Olympic and Paralympic Values: Excellence week
- This live debate has now ended
- Debates run every Wednesday at 0900 and 1400 until the Olympic Games begin
- Email email@example.com for further details if you'd like to take part
It's almost time for the fifth debate in the World Class 'Olympic Values' series!
Come back to this page on Wednesday 11 July at 0900 and 1400 BST to join the discussion.
Taking part couldn't be easier. Send us your thoughts on 'excellence' before or during the debate by:
- Emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leave a message on our Facebook page
- Tweet using #worldclassvalues
In the meantime, watch the videos on the right and check out out debate points (above) for inspiration.
See you then!
Right - we're nearly there! The first of our two debates on excellence will begin in just a few minutes.
Get contributing - all the details on how to get in touch are below.
Firstly, some background on our 'Gaokao' films available on the right.
'Gaokao fever' takes a look at one student's preparation for the notoriously tough university entrance exams in China - called 'Gaokao'.
Ma Li is 18, and under incredible pressure to do well. In the second video, she tells us in her own words why 'failure is not an option'.
What do you think of the exams? Are they too tough - is there too much pressure on the students to show excellence or does it help them achieve more than they would have done?
Right, let's kick off the debate with some comments from Gyanodaya School in Kathmandu, Nepal!
A big World Class hello to you!
Denisha tells us: "Excellence is the prevailing attitude, simplicity towards the way of thinking, acting and doing through our own experience."
Great comment - what do you think?
Here's Ellen from St. John's School in Cyprus - good morning guys!
Ellen's been thinking about the debate points (see above). She thinks that "Excellence means achieving great things high and above other people and feeling proud to have done it and have been a success at something you wished to have done.
"It is a Paralympic and Olympic Value simply because if you did not have excellence you wouldn't achieve the accomplishments in life and in the Olympics.
You need excellence to excel in the sport and to win gold!"
Ishan from Gyanodaya School also has a thought about one of the debate points.
"Excellence is needed in Paralympics and Olympics because when the athletics do not have excellence then they lack respect, courage and determination.
"As a result they cannot show sublime performances in the Olympics."
The children at the Kitt World School, India, feel that, "Excellence is not so much a battle you fight with others, it is battle you fight with yourself. Constantly raising the bar and stretching yourself, it requires tremendous faith in one's ability to do more and in a better way."
Sticking with the topic of why excellence is an Olympic Value, Phoebe from St John's School adds:
"It is not all about excellence, it is about your enthusiasm and effort that you put into your sport."
Very true - can you think of other kinds of excellence you could show as a sportsperson, perhaps towards other people?
A nice comment from Amrit from Gyanodaya International Residential School, Nepal!
He says that, "Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."
His classmate Ishan adds: "Excellence is not a piece of gold that is earned after winning but it is respect that must be earned."
Great stuff guys!
Pupils at the Gyanodaya Residential School, Nepal, believe that excellence is very strong Olympic value. They feel that "every single olympian needs to give their very best and try to achieve excellence in their sports to win."
Here's Ellen from St. John's School in Cyprus, who has been watching our 'Gaokao fever' film (see right).
"I think it is quite harsh how much work the children are being made to do," she tells us.
"Those children should be having fun out of school and leaving the harsh work routines at school and let them have the childhood they deserve once the bell has rung.
Once you've lost your childhood, that's it. It's gone and you cannot get it back."
That's a really interesting comment. What do you think? Do you agree, or is it worth it if the students have success later in life?
Excellent comment from Upasana at Gyanodaya International Residential School in Nepal.
Upasana says: "Excellence is not perfection but rather the effort put to come close to perfection".
"Winning gold is not an impossible thing in Olympics, the recipe behind this is excellence is courage and determination," according to pupils in Nepal.
Do you agree? Send us your thoughts and get involved with the live debate.
We're delighted to be joined by St Patrick's Primary School from Corsham, UK!
