Debating - Summer Term's Events

Date published: Thu 18 Jul 2019   Author: HLH/ADF   Category: General   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email



In School

This has been a busy term for debating in Years 7 and 8 suported by Miss Morris & Mr Williams.

There were so many entries for the Middle School competition (Years 9 and 10) that Mr Patterson & Miss Davies decided to run a Plate competition for teams knocked out in the first round in addition to the main competition.

A Levels, end of year exams and the lure of a new board games activity in Enrichment time have somewhat curtailed Sixth Form Debating on Wednesdays. However, Sixth Form Induction saw a lively contest over the idea that “This House Believes It Is Better To Be a Sheep Than A Wolf”. This motion was proposed by Miss Morris (standing in at the last minute for Miss DeWald, who had prepared a speech but then lost her voice) & Scott Lockie, with Ollie Weight & me as the Opposition. The proposers were well-deserved winners, leaving me to reflect that my skills were very rusty and I need to debate more often to get back up to speed! There are fewer than usual experienced debaters coming into Year 12, but we attracted an encouraging attendance of around 50 students, several of whom provided floor speeches that showed promise and Miss Quinlan will have a strong student committee to help her to run the activity next year.

The other noteworthy debate in school was a new venture - a debate between parents and students, on the motion “This House Believes That Mother Knows Best”, with the twist being that the students had to propose the motion. They were represented by Christian Stimpson & Boyd Dunster, with intrepid parents Mrs Jennifer Davis & Mrs Vicky Lockie as the Opposition. The motion was narrowly defeated, but an ‘opinion vote’ based on the audience’s feelings before hearing the debate showed a larger majority against the motion than there was after the speeches, so both sides can come away from the debate with some satisfaction. In my opinion, the Opposition made the stronger arguments, but the Proposition displayed the better debating technique. The audience was drawn from all parts of the school community – a governor, teachers, ex-students, post-A Level Year 13s, Year 12 and younger students, parents and other family members, many of whom offered good contributions from the floor. Unfortunately, the audience was not as large as anticipated (you missed an excellent debate), but we hope that this after-school will grow in popularity – and next year we might avoid a clash with Wimbledon!


Outside School

Traditionally the Summer Term is a quiet time for external contests, but TBSHS was represented once again in the International Competition for Young Debaters and we also visited three local primary schools to demonstrate the art of debating to their Year 5 and/or 6 students. Details of these events can be found at and respectively.

Many thanks to all those who have made debating so enjoyable and successful this term and throughout the past year.