Congratulations to our Sixth Form team that has won the latest round of the Debating Matters competition speaking against motions on childhood vaccinations and genome editing.
The team, comprising Sam Bristow, Jack Carr, Seth Goddard, Matthew Haddock, Chelsie Ingram and Anni Tyagi, were facing counterparts from Northampton School for Girls and Montsaye. A fourth school dropped out, meaning that our team had to field questions from the audience.
Seth said: ‘We spent lots of time preparing. Neither of the questions were on our side so that made for a very difficult debate. The motion was that we should welcome the advent of human genome editing and Matthew and I spoke against that one. Anni and Same were arguing against compulsory childhood vaccinations. The motions were both tough ones to argue against. An against side often has a bit of a disadvantage because not only do they go second they have to say that not only is the motion wrong but what has just been said is wrong as well. The for team always goes first because then we have something to argue against. Our team win was down to Anni and Sam. They were fantastic.
‘My analytic skills and coherency have increased tremendously and debating is a great way to boost your confidence, especially when you win. This was the Northants Post-16 final and we are now preparing for the next round.’
Teacher Mrs Smith said: ‘In the Debating Matters format the teams are allowed to question each other so it feels more involved and interactive although there are still lots of rules to abide by. Jack and Chelsie supported the others by doing research, preparing questions and attending the event which took place at Montsaye Academy.
‘The strength of our debating team, and what we have been working on, is developing a rhetoric rather than just presenting facts. It is all about the teams being able to think on their feet as the summary speeches reflect on what has gone on during the debate. Another key thing is not to take it personally when someone argues against you. You don’t have to believe in the point you are arguing, you just have to got to look at the facts and present evidence to support your view, however it is generally harder to argue against the motions than for them so well done to the team for passing this round of the competition.’