Jonah, Charley and Ella think that "Excellence is not about avoiding the storm, but about learning to dance in the rain!"
We like that! (Particularly useful advice in the UK - it's been a bit wet here recently!)
Here's an interesting comment from Matthew from Salafi School in Birmingham, UK.
He says: "Excellence never stops. You have to keep innovating, changing and adapting to be the best.
Applied to to the Olympics and Paralympics this means to achieve excellence you have to find that margin to be better than the rest.
It's about beating the competition but also being well mannered and dignified. Excellence and arrogance are not a good mix!"
Here's Upsana from Gyanodaya School in response to Phoebe from St. John's School (0915):
"I think excellence is also about being a fair player, showing sportsmanship and enjoying the game."
Here's Saba from KIIT World School in New Delhi, India: "Aggressive pursuit of excellence by coaches and parents sometimes push the young athletes too far and this results in over exhaustion!"
Great comment. Do you ever feel pressure in the pursuit of excellence?
St Patrick's Catholic Primary have responded to Ellen (0924).
Katie and Morgan tell us: "Although Ma Li is struggling now, what she achieves will allow her to make something of herself in the future."
But Simon has a different view. "China's education may be 'better', but having a good education doesn't lead to a good life.
"In countries like England people who struggle in school, who don't get the grades or qualifications still make something of themselves and lead successful lives.
Perhaps China's education system can learn from this?"
Amrit from Gyanodaya International Residential School also has a response for Ellen (0924):
"Yes, I agree with Ellen - because anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days", he tells us.
Meanwhile, Owen from St Patrick's Catholic Primary has been thinking about Saba's comments about pursuing excellence (0936).
"We agree with Saba from KIIT World School in New Delhi, India," he tells us. "That amount of pressure is not something a child should have to cope with - it is not fair!"
What do you think?
Some more general thoughts on excellence now. Phoebe from St John's School, Cyprus, tell us that, "You can have excellence throughout your whole life.
"In sport you may only be excellent for a certain period of time, however you will never lose how intelligent you are, your excellence in this will always outshine others."
And Jonah from St Patrick's Catholic Primary School says, "Excellence is about dreaming big...then acting bigger!"
Ella adds: "Excellence without action is just a dream. Excellence without vision just passes the time. However, excellence, action and vision can change the world".
Super comments guys!
Manmeet from KIIT World School, India, adds to the 'pursuit of excellence' debate (see 0944).
"I feel the pressure in pursuit of excellence," he says.
"It is important to feel pressure because if we remain in our comfort zones and do not try hard enough, we will not be able to raise our own standards."
What does excellence mean to you? Is it about being the best? Or, trying to give your best? Tell us what you think.
Upasana from Gyanodaya School joins the 'pursuit of excellence' debate (0949).
"Of course even I feel the pressure to achieve excellence. Like the 'Gaokao' exams, in Nepal we have SLC at the end of grade 10.
We have to study very hard and give up a lot of hobbies and free time to get an good result. I am currently in grade 10 and am feeling the pressure."
Any of you out there know how Upasana feels?
Mark from St Patrick's Catholic Primary School in Corsham, UK, has been watching he 'Gaokao fever' film (right) carefully.
The film mentions that the students do 6 hours or homework a day. Mark figures that, "The children studying for the Gaokao exams do 2190 hours of homework per year.
"That's just not fair!"
I'm sure there's a few pupils out there who'd agree with you, Mark!
Aditya from KIIT World School in India agrees with Simon (0937):
He tells us, "An education system that is based on cramming and rote learning can't lead a child to greener pastures in the long run.
"We definitely need creative thinkers and risk takers."
Some really interesting debate going on there - let us know your thoughts.
A quick heads up that we are going to keep running this debate session for another 15 minutes or so.
If you've got something burning to say, say it now - or join us again at 1400 BST for the afternoon session!
Fantastic work so far everyone, keep it up!
