Years 8 and 9 test their wits and razor-sharp thinking in an inter-House debating competition.
Members of Thornton’s Senior Debating Club have come so far in their oracy skills that Mrs Newman felt it only right and proper to organise a semi-formal event to both stretch and showcase the girls’ mastery of reasoned argument.
Introducing an element of friendly competition to proceedings, she asked representatives from Tyrell, Cavendish and Ingleton Houses to compete in teams of two and give voice to three contentious issues, with one House proposing and the other opposing.
The opening topic – This House would not play competitive sports in school – sparked a flurry of considered debate. Cavendish came out fighting. Maybe winning might make us forget we have personal goals, and there is the possibility of injury and stress. Sport is supposed to be fun, too, the girls reasoned.
Tyrell’s rally was just as strong, with the opposing team arguing that children need to get used to a competitive environment and they also need to learn how to deal with failure.
The other motions, ‘This House would ban junk food for children’ and ‘This House would lower the voting age to 12’ were introduced and developed with just as much vigour, with the Chair also inviting questions from the floor in true debating fashion.
Mrs Newman announced the winners at Debating Club this week. Basing her results on expression, delivery, reasoning and response, she pronounced Ingleton team in first position, followed by Cavendish, then Tyrell.