An activity which promotes our students’ communication skills and ability to think quickly, that encourages critical and creative thinking. A chance to challenge existing views and open up to new ideas and arguments. These were all on show as The Radclyffe School sent a team to the regional final of the PiXL Up For Debate Challenge, held at the University of Nottingham.
Over a full day of proposing, opposing and interrupting the team tackled the motions that ‘This house’ would televise criminal trials, would legalise performing enhancing drugs and would ban private schools’. Under the formal format of debating the students, in teams of three, put forward their argument in just four minutes, or contested their rivals points.
Taking part in the event was valuable experience for a young team. In two of the three debates, in the view of a panel of judges they won the argument. The students will have the chance to return next year.
Debates follow a set format. The Proposer sets out a case in favour of the proposal. Their opponent then speaks against it. The second speakers develop the argument, responding to points made by their opponent. A time of ‘floor debate’ allows the audience to contribute too, then finally the third member of the team summarises all the arguments and responds to any questions that have come up.
These skills have been honed in the Debating Club, which has met through this year. Given a motion in advance, students researched their points before bringing them to the debate. Teacher of English, Miss Razaq explained, “Debating is proving to be a great way to develop confidence and ability. Their performance in the competition was very impressive.”