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St Andrew's School - 26th February

Our session this week began with an outstanding 'Point of Order/Information' on the role of the Speaker in the House of Commons - this was superb and showed just how engaged students have been with the news. Well done St Andrew's! To continue the theme our skill focus this week looked at POIs and how to make a real impact with such interjections.  


Our warm up question asked:

'If you could study a new language, what would it be and why?'

This saw a huge range of options from Spanish, to German, Italian, Polish, Finnish and Mandarin with very good explanation in each case, from family to culture and widening understanding. Some even felt more time should be given to English within the curriculum. 

Our newsrounds were extremely impressive including reference to: the 2-year anniversary of the War in Ukraine, what to do with sanctioned frozen assets, the conflict in Gaza, events in the House of Commons, and Space exploration. 

With The Today Programme covering the story of exploration in the Antarctica and our very own Socratic colleague Georgina having just been on an expedition there, we looked at the motion:

(i) 'This House would allow tourism to Antarctica'.   

Voting went strongly against the motion at both tellings. Whilst many felt that experience, time spent in Antarctica helped with learning about this precious space and raising awareness, the majority were very keen on travel being restricted to just professional scientists. 

Our second debate was on the back of the landing of a first commercial spacecraft on the Moon has sparked excitement about a new age of possibilities in the Solar System. News of the touchdown of Odysseus near the lunar south pole was greeted with cheers by staff at American firm Intuitive Machines' (IM) mission control in Houston, Texas, on Thursday. It is the first time an American craft has successfully landed on the Moon since 1972 - and the first time ever that a private company has done so. 

Our motion asked:

(ii) 'This House would not allow private funded space travel'.

Here again, as with the first motion, it was felt that given the complexities, importance of discovery and research, and the danger involved, such travel should be for professionals and not in the hands of private business. A small group pointed out that investment would be needed for space discovery, but organisations such as NASA were raised as the key to organising missions into space rather than private enterprise. 

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