ARK diplomats debate and develop solutions to world problems

Pupils from nine ARK secondary schools became diplomats for the day when they took part in the second Model United Nations (MUN) conference hosted by King Solomon Academy on 13 December. They participated in a day of debate, diplomacy and resolution around the theme of ‘Protecting Our Future: Preparing for the Threats of Climate Change.' Delegates researched and prepared position papers in advance and proved to be adept at representing the interests of their allocated United Nations country or committee. Reuben, a year 10 pupil from ARK Putney, commented: “I’ve learned how debating works, what other country’s opinions are and how people can interpret different ideas."

Stand up for what’s right

All schools did well but ARK William Parker Academy excelled by winning seven out of 13 awards, including “Overall Best Contributing School." King Solomon and Walworth Academy also received awards for ‘Best Delegates’ and Evelyn Grace Academy and King Solomon also received prizes for ‘Best Position Papers’. Alice Evans, a Parkwood Sixth Form student, who represented DPRK (North Korea) said: “I believe the Model United Nations teaches you to speak up, express views and stand up for what’s right”. She enjoyed mixing with other ARK schools stating: “I don’t feel there are any barriers between us.”

It gives you of vision of what’s happening in the world

The conference allowed delegates to explore and analyse a situation affecting unfamiliar people in different settings. “It gives you a vision of what’s happening in the world. I enjoyed representing Russia,” said Bethanie, year 7 from Evelyn Grace. The event gave students the chance to work in leadership roles, as teams in alliances and working parties and guide students with less MUN experience. It helped to develop communication skills and build self-confidence. “I’m a quiet and reserved person, so it’s taken me out of my comfort zone, talking to people that I haven’t met before, it’s a confidence boost,” said Reece, year 12, Walworth – delegate of South Africa.

For more information about the Model United Nations or other ARK Schools enrichment programmes, please contact sarah.gregory@arkonline.org.