Eaton House Belgravia School - 8th February 2023
With our increased numbers, welcome to our new members, we were able to host our most substantial debate yet!
We began by discussing current affairs, most especially the devastating earthquake in Turkey and what we thought could be done by our government to help. The boys were sensitive whilst remaining realistic and we broached the conundrum of how much aid could be sent whilst also being mindful of all the issues facing our country.
We moved onto the discussion of the Chinese Weather Balloon which was shot down by the US. Opinions were divided about what the best approach for the US might have been, voting had almost a unanimous result that the path of the balloon over the US missile stations was not coincidental and it came down to when should the balloon have been eliminated. This led to our debate: Was the US right to shoot the balloon down when it did? This was wonderfully tackled by both teams who looked at the potential for human harm vs the possibility of classified assets being photographed. At the end the majority of the class believed that the balloon should have been taken down earlier 75% - 25%.
A wonderful session and we look forward to more debates as the term goes on!
Knightsbridge School - 9th February 2023
It was great to see the club really take on our newsround challenge in advance of half term!
We had tremendous contributions from across the year groups on current affairs.
We then turned to some of the major talking points of the week: from the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey, to the Westminster Hall speech by Volodymyr Zelensky, to US-Chinese relations over the 'spy balloon', to the Olympics and whether it should be boycotted if Russia can participate.
We also covered two new skills:
(1) Summaries and how to end a speech with conviction; and (2) anticipating the opposition to improve one's own argumentation. It was very good to see the implementation of both during our formal debates.
In what followed, the group ended evenly divided on whether the Olympics should be boycotted and whether sport should come into politics. Negative examples were given such as the Berlin 1936 Olympics during the Nazi regime. By contrast the group also saw the power of sport in the early years of the Mandela government in South Africa post apartheid - with the 1995 Rugby World Cup - as a power to heal divisions.
The club was very impressed by the efforts of Zelensky and in a similar way felt that more should be done to help Syria and Turkey in the aftermath of this crisis - a unanimous vote in favour of the motion.
Well done all on an excellent first half of debating, public speaking and interview work, and looking forward to continuing the discussions and debates in the second half!