TSL 2017 International Schools Essay Competition and Debate
Dear Mr. UN Secretary General:
Global essay competition and debate invites schoolchildren to explore practical pathways for climate action
The Trust for Sustainable Living invited schoolchildren from around the world to write open letters to the newly-elected UN Secretary General, outlining their ideas for practical climate action.
The annual essay competition and debate is aimed at primary students (ages 7-11) and secondary students (ages 11-17), supported by their Teacher Champions. All participating students and Teacher Champions will be invited to attend the 2017 Debates & Awards in Oxford, UK. One overall Grand Prize Winner (plus Teacher Champion and Parent) will win a free trip to the Debates & Awards. In each category, prizes will be awarded for the top five essays and for the best individual and group contributions at the Debates.
1 September 2016 – School/Teacher registration opens
15 18 December 2016 at midnight GMT – Final deadline for essay submissions (and Schools Sustainability Challenge video entries).
31 January 2017 – Schools notified of winning Finalists and Honourable Mentions, and invited to attend the Debates & Awards.
3-7 July 2017 – International Schools Debates & Awards, Oxford, UK. In addition to the Primary and Secondary School Debates, participants will enjoy a special programme of climate action themed visits and events, including workshops and exchanges to help Teacher Champions deliver quality teaching back at their schools. All participants other than the Grand Prize Winner’s party are responsible for making their own travel arrangements (e.g. flights, transfers, accommodation, subsistence and miscellaneous costs).
Students are invited to write an essay outlining their thoughts on climate action, in English, as follows:
Primary students (ages 7-11): ‘My Plan for Climate Action’ (max. 400 words)
Secondary students (ages 11-17): ‘We Can Beat Climate Change by 2030’ (max. 600 words)
An international panel of judges, 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 dialogue on future pathways for climate action. 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.)
Resources for Schools
To assist teachers and students in preparing for the competition and debate, we are pleased to provide links to supporting online Teacher Resources. (To access supporting resources on themes from previous years, use the menu bar at the upper left hand side of this page.)
TSL 2017 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 2017 Debates & Awards in the UK.
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.org
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