We've just received two emails that arrived almost simultaneously. One if from India and one from Nepal, and they are both remarkably similar!
Firstly Ishan from Gyanodaya International Residential School in Nepal told us: "I think excellence is both being the best and giving the best because if you give your best then you may be the best".
Seconds later, Saba from KIIT World School in India said this: "Excellence is definitely trying to give your best and keep redefining the best for yourself".
You know what they say: great minds think alike!
Hello to Apeejay School, who have just joined us from New Delhi, India!
Here's Anmol, who says: "For me excellence means giving your 100% and striving for nothing but the best. It is putting your heart and soul in every task you do and leaving no stone unturned in achieving your goals."
Ainee adds: "For me excellence means to challenge my capabilities and do a lot better than before. It means not to compete with others but with oneself. Strive for the best and the rest will follow."
Meanwhile, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School have a response to Upasana (0954)
Oliver says: "When we came up to our Year 6 SATs we expected something difficult, but our teacher helped us prepare for them.
"It seemed difficult beforehand but when we got there we were ready to take that leap of faith. Teachers and parents can help to cope with the pressure."
And Timothy adds: "The excellence promoted by the Gaokao exams should mean that the students have lots of options - they will be able to go anywhere in the world to explore their talents/interests."
Upasana from Gyanodaya School agrees with Mark (0957) - to be honest, we're not surprised!
"Only homework is not going to help us in life," she says. "Life is about experiencng and learning through experience. Having fun is also also a part of the experience!"
Such is the strength of the debate, we're going to keep on going to 1030 BST!
But that's definitely it. Okay?
Saba from KIIT World School in India has a question for you all.
"Is the Gaokao fever diminishing the innovative thinking of the students?"
What do you think?
Here's a great snap from the pupils debating from St Patrick's Catholic Primary School!
Great work guys! Sorry if we didn't manage to squeeze everyone in!
The Khaitan Public School in India have sent in this! Great stuff!
X- Xtreme fun
The Khaitan Public School also have some thoughts on the 'pressure to succeed' debate.
Jatin says that "Pressure is good to keep one on their toes but too much of it is detrimental for one's own good. It makes you into an all rounder."
Akshita feels that "Pressure helps in pushing us to do our level best to achieve our goals."
Amrit from Gyanodaya International Residential School has sent in an 'excellence' poem!
"Succeeding through our struggles, striving for excellence
We embrace the struggles that came to make us strong
Opportunity is but once in a lifetime
So today is our day to shine
Because today we are striving for excellence and we are going to my destiny."
Uditi from KIIT World School, India, has more on the 'pressure' debate (1021). "I agree that we feel the pressure in our desire to give the best," he says.
"But I feel the only way to reduce the pressure is to prepare and practice right from the beginning, achieving small targets and then giving the best in the end."
Just time for a couple more comments before we wrap up.
Shelly from The Khaitan Public School in India says: "We should work hard and try to be constant in our path towards excellence".
Prabha adds: "If we aim higher than being excellent we can be perfect in achieving our goals."
And Denisha from Gyanodaya International Residential School thinks that, "Excellence is excelling in something that involves in life-long journey of self discovery."
"It is the best you can do."
We think that's a nice way to wrap up things for this morning.
A huge thanks to all of you who took part - some superb contributions and some interesting back-and-forth between you!
Sorry if we missed one of your comments - there were a lot of them to get through!
Finally, a reminder to join us this afternoon at 1400 BST for the afternoon session of our 'excellence' debate!
Excitingly, we'll be joined by the stars of the 'Torch visit' film available on the right.
Highfields School pupils will be joining us from Derbyshire, UK, to answer your questions about what it was like when the Olympic Torch visited their school.
So don't miss out - join us then!
Hi everyone - we're just approaching our second LIVE debate of the day, which starts at 1400 BST!
