Year 8 and 9 win big at London debate challenge

Hot on the heels of our Primary debaters, our Year 8 Secondary students secured victory in the first two rounds of their London Debate Challenge competition and are now on their way to the grand finals!

Read on for the exciting details of both the regional and London rounds ….

Round one:

Veteran debater Meesha and newbies Jestina, Bipanshu and Alicia proudly represented Brent and Ark Academy for the proposition on two motions; ‘This house believes we should ban all violent combat sports’ and ‘We should ban all drug cheats in sports’.

Meesha felt the day had been a success: ‘The debate went really well and we managed to win against two teams, Ark Elvin and Kingsbury High. I think the best part of the day was in the morning where we got to do lots of debating exercises. It was really fun to meet new people and make new friends there before we had to debate against them.  

We did exercises on how to fully develop our points for debating to make sure that we score all of the points in having our facts and developing our ideas so we can become better debaters.

We did two debates and I think Alicia and Jestina did really well considering it was their first debate. I think it was really enjoyable and a very good learning experience and the other teams were great to compete against.'                                                                                                         

Miss Lewis-Smith said: ‘The team did us proud because they were incredibly well prepared thanks to Nadia in Year 9 who couldn’t attend the debate this time.

They used their research to their advantage because their points in the competition were well thought out and they were very Civitas to their opponents.’

Round 2:

Having conquered the Brent competition Year 8 and 9 now had to face tough opponents at the London finals in Mayfair so the heat was on!

Meesha, Bipanshu and Alicia were joined by skillful speakers Nadia and Joana for three rounds of debating.

The motions and sides were:

  • Round 1: This House Believes That: We should invest heavily in nuclear power (Proposition)
  • Round 2: This House Believes That: We should abolish the monarchy (Opposition)
  • Round 3:  This House Believes That: Parents should be given access to the social media sites of people under 16 years of age (Proposition)

For each round the Ark Academy team were asked to argue the opinion that they disagreed with, something which at first seemed daunting but saw us rise to the challenge with some really great points and strong responses. 

After the high of winning their first round the team had to concede defeat to a fearsome team from Greenwood school in round two. Sadly, you can’t always win them all!

Not to be deterred they rallied for our final debate under the strong leadership of Joana and Nadia and went on to win and proceed to the grand finals of the competition.

Highlights were:

  1. Joana and Alicia creating some brilliant floor questions for the opposing team in the final round
  2. Two fantastic closing speeches from Meesha for which she was complemented on her use of rhetoric
  3. Nadia ripping apart the oppositions argument by comparing it to the slogan ‘We have nothing to fear if we have nothing to hide.’

Most importantly, the judges commended their sportsmanship and kindness to the other teams. 

Miss Clark and Miss Lewis- Smith were full of pride once again and espoused the benefits of this event, saying: ‘I think debating helps students to think critically about the world around them and to construct arguments in a logical and coherent fashion.’

Congratulations to all of our outstanding competitors and we can’t wait to see how you do in the grand finals in July.

Special thanks to Camille Shah at Kingsbury High for the photos.