1. Platz beim Berlin-Brandenburg Debating Contest January 2020

Am 30. Januar 2020 fuhren die Vertreter der Bertha zur Leibniz-Schule in Kreuzberg, um an dem „Berlin-Brandenburg Debating Contest January 2020“ teilzunehmen. Wir waren vier „Seniors“ aus den Klassenstufen 11 und 12 und vier „Juniors“ aus den Klassenstufen 6-10 und wir wurden von Herrn Nehmer begleitet.

Beim „Debating Contest“ debattieren immer je zwei 3er Teams von verschiedenen Schulen gegeneinander – und zwar auf Englisch! Die drei zur Debatte stehenden Themen des Wettbewerbs werden vorgegeben. Die ersten zwei Themen sind vorher bekannt, so dass man sich gut vorbereiten kann. Das dritte Thema erfahren die Teams erst eine halbe Stunde vor dem Start – das sind die „impromptu debates“. In einer Debatte vertritt ein Team die „proposition“ (für das Thema) und das andere Team die „opposition“ (gegen das Thema). Insgesamt tritt jedes Team gegen drei verschiedene Gegner an und alle Teams werden dabei von den „adjudicators“ bewertet. Am Ende werden die Punkte pro Redner und pro Schule addiert und so die Sieger-Schulen und die „best speaker“ ermittelt.

In diesem Wettbewerb standen die folgenden Themen zur Debatte: „This House would ban flights for school trips” sowie „This House would give parents the right to vote by proxy for their children”. Das Thema der „impromptu“ Debatte war „This House would replace teachers with robots”. Zu diesem Thema hatte das Junior Team von Bertha übrigens gute Argumente gegen Roboter als Lehrer!

Vielleicht gewannen auch deshalb Berthas Juniors in der Gesamtwertung aller Juniors den ersten Platz! Außerdem wurden L. Blumenthal von den Juniors als „Second Best Speaker“ und A. Reissenberger von den Seniors als „Third Best Speaker“ geehrt.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Eliana R. Brück, Klasse 6a ; 11. Februar 2020

Debating Matters Championship Berlin 2019

Having arrived at the University of Applied Sciences at 9 AM, we were all very excited for the day as we expected many interesting debating topics. We, Anna Pöggeler, Cecile Schuster, Lisann Kirmße, Janek Uhlich and myself, Loris Halama, all debated different topics. Janek and Lisann started off debating about the motion whether tourism benefits the world. They said that tourism does not benefit the world; however, due to their good research and especially their flexibility they won this debate. From tourism Anna and Cecile moved on to the question whether constant health monitoring does more harm than good. Their amazing debating skills enabled us the participation at the semi-finals although they had to deal with many difficult questions from the audience. At lunch, we talked to other schools and properly prepared for the semi-final debate about whether it is wrong for countries to offer tax incentives to attract investment. This debate was on a quite difficult topic and the arguments from both our school and the Eckener high school were very convincing so we were even more excited about the results of this debate. Our heart rates steadily increased as we were waiting for the results. When our school was announced we were on one hand extremely happy but on the other hand, the tension for the final debate rose as well. Anna and I could not believe that we had made it to the finals; luckily, we had prepared this debate thoroughly as well. Now, we were sitting in front of about 100 people, including well educated judges and people from different high schools all over Berlin, trying to convince the audience that Western museums should repatriate cultural artefacts whereas the Leibniz high school said Western Museums should not repatriate cultural artefacts. With very good team cooperation, Anna and I found appropriate answers to the audience’s questions but we also impressed the judges with our knowledge we acquired from deep research. Having controversially debated for approximately one hour, we had the honour to hear mostly positive feedback by the judges. The relief was big when we left the stage waiting for the final results which will have an impact on our school’s reputation. As the judge was about to present the results, we could already anticipate that those aspects mentioned by him comply with our achievements. When the winner’s name of this year’s Debating Matters Championships, Bertha von Schuttner, as it was written on the certificate, was announced we were absolutely over the top. We received many precious gifts and a lot of applause. In addition, Anna Pöggeler was honoured with the Best Speaker Award and received a partial scholarship for the University of Applied Sciences. We, as the 2019 Champions, were leaving the University at 6.45 PM exhausted but very happy having spent more than eight hours debating. In the morning we did not believe at all that we will leave this competition with a trophy but we, as the Bertha von Suttner high school proved again that we are among the best schools in Berlin. Being told that we were outstanding and that everyone was impressed by our high intellectual level of contributions satisfies us rather much.

Of course, we also like to thank Mrs. Brehm for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We are already looking forward to next year’s Debating Matters Championships!

Besides Mrs. Brehm, we all like thank the judges as well. Firstly, there is John Battersby, past New York Times South African correspondent; secondly there is Pascal Heymann, founder of “Berlin Speaking” and lastly Barbara Klimke, an editor of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Additionally, big thanks also goes to Mrs. Beppler-Spahl who organised the entire competition as well as Mrs. Duchow of the University of Applied Sciences Europe for the amazing Catering and the gifts.


Loris Halama, 11. Jahrgang