For those of you just joining us, a reminder that we're discussing the Olympic Value of 'excellence' and there are a number of ways to get in touch.:
Email us at email@example.com
Post on our Facebook page
Tweet using #worldclassvalues
See? It's simple. So get contributing! If you need inspiration, why not answer our debate points (top of page) or give us your thoughts about our 'excellence' videos (see right).
A reminder, too, that we're joined this afternoon by Highfields School in Derbyshire, UK - whose students were the stars of our 'Torch visit' film (right).
Want to know what it's like having the Olympic Torch at your school? Want to know their take on 'excellence'?
Get in touch and we'll publish your questions for them to answer.
Hello to the Hawaii Chinese Immersion School!
They've been watching the 'Gaokao fever' film (right). Lauren says: "I like that Ma Li (the girl in the film) studies very hard.
"I think that her family was very nice to support her by moving closer to the school. If studying is stressful, then the test will be even more stressful.
"And I think it's okay to make students work hard. All it does is push them to be the best they can be."
Great comments from Lauren. What do you think?
A big World Class hello to Colegio Newland in Mexico, who are here to kick off this afternoon's debate!
Their youngest pupils came up with an amazing definition for us: "Excellence is like rain falling on the field and makes all flourish and be green. So the Olympics will generate excellence because there will be lots of rain".
You're probably right about that!
We've had our first Q&A with the stars of the 'Torch visit' film!
The Khaitan Public School in India asked: "What was the feeling when you were part of the Olympic Event?"
Bethany from Highfields School replies: "When the Olympic torch visited our school everybody was very excited.
"I helped with some athletic activities that took part on our school field such as running, hurdles and the egg and spoon race. The medals for the events were given out by a very special guest - the captain of the England football team, Casey Stoney.
"When the torch arrived just after lunch time the atmosphere was amazing. What also made the day extra special was that two students from our school was actually running with the torch.
Overall the day was very special and we feel very lucky that the torch came to our school. We will definitely remember it for the rest of our lives."
Do you have questions for Highfields School? Get in touch!
More from Highfields School, this time from Shannon:
"We took part in many sporting activities, which were very exciting for all - the whole school had an amazing day.
"When the torch arrived we all were ecstatic. Despite the English weather this was a memorable event that will never be forgotten, celebrating the fantastic sport in our school."
Let's hear more from the Hawaii Chinese Immersion School, where Deborah has been thinking about 'excellence'.
"Success means, reaching your goal, and achieving it," she tells us. "And completion means you have done something like you've never done before: you finish something new."
"And without trying something new, where would you go? But if you do go somewhere, and you are in pursuit of excellence, you need friends".
Interesting stuff! What do you think? What does excellence and achievement mean to you?
Students from Colegio Newland, México agree with Gyanodaya International School - they say that excellence is doing ordinarily things extraordinarily well and doing our best to get great results.
Let us know if you agree!
Emily, from Highfields School, has this to say about the Olympic torch visit:
"The event was also made extra special as two students from our school were given the moment of a lifetime to run with the Olympic torch! One of them, Sarah, is online now if you want to ask her questions!"
We have a question to Sarah to kick things off: why were you asked to carry the Torch?
A warm welcome to Borrowdale School and we are glad to hear you've got a good debate going on.
At Borrowdale pupils think that, "some pushing for excellence is a good thing, but they are worried that those pupils in China are pushed too much. However, the pupils also think that different children need more or less pressure to perform well. This is where the other values (like determination and inspiration) come into play."
Interesting comments - let us know what you think. Do you respond well to pressure to succeed?
Bethany at Highfields School has been thinking about our debate point 'Can the pursuit of excellence result in too much pressure?' (see top of page).
She answers: "I don't believe that being excellent can result in too much pressure if you are doing something that completely inspires you and that you are being excellent at something you have a true passion for."
Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know!
Some more thoughts on excellence from St Patrick's Catholic Primary School!
