competition on climate action were sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
An international judging panel, drawn from experts and educationalists in the field, will select the winning entries for each age category. The essays will be judged for originality and creative thinking and the potential to contribute to a broad-ranging and constructive international debate. The winning essays will be published on the competition website.
For each category, schools are invited to submit up to 30 essays online. (These must be submitted by the Teacher Champion, using the login details provided at registration. We regret that paper and emailed copies cannot be accepted, and essays more than 10% over the word limit will be automatically rejected.)
The 2018 Debate themes are:
Primary students (ages 7-11): ‘We can save the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030’
Secondary students (ages 11-17): ‘This house believes that the targets of UN SDG 14 are achievable’
UN SDG 14 challenges all nations to play their part in the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. This is a crucial goal with a list of targets not previously considered in the Millennium Development Goals. Most of these targets require a lot of commitment from each country and the collective involvement of stakeholders at different levels of society. On one hand, the targets may appear to be ambitious and require more time to be implemented, and on the other, they may appear to be realistic and achievable within the set time-frame.
Resources for Schools
To assist teachers and students in preparing for the competition and debate, links to supporting online Teacher Resources are provided here as a starting point for their enquiries.
(To access supporting resources on themes from previous years, use the menu bar at the upper left hand side of this page.)
TSL 2018 Schools Sustainability Challenge
In addition to the essay competition, the Trust for Sustainable Living runs a parallel international contest called the Schools Sustainability Challenge. Teacher Champions are invited to submit short videos showcasing their schools’ best sustainability projects. Schools are welcome to participate in both contests. The Challenge winners will be announced at the 2018 Debates & Awards in the Seychelles.
Enquiries & Updates
Subscribe to our newsletter (using the form in the sidebar), to receive periodic updates and announcements about the competition.
Email queries should be directed to: schools[AT]livingrainforest[DOT]org
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The Reach Cambridge scholarship essay competition is designed for academically excellent high school students aged between 15 and 17 who would otherwise not be able to attend our summer programs. Please note that this scholarship competition is not for application to the University of Cambridge.
Please note, the Scholarship Scheme for 2018 is now closed. Successful applicants will be contacted on or after the 31st December 2017.
What are the prizes?
3 week scholarship prize (awarded to a maximum of 2 students): 100% of the program fee for our 3 week Program 1 in 2018.
2 week scholarship prize (awarded to a maximum of 3 students): 100% of the program fee for either our two week Program 2 or our two week Program 3 in 2018.
Please note that both prizes include all those items ordinarily covered by the program fee. They do not include the cost of flights, or other items which are not ordinarily covered by the program fee. We may also award a prize for our Spring Program which will be decided at the discretion of the Scholarship Team. See terms & conditions for further details.
What is the essay question and what else will be taken into consideration?
The essay question for this year’s scholarship competition is:
“In an age of quick and easy global communication, what is the value of face-to-face interaction and learning with students from around the world?”
To craft a good essay requires careful argumentation, clear structure and personality. It is these characteristics that we will look for in judging applicants’ essays. We will also take into account the letter of recommendation supplied by your school.
How do I enter?
In order to enter the competition, follow these simple steps to complete a full application by the 1st of December 2017:
- Follow the link below to set up a Reach Cambridge scholarship account (do not use the “apply” button at the top right of our website – you cannot set up a scholarship account through that link)
- From your main account page, select the “Scholarship” tab on the left
- Copy your essay into the box provided (it should be no longer than 1000 words). Answer all other questions on the page.
- A letter of recommendation from a member of staff at your school must be uploaded using the form in the Scholarship Tab of your account page. This should be written on official headed school paper, and should outline why you are a good candidate for the scholarship: it should tell us what makes you academically excellent, and it must give us some indication of your financial circumstances. For example, if you attend a fee-paying school, the letter must specify whether you attend the school on a scholarship, or whether you are full or part fee-paying. It must include contact details for the member of staff so that we can contact them for further information if necessary. This is the only part of the application that should come from your school – the rest needs to be completed by you.
- You must also complete the School Transcript, Declaration Form, Parent Info, and School Info sections of your account. Please note that if you do not complete all these sections of your application, we will not consider your application. They should all be “ticked” on your account page before the deadline.
- Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 31st December 2017, and will be invited for an online interview.
Please ensure you read the scholarship essay competition terms and conditions before applying. By submitting an application you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.
THE SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME FOR 2018 IS NOW CLOSED
Scholarship Essay Competition Terms & Conditions:
- Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 17 on 1st July 2018, and currently studying at high school.
- The students must complete the essays independently – they must be original non-plagiarised work.
- The closing date for scholarship applications is 1stof December 2017 at 23:00 GMT. We will only consider full applications submitted by this date. A full application is one that includes an answer to the essay question and all other questions on the “Scholarship” tab, the letter of recommendation from your school, and also has the following sections completed on the account page: School Transcript, Declaration Form, Parent Info, School Info.
- Applicants from fee-paying schools will only be considered if their letter of recommendation confirms that they attend the school on a scholarship.
- The prizes provide without charge all those items ordinarily covered by the program fee, including accommodation, all excursions, lectures, theatre trips, workshops and tuition, and half board meals.
- These prizes do not include those items which are not ordinarily covered by the program fee: flights; transportation to/from Cambridge at the start and end of the program if travel is undertaken independently; third meal of the day (half board is provided); optional enhancements shown to have an extra fee; snacks, drinks and meals purchased away from the program; pocket money and souvenirs; visa costs (if required); books for credit courses and classes; laundry (aside from bed linen); travel insurance, medical insurance and any medical or dental fees.
- It is not guaranteed that Reach Cambridge will offer scholarship prizes to any of the candidates. Reach Cambridge reserves the right to not award scholarship prizes.
- Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 31st December 2017.
- Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview in early January 2018, and will be notified of the outcome by the end of January.
- The author of the students’ recommendation letter may be contacted for further information.
- The final decision on prize winners rests with Reach Cambridge Ltd. By submitting an application for the scholarship the student agrees to respect and honour the decision made by Reach Cambridge.
- By submitting an application to the scholarship competition, the student agrees to assist with promoting the scholarship scheme if awarded a prize.
- The successful applicant also agrees to their name being published on the Reach Cambridge website, as well as on its social media pages.
- The student must have permission from a parent or guardian to accept the scholarship. Scholarship prizes are conditional on parental approval – a parent/guardian will be required to sign a declaration that they accept the Reach Cambridge terms and conditions and rules and regulations.
- By applying for this scholarship, the student agrees to abide by the Reach Cambridge Terms and Conditionsand Rules and Regulations, available on our website, as well as these scholarship terms and conditions
- Students do not have to pay a deposit before applying for the scholarship.
- Please note that all terms and conditions for Reach Cambridge courses, including the cancellation policy, also apply for scholarship applicants.