On Wednesday 19th April, six Year 8 students took part in the ‘Up for Debate’ competition at Alleyn's School, Dulwich. About 30 schools took part in this regional heat, with the winning team going forward to the national final later this term. Our team consisted of three primary debaters - Tom Annetts, Oscar Borley and Kayleigh Sewell - and three floor speakers - Charlie Aird, Katie Mitchell and Rae Sarssam.
All teams had to take part in three debates – two motions already prepared at school and one impromptu debate for which the team only had a short time to pull together its arguments. The first debate was about the censorship of music videos and lyrics with discriminatory content. As the Proposition, we were charged with arguing for censorship. Each speaker put forward their ideas clearly and the team worked together to support each other throughout. They led us to victory with our first win. With confidence growing, the team argued in the second round for the retention of international adoption. Again, a clear win – and feelings were running high.
The final stage of the day was the impromptu debate, perhaps the most testing of the activities. This involved watching a short video about beauty before being charged with arguing for a ban on plastic surgery. Our three primary debaters brainstormed and organised their points, remaining cool under the pressure of only a 20 minutes planning time. They faced another school that had also won its first two debates. They did an amazing job facing the final team but in the end the other team won by three points. In their feedback, the judges were impressed with the performance from our school. Sadly, this was the end of the competition for us but we left knowing that we were incredibly successful in our first debating competition.
Mr Cuthbert and Ms Papworth are immensely proud of the performance of the team as well as they positive, resilient attitude to the whole day. They were relentless in their pursuit and we are already looking forward to our next competition!