In November, Year 7 – 9 students from across North Island gathered online for the 2021 Middle School Ethics Olympiad to deliberate and discuss some of these everyday issues. This annual event is aimed at encouraging the development of critical thinking and respectful dialogue around relevant and interesting ethical dilemmas.
Despite not being able to gather physically as a team for the competition, our two contingents of Year 8 and 9 students demonstrated their ability to work well together online and rose to the occasion with their sound comprehension, astute reasoning ability and profound responses in examining a wide range of issues that were presented to them.
After four riveting rounds of intense dialogue, the Saint Kentigern Red team emerged as the champion, and they have been invited to compete in the Australasian Final alongside other regional champions from New Zealand and Australia in February 2022. The Saint Kentigern Red team members, Tim Bacchus, Daniel Xian, Alan Y Chen, Edison Zhou and Ada Hu, each received a Gold Medal for their achievement.
The Saint Kentigern Yellow team consisting of Nathan Dick, Emily Qian, Anastasia Milne, Arden Matheson and Zaina Liang was placed fourth in the competition.
Some of the interesting issues that students were challenged to deliberate on include if lying is ever ethical, if people are ever free to do what they want, and who decides if a joke is funny or not.
Both teams demonstrated great camaraderie. They broached issues in a calm and confident manner and substantiated each case with philosophical reasoning to give the judges and their opponents a lot to think about.
Speaking on their experience, Tim Bacchus expressed joy in engaging in stimulating questions and the spirit of the whole competition, while Edison Zhou said the competition gave participants a real sense of freedom of expression. Meanwhile Daniel Xian added that the competition provided “a real stage to highlight one’s personal ethical views.”
Well done to both teams.