Primary debate duel provides an excellent experience for young orators

Our talented Primary debaters took the ARK competition by storm, winning one out of three debates on the day and having a brilliant time showcasing their speaking skills. Read on below for an excellent account by Year 6 student Anjani...

'We took the jubilee line train to Green Park, we weren’t nervous, instead we were bubbling with excitement and wait to show off all the hard work we had been preparing.  

The motion (what the debate was about) was; ‘This house would ban zoos and would release all animals into the wild.’  We were the proposition and we were speaking first. 

Cyrus opened the debate with a powerful opening argument.  Ark Tindal responded – they too offered a strong argument.  We then countered them with focused and direct rebuttal.  Tindal followed with a strong and well emphasised rebuttal speech.   After that, the debate was then opened to the audience. 

We gave our summation and then it was up to the judge. 

We returned to Miss Vellecott and Mr Merel, and spent a tense five minutes discussing how we felt it went and what we could have done better.  Finally the judge had made up his mind …

“I have now come to a decision; the winner of this debate is ARK ACADEMY.”

We celebrated discreetly, we felt awesome and jubilant.  However, we knew we still had two more debates to go and we were very aware that we were facing our nemesis school Ark Franklin next. 

We listened intently to the feedback that was given, determined to incorporate it in our further two debates.  The feedback was to use more emphasis whilst speaking to highlight important points. 

Both Miss Vellocott and Mr Merel boosted our confidence by reminding us of all the hard work and effort we had put into our speeches and that we had just been victorious.  This time the motion was: This house would abolish the monarchy.  This time we were the opposition.

Ark Franklin began the debate, we countered, they rebutted, we responded and it went to the audience.  Questions were posed and it returned to Ark Franklin to summarise followed by us. 

We regrouped and once again waited for a nerve wracking five minutes for the result to be announced.  This time we didn’t win our debate, however feedback was positive and we took our defeat maturely and congratulated the winners. 

After lunch the motion for the final debate was announced.  The motion was:  This house would abolish SATs.  Once again we were assigned a judge; a school (King Solomon Academy); a room, and a side to argue. We were given 45 minutes to prepare our arguments for the impromptu debate. 

After that, we went to our assigned rooms and started the debate. King Solomon started; they had a strong argument, leaving us a bit of a challenge to beat them. We went next, then back to them and finally back to us again. Questions were then open to the audience. And finally the teams summarizing speakers closed the speech for their team. We waited what seemed like an hour but was really a meagre 5 minutes. Unfortunately, we were beaten by two points, however we could at least leave saying that we had won our very first debate.  

We regrouped in the main hall, as we were about to watch the main champion schools of the day, debate against each other. While they were preparing their speeches we had a mini workshop. The workshop was on emphasis and how to use it properly in our speeches. The workshop was delivered by the past world’s best debater!

Ark Franklin and Globe Academy. Both schools had a brilliant starting speech and rebuttal speech, which made almost everyone think that the debate was going to be a tie! For the final time questions were open to the audience.

The questions asked by the audience were very good and some were even a little hard to answer.  However, both teams succeeded to answer these challenging questions. Once they recited their speeches, it was then all up to the judges. After a tense 10 minutes the judges came to a hard decision that… ARK Franklin had won the debate competition! 

It was then the last event of the day, before we went home. Prize giving!  I couldn’t believe how fast the day had gone already, but they do say “Time flies when you’re having FUN!”

Unfortunately, our school didn’t win the trophy, however we could at least leave saying that we had won one debate and that we had also lost to the overall winners.'

We think they should all be very proud of themselves - we certainly are!