On Monday 5th February three teams of girls went to Dulwich College for the Oxford schools’ Debating Competition for a night of quick-paced, exciting debate.
The girls were given a chance to meet the debaters from the other schools. Soon after, around 50 teams gathered in the grand hall where the ‘motion’ (the statement that the teams were either to argue for or against) was announced, scribbled down by the assembly before the teams rushed off into various different rooms whilst hurriedly discussing their plans. The teams then had 15 minutes to find their room, brainstorm ideas and think up their debates before the 4 teams entered and the debate began.
Eight people, four teams – with each person speaking for 5 minutes. Our two motions were ‘Whether or not prisoners should be allowed to raise their children behind bars’ and ‘Whether we should allow an education system that offers vocational subjects as well as academic subjects.’
Each team put up a strong argument and each approach was from a unique angle. In feedback, teams were congratulated on their speaking style, speech’s structure and their ability to introduce a wide range of points into the debate.
Whilst our teams didn’t get put forward to the next round, we enjoyed an exciting night of fast, stimulating debate and learnt a lot from the quick-fire dialogue that the competition offered.
Sorcha Lydon (Year 11)