On Monday 6th February six pupils from Year 10 took part in the illustrious Oxford Debating competition in the first round against schools from across London. This was the first time that our pupils had taken part in the British Parliamentary style of debating at Central Foundation, regardless the competitors took it in their stride.
The first motion was ‘This House Believes: the rise of mega cities has caused more harm than good’, a topical yet challenging opener. Hasin and Kelvin started their debate as the Opposing Government team, working excellently together to challenge fierce opponents through a series of strong arguments and points of information (POI). A fantastic set of points from Hasin allowed him to argue strongly for government corruption being responsible for issues in mega cities. George outlined that investment brought in by mega cities facilitated the fight against climate change as well as demonstrating his brilliant knowledge of global politics and development. Further, each team worked incredibly hard to rebut, building on the arguments that were made by each team member. Kelvin confidently prepared a series of POIs against an incredibly strong pair. This was a brilliant first attempt at competition level debating from Keeyan – taking a POI with confidence and having a great go at summarising.
The second debate was even more challenging than the first: ‘THB women in leadership should exhibit traditionally feminine traits as opposed to traditionally masculine traits.’ George and Keeyan opened the debate in the role of Prime Minister and Deputy and defined the motion effectively without the use of notes! Hasin and Kelvin faced a pair of Harrow Sixth Formers as their direct opposition and spoke with confidence in carefully crafted summary speeches. At the end of the competition, an Oxford judge wanted to personally congratulate Samuel and Peace for the arguments they led with, highlighting that they were some of the most thoughtful in the room – a brilliant achievement for first time debaters.
Congratulations to Hasin, Kelvin, George, Keeyan, Samuel and Peace who did a fantastic job at representing our school, who were incredibly brave, kind in their teamwork towards one another against some of the top debaters in the UK.
Whilst it was a monumental evening with many challenges, we hope this will be the first of many more Oxbridge competitions in years to come!