- Published in Junior
International College Model United Nations conference
On Friday 27th of November, members of The British Schools’ Model United Nations club (MUN) gathered for the International College Model United Nations (ICMUN) online conference, previously held in Punta del Este. Due to the ongoing pandemic, students were not able to attend presentially, forcing them to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. There were different classrooms and zoom calls for each committee, however, the opening and closing ceremonies were presented as videos.
Regarding the General Assembly 1 committee, the question of territorial disputes in the South China Sea was being discussed due to the issue that Brunei, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam are competing for this territory because of the Paracels within the sea which might have reserves of natural resources. While China claims the sea due to its territorial proximity, Taiwan states a similar position due to its history and the Philippines argue their proximity to the sea too. Furthermore, Vietnam claims that they have ruled the Paracels since the XVII century and have documents as proof while China ruled them until the XIV century. In addition, both Brunei and Malaysia claim the territory since they believe the sea lies on the economic exclusion zones stated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Consequently, China has backed its arguments by sending naval patrols. As a result, the delegations of Australia and France merged and passed their resolution supported by the member states of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Spain which stated the exile of Chinese armies from the sea through economic sanctions, the usage of peacekeepers, acting according to the UNCLOS and demanded the return of all the Paracels to the United Nations. Nonetheless, the delegation of China was the main member state who was against this resolution due to the fact that it was the delegation with the utmost prejudice.
The General Assembly 3 board discussed the issue of the protection of human rights during the Coronavirus pandemic. When Covid-19 was just discovered, China’s government withheld information from the public and detained people from commenting about the virus on social media, violating their population’s freedom of expression and access to information. Furthermore, Thailand threatened medical personnel for speaking out about the shortage of supplies hospitals had. Several countries neglected human rights during the worldwide lockdown, creating a crucial battle between residents and governments. Consequently, the delegation of Peru passed its resolution that promoted the Covid-19 safety guidelines in the workplace, requested that the population must be informed when a human right is temporarily suspended, governments need to do everything they can to protect the people’s economic income and the children’s right to education, and encouraged authorities to provide health facilities with sufficient resources.
Moreover, the General Assembly 4 committee debated the issue of human rights of the citizens of Hong Kong. For a long time, Hong Kong has been facing violent restrictions on their rights to peaceful protest and their freedom of expression. During their pacific assemblies to maintain their rights, there has been unnecessary and excessive use of force used by police, vague charges to arrest and prosecute peaceful protesters, retaliatory violence against arrested persons in custody, and police’s lack of response when protesters face violent attacks by counter-protesters and other people. Therefore, the delegation of France passed its resolution that establishes an investigation on Hong Kong led by the United Nations to determine whether or not the people in China had their rights violated, gradual unconditional withdrawal of Chinese forces stationed in Hong Kong, also the UN would produce an outcome in terms of resolving the issue of economic autonomy of Hong Kong; it calls for Member States to gather future consideration for volunteers a UN led peacekeeping operation into Hong Kong, finally it proposes for member states to enforce economic sanctions on the People’s Republic of China where it does not to comply with the established conditions.
The ECOSOC committee disputed how to control the effect of Brexit on global trade. The withdrawal agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) established their separation. This agreement was applied on February 1st 2020, causing some negotiations involving this issue of global trade. At first the agreement dealt with the rights of the EU citizens living there, how much money the UK owed the European Union, and the transition period. But after a few months, the discussion shifted to how they would trade with each other in the future as they both wanted a free trade agreement. Furthermore, fishing is another prime point as the UK wants to sell fish caught by British boats into Europe and the EU wants access to the United Kingdom’s waters. The negotiating time was cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions but both sides still want a deal; at the same time, they are also preparing for a future without one. The deadline for this negotiation is in December 2020, making it a very short period of time to come to an agreement. As a result, the delegation of France co-submitted and passed its resolution with The Commonwealth of Australia which urged the UK to work towards a globalized economy encouraging friendly relationships between States, designates this Council to communicate any substantial changes on the global economy caused by Brexit, also asks Member States to come forward if they have been affected by this withdrawal, recommends the UK to conclude any trade agreement, and suggest the creation of a UK-EU-US free trade agreement based on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The issue being discussed in the Environmental committee was holding countries responsible for oil production and its environmental impact. There are many different consequences that the extraction of oil has on its surroundings, for example, the disruption of habitats, the possibility of oil spills, air and water pollution in nearby communities, gas emissions contributing to climate change, oil and gas demolishing pristine landscapes, and light pollution affecting wildlife and wilderness. We do not have information concerning the passed resolution of this board since it belongs to a student from another school, and the members of our club do not know which delegation it corresponds to.
