Ark Senior Great Debate Competition
On Tuesday 28th March, five students from Year 8, 9 and 10 represented Bolingbroke Academy in the Ark Senior Great Debate. This was an inter-school debate held at the English Speaking Union, consisting of nine schools competing in total to be crowned the ‘Great Debate Champions.’ The pupils were made up of Glen Trevis, Atticus Jackson, Jess Ward, Claudia Sai and Ella Holman, who are all part of the ‘Debating Society’ enrichment group. The day consisted of three separate debates and our pupils were told in advance two of the motions with the final one being given to them on the day.
The first motion Bolingbroke debated was ‘Celebrities are bad role models’ against Evelyn Grace Academy. We were told on the day that we had to debate for the opposition and Claudia, Ella and Atticus rose to the challenge. The judge commented that ‘the pupils’ arguments were backed up by research and evidence and that they sounded very convincing.’
In round two our opposition was St Albans Academy from Birmingham, arguing for the motion that ‘Police should be armed with guns.’ Our team, who were against the motion, consisted of Glen, Jess and Atticus. The pupils felt our performance in this debate was much better and that each pupil was becoming more confident with their tone of voice and responding to other debaters’ comments. The opposing team were strong, with confident speakers and well thought out arguments but the solidarity and quick thinking shown by our team ensured their arguments were tighter – as well as some very clear ‘Points of Information.’ Atticus commented that he “really enjoyed this debate as it was a great opportunity to meet other students from different schools who were also interested in debating.”
Round three’s motion was unseen, where pupils were given 20 minutes to prepare for their debate. The motion was ‘This house believes that funding for space exploration should cease’ and Boling-broke had to prepare for the proposition. Pupils were not given any information and had to work as a team to write their argument. The team consisted of Glen, Ella and Jess and argued for this motion against Kings Academy in Birmingham. The pupils showed just how well they can think on their feet and put arguments together in a short space of time. With very spirited speeches and excellent rebuttals, the opposition even commented on what formidable opponents we were.
At the close of the day, we found out we had come third out of nine schools and received high praise from the judges, commenting on our strength of delivery and expression. We were also awarded the prize for the school that had ‘Most Improved’ throughout the day, with Glen receiving an extra award for his strong questioning in the floor de-bate.
A thoroughly enjoyable day for all involved and the pupils reflected that they are keen to build on this to be even more successful next time round!