The ‘Ayes’ Have it!Janet Burrows
Another group of Personal Development Activity students have also just triumphed. This time it was a group of Debaters who took part in the English-Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition, the largest public speaking competition for Schools in England and Wales. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the contest attracts around 400 teams of pupils from Years 9-11. Each team consists of a speaker, questioner and chair, although the unique format of the competition means only the chair and questioner work together – and are paired with a speaker from another school. Each school’s speaker is in turn paired with a chair and questioner from another school.
As a School we entered two Teams who attended the Area Heats at St Peter’s School in January. Both teams had to choose from a list of 6 motions for which they put forward their arguments ‘for’ or ‘against’. Our group of former debaters chose “Sex education in schools should cater for all sexualities” – agreeing with the motion. They fought off stiff competition from both St Peter’s School and Harrogate Grammar School to triumph in the Heats. They will now go on to the regional final which will be held in March at Leeds Grammar School.
The second team chose the motion “Modern technology is making us ever more self-obsessed”, electing to oppose the motion. This was the first time they had entered the competition and performed very well, although unfortunately didn’t make it through to the regional final.
Headteacher, Rob Williams, who leads the Debating Personal Development Activity in school, accompanied the Teams to St Peter’s and was delighted with the performance of both teams. The Team and Headteacher are now busily preparing for the regional final which they’re very much looking forward to.