Yesterday we held our first ever House Debating Competition, which was organised by Miss Jones and Miss Parsons (Head of Raleigh), with the support of our other Heads of House. This was run in conjunction with an event coordinated by Exeter University and our local MP’s office, called North Devon’s Next Free Thinker.
The teams were chosen for their public speaking flair, hard working attitude, and ability to sustain an argument – and they used all of these skills and more! A team of Year 11s also joined us to model public speaking and judge debates throughout the day.
A group of Exeter University students came and spent the day in the English Department, training the teams. First, they were coached in formal debating and rebuttal. They were then divided into their house teams and given a mentor each, before the release of the debate topics (debates were not aligned with political parties). All houses took part in Round 1, on privatisation of the NHS, and Round 2, on abolition of the monarchy. All of our students should feel proud of how they met the challenge on the day. The Raleigh team came in 3rd place, and particular congratulations goes to the Fortescue and Kingsley teams, who made it to the final round in the afternoon.
After a very intense debate on the future of artificial intelligence, Fortescue were finally crowned House Debating Champions! The team, consisting of Jasmine and Asher (Year 9) and Tommy, Neve and Hermione (Year 10), will now go to Petroc to compete against other North Devon schools. All of our students should feel very proud of the way that they met the challenge presented to them – it was amazing to watch how quickly they learnt and developed throughout the day. Extra congratulations to Neve Williams, who won Speaker of the Day, and Anna Gordon, who won Judge of the Day. Well done to everyone involved.