The normally quiet library at German Swiss International School (GSIS) was filled with yelling and cheering last Wednesday afternoon. The GSIS team won the gold medal for Asia at the International Battle of the Books, beating French International School (FIS) and Christian International School (CIS).
The students all read books from a set list of 30 titles for the Middle School level. Then, in a competition via Skype, they had to score points by answering questions about the books.
Justin Kui Mun-hei was at the laptop for GSIS, putting in the answers yelled by his teammates. The pressure was on and there were some tense moments as everyone waited to see if their answers were correct. Energy was high though, and there were a lot of happy cheers and giggles as the points added up.
The 16-member GSIS team seemed confident before the start of the competition. Team member and Year Seven student, Isabelle Jamie Pomfret, said: "We practise a lot and we take it really seriously."
Christine Jiwon Ra, a Year 10 student and one of the team leaders, agreed. "Everyone's really well-prepared," she said. "Plus, everyone gets together and we have a lot of fun."
It was a close competition all the way through, and it was clear that all of the teams had studied hard. FIS won the silver medal for Asia, while the CIS team won the bronze. FIS teacher-librarian, Bryant McEntire, supervised the competition.
Librarian Ida Griffiths Zee, who helped co-ordinate the GSIS team, said the goals for the competition were simple: "We want the students to learn teamwork and collaboration, to build their self-confidence, and of course to read widely."
All of the students showed their love of reading with their enthusiasm for the competition. Justin summed up the GSIS team's feelings when he said: "Every single meeting is fun for us!"