Through the Security Council, delegations were asked to propose a solution to the inability caused by the situation in Lebanon. After the Lebanese government resigned from its power, a group of furious civilians caused a devastating explosion in Lebanon’s capital, Beitut, on the fourth of August which killed over 200 people and injured 5000. The lebanese population was outraged due to the resignation of the government and, as a side effect, there is an economic crisis in the country. Its debt against what they produce (debt-to-gross domestic product) is the third highest in the world, there is a 25% of unemployment and one third of the population is living below the poverty line. Protesters are headed to the streets, causing public vandalism and having clashes with the Lebanese police. Consequently the issue was taken into account in the security council committee where the delegation of Belgium passed its resolution supported by The French Republic, United Kingdom, United States & Israel which started by demanding aid and assistance from the relevant delegations for the reconstruction of Beirut. Aid is also requested regarding all member states to help Lebanon get out of this economic crisis and asist the most vulnerable regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls a further investigation regarding the explosion, its cause and takes legal measurements to avoid its recurrence. Additionally, it creates an anti-corruption corporation which would work alongside intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to monitorice the political and governmental corruption in the country. Hence, it suggests working, as previously mentioned with the UNCAC and Lebanon’s allies who follow a democratic regime to supervise the political elections.
Despite having a demanding year due to COVID-19, The British Schools’ MUN club was extremely successful both during the online conferences and throughout the process of preparing for these meetings. Many new members debuted in ICMUN and three students participated as chairs, all with outstanding results.
Written by the Model United Nations press team (Alfonso Camadini, Maia Lyford-Pike and Valentina Sapia).
Amnesty International, 2019-2020, “Protect the rights of people in Hong Kong”, retrieved on December 8th 2020 on link https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/stop-the-hong-kong-extradition-bill/
BBC, 12 july 2016, “Why is the South China Sea contentious?”, retrieved November 28th 2020, on link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349
BBC, August 5 2020, “Lebanon: Why the country is in crisis”, retrieved December 9th 2020, on link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53390108
BBC News, June 29 2020, “Brexit: Where are we now?” [Video file], retrieved from https://youtu.be/Cr02R5gjRIA
HRW, March 19 2020, “Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response”, retrieved on December 5th 2020 on link
The Wilderness Society, August 9 2019, “7 ways oil and gas drilling is bad for the environment”, retrieved on December 8th 2020 on link
Es difícil decir adiós. Por eso tal vez hemos construido rituales, ceremonias, liturgias, actos simbólicos que nos permiten despedirnos de una etapa dignamente y pasar a otra. Sin embargo, en este año marcado por una pandemia global todas nuestras vidas se han afectado, incluyendo estos actos de pasaje de año, como puede ser una ceremonia de graduación.
En este contexto nos reunimos por última vez en 2020, y en forma virtual. El Club Filosófico tuvo siete encuentros este año y filosofamos sobre variados temas, como la identidad, el aburrimiento, los encuentros y posteos digitales llamados “vivos”, la marginalidad, y en esta instancia sentimos la necesidad de conversar sobre los cierres de ciclos, titulando el encuentro, “las despedidas: esos dolores dulces” haciendo referencia a la canción “Gualicho” de “Patricio Rey y sus redonditos de ricota”.
Fue un encuentro muy sentido, de mucha reflexión personal. Siempre buscamos que nuestros encuentros tengan sintonía en las vivencias de nuestros alumnos, y que el Club Filosófico cumpla un rol extracurricular sincero, ameno, intelectual y relevante. Y luego del encuentro del lunes 7 de diciembre, 2020 seguimos pensando que cumple este rol.
Fueron principalmente alumnos de sexto que asistieron por lo cual fue natural que conversemos sobre falta de ceremonia de graduación del colegio por causas mayores. La primera reflexión fue que se extrañó el acto protocolar, los discursos, usar el uniforme escolar por última vez. Se extrañó el calor del gimnasio, los premios, las alusiones al pasaje a la adultez a las que siempre se hacen referencia. Se extrañó la despedida.
Es comprensible dado que muchos alumnos han estado juntos catorce años desde kinder. Pero, ¿qué es un acto de cierre? ¿Por qué precisamos estas ceremonias? Pensamos que es más que un acto protocolar. Desde un punto de vista antropológico, se puede decir que estos rituales son una forma de marcar ciclos naturales. Como seres naturales que somos, una ceremonia de graduación es una formalidad que marca un pasaje, cerrando una puerta y abriendo una nueva. Se celebran en grupos y convenimos que es una forma de ordenar la experiencia.
