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St Andrew's School - 22nd January

This was another superb session with our St Andrew's Debating & Interview Club. This week we turned to the importance of conclusions - how to complete your argument on a positive note - and how to summarise the key points in a debate; and structure - how to provide signposting and a list format. We also looked at how to incorporate rhetorical questions into a conclusion/ending of a speech. 


Our warm-up question looked at reading on the back of Sir Michael Morpurgo's call for the Government to invest urgently in early years reading:

'What is your current reading book and why should one read it?' This was a tremendous warm-up session with a wide array of books picked - both fiction and non-fiction - and excellent justification and description given to persuade others to read the particular book being reviewed. 

For our newsround we focussed on the continuing crisis/conflict in the Red Sea/Yemen, knife crime, the forthcoming US election (and primary system) and Storm Isha. It was wonderful to see the group driving the topics and in turn our debate for the week on the motion:

(i) 'This House supports the bombing campaign of the US, UK and allies in the Yemen against the Houthi rebels'. 

Whilst many supported the idea that something had to be done given the critical nature of the route for global trade, a significant opposition voice raised considerable concern. They asked whether this really was a deterrent to the Houthi rebels and if the bombing campaign would really make the situation safer with growing tension in the region with Iran bombing locations in Iraq and Pakistan. The session also looked at the difference between shipping routes and the potential impact on World Trade. Many were also worried about fuelling inflation and prolonging the cost of living crisis. 

We also looked at the motion:

(ii) 'This House believes television is good for children, rather than detrimental to learning'.

This debate was all about context, balance and education. Those in favour felt that it was an essential part of life and that television could provide excellent learning opportunities - the Attenborough documentaries such as Blue Planet were found to be superbly helpful in giving people a chance to experience scientific knowledge that they would be unlikely to see in person. Likewise many felt that it would be difficult to follow sport without television. Nevertheless, concerns were raised on 'copying', 'imitation' and how television whether with fighting and violence for examples might encourage children to behave in a certain way. There was also concern as to the need to get children outside and playing sport and thus improving their health more generally. The group voted overwhelmingly in favour at both tellings. 

Well done all on another very sophisticated session of debating!

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