School stages its very own version of political panel show.
In another of Thornton’s exciting new initiatives, the school staged its very own version of popular TV programme, Question Time, to introduce students to the intricacies – and conflicting opinions – that are part and parcel of current affairs.
Mrs Storey, Mr Taplin and Mrs Holmes sat on the panel alongside two Year 6 students (Amy and Georgia), plus Abi B (Year 12), Mya J (Year 11), and Kaela W and Sarah M (Year 10). With Head of Sixth Form, Mr Bowman, chairing the event, the staff and student representatives bravely accepted a barrage of questions from an audience hungry for answers.
Topics for some interesting debate included ‘how important is the UK’s ‘special relationship’ with America’. Playing the devil’s advocate, Mr Taplin argued that we have to accept that President Trump is the democratic leader of the US. But do we find his views acceptable, others asked. ‘We should have a special relationship with every country in the world,’ Mrs Holmes pointed out. ‘We should be seeking what unites people, not what divides them.’
Referencing the Scottish independence referendum and Brexit, the question as to whether 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote also caused intense argument in the Assembly Hall. It was a resounding ‘yes’ from Mrs Storey. ‘Never underestimate the intelligence of young people. At 16, you are allowed to get married and join a trade union. Brexit may have been different if you had been allowed to vote.’
So successful was Question Time, Thornton-style, that it is likely to become a regular feature in the school’s extensive co-curricular programme. The exercise, said Mr Bowman, was designed to give everyone a voice and to get all students considering the topics from different angles. ‘Current affairs and politics affects us each and every day,’ he added. ‘I am incredibly keen that you come out of Thornton aware of the things going on in the world.’