Sin embargo, ¿qué pasa cuando no pasa? Una alumna reflexionó que se sintió como en un “limbo”. Y lo vinculó a esa extraña sensación producto de no tener que guardar el uniforme u ordenar los apuntes en su escritorio. Los puede llegar a precisar todavía. La puerta permanece abierta. Otra alumna comentó sobre una prima que se graduó hace varios años del colegio pero sigue como en “luto”, extrañando el espacio y propósito que brinda nuestro colegio.
Esta reflexión nos llevó a pensar que en un plano psicológico los cierres cumplen una función importante, dando “closure” a lo vivido. Vimos que entonces cada uno puede hacer su propio ritual de despedida. Como en un divorcio o mudanza que se pasa de cuarto en cuarto agradeciendo los buenos momentos, o como hicieron unas amigas caminando por el colegio, desde el Teatro “PS Schor” hasta Old Boys Club memorizando el lugar. Pensamos que los cierres formales, estos actos protocolares, no garantizan este ordenamiento a lo vivido. Requiere una contemplación personal, un acto de “mindfulness” y concientización acerca de la experiencia.
Concluimos que el ritual personal o la ceremonia colectiva tienen algo en común. Para sentir que algo está cerrado, debe haber una movilización, un autoconocimiento como decía Socrates, que muchas veces va por el lado del agradecimiento. Tenemos que poder significar estas experiencias porque son cuestiones de nuestra historia. Una compañera nos dijo que así vivió el proceso de IB Arts. No darle un “pienso” a estas instancias y significar su importancia deja la puerta abierta a que vuelva en forma desorganizada, como la prima que sigue viviendo en “luto”, extrañando sus años del colegio. Se citó a Jung, cuando dijo, “lo que niegas, te somete; lo que aceptas, te transforma; lo que resiste, persiste.”
Los cierres son “dolores dulces” y necesarios. Sirven para no normalizar la experiencia y poder seguir adelante. En un mundo donde hemos prescindido de referencias morales, es el individuo quien decide hacia dónde va su vida, haciéndose cargo de su historia, como pensaba Nietzsche. Hay que ser conscientes para poder hacerlo, sobre todo cuando las ceremonias faltan, y lo hacemos por voluntad propia.
- Published in Junior
Realizar actividad física y deporte facilita el desarrollo motriz, permitiendo una gran variedad de niveles de dificultad según las diferentes edades. Al ofrecer actividades y desafìos motrices en contacto con la naturaleza, al cual llamamos CIRCUITO AVENTURA , se promueve la enseñanza de valores personales, físicos y sociales.
En primer lugar, los valores personales refieren al desarrollo de la autonomía, el autocontrol y el espíritu de superación personal del alumno, así como también el sentido de responsabilidad.
En segundo lugar, respecto al aspecto físico, cabe destacar la capacidad de dominio del cuerpo de los alumnos, quienes desarrollan el equilibrio e incrementan la concentración en cada una de las actividades. Asimismo, los niños fortalecen la manera en la que perciben su cuerpo, preocupándose por los cuidados que deben tener presentes y de las diferentes posibilidades de movimiento que son capaces de realizar al ejercitar las habilidades que poseen .
En tercer lugar, el aspecto social es un excelente medio para el desarrollo de valores como el TEAMWORK ya que repercute en la toma de decisiones.
Gracias al mágico espacio natural que ofrecen las instalaciones del Colegio nuestros alumnos crecen con conciencia de lo que verdaderamente significa cuidar el medio ambiente. El aprovechamiento del espacio natural impacta en su educación dado que aprenden a valorar y disfrutar del aprendizaje en esta etapa tan importante de desarrollo en un espacio sano.
A modo de conclusión, en virtud de un año particular condicionado por la emergencia sanitaria, fue necesario promover actividades al aire libre y concientizar sobre los cuidados requeridos para conservar nuestra SALUD. Al fortalecer el cuerpo, aumentando las defensas y desarrollando un estìmulo mental y emocional positivo, somos capaces de ser más fuertes y felices.
Profesora de Educación Física y Recreación
The International College of Punta Del Este held an online conference (ICMUN) last Friday, 27th November. This was the second online Model United Nations conference of the year, after the Craighouse conference (CRAIGMUN). The School had nineteen students participating in the conference, six of which passed their resolutions in their corresponding committees and three of which were involved as chairs of the Security Council, General Assembly 3 and ECOSOC committees.
