Our Sixth Formers will be taking part in formal debates with schools from across the area, the first time they have taken part in this form of competition. There are two events coming up; the north Northamptonshire final against Montsaye later this month and the English Speaking Union Schools Mace, which is the oldest schools’ debating contest in the world.
On 2nd December students from Leicester Grammar, Oundle and Uppingham Schools will visit Brooke Weston to debate with our students speaking for the motion: ‘This house would oblige the BBC to enforce diversity quotas for all of its programmes’ with Leicester Grammar debating against. The other two schools will debate a different motion. Parents and staff will be invited to attend the Schools Mace which will be held in the Weston Theatre. If we do well then there will be further rounds of the competition right up to national final level.
Teacher Mrs Smith is helping our students, who are mainly from Year 12, with a few from Year 13. They have been practising by debating in the Year 11 special assemblies. She said: ‘With debates it is about your structure, your arguments and your evidence. The advantage to our students of taking part is that it boosts their confidence and their public speaking skills and, as they have to consider different arguments it improves their research methods as they have to look at different arguments that they maybe don’t agree with and think why they could be valid. Each school puts two speakers forward and each of those speakers gets seven minutes, so there will be 14 minutes per team and it is a very formal structure.’