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Knightsbridge School Debating & Interview Club - 22nd February

This was a great post 'Half Term' debating session with our Knightsbridge Club. For this week we looked at the critical debating skill of working as a 'team'. The majority of debating competitions are held in team format, and  those participating will be expected to work with others to succeed. For those wanting to win a debate, to be convincing as possible, harmony and teamwork are a priority - we discussed the apt line: 'teamwork divides the task, multiplies the success'. with 'conviction' and with particular emphasis on affirmative tone, active voice, and careful vocabulary choice.

Our warm up question asked:

'What was the highlight of your 'Half Term'?

This saw a wonderful selection of ideas and activities including: skiing, catching up with family and friends, and sporting and educational camps amongst others.

Our newsround saw topics raised from the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, Red Sea Shipping disruption, the death of Alexei Navalny, Gun crime in the USA, and football and tennis updates. 

We tackled two debates this week with a focus on the forthcoming budget, placing the group in the shoes of Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

(i) 'This House would spend more money on education rather than on healthcare'?  

The group was evenly divided after the first vote and remained consistently split for the remainder of the debate. In essence this was seen as a 'chicken and egg' question with many seeing healthcare as vital to getting on in life, but at the same time education as critical to provide the medical professionals and medical advances to provide that healthcare. Both sides argued that school provision and the NHS needed greater funding to help Britain remain competitive in the 21st century. 

(ii) For our second debate we turned to the motion: 'This House would focus on space exploration over ocean/sea exploration'.

Here the voting was again split between those acknowledging the vital importance of space discovery and role satellites play for instance in our daily lives, but at the same time arguing that the seas and oceans of the world were a greater priority with world trade and preserving nature. Whilst others argued that the 21st century would be determined by technological advances, space tourism and the search for a planet 'B'. It was interesting exploring the difference in investment between the two options, with space exploration having huge levels of investment at present. 

Finally we touched on the recent government message/plan to ban phones from school life. We will explore this topic in more detail next time.

Well done all!

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