"Excellence is about doing your best, but doing it better than others" - Finley and Tycjan
"Excellence is not about filling the bucket, but about making it overflow!" - Niamh
"Excellence is like a cake - you've got to make it to perfection, too little, too bad, too much...too sick!" - Albert
Here's Denisha, Upasana, Amrit, and Ishan on one of our debate points (see top).
They say that "Excellence is an Olympic and Paralympic Value because winning means achieving excellence.
"You need excellence to show determination, respect, courage, and perfectionism."
A great comment - you've pretty much summed up our entire Olympic Value countdown in one go there!
Highfields School, UK have answered earlier questions about the day the Olympic Torch came through their school.
They say that they felt proud and excited to be part of the Olympics. As the Torch came up the school field there were screams of excitement and there were sports events happening which demonstrated the Olympic values.
There were also camera crews at the school to capture the events.
Annabel says that the Olympic Torch's arrival is one of the best things that has happened to the school and the local area.
Get in touch with your questions about the Olympic Torch at Highfields School.
Students from Colegio Newland in Mexico have a question for torchbearer Sarah from Highfields School!
Ximena, Sergio, Emily and Cooper ask: "What did you feel when you carried the Torch and how has your perspective of life changed?"
More thoughts from the Hawaii Chinese Immersion School.
Daralyn thinks that, "Excellence can make you proud that you are above everybody else.
"Success means doing the best you can, and being able to complete a task or mission. I think getting things done is the meaning of success."
And Logan has been watching the 'Gaokao fever' film (right), and tell us: "I like how the schools pushed the kids and test them in exams. Exams are important because the teacher can see how smart you are."
Here's Rory from St Patrick's Catholic Primary School in Corsham, UK, with his thoughts on one of our debate points (above).
"Without the pressure you wouldn't be able to do your best," he tells us. "If you haven't had some pressure when you are younger then you will struggle to cope when you are older."
We think that's a really interesting point. Do you agree with Rory?
And Biba and Vanessa, also from St Patrick's, add:
"Excellence is being proud of your achievements without boasting. Even if you don't win the race your reward is excellence - THAT is your medal."
Colegio Newland in Mexico have a great debate going on.
"Regarding what Bethany said about excellence, we are not sure that we agree. Sometimes you have a true passion for something so you try to do your best. Sometimes it is not enough and this can be pressure for you to push yourself harder. But, on the other hand, if you passion is true, you can enjoy the hard work."
What do you think?
Sarah from Highfields has been in touch with answers to your questions ...
In response to Ximena, Sergio, Emily and Cooper's question about carrying the Torch -
"The feeling was utterly indescribable. I was beaming the whole of the route, not only was being a part of the torchbearer team incredible, but meeting all the other torchbearers was another highlight. As I am only 15, hearing everyone else's astonishing stories was absolutely incredible. I was lucky enough to meet so many inspirational people, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I will never forget it."
Bethany from Highfields School tells us: "I agree with what Colegio Newland have to say (1458) but if it is your passion then it doesn't have to be pressure.
"I think excellence becomes pressured when coaches and parents push to hard."
A heads-up for you all - we're going to wrap things up in about 10 minutes, so if you've something burning to say, say it now!
Great debate so far - keep it up!
Annabel from Highfields School has given us an answer to the question: 'Can you think of a time when you have achieved excellence?'
"When I was on my horse at a pony club show jumping competition I had already competed in two different jumping classes, but to achieve excellence I gave a harder class of jumping a go.
"I won the class! To achieve excellence is such a wonderful feeling and you get such a buzz that never ends."
Shannon from Highfields has sent us a fantastic picture of her classmate and torchbearer when the Olympic Torch came to their school
What a great picture! That seems like a good moment to call it a wrap on today's live debates.
We've been really impressed by the range of great ideas on display - and some of the lines of discussion have been fascinating.
We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Don't forget that next week we're doing it all over again - so join us again on Wednesday 18 July at 0900 and 1400 BST, when we'll be discussing the Olympic and Paralympic Value of inspiration!
Bye for now!