Regarding the General Assembly 1, the question of territorial disputes in the South China Sea was being discussed. The delegations of France (Franco Malde) and Australia (Francisco Sojo) merged their resolutions and passed them. In the General Assembly 3, the delegation of Peru (Fiorella Rossi) passed their resolution which discussed the protection of human rights while combating the ongoing pandemic, Covid-19. Through the General Assembly 4 committee, the issue regarding human rights of the citizens of Hong Kong was being discussed and the French member state (Santiago Souto) passed their resolution. Along the ECOSOC committee, the delegation of France (Francisco Bustillo) passed its resolution while discussing the controlling effect of Brexit on global trade. Finally, the delegation of Belgium (Luciana Bunt) passed its resolution in the Security Council which argued the issue of managing the instability caused by the situation in Lebanon.
It was quite surprising to see how even during a pandemic, the club received new members who debuted at last Friday’s conference. The new delegates include ten students from 1YL, one from 2YL and two from 4YL. The conference was organised by the ongoing presidents of the club: Carmen Gomensoro, Agustin López & Bautista Martinez.
- Published in Whole School
New research finds that IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking
Evidence from the University of Oxford finds International Baccalaureate (IB) students exhibit significantly stronger critical thinking skills than non-IB peers. In today’s rapidly changing world, schools seek ways to teach students skills needed for success beyond the classroom. Previous studies indicate that critical thinking skills are key determinants of individual and collective success, which is why these skills are sought after by students, parents, schools and universities.
More than 560 students from eight schools in Australia, England and Norway participated in this study that examines the impact of the IB’s Diploma Programme (DP) on students’ critical thinking abilities. No previous research has taken this approach of comparing DP and non-DP students across the globe, using a validated critical thinking assessment.
The year-long IB-commissioned study was conducted by the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA). The quantitative results show that the DP students possess significantly higher levels of critical thinking skills than their non-DP counterparts, an advantage that held even after relevant covariates were controlled for using regression approaches and propensity score-matching. Additionally, as students advanced through the DP, critical thinking skills increased and further distinguished them from their non-DP counterparts.
Following a review of the DP curriculum, OUCEA’s analysis indicated that the IB’s approach to developing critical thinking is in line with evidence-based best practice. Both individual DP courses and unique components of the DP curriculum, such as the theory of knowledge (TOK) course, offer opportunities for developing critical thinking skills.
“I feel like our students end up maybe more rounded than other students would, just because we, we kind of facilitate both sides and thinking about things from different perspectives and then coming up with their own validated conclusions. And I think that's a very valuable part of the course”, Environment systems and society teacher, England.
In addition to TOK, the extended essay was highlighted by students as shaping critical thinking development in the IB. Students and educators both further commented on the advantage that the DP offers as preparation for further studies when compared to national curriculums.
“While we can't know for certain whether IB participation improves critical thinking, it is noteworthy that, even after controlling for many pre-existing differences, IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking. The findings suggest that instructional approaches that focus on teaching critical thinking skills explicitly as well as embedding opportunities for students to think critically within each subject may facilitate the development of critical thinking skills. IB students and teachers have identified many potential avenues by which the IB encourages the development of critical thinking and hopefully, in the future we can build an even clearer picture of how to improve students' critical thinking skills”, commented Dr Therese Hopfenbeck, lead researcher on the project.
As part of the IB’s continued curriculum innovation strategy, this research precedes a large project in collaboration with OUCEA, the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and the Jacobs Foundation, which aims to identify and share classroom practices that support the development of IB learner profile attributes, skills that foster international-mindedness in young people.
Fieldwork is an integral part of the IB Geography course and with great enthusiasm and dedication the IB 1 Geography students carried out an investigation into the beach morphology in El Pinar. This was a tremendous opportunity for the students to put into practice geographic skills and gain first hand understanding of coastal processes.
- Published in Whole School
On Tuesday, 17th November, three representatives of the School’s Learning Support Teams participated as speakers in the Global Assessment International Conference organised by GL Assessment. Cecilia Irazoqui (Junior Learning Support Coordinator), Valentina Fernández (Junior and Senior Learning Support Specialist) and Rosina Grillé (Senior Learning Support Specialist) talked about “Improving teaching practices at school based on the analysis of learners’ profiles”. The three pshycho-pedagogical specialists shared the thorough work done by the Learning Support Department over the 6 six years using the CAT4. They described how the data provided by this assessment tool is combined with other data sources available at school in order to identify each student’s strengths, weaknesses and overall learning profile. They also explained how this information is used to develop suitable teaching strategies to cater for the different needs in the classroom and to inform institutional projects. The international conference session was a complete success, with more than 175 attendees from all over the world watching the session.
Huge congratulations to the representatives of our Learning Support team who presented at the Global Assessment International Conference organised by GLA yesterday.
Their knowledge and expertise, together with the clarity which with they shared this, will enrich the work of many schools around the world and put The British Schools of Montevideo on the map with regard to using data to develop student learning.